Inflatable kayak recommendations

I recently returned from a 16 day trip on the Colorado thru the Grand Canyon. This trip had 2 NRS Maverick1 inflatable kayaks and they were a blast! I want to start getting more into WW kayaking and am looking for recommendations. Initially I would be doing local (N CA) creeks and rivers like Cache Creek. Just day trips, probably nothing over class 3. I liked the NRS ones I used but would hate so spend $1000 right out of the shoot so I’m hoping that you folks can suggest some other options in inflatables.



Aire TomCat

– Last Updated: Jun-22-05 3:17 PM EST –

I live in NORCAL, but it has been a few years since I have done any whitewater.

Inflatable Kayaks (IKs) are well suited to Sierra whitewater since Sierra streams are often too shallow to roll, and lots of rocks..

I used a Sevylor SVX100, but if I were buying now, I would be looking at the Aire TomCat. About $500. That is about as cheap as it gets for a IK that can really handle whitewater.

Try the North Fork of the American River below Yankee Jim Road, if you can catch it flowing at about 600-800 CFS.

Innova Safari
runs about $650.00. Good all-around boat.

  • Hey 'Cuda.

Maybe a Better All Round Boat
The Safari may well be a better allround IK. The TomCat is pretty specific to whitewater.

Hi Sharkbiter! Someone was asking about you just today. Check your email.

I switched to inflatable kayak after I broke my ankle and could no longer kneel in an open canoe. I found a Vista Blade at Nantahala Outdoor Center. It’s narrow, and has a hard foam floor, which prevents the “taco” effect. I do’t know if they are made any more. Maily wanted to caution you about paddling “creeks” in an inflatable. Mine works great on Utah big water, but on the rocky creeks in northern Wisconsin, I had a hard time getting through the tiny slots, and the raft-type material sticks like velcro to every rock. I actually find a raltively maneuverable recreational kayak (I have a Blackwater 11.5) works much better on rocky creeks because it can slide through narrow slots, and catches small eddies much better than my IK, which has a pointed bow that sticks out about 18" beyond the waterline of the boat.

the boat people

Lot of useful information about IKs.

They have a good website, and they are located in San Jose.