Air bag install on a Sundolphin

Recently saw a video from Headwater Kayak in California do a video in what happens to rec kayaks like the Pelican and Sundolphin models that have zero floatation when they fill with water (roll).

As my first kayak (just last summer) is a Sundolphin and friends and family use that one when we go out together (I upgraded to a CD kayak since), I went ahead and installed an airbag in the stern tonight, took 30 min. This model had a little storage area (not waterproof anyway), that I cut into to access the entire inside of the stern. Sanded the rough edges, added foam edging to make sure the airbag didn’t rub and pop, and now the back of the yak is completely filled up with air. Will help with floatation and that’s a lot of water that won’t fill it up now.

I strongly suggest if you have one of these models to watch the headwater video and at least know what your risks are… and practice rolling and wet exiting your yak.

Well done! If it has foot pegs you can tie in a float bag at the front of the rail. Do this with the SD on sawhorses so you don’t need to be head first upside down in the kayak working.

See you on the water,
Marshall Seddon
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY
845-229-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile

@Photecs do you have a link to the Headwaters video?

@Peter-CA said:
@Photecs do you have a link to the Headwaters video?

Yes Sir!

Without the front air bag it can still do a Cleopatra’s Needle.

@Overstreet said:
Without the front air bag it can still do a Cleopatra’s Needle.

Agreed, but better than nothing for now.

Last year my wife and I bought two of these same kayaks, even the same color. Our 85 lb. canoe seems to gain weight every time I have a birthday so wanted to try something lighter. Haven’t been able to get out a lot but really like them so far, work well on the river next to our camping property.
Really like the modification, I was not happy with the small amount of closed cell Styrofoam they use for flotation. I cut pool noodles to fit and filled the rear with them by pushing them around the sides of the seat until I filled up the rear cavity. They do have foot pegs so I will look into the idea of tying a float bag to them to get flotation in the front. Jim.

Smart move with the air bag.

My first kayak was a WS Pungo, which at least had a rear sealed compartment but I never felt safe in it until I installed a front air bag tied in - as Marshall suggests - to the footpeg supports.