Is Inflatable Kayak Safe?

Inflatable kayaks are much more versatile than normal hard-shell kayaks which are much heavier and it is not possible to carry them when you are traveling far from your home. If you are looking for a boat that can be packed into a bag or backpack then inflatable kayaks become the best choice. Even if there you have to carry this boat over a distance, you can still easily fit it in your car boot or trunk.

These boats are made to be lightweight so that you have no trouble carrying them over long distances. The only thing that would make them even lighter is if the manufacturers could choose not to put all the protection features on these boats. These features are necessary as they help protect the boat from splitting or scratching. They also ensure that you have a smooth and comfortable journey in your inflatable kayak all the time.


What Activities Are Safe to Do With An Inflatable Kayak or Canoe?

All water activities are safe to do with an inflatable boat. If you enjoy kayaking, these boats are the best choice for you as they allow you to explore rivers and lakes rapidly. You can also use it to go on trips with your friends or family where there have been beautiful natural spots to see.

With the most inflatable kayaks, you can also go fishing as they are very stable. You do not have to worry about your safety at all because these boats would never flip over or sink.


What Are the Advantages of Using an Inflatable Kayak for Safety?

There are many benefits of having an inflatable kayak safety.

1) Very stable– One thing that makes people reluctant to use the kayaks is that they are afraid of falling into deep waters or rolling over. This would never happen with an inflatable kayak because if you fall, you would just have to get back up again and try again. It is so stable that you can even stand up in it and people have tried this for fun.

2) Short learning curve– Inflatable kayaks are very easy to use as they do not require a high skill level from the user. You just need to push yourself off from the bank or shore then you would enjoy your trip. You would never flip over as the boat is very stable and you can easily get back up if this happens.

3) Portable– These boats are very portable as they would fit in a bag or backpack when deflated. They do not take much space at all and that is why you can even carry them for a long journey.

4) Versatility– With inflatable kayaks, you can go on a wide variety of water activities. You can kayak in calm waters or even go to places that have rivers and rapids. If you want to, then you can even give yourself a challenge by going into turbulent waters with this boat.


Examine Before Inflating

To have a safe time out on the water, you need to make sure that your inflatable kayak is in good condition before inflating. If there are any tears or holes in it, then this would lead to it being deflated and damage may happen. Always check for damages before inflating the kayak.


Use the Correct Inflate Method

There are a few steps that you need to follow to inflate the kayak correctly. You can use an electric pump or foot pump for this.

  1. Make sure the valves between the kayak and pump are connected properly. This will avoid any air getting out of the boat when you are trying to inflate it.
  2. Tighten all the valves before you start pumping air into the kayak. If there are any loose valves, then this would lead to deflation, and damage may happen. Always tighten them properly so that they are safe for use.
  3. Make sure that you pump enough air into it so that it becomes firm. You would know that the kayak is inflated enough when it remains firm even if you press your fingers into the top surface of the kayak.
  4. Screw on any other accessories that you would want to attach using screws or clips. This includes fishing rod holders, seats, cameras, and anything else that you might want.


Do Inflatable Kayaks have Good Maneuverability?

The inflatable kayak is very maneuverable because the design of these boats has been changed so that they are easy to control. You can easily change the direction when paddling with this boat. It does not matter what type of water activity you are doing, you will have an amazing time on the water with it.


What Is the Most Effective Way to Keep an Inflatable Kayak?

You should always store your inflatable kayak in a cool and dry place. Make sure that there are no sharp objects nearby because this could puncture the boat and lead to deflation. If you need to inflate it again, make sure to check the valves to see if they are still working properly because you don’t want it to deflate when you are out on the water.


What do You Need To Use for an Inflatable Kayak?

You need a pump, paddle, and flotation device for using the inflatable kayak. It may come with some of these things when you buy it, but if it does not then this would be additional equipment that you will need to purchase.


How to Use an Inflatable Kayak?

It is very easy to use the inflatable kayak. You just deflate it pack it in a backpack or bag and carry it wherever you want to go. These boats are very portable and can fit in tight areas.

When you get to your destination, simply inflate the kayak again, fill it with air then deflate it once more. Then you would be able to enjoy your trip on the water with family or friends. If you do not like going on a flat surface, then this boat is not for you.

When you are done kayaking, deflate it and roll it up. Then it is time to load this boat into your backpack or bag. Now you can go on a new trip with this inflatable kayak companion of yours the next time.


What is Very Important When Using an Inflatable Kayak?

You must wear a life jacket when using the inflatable kayak. Also, make sure to know how to swim because this would be a great way to learn if you are going out on the water for the first time with it.


Are Inflatable Kayaks Safe for Rapids?

You cannot use inflatable kayaks on extreme rapids as they are made of nylon which is not strong enough to stand the pressure on these rapids. However, you can still go kayaking or canoeing in moderate rapids all day long without any problem at all.


Is Using An Inflatable Kayak Safe for Children?

If you want to take your kids on a trip with an inflatable kayak then there is no problem at all. These boats are very stable and even if your children make sudden movements, you do not have to worry about them tipping over.


What Is The Safest Way of Transporting an Inflatable Kayak?

The safest way to transport any inflatable boat is by using a roof rack on the top of your car. Make sure that you fasten this boat down on the roof rack with ropes and straps so that it does not move around when you are traveling. For extra safety, put a life jacket on the kayak and wear one yourself as well.

My Thoughts: An inflatable kayak is great for people who want to go on trips but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a kayak. Also, people who want to take their kids kayaking but don’t feel safe putting the kid in a hard shell kayak would find that an inflatable is perfect for them. However, I think that if you are going into extremely rough waters it wouldn’t be ideal because you could end up losing control of your kayak or just face other problems.


Inflatable Kayaks Types

Whitewater kayaks – Inflatable Whitewater kayaks are designed to be used in extreme whitewater conditions. These kayaks will have a closed cockpit, and the paddler will usually wear a spray skirt to protect themselves from water that might splash into the boat. Whitewater kayaks can also come with an attached “spray deck” which does not allow water to enter the boat, but can easily be removed by the paddler when it is safe to do so.

Fishing kayak – Inflatable fishing kayak are designed to be used in flat water, and occasionally whitewater. These kayaks will have a sit-on-top open cockpit design. Many of these boats today come with a “skirt” which is used to keep water from splashing into the boat when it is completely or partially submerged. This skirt can be easily rolled up when it is safe to enter the water.

Touring kayaks – Inflatable touring kayaks are designed to be used in flat water, and occasionally whitewater. These kayaks will also have a sit-on-top open cockpit design. Many of these boats today come with a “skirt” which is used to keep water from splashing into the boat when it is completely or partially submerged. This skirt can be easily rolled up when it is safe to enter the water.

Dagger kayaks – Inflatable Dagger kayaks make some of the best whitewater kayaks on the market today. They are usually made out of nylon with aluminum or stainless steel ribs. Dagger kayaks are made by taking a sheet of nylon, then molding the boat around an internal support skeleton. This provides excellent consistency across all of their boats. Dagger also makes very sturdy paddles which are important when running dangerous whitewater.

Sea Kayak – Inflatable Sea kayaks are usually designed for open water conditions where they will be used for hours at a time. These boats are designed for high speed and oftentimes will have skegs to help direct the boat which further improves the tracking performance. These kayaks are usually made of rotomolded plastic, which is more expensive than an inflatable, but also much heavier and more difficult to transport.


Hardshell Kayaks vs Inflatable Kayaks

Hardshell kayaks are usually a more traditional option for boat designs. They are built using fiberglass, kevlar, or occasionally roto-molding. The advantage of this type of construction is that it is very strong and can be made watertight almost perfectly. This will also allow the kayak to hold its shape over time as opposed to an inflatable kayak that will lose its shape and become flattered as it sits out in the heat.

The disadvantage of a hard shell kayak is the initial price, weight, and ease of transport. The cost for one of these can range from $500 to many thousands depending on the type you get. They also weigh anywhere from 30-60 lbs which makes carrying them a chore and transporting them long distances very difficult.

Inflatable kayaks are usually the most affordable option on the market today since they use cheaper materials to make the boat. If you can purchase an inflatable kayak that is made with a PVC outer material instead of nylon then you will save even more money. The benefit of this material is that it is lighter, and can feel more similar to a hardshell kayak when paddling in the water.

The disadvantage to an inflatable kayak will be issued with punctures which can cause you to sink if you are not careful. If this occurs then there might not be enough time for you to reach safety so always ensure that you have a backup plan when going out onto the water.

Inflatable kayaks are usually easier to transport since they can be folded up and placed inside of a backpack. This will allow them to fit in most car trunks without taking up too much space. Oftentimes these boats will only weigh around 30-40 lbs as well, which makes them easy to carry for an extended time.

Inflatable Kayak Torture Test


Are Inflatable Kayaks Stable?

Inflatable kayaks are very stable due to their thickness, but stability depends on the type of inflatable kayak. If you’re looking for something super stable, then an IK is probably not right for you. 2-3 chambers mean it will be more likely that one chamber can leak or fail to render your boat un-useable.

What we recommend is to use a double IK for extra stability, especially on the ocean and flat water. These double inflatable kayaks are more stable than sit-on-top kayaks and some hard shells because of the higher sides and wider bottom.

​If you still want something stable, yet lightweight and portable, then we recommend the Sevylor inflatable kayak. Unlike other IKs, it is made of PVC instead of rubber which makes it more lightweight and portable. More importantly, the Sevylor inflatable kayak is very stable because of its unique design, yet weighs only 23lbs!

Inflatable watercraft made from double-layered PVC material gives you the buoyancy of a hunting float tube, the durability and strength of an IK, and the convenience and ease of use that comes with an inflatable boat.

The same goes for sit-on-top kayaks; they’re more stable because of their wider bottom surface which is great for beginners but also makes them more difficult to roll.


More Stability Means More Complicated Rolling

It is important to note that the wider bottom surface of an inflatable kayak means it’s more stable; however, this may make it harder for you to learn how to do a cartwheel (roll) because your center of gravity (center of mass) is farther from your paddle.

That makes it harder to reach over the water to grab it because you will be out of reach. And if you know anything about cartwheels then you know that the trick is to take advantage of the momentum that’s generated when your body moves vertically in an arc above the water.

If you’re off the water by even a little bit, then your grab will be too low. When that happens it is hard to reach back up and over; you’ll probably end up grabbing at air. If this happens often, you’ll lose momentum and eventually give up on cartwheels altogether!


Conclusion:

Modern Inflatable kayaks are perfect for people who want to go out on the water but don’t want to spend a ton of money. These boats are very safe and stable, so it is recommended that children use them as well. They do not work well in extremely rough waters because they could flip over easily.

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Matt

Matt

I am kayaking looking to spend my life on the water, and as such, I've founded FishOnKayak.com in order to detail all of the gear that makes it possible for me to have a whale of a time while out on the waves!

About Me

FishOnKayak is a kayaking blog that provides reviews on kayaks and other kayaking-related items. Kayakers of all skill levels are welcome to visit our blog for the latest information on the sport. We hope you find our blog helpful in your pursuit of the great outdoors!

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