Are inflatable kayaks safe? A frequently asked question by new paddlers who wish to own one. The reason why most people keep on inquiring about the safety of these kayaks is as a result of their nature and material of construction.
Most inflatable kayaks are designed for sporty and fun activities. Besides they have a streamlined design that makes them easy to paddle. These kayaks are light in weight manufactured from rugged, super-tough vinyl. Though manufacturers do state that inflatable kayaks are punctured and UV damage resistant, a number of cases have been reported of punctured kayaks over a period of time.
Are inflatable kayaks safe? Yes and No
For example, I own an Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak which have serve me well for over a year now. But one morning, luck wasn’t on me, as usual I was about to go flat water lake kayaking, and as a routine checking on the boat that morning, I was surprised that the Kayak was deflating at a slow pace. Applying patching adhesive wasn’t helpful and some creativity save my day. I had to use an ordinary super glue to patch the Kayak and it worked well.
Poorly designed inflatable kayaks aren’t safe for rough water, such boats are suitable for calm and shallow ponds. In shallow water you have the ability to jump off your boat and onto the water without drowning. To make them safe for usage, it is advisable not to exceed the maximum weight required. For example, a 400- pound should not have a load weighing more the limit. Overloading, will affect the kayak in many ways, such as, sinking the kayak, defaulting air valves, and more.
Sharp objects makes inflatable kayaks unsafe
Kayaking in waters with rough and sharp objects will puncture your kayak at any given opportune time. It is therefore necessary to avoid travelling is such waters where logs and rocks are numerous. However, there are good inflatable hard body kayaks for rafting and white water kayaking that are tough enough to withstand these conditions. Other factors that makes inflatable kayaks unsafe includes; air leaks around the Valve area. If this happens consider returning the product to the supplier if within warranty period.
Why are inflatable kayaks safe?
These kayaks are designed with different separable inflatable chambers. The two inflatable chambers make it easy to paddle your kayak with one chamber out of air. This provision is necessary to enable one chamber to be functional if the other get punctured. Besides, they have inflatable I beam floor designed with rigidity in mind. The floor are tough and capable of withstanding heavy flat objects. Poorly designed I-beam floor causes skidding problem that can result into injuries. Skidding is taking into consideration by providing better materials for the base.
Air valves are visible for quick inflation and deflation. If any of the air chambers got deflated, you have the ability to easily inflate the kayak in the water with less assistance. Blowing up your kayak in times of emergency can take up-to five minutes with the hand pump. Spacious cockpits makes the comfortable in water. You don’t struggle moving your kayak around. All you need in water is comfort at all times, otherwise accident or collision is bound to happen.
Many inflatable kayaks have bright colors to help in identification and visibility during bad weathers. Vessels in the lake and oceans can spot you from a distance avoiding collision.
Ease of transportation
If you lack space to store your kayak, inflatable kayaks makes it possible to throw into a trunk of your car, besides, you can collapse in into a bag which can easily fit your closet without causing any damage. Very portable as you can throw it in your car trunk or collapse into a small bag and drive to the lake within the shortest time possible.
Why ease of portability enhances safety of the kayak.
The ability to pack and unpack easily limit the chances of causing damages to the kayak. In addition, storing the boat in a closet reduces the chances of damages that can be inflicted by children, rodents, and other unwanted creatures.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe
To answer this question consider several factors, ranging manufacturer ability to produce high quality kayaks, pros and cons of materials for kayak constructions, year of manufacturing and the type of water intended for the Kayak.