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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’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!
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.
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.
I have been shopping online for quite a while looking for an inflatable kayak. To be honest, I had my sights on a competitor until I stumbled across this model online. I read a lot of the feedback on the European and obviously Canadian Decathlon websites. All mention an issue with stability which made me very nervous. I picked up the last model in North America, and decided to try it. I was advised to purchase the Kayak Itiwit Pump, which is a mistake for this model. You need to buy the Paddle Board pump, which goes with this type of drop stitched high pressure air valves.
Ready to ridicule myself by going overboard on such a cool looking kayak, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could control it quite well, and did not cap sized once. I did follow the advice found on the Itiwit website, for my load (84Kg), I dropped the pressure in the floor to 5 psi, positioned my knees on the side of the kayak, adjusting the foot rest correctly, and that was it. It must be said that I am a novice at kayaking and even my 12 year old (less than 50Kg wet!) son had no problems going around in rivers and lakes.
So well done, a great product, high performing, tracks really well in the water and responds fast to any accelerations you want to impart it with! Also quite a good looking kayak which definitely has people looking and chatting.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island