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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 have had the Kayak for two weeks now and taken it out for 3 rides already and it is an absolute dream. I am a beginner in kayaking and initially it take a couple of paddle strokes to get used to it but I am over the moon with this kayak.
I read a lot about the supposed instability, and yes it is not rock solid on the water like a paddleboard but for an inflatable kayak I have had no problems at all (been on Thames and surrounding tributaries). I am about 95kg and pumped the kayak to 10psi and it is all fine.
Inflating the Kayak take 4-5 minutes - only 1 of 5 air chambers takes 3 minutes the rest is a few pumps only. It is easy to carry it to the water. Once in the water it tracks pretty straight and it is comfortable.
A cautious buy after reading so many adverse feedback on its stability. As with any new equipment, the key is to know its features and orientated myself to operate the kayak with confidence and enjoyment! Tested the kayak on calm rivers and rough open seas and it performs satisfactorily; especially when taking high waves head on! Almost capsize a few times on very choppy waters but learn to maneuver it better with each tour. The optimal pressure is 8 PSI for me with light load. Love this kayak and will take it out once a week to explore new places.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on the 1-person High-Pressure Dropstitch Inflatable Kayak Strenfit X500. I am glad that this product has been working well for you and that you love it.
At Decathlon, our mission is to make sports accessible for the many. It is our responsibility to ensure that our products are made to satisfy our users.
Feel free to write a review on other Decathlon products and I hope to see you in our store soon!
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Honestly I don't understand all these complaints regarding the stability of this kayak. Capsizing after 10m? Really not sure what to say...
I've been using this kayak for more than year, at the moment using it pretty much every week on a river (Thames), did also many lake trips with camping etc. Taken it couple times to the sea.
All I can say is that this kayak is an absolute rocket, the performance is great, I could easily compete with my friends in the rigit kayaks and even beat them many times due to V-shape of this kayak.
Yes, it doesn't feel as stable as flat, sit on top kayak but it really needs a couple minutes to get the balance and get used to it. I have never ever capsized, neither any of my friends that wanted to try it or even people that did the kayaking for a first time in their life!
And yes, it's worth to fine the best pressure to pump it up to, based on the weight and additional load, that can help a lot.
However, I did most of my trips with the recommended pressure (10bar) and no load and I'm just about 55kg and it was absolutely fine.
If you look for kayak that is easy to transport, easy to assemble, has a great performance and looks absolutely great, then I highly recommend this one.
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.
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