IK ok for first kayak?

I live in a condo (limited storage space) on Puget Sound just south of Seattle. I’m a beginner kayaker (one class so far) and I’m planning on getting my first kayak soon. Due to no storage I’m looking at inflatables and have narrowed it down to Advanced Elements Advancedframe AE1012-R or Stearns Yukatat. Anyone have any input that will help me make a decision? Thanks!

There are 2 kayak shops
in town that offer boat storage, Seattle raft and Kayak and Northwest Outdoor Center.


How windy is it there?
Inflatables are no fun in wind.

That being said Audrey Sutherland has paddled them a lot in Hawaii and Alaska and is a famous proponent of them…


Another option is a folding kayak which is much more expensive.

Personally I would try to find a friend or relative that would let you store a hard shelled boat.


look at the sonnet inflatables.

I am making one.


This guy paddles IKs
and is close to you (relatively), paddling in similar conditions to what you describe:


I think IK’s are great for beginners because of the stability and the added safety. Just get one that performs well and is relatively fast, or you will get frustrated quickly. As Seadart said, stay away from windy conditions - you will probably be safe in an IK, but not having very much fun.

I believe the Seattle area is home to Innova. I don’t know, but it would be worth some research to see if you could demo some of their models.

I’d watch craigslist
for a folding kayak. Something should show up in your area. Be patient. Meanwhile rent one at NWOC.

I’ve never had any real problems paddling an inflatable in the wind. Had a lot more problems with a rudderless hardshell in wind than I ever had with inflatables.

I don’t think folders are necessarily the answer when it comes to portable boats. The 45 minute + set up/take down time pretty much precludes any quick trips out to the water for a short paddle.

Thumbs up on AE inflatables
as we (daughters and I) have the AdvanceFrame 10.5’ and a Pakboat Puffin 12’ folding kayak. AF inflatable is bullet proof and inflates in 10-12 minutes. The Pakboat Puffin can be assembled in 20 minutes…really simple and it’s about as fast as a hard shell 12’ kayak. The AF inflatable runs about $395. and the Puffin about $850. Puffin kayak is an excellent folder and really tuff…I am 6’2"/210 and have hung up on small rocks in a fast moving river and just leaves scuff marks on the hull, same for the AE inflatable. Lots of fun to be able to take places you can’t with hard shell kayaks.

folbot Cooper
10 to 15 minutes. depending on whether you put the right end of the frame in the skin…ask me how I know…



you have a cooper…
and you’re still builing a Sonnet?

Seriously, how is that project going? I may take on a Sonnet 14 this winter, time permitting.

disassembly time
How about after 6 hours paddling, in the rain, with cold fingers? :slight_smile:


Got it :slight_smile:
When I have to move, I can get the Innova trunk-ready in about 30 seconds.

Long Haul Mark 1
20 to 25 minutes. depending on how many people are watching and asking a ton o’ questions…ask me how I know…


Take down is ever faster… 15 minutes tops.

I get a ten minute setup time with no practice required with my Innova, and like JT, under a minute to the trunk if I’m in a hurry. Dead simple and easy. And no parts to keep track of (or lose in the grass, sand or water).

IKs in the wind
Many IKs have some sort of skeg to help them track straight. In crosswinds, the skeg can almost eliminate weathercocking. This is the case with my Innova Sunny, which does far better in a crosswind that a similarly sized hardshell without a rudder/skeg.

My experence is that it is difficult to keep pace with hardshell in a headwind. Like canoes, one thing that helps is ballast. On longer trips, I keep half-gallon milk jugs filled with sand in bow and stern to help lengthen the water line. I a headwind, both can be put in the bow to lower the wind exposure. Of course, that makes it more likely that the chop will break over the bow…