For a while now I’ve been thinking about investing in an inflatable kayak. I’ve owned two regular kayaks for years, but rarely use them simply because I have no way to get them to the water. Now that we have begun camping, I plan to take the inflatable on camping trips.
The Sea Eagle brand gets really great reviews and I knew I wanted a somewhat streamlined kayak. They tend to go faster and straighter than short, stubby kayaks. After watching a good video review at YouTube, I was convinced, and bought one.
On this page I will talk about blowing it up, taking it for a ride, and drying it, deflating it and putting it away.
Blowing It Up
It was difficult to find a good video about inflating this kayak. Also, it was mostly men doing the inflating, so maybe that is why they spoke as if it wasn’t too difficult…!
I was tired out before the first (of three) sections were pumped up! Okay. I am a woman in her sixties, so take that into consideration. I’m not the strongest old lady either, I’ll admit. Each side, and the bottom, needs to be pumped up to around 12 PSI. It tired me out before I was a third of the way done. My son helped me finish!
Because it was a chore to inflate, the kayak remained inflated and stored on the porch for a few days until the weather was nice enough to go out.
Out on The Water
In the photo below I am out on the Indian River on the East coast of Florida. That is my son on his paddle board (he’s sitting down) and we are both getting used to our new water toys.
In the photo above you can see the three valve areas for inflating.
Going For a Paddle
It is impossible to tell in these photos, but it was extremely windy the day we went paddling. We didn’t stay out long, and didn’t go far. My son was trying out his new SUP. He did not stand, but sat in an inflatable seat. His SUP brand is a BOTE.
The boat ramp is very close to our house, and the launch area was empty because it was not a good boating day. We threw the paddle board and kayak into the back of the truck and drove to the beach ramp.
Once there, all I did was add the seat and grab the paddle. The kayak seat clips in with four straps. I did not use the extra fin that can be attached to the bottom. The wind was blowing us in toward shore and I didn’t want to take the chance of snapping the fin off.
We were on the Indian River, which is saltwater. The water was around 70 degrees, so not very warm for us! The water was a little choppy from the wind, and a few boats went by to cause some small waves.
I found the kayak to be pretty stable, but less so than my normal, plastic kayaks. It might feel different using the fin. I was able to paddle around just fine and went across to the sand bar and back with no problem. One of my foot pegs kept coming out for some reason.
My life jacket has a zipper pocket where I kept my phone and took these photos, but because the wind pushed me and spun me so easily, I didn’t get many pictures.
No one fell off, and nobody sank – so good times!
After the Ride There is Work to Be Done
Because I ride in saltwater, the kayak needed to be rinsed well. That is not a problem, but drying it was a real pain in the neck. Because of the Florida humidity, nothing dries well here. I let it air dry for a while and then wiped the whole thing with a big towel. But reaching under, and getting into the front to dry it was tough. Once it was folded up and in the bag, water actually dripped out.
So, as you can see in my photos below, I struggled to get it into the storage bag. But I forgot to loosen up the outside strap!
I only plan to use this kayak when we travel in the camper. I like to camp near water. Our recent trip was to the O’Leno Campground where there was a river. Also, the famous Ichetucknee Springs was close by. This would have been a great place to take the kayak. When we camp, we can bring the kayak along in the back of the truck. My son bought a good pump to inflate our toys easier and he also has a thing that suctions out the air. I have not tried either of those, but they will both help.
I am happy with the kayak purchase. It paddled well, and was stable enough. Once I have the fin on, it should be even better.
Overall, it is a bit of a pain to blow up, rinse and dry, deflate, and fold. But it is portable, so it’s what I need. The quality seems to be very good and hopefully it will last a long time.
If you’d like to view some videos about kayaking, I watched Kayak Cliff. He covered a lot more than most of the other videos I watched.
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