Problems with inflatable kayaks vary depending on the type and brand of a kayak. The kayak construction materials and design play a vital role in ensuring that the boat is safe. A good kayak, which is designed poorly will have a problem while at the same time a good material designed poorly results into several problems, such as, leakages and more.
Below are some of the common problems with inflatable kayaks
A punctured kayak requires patches, but some inflatable kayaks are made of materials that are difficult to reinforcement. This happens when the recommended patch material is not compatible with the kayak. For example, my Intex Explorer K2 had a puncture at the bottom of the base. Patching the kayak was so difficult and I gave up after trying all the available patches. However, through trial and error, it was sealed by super glue and it is two months since then. As a paddler, select good patches to avoid running into such problems.
Prone to sharp objects damages
There are different types of inflatable kayaks with different qualities and functionalities. But, a cheap boat can’t withstand sharp objects. As a beginner sourcing for a better foldable kayak, consider high-quality boats with double layer mechanism. Repeated contact with sharp objects can cause serious damage. It is therefore recommended that you avoid sharp objects and debris beneath the water.
Inflating and deflating takes enormous time
Having your kayak inflated may take more than 10 minutes. The process is time-consuming with a handheld pump. The reason why pumping air into the kayak is a problem is because it takes you time to deflate the air valve after a few rounds of kayaking. The other problem is knowing the exact amount of air pressure for optimal performance. You will continue pumping and gauging by your eyes. It is therefore recommended to have a measuring gauge to have the right amount of air. Besides, pumping too much air makes your kayak too rigid and with that, you will have difficulties in maneuvering.
A poorly maintained inflatable kayak will attract dirt and other foreign objects. The boat will be stuffy with bad smell, which has the potential to cause health challenges.
Controlling inflatable kayaks can sometimes become a problem due to their lightweight. It is difficult to gain control over the kayak during heavy winds and waves. As a paddler, you use more energy to steer the boat in the right direction, as it will be blown easily by the wind.
Poor manufacturing materials
To be profitable, the companies behind low-cost inflatable kayaks utilizes cheap materials which you can easily tear apart. Given the poor quality adequate precaution is needed to extend their shelf life.
These kayaks are prone to air leakages causing sagging making it hard to paddle. The deflation is can be as a result of interference with the kayak air valve or overheating from the sun.