Hi all! I’ve read lots of the advice on the forums for those of us who deal with back problems, but since many of the posts are dated several years back I thought I would ask again with all these great new IKs on the market. I’m looking to purchase my first inflatable kayak and I’m so excited but I’ve gotten completely bogged down with options and I would truly appreciate some guidance.
In my 20’s and 30’s I was quite active and did a lot of ocean kayaking and some whitewater. Now, after two back surgeries and a shoulder surgery I’ve slowed down a bit. I don’t have any back pain now but I want to make sure I choose a kayak with good lower back support, or one where I can upgrade to a seat with lumbar support if need be. That’s probably my first priority. Secondly, I’d like it in the lighter-weight range (below 35lbs if possible) so it will be easier for me to load up and carry on my own.
Since it’s my first foray into IKing, I’m okay with going with a cheaper model to try it out and see if it feels good. I had almost settled on the Intex Challenger because of the fantastic reviews and the cheapo price point, but I’m 5’11" with long legs and I’m not sure if it will be comfortable for my size.
I live in the Hill Country of Texas and will be using it mainly to explore the lakes and gentle rivers here. I don’t see myself doing much whitewater until I get more comfortable with the sport again after a decade away. I would love to keep my price point below $600. I would also consider a tandem IK so that my husband can join if he wants but since he travels for work a lot I think this will be an activity I’ll be doing on my own for the majority of the time.