New to kayaking. Folding kayaks?

I believe it
as many people are able to. I read it often in forums, and it factored heavily into my choice. By the time I had the hatches on, the bags inflated and installed, the sock in place etc.

I liked the boat itself - I learned to roll in it (the rolling rib form FC gives the boat a really nice shape as well) and paddle rough water. It’s a very capable and forgiving boat. It was also a pain in the ass to own. :stuck_out_tongue:

as always, YMMV

Inflatable kayak
Look at Tom Yost’s website.

He has designed about 16 kayaks and has put the free plans on the internet. All are well-designed and are serious kayaks. The 16’ Sonnet is easy to make, costs about $300 to build, and is an excellent kayak.

His kayaks are not toys, but are real kayaks. Some have built his collapsable kayaks to take to the Greenland rolling competitions. His plans are well doccumented and easy to follow. We have built two of his inflatables.

Advanced Elements…

– Last Updated: May-21-09 12:46 AM EST –

Advanced Elements makes very affordable, high quality inflatables. They are actually "hybrid" inflatable/folding kayaks that incorporate a frame into their structure and actually look and perform like regular hardshell sit-in kayaks. I have the 10.5" Advanced Frame but there is also the Expedition, which looks the same but is 13' long if you require something roomier.

I bought the Advanced Frame last year because I have a Jeep Wrangler with a soft top and couldn't afford a trailer for the kayak so I figured an inflatable would fit the bill. It did in that setting it up is fairly easy (about 10-15 minutes). I had a cargo rack on the rear bumper of the Jeep so I would just bungee the bag onto that and when done paddling I'd fold the boat up and put bungee it on the rack, drive it home, and lay it out in the yard to dry. It dried fairly quickly unless it was totally saturated.

However setting it up and breaking it down gets old quickly. I found it hard on my back to be bending over and pumping/setting it up. Eventually I bought my sea kayak and a trailer and now I just leave the Advanced Element set up and use it like a hardshell. It just sits in the the living room. In the winter I fold it up and put it in it's bag. It weighs about 36lbs so it's rather easy to transport and when it's in the bag is quite manageable to store and transport.

I will say that I love the way this little boat paddles. I use it as my rec boat for when I paddle small lakes and rivers and it's a pleasure. It tracks very well, is responsive and nimble and a lot of fun and many people have complimented me on it. It doesn't have much in the way of storage capacity though. I basically use it for daytripping in the Pine Barrens. I paid $359 plus $80 for the optional "backbone" (highly recommended). I also got the skirt for it.

This boat is no high performance sea kayak but for casual trips it's great and the company has very good customer service.

I just bought some inflatables
I have several hardshells, but Academy had these on clearance for under $100.

I took it out on Sunday. It took less than 5 minutes to set up. It was a windy day and tracking wasn’t bad at all.

My 1st choice will always be a hard shells, but for those days when I don’t want to drag a trailer this is a good 2nd choice.

Inflatables have more drag than hardshells, and require a bit more effort to move along. So for exercise, they could be a good choice.

RE: New To Kayaking
Well if you are new to kayaking, then Weather conditions, tides, currents and many other factors must be closely monitored to ensure safety. It is important for less experienced kayakers to go with a reputable guide service, or kayaking outfitter.