“Excellent Support after the sale!
I had a couple of minor manufacturing issues with my Advanced Elements (AE) AirFusion EVO Kayak.
Emily from Oz Inflatable Kayaks responded to my emails noting my problem and relayed details to AE in SanFrancisco immediately.
AE despatched required parts the next day and forwarded by air express from USA.
AE even included a gift with one shipment!
That exceeded this customer’s expectations.
AE provides a quality product and Emily and AE provide excellent after sales support.
AE and Oz Inflatable Kayaks really do honour their warranty.
“About me: I usually paddle at Nigel Dennis Explorer
Sea Kayak Length: 533.5 cm, Width: 54 cm, Depth: 34.5 cm, Weight: about 19kgs.
Compare the EVO Length: 400cm, Width: 61cm weight about 15kgs. -on paper slower and more primary stability.
Speed and stability on the water were as expected by the figures.
As far as paddling expertise goes, I might scrape into the intermediate category of sea kayak paddlers.
I’m an old boy; 175cm tall and weigh around 85kg.
Purchase and delivery: Emily was very helpful answering my questions prior to purchase.
Delivery was speedy and Emily provided ongoing support with a concern I had with assembly of kayak.
10/10 Assembly: Very straightforward.
I have assembled the boat 5 times now and it is easier each time.
Connecting tube 1 and 2 is fiddly.
The machined portion on tube 1 seems under-designed.
Time will tell, but I am tempted to order spare tubes.
A split tube may be a better option for joining the tubes rather than the supplied sleeve (says and old fitter and turner).
Distance of seat to forward thwart is critical for paddling and boat control.
Set the distance and mark for future reference.
Paddling: I spent a few days paddling at Mooball Creek (Pottsville).
The creek runs north south.
Day 1 Light N wind and smooth water incoming tide.
Initial reaction: So easy to carry the boat to the water.
The boat has excellent primary stability.
Very secure feeling sitting in it.
The main chambers really provide the boat with a solid feel.
Paddling the boat tracked straight.
No skeg or rudder.
Speed is acceptable.
The kayak just about turns on its own length with minimum edging.
There is little need to explore secondary stability of the kayak at this stage.
I drive my paddle stroke from my feet, so it is important to have a solid footrest.
Despite my initial concerns I found the forward thwart tube was comfortable and solid enough to support my legs to drive each paddle stroke.
A bit difficult to brace the knees.
The addition of thigh straps would be a bonus to assist in edging turns and pointing the kayak.
The seat does not impress!
Most sea kayaks have minimal or no back rest.
Look at these videos.
No lay back paddling! Trying to use the backrest I got a backache and leg cramp!
Day 2 Wind 28km/h from S/SE
Creek choppy with wind waves.
Wind against tide.
The boat pointed well into the wind and was relatively easy to keep on track.
Sliced through the chop nicely and cockpit remained dry.
Turning 180 to go home meant being beamed onto the wind.
This was the only time I felt I was in an inflatable!
However it was easy to quickly turn downwind.
Relatively easy to control whether cocking down wind.
A skeg would assist over longer paddle distances beam on and down wind.
Day 3. Wind S at about 15 km/h.
Only a short 6 km paddle.
Minimal air in seat cushion (1 Pump).
The lower my backside in the water, the more stable I feel.
This low pressure is quite comfortable even for my bony rear end!
The only use of the backrest was to store my water bottle in the pocket.
No backpain! I found difficulty to reach the bottle from paddling position!
More yoga needed? An aside.
I met a fellow paddler on the water who was curious about the EVO.
Turned out he was an ex 10-year veteran Sydney lifeguard who had paddled the complete length of the Murray River and circumnavigated Norfolk Island in a kayak.
Probably knew a thing or two about kayaks?
Apparently he had been watching the EVO for a few days.
First time he had seen an inflatable kayak but he seemed to think that the performance of the EVO was OK.
Summary Dislikes: The seat is not for me.
This is a personal issue.
It is not uncommon for seasoned paddlers to ditch the seat of their new $5,000.00 composite sea kayak for one that fits them better.
Some will love the seat, I would surmise (the lay back paddlers!) Not happy with the connection method of tube 1 to tube 2 however as this is apparently a proven design; the odds are it will last the distance.
Time will tell.
I like the boat so far and with a few personal touches it should be great for exploring creeks and sheltered inlets.
A dry boat with reasonable speed with great stability (photography, fishing) and excellent manoeuvrability.
Easy to assemble/dissemble and lightweight ensures a place in the back of my 4wd whenever I travel.”
The AirFusion EVO Kayak was ideal for Andy, but it might not be the right fit for you.