Manufacturer’s Marketing Speak:
The AirFusion™ Kayak is designed to rival the performance and speed of skin-on-frame kayaks while simplifying the setup procedure. Its unique design is a fusion of aluminum alloy frame poles and pressurized air tubes which result in a high performance rigid frame system.
• Performance: Aluminum frame, and high-pressure air chambers provide a hull speed compa- rable to a hard-shell.
• Quick Set Up: Compared to Frame and Skin Kayaks, high-pressure air chambers reduce frame parts for faster set-up time.
• Durable: Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin material for extreme puncture resistance. • Style: This narrow beam design paddles like a rigid hard-shell kayak. • Portability: No roof rack needed! Pack in the trunk of your car or fly it to remote destinations.
• Length:13’ • Width: 25” • Weight: 32 lbs (14.5 kg) • Max Capacity: 235 lbs (107 kg)
Suggested Retail: $850 www.advancedelements.com
flated. PD found that “the poles that go down the center are the hardest to install and take apart. The rest of the poles assembled without trouble.”
RW commented that “the instructions could use a little more visual detail on how the thwarts sit in between the main inflation chambers along the sides of the boat. I had trouble with them misaligning above or below the rods that ran between the upper and lower chambers.” If the thwarts are not set reasonably square and aligned with the poles, the kayak will have wrinkles or bulges in the skin which would affect its performance (or at least make it look kind of out of whack).
How long does it take to set up? After a couple of times doing it, PD was averaging 15 minutes and felt he could probably get it down to 10 minutes. KL and RW both took close to an hour on their first try, which dropped to 30 minutes the second time. They expect they can get it
down to 15 minutes with practice.
KL had this comment on boat fit: “The foot rest is the front thwart air bag. The position of this thwart is set once it is inflated. If you don’t get it right, you are stuck with it for the day or else have to release the air from at least one air chamber, reposition the front air bag and re-inflate. The air chambers have to be inflated with a pump that has a gage, and unless you carry the pump, adjustments are not possible even if you find a place to land.” So it is worth getting this right before you go out, and mark- ing with a magic marker where the foot rest/thwart should go so you can make future set ups easy.
RW also commented about thwart placement for proper seating, but noted that the seat adjusts easily using the 4 attachment straps. He also found the seat bottom to be very flat, but suggested placing an inflated paddle float under your knees to help alleviate leg and back soreness (see
boat fit article in Winter 2010 issue of California Kayaker Magazine).
Having a pump is required, and one does not come with the kayak. The instructions say not to use compres- sors, as there is a chance of over- inflation. It is recommended to get a pump that both inflates and deflates (all of the ones offered by Advanced Elements do this). So along with the other standard gear you would need for a kayak (paddle, PFD, clothing, etc.), you would need to add a pump (most retail for $25 to $35) to your shopping list with this kayak.
Reviewers GB – 110 lbs, 5’1”
KL – 125 lbs, 5’ 5” PD – 220 lbs, 6’ 0” RW – 170 lbs, 6’2”
KL also let some new paddlers try the boats – their heights and weights are unknown.
California Kayaker Magazine 27
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