It has been a busy summer. It’s now looking to be a busy autumn season also. I’m happy to report that. My absence from my blogging projects were due to being too darn busy and not having the time to dedicate to sitting down and typing out thoughtful or even informative blog posts. I’d offer an apology but I can’t be sorry because things were pretty good.
I confess that I am superstitious in a way that I hate talking about things going well or even being happy for fear that I might somehow jinx myself and have the opposite happen. This might sound silly but others may understand completely. Talking about the weather seems to change the weather.
In the Spring, I wrote about how I was going to start shopping for a new kayak. I am still shopping for a new kayak. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to research and thenpurchase exactly what I wanted. I decided that since I didn’t have the time to go on multiple paddle trips, that I might as well not even buy one. So I didn’t.
This summer went by really fast! Before I knew it Dom was back to school!
Up until recently, I hadn’t been on a paddle trip since Memorial Day Weekend when I went camping and did a run on the Pigeon River. One time all summer. Not exactly great. With that said, I did hike and camp a lot.
I still dream of owning my own kayak.
As fate would have it, I came across a posting to a yard sale page I follow on Facebook, where a local gentleman was selling an inflatable kayak at a reasonable price. I went ahead and bought it. I’ve been able to take it out twice in the week that I’ve owned it and I wish I was out in it right now.
This proved my theory that I would go more often if I owned my own kayak. It also proved to me that it wasn’t a passing obsession and I’ve wanted to get my own since last year. At least I know I really want one. With that said, I am going to wait until spring to make that purchase. Maybe. It may still come sooner.
What did I get?
I got the Challenger K1 by Intex.
This is a basic inflatable kayak that should only be used on calm lakes ( no Lake Michigan for me ) rivers and channels. It came with an inflatable seat,inflatable foot brace, oar, bow/stern lines, skeg (fin) and a foot pump. It has two Boston valves and it is easy to inflate and deflate. Once I figured out what I was doing the whole thing took me about ten minutes to get together from box to water.
The seat can be buckled in and is also held in place by plastic buckles on both sides of the interior. I don’t know how I feel about the seat. You can take it or leave it. I sort of felt awkward with it and I felt sort of up high versus with the kayak. I suppose that’s a matter of personal preference.
The skeg slides on to the hull of the kayak. I tried taking it out with and without the skeg. I would recommend using the skeg as it seems to really improve tracking and steering. It is really easy to attach and unattach the skeg. It slides on and locks into place.
It weighs approximately 20 pounds. The oar snaps together. I want to remind everyone also that this is not a high dollar outfit. The oar is basic and cheaply made. With that said, I have been using them just fine. You can’t strong arm them or you may break them. Also, the oar coul stand to be approximately 4 inches longer. However, with that said, the oar was usable and I got along just fine.
Since I have no interested in white water rafting or actually going out onto Lake Michgan, this is the perfect product for me. I mostly enjoy floating and paddling around at a leisurely pace and on my own time. There is nothing in a hurry about me when I am out on the water.
The Challenger K1 retails from $70-$100 online. It’s a good starter for someone who is looking for something affordable that doesn’t have real high expectations. I think it’s also good for someone who isn’t sure if they are going to continue with their interest in kayaking. Or hey, if you’re like me and just want something to tide you over until you get exactly what you want, it’s perfect.
This kayak has decent reviews. I want to add to that. The only thing I don’t like about it has nothing to do with the kayak itself and everything to do with the storage bag it came with. Shoddy. I am currently only using the bag to store the oar, seat, foot brace and the pump. When the kayak actually comes out of the back of my car, I am going to place it in a plastic storage tub with a lid to store it.
I also want to point out that Intex is known for its pools, spas, inflatable mattresses and even other sporting goods. I have owned two versions of the Intex Easy Set pool and was very happy with them. I also own Intex brand mattresses for camping and am pleased with them also.
You can check out their website and products on their website by clicking HERE
It is what it is. I think that as long as I take care of it, it will last while. Since I enjoy paddling around on Worster Lake, which is a man made lake, I have to really watch out for branches under the water from where the area was flooded to create the lake. The material that the kayak is made from is durable however, I am sure that if a branch, rock or even a fishing hook could cause a tear.
My plan is still to get my “real” kayak and keep this one as a spare in the event that someone wants to come with me. So far so good with it. It’s currently folded up in the back of my SUV. I see no point in taking it in and storing it until I am done with it for the season. If I don’t get my other kayak before the end of fall, I probably won’t bother putting it away until it starts getting cold.
I hope everyone is having a good season!! I will write again when I have more time!