Inflatable Kayaks – New Models of 2018

Year 2018 appeared to be very active for many manufacturers! With a large experience in kayak development, it is so much interesting to create new models out of new materials!
Here is a short review on the latest models in kayaking!
1. Number One is given to THAYA kayak (made by Gumotex), which won the first place at the European Boat Exhibition in Nurenberg and was acknowledged to become the Best Model of incoming Year 2019!
The winner was set by jury upon such factors as stability on water, maneuvering qualities and environmental friendliness. To produce the kayak, new technologies were applied. Among such, the use of high pressure drop-stitch material for kayak bottom. Due to combination of rigid inflatable bottom with round side-tubes, paddling the kayak gives the feeling of comfort, stability and safety.
In these recent times the general global trend moves main accent to ecological properties of goods. In Gumotex’ press-release, much more attention is paid to materials, used in production, than to the model itself. By the way, starting from last year all Gumotex boats are made of NITRILON material, which is a cord fabric with double-sided rubber cover. The material is manufactured by Gumotex itself. Whereas the main problem of PVC material is its difficulty in post-consumer recycling.
Price – 999 €.

Technical data of Thaya kayak:

Length (cm) 410
Width (cm) 89
Weight (kg) 17,5
Max. load (kg) 230
Max. number of persons 2 adults + 1 child
2. The novelty 2018 from ZelGear is ALPHA-ZET series of kayaks. The company with 20-years experience produced three kayak models:
Alpha-Zet 370 – a solo kayak with a possibility to set a second seat;
Alpha-Zet 430 – a tandem kayak, also possible for 3 paddlers (for short trips,
without baggage)
Alpha-Zet 520 – a three-seat kayak or possible as tandem for expeditions (with
much baggage onboard).
Alpha-Zet kayaks have a range of innovative solutions, the main of which is the use of high pressure drop-stitch material. Sufficient pressure: up to 7-8 psi for kayak bottom and up to 3 psi for side-tubes.
Round side-tubes provide kayak stability. Due to sizable tubes you can feel safe and confident on water, which is the most important for beginners and teams with children. Though this particular part makes the kayak less rapid comparing to narrow and long kayaks. The reason is that inflatable boats with bold bow run into water, while sport models cut the water.
With the purpose to decrease water resistance and improve speed performance, series Alpha-Zet kayaks are provided with aluminum frame nose.
To compare, inflatable boats without frame nose have average speed about 4,5 km/h, whereas inflatable boats with frame nose have average speed about 5,5 – 6 km/h (spending the same efforts). Besides, frame nose gives additional yaw stability.
Close to THAYA kayak by its mission and dimensions is ALPHA-Zet 430 kayak (made of PVC fabric).
This kayak has many different fittings, so that seats can be replaced depending on a trip: it can be used as tandem with enough baggage place (about 210 l), or as a 3-paddler kayak for a light, one-day trip.
The kayak price at producer’s price-list is 706 €.

Technical data of Alpha-Zet 430 kayak:

Length (cm) 430
Width (cm) 90
Weight (kg) 16 (19 in set)
Max. load (kg) 260
Max. number of persons 2 adults + 1 child
3. Advanced Elements, a well-known manufacturer of inflatable kayaks, produced its model AdvancedFrame, using new, ultra-light fabric.
This model is interesting by such elements as:
• Aluminum frame nose, used in stern and bow
• New fabric (the skin is made of ultra-light Poly-urethane)
Weight – 7,9 kg
Length – 316 cm
Width – 81 cm
Load capacity – 102 kg
Price – 570
Another updated model – AirFusion EVO Kayak. It is quite speedy expeditional boat.
•  Rigid aluminum frame nose, used both for bow and stern
•  Kayak sides, made of high pressure drop-stitch material
•  Poly-urethane skin
Despite being inflatable, the kayak possesses charactaristics of a rigid plastic kayak.
Weight – 14,6 kg
Length – 396 cm
Width – 61 cm
Load capacity – 106 kg
Price – 1085 €
4. AIRE BAKRaft – a new kayak for combined trips, produced by American company AIRE using Vectran 400 fabric with a ripstop grid.
• double-layer side-tubes, outer layer – Vectran, inner layer – high pressure drop-stitch material;
• ultra-light
• a special bag for pumping up (instead of hand-pump)
• completed with knee-supports
Price – 1140 € (the model in Vectran, with min dimensions available: 213 cm length, 99 cm width)

Technical data of BAKRaft kayak:

Length (cm) 310
Width (cm) 101
Weight (kg) 5,5
Max. number of persons 1 adult
P.S. It happened to be rather uneasy to find out new models at kayak market. So, if you have any information on such kayaks, please contact me, I will be glad to up-date the article.
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