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Old 23-10-2011, 14:53   #1
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Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

I hope this is the right place to raise this question.

To gain effective upper body exercise when at anchor or in a non crocodile infested marina (I know of 2 in Mexico) what do you consider the most beneficial kayak to carry aboard?

Please do not consider storage on board as a factor in answering. However do please consider using the kayak for moderate distance exploring around bays or promontories. Ease of use and stability would also factor into the equation.
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Old 23-10-2011, 15:07   #2
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Re: Kayaks: inflatable or rigid for exercise

i use and like a lot entry level perception swifty. stable and large enough to pack groceries and i use em for transportation. if swifty is no longer made-- if you have bucks, my all time favorite kayak was walden paddlers. 36 pounds, can pack a lot, and stable. last i saw those were 750 in sd ata ripoff place--loook online for manufcturer and sales locations.....but i also saw em for 450 or so elsewhere i amnot sure where--gooood kayaks..sit inside so booty isnt in danger of dampness.
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Old 23-10-2011, 15:08   #3
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Re: Kayaks: inflatable or rigid for exercise

Well.. If storage isn't an issue, a hard kayak will always be better. The main reason to get an inflatable is for better storage options. I don't see any benefit otherwise...
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Old 23-10-2011, 15:26   #4
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Re: Kayaks: inflatable or rigid for exercise

mexdon--if you get the boat you said youmight,ther eis penty of room for stowing 2 hard kayaks of walden paddlers size and quality....those are excellent quality kayaks and 8 1/2 ft long or 8 ft. they are less than 30 inches wide, so will fit on top or nywhere on htat awesome big boat--either one, actually!!!! inflatable kayaks need dockage or flat swim step or such for newb to use--how is gf with this----- i think best bet is walden paddlers f or quality and for durability and stabiity. my plastic kayak iw now 10 yrs old. still working.
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Old 23-10-2011, 17:36   #5
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Re: Kayaks: inflatable or rigid for exercise

Apart from stowage issues, an inflatable kayak does not bang things, bump into the mother ship at night, and is easier to lift. All these issues make them more likely to be used, as long as you don't have to blow them up, every time. And, it seems to me, the best kayak is the one you use, not the one you think about!

In our case, we have a Malibu two person sit on top kayak. It is a bear to get on and off the boat, and to tie down, and this is on a 45 foot cat. Result? We tend not to offer it to our charter guests nearly as often as we ought. I have disliked the beast for all seven years that we have had it.

Inflatables suffer, in many cases, from being non-rigid, toylike, and not very durable. But, there are those that are made with the same drop stitch type of construction that inflatable floors for inflatable tenders have. Only with even more air pressure, which makes them about as stiff as plywood.

So...I just bought one of those, an Airis, made by Walker Bay, and i honestly think this particular kayak will move almost as well and dependably as a rigid one. I won't be trying it for another week, but will share the result. I am also looking forward to a kayak that I can literally throw into the water and retrieve with almost no effort. That way, it will get used, which is the point.

A last thing about inflatable kayaks. Based on past experience, just about the most important feature is the drain. Many have very awkward ones, and it is next to impossible to get salt and sand out, nor to really dry them. That kind of construction is a deal killer, in my opinion. I have had both kinds. Oddly, prior to my latest acquisition, the most useful kayak I ever had, as judged by the amount of use it got, was a Sevylor el cheapo, very toylike and non-rigid. But, it was so light that my girlfriend would toss it in the water as I was setting the anchor and cleaning up the boat. By the time I was ready to play, she had generally done a complete tour or the anchorage, bay, or whatever. She could tie that thing up with a piece of string. It was definitely a toy, but she sure did love it. When we split up, I insisted she have it.

I am hopeful that my new Airis is as useful, and a lot better performer, both for me and for our guests. Very pricey, though, so it had better be!

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 25-10-2011, 17:23   #6
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Re: Kayaks: inflatable or rigid for exercise

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
mexdon--if you get the boat you said youmight,ther eis penty of room for stowing 2 hard kayaks of walden paddlers size and quality....those are excellent quality kayaks and 8 1/2 ft long or 8 ft. they are less than 30 inches wide, so will fit on top or nywhere on htat awesome big boat--either one, actually!!!! inflatable kayaks need dockage or flat swim step or such for newb to use--how is gf with this----- i think best bet is walden paddlers f or quality and for durability and stabiity. my plastic kayak iw now 10 yrs old. still working.
Thanks Zee, I have looked at the Walden website, they don't show the paddler model so I will have to look and see what I can find. The shorted they show for new buy is the Adirondack at 11ft 6in. At the moment I have not researched prices. I am going to have to spend some time at a beach with my GF and get her used to a number of things re the water and the sea. Hence I will also look for a sailing tender so she can get the feel of a tiller and know what weather helm and a balance boat mean...by trial and error and the odd capsize.
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Old 25-10-2011, 17:33   #7
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Re: Kayaks: inflatable or rigid for exercise

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Originally Posted by Tim Schaaf View Post


I am hopeful that my new Airis is as useful, and a lot better performer, both for me and for our guests. Very pricey, though, so it had better be!

Cheers,
Tim
Thanks Tim for your input. Should I go rigid I will buy light so I can pull it on board after use, but I am still researching so would be very interested how your Airis turns out and how it handles.

Pursuant to Zee's comment I have though of getting the Walker Bay AirDock as I will not have a swim platform on the yacht I am hoping to get in the next couple of weeks, and from what I have seen these seem to be quite stable. They have discontinued manufacture but I have located some stocks in Canada.
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When I was a boy my momma would send me down to the corner store with $1 and I would come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, a box of tea and 6 eggs. Can't do that now, too many f**kn security cameras.
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Old 25-10-2011, 17:44   #8
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Re: Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

Some inflatables are very good - easy to blow up, easy to deflate, rigid, stable, light. They do not keep course as well as rigid shell and they require more muscle to get them going - both positives if exercise (read: sweat) is the target.

I used one that had inflatable bladders inside ripstop nylon shell. Very good stuff.

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Old 25-10-2011, 18:18   #9
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Re: Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

I've had them all at one point or another. The sit-on-tops are better dive platforms and are more stable, but they don't get from Point A to Point B as well, nor will they carry as much gear if that's a factor.

I prefer a rudderless design for a sit-inside yak because I store my boats on the foredeck and I don't want flailing sheets to rip the rudders off the boats. Look into Eddyline kayaks if you want the best rudderless sea kayaks made. The carbonlite boats are ideal for storing on a sailboat deck.
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Old 25-10-2011, 18:28   #10
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Re: Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

This is different. A three-piece rigid kayak. Really.

Point 65N - Kayaks from Sweden

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Old 25-10-2011, 21:46   #11
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Rigid- for safety and ease of movement. I have an Frenzy by Ocean Kayak(1 person) I plugged the holes so my bum stays dry. It has a keel to keep you going straight and moves out well. Safe too-I was kayaking near the shore watching the creatures in the water when I looked up and saw HUGE wave (got too close to beach) so I paddled really hard toward the wave and it went over easy and safe. We had toyed with inflatables (i cant imagine them in my wave situation) but they would be extra exercise to get them to go anywhere (I would paddle but it just kept going side to side). I would rather paddle more distance to see things! Good luck with choice! They are great fun!
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Old 25-10-2011, 22:02   #12
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Re: Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

Get a rigid with a see through bottom.
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Old 25-10-2011, 22:03   #13
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I saw one recently. Looked like a one off. Anyone know who makes them? That would be cool!
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Old 26-10-2011, 10:18   #14
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Re: Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

I have two rigid sit-on-tops and like them both for different reasons....
The Cobra Eliminator is fast...accelerates quickly and with its rudder is very maneuverable, its light enough for me to move around and load and unload by myself..its also tender and has very little stowage.
The Aquaterra is very stable and has a pretty impressive payload...its also twin place...and has some possibility of adapting a sail....its slow and heavy...to heavy for me to manhandle without winches of other help.

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Old 26-10-2011, 15:57   #15
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Re: Kayaks: Inflatable or Rigid for Exercise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexdon View Post
I hope this is the right place to raise this question.

To gain effective upper body exercise when at anchor or in a non crocodile infested marina (I know of 2 in Mexico) what do you consider the most beneficial kayak to carry aboard?

Please do not consider storage on board as a factor in answering. However do please consider using the kayak for moderate distance exploring around bays or promontories. Ease of use and stability would also factor into the equation.




Couple of suggestions/thoughts:
  1. Efficient paddling is a full body exercise, the torso should rotate to place more power into and lengthen the stroke. When you "put your back into it" you engage muscles with much more stamina than the biceps. Trust me, I've done many 300 mile races and a 1500 miler.... You gotta use your back. When you do so, you will need to brace your legs against part of the boat to efficiently transfer the power generated by the stroke into the vessel.
  2. I have been told by people smarter than me that when a hull flexes (i.e. an inflatable) they become less efficient. Will that hurt you piddling around the anchorage? Probably not. IMHO, the best kayak for a sailboat would be either a Klepper or Feathercraft. Both are rigid framed, soft skin boats. They fold down to nothing, assemble fairly easily and have proven themselves to be good vessels that in the right hands could be surfed. If storage is not an issue, and you want the best ever- look at either a Nortwest Discover or a Kruger Dreamcatcher. Neither is cheap, but IMHO they represent the best out there.
  3. For maximum stability think 24" beam and a hard chime or ribbed bottom (i.e. sit on tops). AVOID the British "fish form" or rounded bottoms, they are way to agressive for newbies.
  4. When buying a kayak, invest in a decent paddle. The cheapo aluminium ones are heavy and will create fatigue. At a minimum get a 2-piece wood or fiberglass from Werner. For a seriously good paddle get graphite- but that would probably be overkill.
A werner camano and a feathercraft would make an interesting combo.

Any hoot there goes my $0.02 and some extra

Bill
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