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There are a lot of things to be loved in this kayak, and there are also a few tradeoffs.
Stability : this kayak is tippy, but I didn’t find this as problematic as other people did and could manage it pretty quickly. To me, the hardest is to get in and out from a pier, but still very doable. The bright side is that this kayak is as fast a normal hard shell one, thanks to the V shape haul and the high pressure of the chambers. Compared to my previous very stable inflatable kayak, I probably go twice as fast. As others stated, not inflating the main chamber to the max 10 psi also helps to lower the learning curve.
Portability : the bag is a bit bigger and a bit heavier than I first tough. It does fold easily and the compact storage size is clearly a big positive point. The bag is big enough to add the pump, the paddles and a PFD. But getting around with it, if you don’t have a car, isn’t as convenient as I wished. I am able to bike with it on my back, but I do recognize that not everyone will be able to sustain such a weight on long distances. If you have a car with a few passengers, the main issue will be the space it takes in your trunk.
Durability and price : at this price, I do hope to keep this kayak for a few years. The quality and the material seems nice, which is the same then the paddleboard decathlon sells.
Others : I wish this kayak had a watertight compartment like most hardshell kayaks offers, but the back part isn’t close from the cabin, so water get in if you aren’t using a skirt. You might want to buy a waterproof bag. Also, at that price point (which makes it one of the most expensive options), I would have found it nice to include a paddle, the skirt and/or the pump, which aren’t.
Conclusion : if portability, storage and performance are your main criteria, I truly believe this product is a game changer and absolutely value the high price. If you are beginning in Kayaking, maybe you would prefer to check a cheaper and more stable option. If portability and storage are no issue, then a hard shell kayak is probably still better for you until the price of those goes down. I am still giving 5 stars because this product is totally fulfilling my needs.
I bought this kayak thinking I was going to do some gentle touring around some islands in Thailand. How wrong was I. First day I got every thing set up and took it out only to capsize within 10 meters. I spent the rest of the day trying to get the hang of this kayak to no avail. I have 10 years experience in kayaks on rivers, sea and lakes. This kayak is now for sale after 1 day of use. Don't bother.
I’ve been really pleased with my purchase of the X500, I was really concerned at first having read SO much about issues people are having with stability of this kayak particularly when stationary. Itiwit have made some improvements to their Version 2 (you can check if you have latest version by looking at the strap on the bag and finding the ‘V2’ stamp). I’ve found that with the V2 improvements and by only inflating the floor to 5PSI, which was suggested on a couple of sites, has mean’t I’ve had no issues with stability even when stationary or on a windy day. This kayak is exactly what I’ve been looking for, something inflatable so can easily be stored and transported but that looks and performs like a ‘real’ kayak!
So impressed ! and four inflation chambers is a good safety feature.
Seat and foot rest so simple and effective.
(Lost a star rating on weight in bag - sooo heavy to lift so not really not an option to walk far)
I bought this at the beginning of lockdown as a way to unwind. I used to row but fancied a change to Kayaking. I read many reviews and blogs to get a balanced view and took the plunge (not literally).. I use it regularly, at least twice a week on rivers. It is a little tippy when you first get in it and takes a bit of practice to feel confident, but once you keep your core straight it's very stable and I have never had a concern over stability. EVERY TIME I take the kayak out, there is always a curious bystander asking questions, so you have to be pretty adept at getting ready or packing away :) but after a couple of practices in the garden, you won't believe how easy and fast it is. Couple of recommendations: buy the pump that is recommended and also use a towel and dry the kayak as you fold it away to keep the damp away. Just so impressive and I LOVE going out on it everytime without fail.
Good afternoon! Could you explain how the 2019 kayak differs from the 2020 kayak ..... I watched the reviews and people write that the 20 year edition is more stable ... is this true or an exaggeration? )) put 3 ... since I made 15 outputs on it and each time like the first ....))) and another question - in SPb for some reason there were no skirts, size SLS only S ... will they be in the next season ... thanks for your attention! if something is not right, do not be offended by google translator does not always translate correctly ...
Having completed a 200km sea tour from Fethiye to Finike in Turkey in a solid plastic sea kayak in a variety of sea conditions I bought the X500 as a more portable alternative for calm seas. The concept of the boat and finish is excellent but the balance is an issue. I was not expecting it to handle like a "solid" sea kayak but I felt very vulnerable even in very calm seas. If you are moving continuously you can handle it but I could never relax to rest or adjust something. The seat was quite comfortable, the way it inflates and deflates is easy to execute and it packs away easily into the backpack which is quite comfortable to carry.
Luggage space: there is plenty of room for luggage in the back, but the compartment is not separated from the main area of the boat. So all lugage must be packed very carefully in watertight bags. The idea Itiwit suggest of a top loading pack in front would possibly detract from stability and rolling back up. The area in the nose can be used for water storage etc, but again it is not separated from the main compartment. The lack of separators means the boat takes on much more water in a capsize.
Re-entry into the boat from behind after a capsize can be executed but again requires calm conditions.
I tried pumping it up only to 7psi as opposed to 10. This did slightly improve the stability but not enough, and of course it did slightly increase the drag on the boat. Having read a variety of reviews I felt maybe it would be OK for me, but sadly I am now returning it to Decathlon. I am sure that in a year or two, with a bit of tweeking, this could end up as an excellent kayak suitable for not just professionals or "well-balanced" individuals.
I was intermediate, about thirty years ago. Like many this year I returned to kayaking. I used two inflatable Explorer £100-150 entry level kayaks, flat bottom, super easy, super stable. Outgrew them in about a month, got tired of them bursting too. This kayak got poor reviews by a lot of folks, tippy this tippy that, so I had it in my basket twice but was put off. Finally bought it back in June and used it 5 x a week for two months for an hour at a time. And it is not tippy. It would feel unstable if all you've ever known is a flat bottom inflatable. It paddles like any other curved hull kayak. Great on a loch, flatish sea. Doesn't need a skeg. The seat is uncomfortable, but after a week I got used to it, guess it was my poor technique. The spray deck is a must. 3mins to inflate, pretty easy to pack. Sure it's heavy, but it make me chuckle when other kayakers paddle up and tap my hull asking if it's an inflatable. Full disclosure. my seal btw the orange nose and light gray v pealed after two weeks of daily use. for this price I was miffed. so I sent a photo, and customer services agreed to replace. Alas they refunded and I had to wait five weeks for a replacement. If it happens again I leave a one star review on the next one, these things happen. On balance, I love it and it's far from a toy.
Received the kayak yesterday and tried it out on the Cuckmere meanders this morning for a couple of hours. I was a little nervous because of it’s reputation for being tippy and my previous experience being six months on a SOT kayak.
However I experienced no stability issues and loved the way the kayak handled and it’s turn of speed. I did practice on a balance ball before buying the kayak, so I don’t know if this helped.
The kayak seems extremely well made and looks fantastic.
Valves difficult to operate, the advantage of quick filling lost. No stability, you keep you balance with the paddle and going fast. Stop to take photographs and you end up swimming with your camera. No straps to secure the paddle. I don't find the cayak heavy compared to others. The technological innovation is good, but they need to find better valves and make a touring version with better stability. Now you cannot let your friends try it or it will end up bad.
We are sorry that the experience with this kayak was not really positive. We work hard to offer our sportsmen and women quality products and your feedback will help us to improve the quality of this product.
To improve the stability of your kayak, you can inflate the bottom to 5PSI instead of 10PSI it will naturally flatten, the kayak will be deeper in the water, therefore more stable. It is also possible to load the kayak so that it sinks deeper.
We hope to see you soon at Decathlon.
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