Posted by: airkayaks | November 15, 2017

New 2018 Kokopelli Inflatable Packraft Product Line

We recently received news on the new 2018 Kokopelli lineup of inflatable packrafts.

Easily backpackable

For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as a an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally.

Last year’s Kokopelli line-up consisted of four whitewater models – the Nirvana and Nirvana XL in self-bailing and spray deck versions – joined by three touring series: the Castaway, Castaway XL and a two-person version named the Twain. The two longer touring series models featured packrafts with removable tracking fins, making them better suited for calm water paddling. Also in 2017, the packrafts were reengineered with upgraded Leafield D7 military valves, replacing the original Boston valves. The D7 valve seal was designed to be self-cleaning, reducing leakage risks due to dirt contamination.

Kokopelli Packraft with Spray deck

For 2018, Kokopelli adds two new models and continues to streamline, re-organize and upgrade the product line – which also resulted in price increases.

A new bottom hull construction makes the packrafts more rigid. By repositioning where the hull bottom attaches to the side chambers, the paddler sits a bit higher, and doesn’t sag down in the boat. This in turn improves the backband support (it is now positioned lower on the back), as well as making it easier to paddle over the side chambers. Together, the improvements eliminated the need for an inflatable floor, saving on weight.

The packraft sterns were redesigned with 30% more volume, providing greater buoyancy and a slightly lower waterline, eliminating water pooling issues as well as allowing more gear to be stored in the tizip versions.

All backbands and inflatable seats feature a beefed up construction with an easier attachment system.

Last season’s new French Gray color (more of a desaturated Army gray-green for those seeking less visiblity) returns for 2018. The color has been expanded to the Twain series.

The 2018 Whitewater series now consists of two models – the Nirvana Spraydeck and the Nirvana Self Bailer – each with tizip options. While there has been no change to the dimensional specifications or weights, the Nirvana Self Bailer is the only packraft with an inflatable floor (elevating the paddler above any water) which now boasts an integrated seat base and separate backband.

The Nirvana XL self-bailing whitewater series has been eliminated as the longer packrafts tend to wrap on rocks and get caught in holes. Instead, the Nirvana XL deck-version has been moved into the touring series as the Castaway XL with spray deck.

The Touring series – consisting of the Castaway, Castaway XL and Twain 2 – remain virtually unchanged as open models, except for the addition of the Castaway XL with Spray Deck. The two longer models – Castaway XL and Twain – are used predominantly on flatwater and feature removable tracking fins to aid in paddling performance. The shorter Castaway does not come with a fin, as many rafters still use the Castaway in river situations and don’t want the extra weight and bulk of the fin box. All four of these come with a tizip option.

Most changes are seen in the Adventure series. The Adventure series consists of the Hornet Lite and two new models – the Rogue and Rogue Light – which evolved from the prior Renegade. The 4.9 lb Hornet Lite weighs the least in the product line, making it very desirable for long distance hiking but with a performance trade off. While similar in size and dimensions to the Nirvana, the new Rogue features a thinner 210 denier hull material with beefed-up Kevlar reinforcement. The thinner denier material packs down smaller and weighs roughly 2 lbs less, making it more desirable for longer distances, while the Kevlar construction makes it nearly as durable as the Nirvana. The Rogue Lite falls in between the Rogue and the Hornet Lite.

Weights range from 4.9 to 13.8 lbs. All models come with an inflation “bag” weighing a mere 4 ounces, though they also can be pumped up using a traditional hand or foot pump with the proper adaptor. Prices are increasing 11% to 20% and now range from $595 to $1275 dependent upon the model and options, up from $525 to $1099.

The 2018 models are expected to be available in late February. Contact us if you want to get on the notification list. Interested in saving some money? A certain amount of 2017 Kokopelli packraft models are still available at pre-2018 pricing. Visit the Kokopelli Product Pages at


Holiday shopping starts now with super savings on all Stohlquist, NRS, Astral and past-season MTI Adventurewear life vests through CyberMonday on November 27th.

Stohlquist Keeper

Get 15-35% off all in-stock personal flotation devices in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes. From basic no-frills life vests to highly technical fishing vests, paddlers are sure to find a perfect PFD gift for a multitude of water activities.

NRS Vapor

Shop early for the best selection, with PFDs priced from $29.95 to $127.95. Buying a kayak or paddle board? Get an additional 10% off with coupon code 10%ACC. No tax and free US shipping via UPS ground on orders over $398.

Visit the Paddling Accessories and PFDs product pages at for details or to purchase. You can also see our Guide to Choosing a Personal Flotation Device.

Posted by: airkayaks | November 6, 2017

Product Review: 2018 Red Paddle Co Titan SUP Pump

Earlier this month, we received our first shipment of 2018 Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle boards with updated Titan pumps. First developed in 2015, the Titan pump was touted as a game-changer, with the ability to cut inflation time in half.

For years, the standard inflatable SUP pump was the Bravo HP single-action, high volume/low pressure pump, a squatter, thick-barrel single-action pump designed to put in more air volume, which in turn took more effort to reach higher pressures. Higher pressures in an inflatable board vastly improve the board performance, by increasing rigidity (reducing flex).

In 2013, Red Paddle Co introduced the HP EZee single-action, low volume/high pressure pump, a taller, thin-barrel single action pump designed to put in less air per stroke, thus allowing one to more easily pump to higher pressures. As the pros and cons of each are obvious – one fills a board up more rapidly, while the other takes longer but is less of a struggle to reach 18-20 PSI – numerous paddlers opted to purchase both pumps. In response, some manufacturers expanded the slim-barrel design to a double-action pump, putting air in on the up and down stroke. While theoretically this will put air in twice as fast, in actuality it becomes a struggle on the “up” stroke.

In 2015, Red Paddle debuted the Titan pump. What made the Titan different? The Red Paddle Co Titan pump is an amalgamation of the two pumps. The Titan pump has two chambers, basically one side is a high volume/low pressure, and the other a low volume/high pressure. A unique double gear system actually combines the two chambers, so that when initially pumping, paddlers are using BOTH chambers to fill the board, allowing them to put in a whopping 4.71 liters, compared with just over 2 liters for the standard HP pump. When the pumping starts to get tough, one can switch the internal gear over to the high pressure chamber, allowing one to easily attain higher PSIs with less effort. An integrated pressure gauge allows one to monitor the process.

2018 Red Paddle Co Titan Pump

Over the past three years, Red Paddle has continued to tweak the inner design and construction, resulting in a killer pump with wider applications.

We had the opportunity to test out the most recent iteration when inflating our 2018 Red Paddle Voyager 12’6″. Following is an update from our initial review of the Titan pump.

The new Titan pump – included with most of the boards – arrives rolled up inside the Red Paddle SUPs. If purchasing separately, the pump arrives in a box 24 x 13 x 6 inches weighing 6.2 lbs. Inside is the pump body with integrated pressure gauge, a detachable hose and a series of adaptors. Pump dimensions are 11 x 5 x 23 inches with a weight of just over 5 lbs. Basic instructions are printed on the pump body.

To start off, you will be using both barrels. While this is not mentioned on the initial instructions, on the back of the pump handle is a red plug with tether.

Insert this plug into the hole above the wider barrel and twist shut. What does the plug do? In conjunction with the inner pump design, plugging the hole allows you to use both barrels to push out air, increasing the air volume going into the board, and thus decreasing the amount of time it takes to fill the board out.

Screw the hose onto the pump. Tip #1: Make sure you screw the hose on carefully – if it gets cross-threaded, air will leak out and you will have a difficult time pumping the board up to necessary pressure.

Titan pump adaptors

The Titan pump now comes with a variety of additional adaptors – a Boston valve adaptor, nozzle adaptor and two screw-on adaptors. These are attached via a very nifty system, allowing one to use the Titan pump on inflatable kayaks, dinghies and kites.

Red Paddle Co Gauge

In conjunction with this, the gauge now features three “green” zones – one from 1 to 4 PSI for lower pressure inflatables, one from 6 to 8 PSI for higher pressure kayaks and kites, and then the third from 15 to 22 PSI for paddle boards.

To begin with, twist the valve plunger on your board, putting it into the inflate position (air goes in but doesn’t come back out).

Then take the military valve adaptor (adaptor fixed on the end of the hose), and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position. Unlike some SUP pumps, the military valve adaptor is permanently affixed to the hose end, ensuring that the hose does not blow off due to high back-pressure. Start pumping up your board.

You will notice the gauge begins registering at about 1 PSI. At this moment we should point out that the gauge on the Titan pump works on back pressure. Original adaptors for the Red Paddle boards had bars inside, which allowed the plunger to be pressed open when the hose was attached. While this allowed one to get “real time” readings, the back pressure was so great that occasionally the hoses would be blown off the board – along with all the air just pumped in! On the Titan pump, the needle will rise as the pump is made, but drop back down when air is not entering, so watch how high it reaches to see what pressure you’re at.

Using the Titan pump.

Initially, pumping will be quite easy. Dependent upon your size and strength, pumping will start to get more difficult at about 5+ PSI – heftier people might even get it to 10 PSI.

When it is too difficult, switch to the single barrel mode by removing the red plug and putting it on the plug post – and out of the way. Once again, in conjunction with the inner barrel construction, this allows you to push air into the board using one barrel – less volume, easier pumping. Air running through the big barrel swooshes back out the hole, but as there is no “back pressure,” this is not an issue.

The imprinted instructions direct one to pump “into the green zone” which is 15 to 22 PSI on the pump gauge – recommended inflation for Red Paddle boards are 18 to 20PSI. Even the single barrel will get tough at higher pressures, so one may have to resort to the “half pump method” for the last few PSI. And while the instructions state the pump can inflate up to 30PSI, it’s more likely you would suffer a heart attack before then.

Titan pump adaptors

If using one of the other adaptors to pump up an inflatable kayak, dinghy or kite, begin by attaching the red coupler. Simply push the coupler over the end of the military valve adaptor, lining up the bar and slots, then twist slightly to lock into position. Attach the desired adaptor via the pin and slot system, and start pumping.

Some very nifty features make it a pleasure to use. First, the hefty, metal plungers feel solid, more-so than many of the entry level SUP pumps. And with double shafts, it seems less likely to pump off balance and crack.

The inline pressure gauge is also well-thought out. Pressure gauges are notoriously “touchy” and easy to bang, knocking out their needle. The built in housing takes much of this issue away.

Another neat feature – the ergonomic angled feet allow one to step back from the pump, making it a more comfortable stance and solving the problem of the pump handle hitting your knees. Additionally, the pump is designed not to “telescope” if you lift it by the handle; this is also aided by a clip system that attaches from the pump body to the red plug string, making sure the pump stays compact.

Not noticeable is the internal redesign to drastically improve pump performance and efficiency.

While some of the early 2016 boards included Titans with cracking handle issues, the later 2016 and forward Titans now feature beefed-up, reinforced handles to withstand more pumping pressure. The handles feel SOLID, and are actually wide enough to withstand some pressure and give some pressure.

In conjunction, the Titan’s have been designed for easy repair and replacement (see video above). Get a crack in the handle or gauge housing? The handles on the Titan pump can quickly be replaced by pulling up on the handle and unscrewing the shafts. If the pressure gauge needs replacement, the gauge easily unscrews from the housing. And 2018 Red Paddle boards actually include a replacement pump membrane in the repair kit.

We’ve used the Titan on Red Paddle boards, JP-Australia, Mistral, Jobe, C4 Waterman inflatable SUPs, as well as the AquaGlide, and Airis high pressure SUPS and kayaks and the Advanced Elements high pressure kayaks and floors with military valves.

And by utilizing the included red coupling, the Boston valve adaptor will work on Advanced Elements and AquaGlide low pressure kayaks, as well as attaching to the Innova adaptor. The screw-on adaptor from Advanced Elements can also be attached to the coupler.

All in all, the Titan high-pressure dual-barrel pump from Red Paddle Co is a winner, solving the problem of getting air in quickly, but with the ability to easily attain higher pressures with less struggle. While not as portable as many on the market (it’s bulkier and heavier) the Titan has become our go-to pump due to its diversity and ease-of-use. MSRP $149.95.  See a video on the Titan pump, above.

You can also read our Guide to Inflating Your High Pressure Paddle Board. For more details or to purchase, visit the Red Paddle Co Titan Pump product page at

We have avidly been awaiting the arrival of the 2018 Red Paddle Co product line. Recently, the truck rolled in and we had our first opportunity to take a look at the new Red Paddle inflatable SUPS, consisting of 23 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10 to 22’0.

Red Paddle Voyager 12'6" inflatable SUP

Included in this shipment is the new Voyager 12’6″ (originally named the Explorer 12-6 ) – a 32-inch wide, beefy, inflatable touring model constructed from 150mm drop-stitch material and now featuring the revolutionary rocker stiffening system (RSS).

As we had last featured the Explorer 12-6 in late 2014, we felt the time was right to take a look at the new features. So we begin our first writeup on the new 2018 models with the Red Paddle Co Voyager 12’6″. (Please note, some of the information here will be repeated from other writeups.)

Red Paddle Twelve Six Voyager: Getting Started

The box as received weighs 51 lbs, measuring 37 x 15 x 15 inches.

What's inside the Roller Backpack

Inside the box is the SUP body, two RSS side battens, Titan dual-barrel pump, pressure gauge, backpack, cinch belt, removable fin and repair kit – as well as a bonus cell phone case. Inside the repair kit is glue, patch material, a back-up fin pin, replacement pump membrane and valve wrench. Once rolled up, the SUP board and pump fit into the backpack, as well as optional breakdown paddles under 37 inches. While the instruction manual is also included, more details on many of the steps are printed on each of the components, such as the pump, battens and military valve.

Easily fits in the trunk of a small car.

Weight is 41 lbs for backpack, board and pump, which all easily fit in the back of a small car. The board alone is approximately 27 lbs, while the pump is 5.5 lbs and the backpack 7 lbs.

The Red Paddle Voyager 12-6 inflatable SUP arrives rolled up around the high pressure Titan pump, inside the backpack.

Unrolling the SUP body

For your first set up, remove and unroll the SUP body. Lay it out face up so that you can access the military valve.

Red Paddle Co Voyager fits in the included backpack

The Red Paddle 12’6 Voyager utilizes one spring-loaded military valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

Red Paddle Co Titan pump

The included Titan dual-barrel (or twin cylinder) pump comes with a built-in pressure gauge, so you can monitor the board’s PSI. It also now comes with multiple adaptors, which can be used on inflatable kayaks, dinghies and kite equipment. Instructions for using the pump are printed on the pump barrel. To start off, you will be using both barrels, allowing the board to be filled in less time, and with less strokes.

Pumping up the Red Paddle Co Voyager 12'6"

Attach the hose to the pump, making sure there is no cross-threading. Then attach the integrated adaptor on the end of the hose, to the board by pushing in and turning. You’re ready to pump!

Pumping up the Red Paddle Co Voyager 12'6"

The first step is to fill out the board enough that the two RSS fiberglass side battens can be installed. To do this, inflate the board until it has some shape – about 1 PSI – but is still relatively flat. This will make inserting the battens easier.

Red Paddle Co Titan pump

At this step we want to point something out. The pump arrives with the red plug on the plug cradle. While the instructions do not specifically say this, make sure the red plug near the pump handle is inserted in the hole before pumping; this ensures you are using both barrels for maximum filling. While we have used the Titan pump in the past, we forgot this step (as well as our glasses!) and started pumping up in the HP EZ single-barrel mode. As expected, it took us about 200 strokes to 1 PSI. Once we realized this, we deflated the board and started again.

So, in dual barrel mode we pumped about 50 strokes until the board unfurled, and the needle was moving. This gave us enough bulk to stand the board on its side without “flopping over.”

Installing the RSS Battens

Locate the side pocket openings and remove the plastic strips – these can be tossed – then gently slide the battens into each of the side slots, until just the red string is showing. As you push, the batten will reach the curve in the board side; by pushing down on the batten slightly, you can guide it along. AirKayaks tip: Before putting in the batten, lay it across the side rail and mentally note the pocket end. This helps locate where you need to start putting pressure as it bends around the curve.

Having used the RSS system in the past, we were aware that the first time you attempt to install the battens, you could be facing a major challenge! Before inserting the batten, we worked over the sleeve by pressing on it. The battens on the 2018 boards slip in fairly easily; while the last several inches were a bit tough; by straddling the side and pulling (rather than pushing), as well as judicious mallet hammering, they slipped into place. This gets easier with subsequent installations.

Installing the RSS Battens

Flip the board and install the second batten. AirKayaks note: If you are a smaller person, you might not even need to install the side battens as the board is pretty stiff as-is – in fact the original Explorer 12-6 did not use side battens.

Pumping up the Red Paddle Co Voyager 12'6"

Continue pumping up the board. At this point I must admit, I was SORELY tempted to fake the next photos and opt for the AquaGlide12V Turbo HP electric pump – this is a big board at 370 liters. (See our Guide to Inflating Your High Pressure Paddle Board). But honesty prevailed, and I started pumping.

Red Paddle Co Titan pump

After another 20 pumps I was at 5 PSI and it was getting tough. At this point we should mention that the gauges work on back pressure, thus the gauge will only register as you are pushing in air, and will drop to zero when you stop. As a rule of thumb, “go for the green” – just watch how high the needle goes. I switched to the single barrel mode by removing the red plug on the Titan and putting it on the plug post. The first couple of minutes were a breeze and another 50 pumps took me to 8 PSI, with 50 more to 10 PSI. Another 100 pumps took me to 15 PSI where I quit .

The higher the pressure, the stiffer the board. The recommended pressure is 18-20 PSI; if you are a smaller person, you can easily get away with the lower-end PSI – no sense in spending more time pumping than one needs to. So, a total of about 270 strokes taking several minutes.

Installing the fin

Last step, install the tracking fin. The 12-6 Voyager uses a US Fin Box – this is a common, slotted box that allows one to use various fin styles. The Voyager comes with a 9-inch, FCS Connect Tool-less Fin System which quickly snaps into position without need for hardware or tools. As these can notoriously also be quickly disconnected, the fins now include a finger screw to ensure the fins are secure. The fin is located inside the backpack, in the mesh pocket.

Attaching the FCS fin

Detailed instructions and photos are in the instruction manual, but we will outline the procedure. One side of the fin has a pin, the other a screw and fin plate. Remove the fin plate and screw. Point the fin towards the tail, and insert the side with brass pin into the rear slot – pushing back.

Attaching the FCS fin

Attach the screw into the fin plate, and use this to guide the plate into the “forward” slot. Push down on the fin, then screw through the fin hole, into the fin plate, tightening with your fingers – this gives a pretty snug fit. As a precaution, pull up on the fin to make sure it is truly attached.


That’s it! About 10 minutes with an excellent upper arm workout, you’re ready for the water.

Red Paddle Twelve Six Voyager: Features and Specifications

Red Paddle inflatable paddle boards are well known for being some of the best on the market – this has to do with the internal construction.

Dropstitch material

First, the Red Paddle boards are constructed using “dropstitch” technology. The top of the board is held together with the bottom via thousands of “stitches” – in the Red Airs, 10 stitches per inch. These threads are “double stitched” so if one were to break, another holds. This allows the boards to be pumped up to very high pressures of 18 to 20 PSI and ensures that air doesn’t move around inside the board, creating a stable ride. The 2018 Voyager 12’6″ utilizes 150mm dropstitch technology, making the board 40% more rigid than many boards yet still allowing the rider to keep a low center of gravity.

Second, the boards use a double layering technique which – in the simplest terms – means they construct a board, and put another board around it. It’s a board-within-a-board, which adds strength and durability.

Side rails

The weakest link in an inflatable paddle board is the rail (side edge) area – where the top and bottom panels join together. Most ISUPS are constructed with one rail layer – Red Paddle Co features four layers of staggered taping to ensure minimal chance of air leakage due to punctures.

Red Paddle Co boards are rigid.

In 2016, Red Paddle Co kicked it up a notch with the introduction of Monocoque Structural Laminate, or MSL fusion technology. In the past, the “board within a board” was glued together, creating extra weight and the potential for hand-gluing errors. The new process consists of industrially fusing the second layer of polymer to the dropstitch core at the raw material stage. The end result is a material that is structurally more sound, even more rigid, as well as lighter – in fact, many of the boards are now 5-10 lbs lighter than previous models.

Red Paddle Co Voyager 12-6 Features and Specifications

At first look, the board is actually incredibly simple and streamlined.

Integrated RAM/RAILBLAZA mount

There is one nose (tether) d-ring located a couple inches from the snout on top of the board.

Integrated RAM mount socket with optional RAM mount.

An integrated thread allows one to add an optional universal mount socket (shown above) from RAM as well as RailBlaza. With this socket, paddlers can purchase a myriad of optional RAM or RailBlaza accessories, allowing one to attach a cell phone holder, camera mount, fishing gear, Go-Pro fixture, cup holders – you name it! This is located next to the front d-ring.

Bungee deck lacing

A bungee deck-lacing system – for 2018 now expanded with 6 metal d-rings – begins 36 inches from the snout, measuring 18 to 23 inches wide and 20 inches deep – a perfect spot to attach gear. The d-rings are roughly 10 inches apart, with the entire system extending over the deck.

Central and side carrying handles

A textured, traction pad is 87 x 26 inches, beginning 48 inches from the nose. In the center is a low profile, padded handle, positioned 26 inches from the top of the traction pad. Two more low profile handles are located on each side. For 2018, the handles feature an embroidered logo, making them softer to touch. The handles are carefully placed to give paddlers an idea of where to best position their feet.

Red Repeater Graphic

For 2018, Red Paddle has tweaked the deck pad with the “Red Repeating Graphic” – in simple terms, this is one of those little finishing touches that really set off the Red Paddle line.

Rear d-rings

A second set of 4 d-rings – which can be used to attach gear or more bungee deck lacing – measures 10 to 16 inches wide by 14 inches deep, beginning 17 inches from the tail. Each cargo attachment has been positioned to distribute the weight of both rider and gear without effecting the trim of the board, allowing for a large quantity of gear to be carried.

Rear handle

A padded, rear carrying handle makes it easier to pull the board into the water, and also has an integrated ankle leash d-ring. The handles have been redesigned to be more robust, yet easier and more comfortable to grab. This is located 10 inches from the tail.

Military valve

There is one military valve to inflate the board – this is imprinted with inflation instructions. The Hull-ID number is located just behind the valve.

Installing the RSS Battens

The Voyager 12″6″ now utilizes the patented Rocker Stiffening System (RSS), featuring two fiberglass battens to increase rigidity. The RSS pocket sleeve is built separately, then laminated to the board rails to ensure the best fit and performance. By inserting the two stiffening battens along the rails of the board, the battens work against the downward force of the rider to produce a stiffer board by preventing flex – similar to how a stringer works on a hard board. The stiffening battens are removable for easy board rolling and can be stored in the carry bag for transportation to and from the water.

Each batten is 35 by 1.25 inches with a velcroed “pull tab” that attaches to the board rail while paddling.

Fin and side runners

The Voyager 12’6″ utilizes a fairly standard US Fin box which fits 90% of the fins on the market. The Voyager comes with an FCS II Tool-less Connect 9.0 Touring fin which just snaps into place without the need for tools or hardware, yet a retaining pin ensures the fin won’t be knocked off. This particular fin is ideal for flat water paddling with a leading edge that sheds weeds quickly, yet features a streamlined design offering quick maneuverability and turning. The included deep-water, tracking fin measures 9 inches deep. Two rear fin side runners measuring 14 x 0.5 inches prevent “tail drift” when the board is loaded with gear.

Nose runner

A nose runner (bow) of the same size increases tracking and straight line performance in side winds.

At this point, we want to mention “the bump” which can appear to be a defect to first time paddlers. As previously mentioned, the drop stitch material consists of threads connecting the top and bottom layers. To install the military valve, the threads must be removed in that area, creating “the bump” which can be seen on the underside, below the valve. This is normal and not something to worry about

The newly-redesigned Original All-Terrain roller back pack is very nifty. The bag sports a quilted front and padded back, a molded rubber top handle, two padded side carrying handles, and a molded rigid handle on the underside – basically, you can carry it just about any way you can think of. Integrated roller wheels allow it to be easily hauled through airports or on sidewalks, if one doesn’t feel like carrying it on their back. Two-way zippers (with very slick Red Paddle branded zipper pulls) allow the pack to be open on three sides, making it much simpler to get the board in and out. A clear pocket on the back is provided for identification labels.

Inside, one integrated cinch belt keeps the board in position. The roller packs are foil-lined, minimizing potential extreme heat on the boards. An interior mesh pocket houses the removable fin while an integrated paddle containment system with paddle outlines show how to stash your 3pc breakdown paddle inside the bag so it doesn’t move around.

New for this year, the popular Sherpa Carry System (a “hidden pocket” on the back which allows the shoulder straps to be un-cinched and stashed inside) now has a very slick 3-way velcro system providing a very easy way of stashing – or unstashing – the shoulder strap and waist strap harness system; this is particularly good for travel/planes as the straps won’t catch on items. Additionally, the back has more padding, making for a more comfortable carrying experience.

Outer measurements on the backpack are roughly 39 x 14 x 14 inches, allowing the pump and an optional breakdown paddle to fit inside. The bag weighs approximately 7 lbs.

Titan pump adaptors

The Voyager 12’6 comes with the highly-acclaimed dual barrel (twin cylinder) Titan pump. This features a large and small barrel; when initially pumping, both cylinders are used, putting in more air rapidly. When it gets tough to pump, remove the pump plug which utilizes just the slim barrel. The smaller barrel makes it easier to pump at higher pressures. The updated Titan pump is killer. The handle is now reinforced, so that it can withstand more pumping pressure. While the military valve adaptor is permanently affixed to the hose end, the Titan pump now comes with a variety of additional adaptors – a Boston valve adaptor, nozzle adaptor and two screw-on adaptors. These are attached via a very nifty system, allowing one to use the Titan pump on inflatable kayaks, dinghies and kites.

Red Paddle Co Gauge

In conjunction with this, the gauge features three “green” zones – one from 1 to 4 PSI for lower pressure inflatables, one from 6 to 8 PSI for higher pressure kayaks and kites, and then the third from 15 to 22 PSI for paddle boards.

Red Paddle Voyager 12'6" inflatable SUP

We did measurement tests. The Voyager 12’6″ inflated is approximately 149.5 inches long, 32 inches wide, and just over 5.5 inches deep – pretty much on target with the published specs. Payload is up to 340 lbs/150 kgs.

Red Paddle Twelve Six Voyager On the Water

Red Paddle Voyager 12'6" on the water.

I took it out on a calm day. Three years had passed since my last Explorer session – I was quickly reminded what a great board this is; very smooth paddling, good glide, and it’s pretty fast. First thing to note – this is a big, beefy board, that at 27 lbs feels rock solid even at 15 PSI, yet is still light enough for many to haul around.The board is extremely stable and was very easy to stand up and drop down without a ripple. Turning was fairly easy – still with a feeling of stability. The thicker 6 inches makes the Voyager feel pretty buoyant, and I easily could see a long day of paddling along the shoreline. And with the thicker 150mm drop-stitch material, it also feels incredibly rugged.

Attaching a seat to a Voyager 12'6"

A little-mentioned fact is how fabulous the inflatable SUPs are as sit-on-tops, and the Red Paddle Co Voyager 12’6″ is a great choice. While not specifically set up for this, by attaching two carabiners to the two side handles, I was able to attach an AquaGlide Core or Pro-formance seat (with inflatable base) to the board.

Red Paddle Voyager 12'6" on the water.

Besides being very fast and fun to paddle, it’s a great option for long days on the boards, or when the wind kicks up.

While I didn’t bring Cleo along this time, here is a photo of Eddie on an earlier version of the Race 12-6 shown above. Dog claws are no match for the beefy construction material.

Packing It Up

Rolling up your Red Paddle Co Voyager

Deflating the board is pretty simple. Remove the tracking fin, making sure to re-attach the fin plate to the screw, so as not to lose it. Burp the plunger a couple of times to release some of the pressure, then push the plunger to the open (down) position and immediately the air will swoosh out. Remove the RSS battens. Move to the snout of the ISUP. Lay the Titan pump down and start tightly rolling up the board from the snout, top side up with the bottom on the outside. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve.

When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and then take the attached strap and cinch it around the bundle. If you’ve rolled up tight enough, the board will easily slip back into the backpack. Put the fin into the interior pocket and use the interior cinch straps to position the load.

Red Paddle Twelve Six Voyager: Bottom Line

Red Paddle Voyager 12'6" on the water.

I can’t say it more simply, the Red Paddle 12’6 Voyager inflatable SUP is a great board! It’s fast, pretty nimble for a gentle giant, very rigid, remarkably stable and – with the included deep water fin – paddles well and tracks/glides nicely.

The thicker 150mm material, large 370 liter air capacity, new RSS battens and 6 inch thickness make them even more rigid for paddlers on the higher end of the limits – in fact, one of our customers is a thrilled 6’4, 300 lbs paddler who says, “if it works for me it can work for you!”

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager 13'2

The dual set of low-profile cargo ring attachments and expanded bungee deck lacing greatly enhance the board’s versatility and carrying capacity without sacrificing performance – a true workhorse, perfect for multi-day excursions, a birdwatching platform or an arsenal of fishing gear.

The graphics updates, RAM mount attachment and nifty “Red Repeater” deck pad really set the board off – when you’re on a Red, it’s noticed.

According to the manufacturer, Red Paddle inflatable SUPs are virtually indestructible. In a set of Red Paddle videos posted earlier this year, a Red Paddle Ride is thrown at every kind of challenge – attacked by dogs, used as a motocross bike ramp, ravaged by rabid kid rugby players and the ultimate decimation – run over by a 22.5 ton digger. After handling the 12′ 6″ Voyager, I can believe it – it’s rugged. And certainly rugged enough for a canine companion – this was one of Eddie’s favorite boards as he had perching room.

While the Voyager is easy to set up, the huge air volume makes getting up to 18 to 20 PSI a challenge – even with the wonderful, included Titan pump. This is a great candidate for a high-end electric pump investment – such as the AquaGlide HP Turbo 12V pump, allowing one to spend more time on the water and less time inflating.

The 12’6 Red Paddle Voyager is good for shorelines, calm waters, slow-moving rivers, ocean bays and inlets. It’s perfect for a day of touring and if the sun becomes too much – just slide off the board into the water to cool down. And it’s stable enough to handle fast-moving water where maneuverability is not critical.

The Voyager is a great choice for families as the Red Paddle can be enjoyed by all ages, children to adults, while the 32 inch beam, extra long length of 12.5 feet and huge carrying capacity make it big and stable enough for multiple or extra-large riders. And with its near-indestructible construction, parents can relax when the kids start tossing it around.

Red Paddle Co Roller Backpack

Best of all, it rolls up into the included backpack – which can house the pump and a breakdown paddle, making it a great inflatable for traveling. The improvements to the Original Terrain backpack make it even more comfortable for hiking down to beaches, and easier to stow the strap system when flying.

Need more space? Check out the Red Paddle Co Voyager 13’2″, a longer, slimmer and streamlined version, as well as the new Voyager Tandem, 15′ foot version built for two.

The Red Paddle Twelve Six Voyager from Red Paddle Company is another winner. At $1599 MSRP, it’s on the higher end of the retail market, but is a true champion. For more details or to purchase, visit the Red Paddle Co Voyager 12’6″ product page at

Stay tuned. We will have our YouTube video on the Voyager up within a few weeks. You can also read our blog on Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Inflatable Paddle Board.

Posted by: airkayaks | October 19, 2017

Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP

2018 heralds the 10 year anniversary of the Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP brand – these have now hit the market!

2018 Red Paddle Co Line

For 2018, Red Paddle Co has 23 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10 to 22’0. This includes the introduction of 1 new model – the Voyager Tandem 15’0″ – 6 renames, a limited-edition anniversary model, a consolidation of the racing boards, revamped graphics and added features on several of the current boards. With all the models, activity types, sizes and features, how does one choose the best board? Each year we update our previous posts to reflect the new Red Paddle Co models and product upgrades – use this guide to take away some of the guesswork when looking at the myriad of options with Red Paddle Co iSUPs.

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager Tandem

The more noticeable new features include:

  • Updated graphics and color scheme for most of the boards and paddles.
  • Further advances in Red Paddle’s innovative new Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion technology. For 2018, Red Paddle again tweaked the material across the entire product line, making the injected, reinforced second layer thicker with increased bond strength.
  • Boards with removable fins continue to use the standard US Fin box – these are divided into two types. The Sports, Explorers and Whip now feature FCS Connect Tool-less Fin Systems which quickly snap into position without need for hardware or tools, yet now come with a finger screw to ensure the fins are secure. The racing boards (Elites, Max Races) come with a glass race fin.
  • Each board with removable fin now includes an extra fin pin/screw in the repair kit.
  • A third set of d-rings with expanded bungee deck lacing on many of the models. This provides a larger surface for attaching gear.
  • Embroidered logos on the carrying handles, making them softer to touch.
  • Upgraded deck pads
  • Two versions of the popular Red Paddle backpack – the Classic version and the new All-Terrain Rugged with some upgraded features for traveling comfort.
  • Expanded list of attachable third-party accessories utilizing the integrated nose mount, from Railblaza.
  • Updated seals and handles on the Titan dual cylinder hand pump.

Prices are generally remaining the same with some slight decreases over 2017. (See a complete list of the new 2018 Red Paddle Co Line and new features on this blog article.)

All 2018 Red Paddle Co iSUPs  (except the 3 giants) come with either the Classic or Rugged All-Terrain roller backpack featuring integrated wheels, making it easier to thread through airport lobbies, while still comfortable enough to pack into the remote country. Most of the boards come with the Titan dual action pump; the two smaller Whip 8’10 and Snapper 9’4 boards – as well as the larger Dragon, Ride XL and Ride L – come with the Red Air HP EZee pump. Each board includes a cell phone case, instructions, repair kit.

How do you use the following tables? First, ascertain your size from the list:

Big & Tall – 210+ lbs and 6’1? plus inches in height
Average – 140-200 lbs, 5’7? to 6’0? inches in height
Small – Under 140 lbs, Under 5’7? inches in height
Child – Under 100 lbs, under 5’0 inches in height

Then decide the type(s) of paddling you want to do (paddling situations):

Touring – Ocean, waves, long paddles, camping
Recreational – Lakes, sloughs, slower rivers, coastal, calm
Whitewater – Fast-moving maneuvering with eddies, drops.
Downriver – Wide-open moving water.

Determine what attributes are important (or not!) to you – do you want versatility or storage capacity? Stability or speed?

Rank your experience level, realizing that the more you get out on the water, the better you will get. More experienced paddlers can get away with smaller boards. Last of all, will this be used by various members of the family? Do you want the ability to bring along a child, dog or gear? Might two people be on this together?

Multi Paddlers/Family: Two Adults, Adult and child or dog.
Advanced Paddler

Follow the color key to decide what board is good for varying sizes and activities:

Blue – The board is great!
Green – The board is good.
Yellow – This board is not recommended.

For instance, if you were 5 feet 10 inches with a weight of 180 lbs, and whitewater rivers was the highest priority with a bit of recreational paddling, the Wild 9’6 would be a good choice. But, if you wished to do predominantly recreational paddling with a bit of whitewater, the Ride 10’6 would be best.

For easier viewing, the Red Paddle Co boards in the following tables have been separated into three categories: recreational, specialty and race. If you are having trouble viewing the details in the three tables, follow this link for a larger, zoomable and printable PDF version of the Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board iSUP.

2018 Red Paddle Co Recreational Inflatable SUPS.

This section outlines the recreational models, which include the Ride 9’8, 10’6 and 10’8, the Sport 11’0, 11’3 and 12’6, and the Voyager 12’6, 13’2 and new Tandem. This also includes the 2018 Limited Edition Ride 10’6″ created to celebrate Red’s 10th anniversary.

2018 Red Paddle Co Recreational SUP Line2018 Red Paddle Co Recreational Line

2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Inflatable SUPS.

The table below outlines the specialty boards, which include the Whip 8’10, Snapper 9’4, Wild 9’6, Wind 10’7, WindSurf 10’7, Activ 10’8, Ride L and the Ride XL.

2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Line2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Line

2018 Red Paddle Co Racing Inflatable SUPS.

The last table below outlines the racing boards, which include the Max Race 10’6 in two widths, the Elite 12’6 and 14’0 – also in two widths – and the Dragon 22’0.

2018 Red PAddle Co Racing Line2018 Red PAddle Co Racing LineWhy are there varying board thicknesses?

Some of the larger boards feature heavier, drop-stitch materials, thus making the boards thicker. What does this mean? The thicker the board (and larger the board) the greater the air volume. This will increase the board rigidity at lower pressures. The Sport 11″0 and 11’3, Ride 10’6 and 10’8 boards – constructed from 120mm materials – will have roughly 20% greater rigidity than the 100mm material boards (Whip, Snapper, Ride 9-8), thus will carry more weight, but will be slightly less maneuverable. The 150mm material boards – such as the Flow, Elites, Sport 12’6 and Voyagers – will exhibit roughly 50% greater rigidity. But, the 100mm boards (as well as the 150mm Elites, Sport 12’6 and Voyagers) have been beefed up with the Rocker Stiffening System (RSS), which also gives them an additional boost over the 100mm boards built by other manufacturers.

How high do I really need to pump this up for best performance?

Recommended pressure is 18-20 PSI, with an optimum of 18PSI. We suggest starting off at 15 PSI, and then deciding if you need to go higher – no sense spending time and effort reaching the highest PSI, when it may not get you any better performance. For instance, as a smaller person, I generally don’t pump up my boards higher than 12 PSI. And one of our customers – at 6’3″ and 300 lbs – found his 12’6 was perfectly fine at 20 PSI.

You can read more about SUP pumps in our Guide to Choosing a Pump for your High Pressure Inflatable SUP.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can view details on the various Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPS at

We also have completed the following reviews:

Looking to save some money? We have a limited amount of the 2017 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPs at 15% off, while supplies last.

Still having trouble? Feel free to Contact Us via email, or give us a call at 707-998-0135.


Posted by: airkayaks | October 16, 2017

2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board SUP Lineup

We recently received details on Red Paddle Co’s exciting inflatable SUP lineup being introduced for 2018.

Red Paddle Co Voyager Tandem

Red Paddle Co boards are well-known throughout the world for their ruggedness, innovation and performance. Each of the boards utilize high pressure drop-stitch technology – allowing them to be inflated from 18-20 PSI – and feature quadruple rail construction with double layering. In 2015, Red Paddle introduced the game-changing Titan dual action pump. The following year, Red Paddle introduced a technologically innovative new process named Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion technology. In the past, the “board within a board” was glued together, creating extra weight and the potential for hand-gluing errors. The new process consisted of industrially fusing the second layer of polymer to the drop-stitch core at the raw material stage. The end result was a material structurally more sound, even more rigid, as well as lighter – in fact, many of the MSL boards are now 5-10 lbs lighter than previous models.

Integrated RAM mount socket with optional RAM mount.

During 2017, Red Paddle racked up numerous awards throughout the product line, including Gear of the Year from Outside, Men’s Journal and Backpacker magazines. In 2017, Red introduced the integrated RAM mount socket to many of the boards, allowing one to add a universal RAM mount socket, available in two sizes. With this socket, paddlers can purchase a myriad of RAM mounts, allowing one to attach a cell phone holder, camera mount, fishing gear, Go-Pro fixture and cup holders.  The threads also work with RailBlaza accessories.

Red Paddle Co 2018 Lineup

2018 heralds the 10-year anniversary of the brand. For 2018, Red Paddle Co has 23 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10 to to 22’0. This includes the introduction of one new model – the Voyager Tandem 15’0” – 6 renames, a limited-edition anniversary model, a consolidation of the racing boards, revamped graphics and added features on several of the current models. Prices are generally remaining the same with some slight decreases over 2017. For 2018, Red Paddle continues to tweak the material across the entire product line, making the injected, reinforced second layer thicker with increased bond strength.

Except for the boards featuring fixed fins (Rides, Snapper) the Reds with removable fins continue to use a fairly standard US Fin box which fits 90% of the fins on the market. Theses are divided into two types – the Sports, Explorers and Whip now feature FCS Connect Tool-less Fin Systems which quickly snap into position without need for hardware or tools, yet now come with a finger screw to ensure the fins are secure. The racing boards (Elites, Max Races) come with a glass race fin. Each board will also include an extra screw in the repair kit.

Extended bungee deck lacing.

Other smaller tweaks include a third d-ring with extended bungee deck lacing and a change in the deck pad graphics. The carrying handles now sport embroidered logos, making them softer to the touch.

2018 Recreational and Touring Series Inflatable Paddle Boards

Red Paddle Co Recreational/Touring Series

For 2018, Red Paddle Co is maintaining status-quo on construction for many of the models.

2018 Red Paddle Co Sport models

2018 Red Paddle Co Sport 11'3

Winner of Outside Magazine’s 2017 SUP of the Year award, the Sport 11-3 is rapidly becoming the SUP of choice for flat water paddling, just as the iconic Ride 10-6 is for all-water paddling.

Each of the three Sports – 11-0, 11-3 and 12-6 – bring in the new year without major changes. Minor tweaks include the 3rd d-ring with extended bungee deck lacing, retaining pin for the fins and a graphic redesign. Prices will remain at the 2017 level for the Sport 11’0 and Sport 12’6 at $1449 and $1599 respectively; the Sport 11’3 will drop slightly to $1499.

2018 Red Paddle Co Ride Series

2018 Red Paddle Co Limited Edition Ride 10'6

The best-selling Ride “all-around use” trio – the Ride 9’8, the Ride 10’6 and the Ride 10’8 will continue into 2018 without major changes except for redesigned graphics, upgraded deck pads, and the extended deck lacing in coordinating colors. In celebration of the 10-year anniversary, Red Paddle is also producing a Limited Edition Ride 10’6 in an alternate color scheme. While the Ride 10’6 remains the same price of $1299, the Ride 9’8 and Ride 10’8 will see price drops to $1199 and $1349.

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager Series

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager 13'2

The Explorer 12’6 and 13’2 touring models have been renamed the Voyager. The new Voyager 12’6 and Voyager 13’2 remain fairly unchanged in design except for the following tweaks: new graphics, updated MSL material, extended deck lacing in a coordinating color, second set of d-rings, FCS Connect Tool-less fin system with retaining pin. The Rocker Sitiffening System (RSS) side battens have been added to the Voyager 12’6 . Prices remain the same as $1599 and $1649 respectively.

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager Tandem

Big news is the introduction of the Voyager Tandem – a 15-foot model built for two paddlers. The Voyager Tandem features seven carry handles, two luggage spaces with tie-downs, one removable fin, two inflation valves and two pumps – one Titan pump and one HP pump – allowing two people to share in the joy. Width is 34 inches with a thicker 8-inch deep material. A neat feature – by removing the second set of tie-downs, one can bring along a third small companion. The board can be paddled by one or two, and can also become the ultimate cargo carrier. MSRP is $1999.

The two remaining “big boys” in the lineup – the Ride L 14’0 and Ride XL 17’0 continue into 2018 with no visual, structural or price changes.

2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Boards

Included in the specialty series are six models – the Whip 8’10 surfing model, the Snapper 9’4 youth SUP, the Wild 9’6 downriver/whitewater board (previously called the Flow), the Activ 10’8 yoga fitness model and the two windsurf models – the 10’7 Wind (previously called the 10’7 WindSUP) and the 10’7 WindSurf. All the models feature graphic redesigns. The Whip features a single US Fin box with a surf-oriented FCS fin. All other models (except the Activ and Wild) have the FCS Connect Tool-less fin system with retaining pin. The yoga Activ 10’8 continues with the three fixed fins, but now has two d-rings on either side of the handle and velcro paddle attachment. The whitewater Wild 9’6 comes with four fixed fins and a US fin box, which allows one to purchase an aftermarket deep water fin. The windsurf models feature an integrated mast foot built into the board and two fins. The basic 10’7 Wind now comes with a second removable center dagger system. The Windsurf 10’7 has a specifically designed sure-fin daggerboard slot through the center of the SUP, providing increased tracking and lateral control when in windsurf mode. Neither board comes with a sail, but the built-in mast mount can accommodate most windsurf sails on the market. All models retain the same pricing for 2018 except for price drops on the Snapper 9’4, the Activ 10’8 and the 10’7 Wind at $1049, $1399 and $1399 respectively.

2018 Red Paddle Co Racing models

Red Paddle Co Racing Series

For 2018, Red Paddle has focused on streamlining and expanding their racing series, which now includes 7 models. The original Race 12’6 and Race 14’0 have now been folded into the Elite lineup. The four Elite models now consist of the Elite 12’6 and Elite 14’0 with two width choices – standard and thin. The Elite 12-6 now comes in a slimmer 26-inch width for more advanced riders and a standard 28-inch width for less experienced riders, or those over 240 lbs. The Elite 14’0 is the same, but with a slim 25 inch width and a standard 27 inch width. All boards feature the Forward Flex control (FCC) rods which stiffen the nose, updated graphics and glass fin.

2018 Red Paddle Co Elite 12'6

A scaled-down version – the Max Race 10’6 – is also available in two widths for youth and small adults. The Max Race 10’6 24-inch width is for those weighing up to 135 lbs, while a 26-inch width is for “larger” small people up to 160 lbs. The Max Race also features updated graphics and glass fin.

2018 Red Paddle Co Dragon 22'0

Last year’s new model – the multi-paddler Dragon 22’0 continues in the line with no changes. With a fairly narrow 34-inch beam, the Dragon can carry up to 4 riders, and has already opened up the SUP world to competitive team sports.

Prices remain the same on the Max Race and Dragon, but the Elite 12’6s and 14’0s now feature lower prices of $1599 and $1699 respectively.

Red Paddle Co 2018 Accessories.

The Titan pump continues to undergo structural and operational tweaks to make it more rugged and efficient, yet outwardly remains substantially the same. All the boards – except the smaller 8’10” Whip, 9’4 Snapper and the larger behemoths – come with the popular Titan twin-cylinder hand pump. For 2018, the Titan has a slightly lower price of $139.

The Red Paddle Co cargo net, dry bag, Schraeder valve adaptor, both leashes – flat or coiled – and paddle choices continue into 2018. The paddles consist of the carbon and carbon/nylon, glass and glass/nylon and aluminum alloy breakdown paddles. All paddles are adjustable and feature updated color schemes and the new Leverlock system (except for the alloy which features the pushpin system). Prices remain the same.

For 2018, the popular wheeled backpack – which comes with all Red Paddle Co boards except the 4 “giants” – is available in two versions. The standard backpack with partial foil lining and integrated “paddle holder” system is now called the Classic. The Classic is included with all the specialty and race boards.  The new Red Original All Terrain backpack features improvements on the straps as well as cushion padding at the lower back, making it more comfortable to carry.  Other tweaks include an improved “strap stash” system to easily hide the straps when not used as a backpack, red stitching details, and an interior front pocket to house the fin. The All-Terrain bag will be included with the recreational boards (Rides, Sports and Voyagers.) The new All-Terrain backpack will be available in 2018 with an MSRP at $149.95.

The 2018 Red Paddle Co boards and accessories are in transit, arriving Oct. 23rd – pre-orders are being accepted. To order or for more information, visit the Red Paddle Co product pages at

You can also read our Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Inflatable SUP.

We also have completed the following reviews:

This past month, Advanced Elements of Benicia, California, released information on their new two-person inflatable kayak model, the 13-ft AdvancedFrame 2.

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame 2 inflatable kayak

Available in limited quantities, the AdvancedFrame 2 combines features from several current models. The kayak is a lightweight and compact version of the popular Convertible kayak, yet features more open seating and a higher 450 lb weight capacity than the Lagoon 2. A large cockpit opening similar to that found on the Advanced Elements Sport, allows for easy entry and exit.

The AdvancedFrame 2 contains the same aluminum rib inserts, deck-lacing, d-rings, paddle holders, materials and construction as the other models in the AdvancedFrame series, yet combines some features from the Lagoon 2 – such as a closed cell foam floor and inflatable seat bases – and integrated PVC fishing rod holders as found on the StraitEdge kayaks.


  • Dimensions: 13 ft long by 32 inches wide
  • Carrying Capacity:450 lbs
  • Weight: Approximately 40 lbs.
  • Two military valves and four twistlok valves

The AE1009-A2 AdvancedFrame 2 is a great choice for lakes and mild rivers, to bays and estuaries. The kayak comes with two seats, instructions, repair kit, double action pump, fishing rod holders and carrying case.

The kayak can also be purchased as the AdvancedFrame 2 DS with a high pressure 4-6 PSI floor, for better paddling and greater rigidity.

The new 13 ft AE1009-A2 AdvancedFrame2 tandem inflatable kayak is in transit and scheduled to be available October 15th.

Street price is $599 for the standard version or $785 for the high-pressure DS version; both come with the AE2009 compact double action hand pump. For more details or to purchase, visit the AdvancedFrame 2 or AdvancedFrame 2 DS product pages at You can also contact us at 707-998-0135, or ask to get on the Notification List.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 10, 2017

Closeout Sale on 2017 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Boards

AirKayaks is pleased to announce a special purchase of remaining 2017 Red Paddle Co inflatable standup paddle boards, now 10 to 15% off.

Considered the number one inflatable paddle board, Red Paddle’s SUPS are known for their ruggedness, featuring quadruple rail construction, double layering, thick traction pads and fins. Each board comes with the Red Paddle Titan pump, allowing one to inflate a paddle board to 18 PSI in less than 10 minutes.

In 2017, Red Paddle SUPs racked up a number of accolades including Gear of the Year from both Backpacker Magazine and Men’s Journal. The newly-introduced Sport 11’3 was named Outside Magazine’s 2017 Board of the Year and the Digital Trends “2017 Best Recreation Gear of the Year” award went to Red Paddle’s Ride 10-6 inflatable SUP.

2017 Red Paddle Co Product Lineup

The 2017 line featured 22 models with the addition of five new boards in the U.S. – the 10’7″ Windsurf, the Sport 11’3, the Race 14′ and the multi-paddler Ride L and Dragon.

In anticipation of the new product line for 2018 – expected to hit the market in late November – AirKayaks is clearing out the inventory. Now is your chance to get one of the best inflatable SUPs on the market, with prices ranging from $939 to $1529. The incredibly popular Ride 10-6 is now $1169, the Sport 11 is now $1299, while the Elite 12-6 is at an all-time low of $1389.

If that isn’t enough, AirKayaks is throwing in a free adjustable, breakdown SUP paddle – a $63.95 to $199 value. Check out the remaining available inventory on the Red Paddle Co product pages on – but don’t hesitate. When they’re gone …. they’re gone.

Each board comes with the rugged Titan hand pump, cell phone case, repair kit, instructions and wheeled roller backpack. Not sure which one is right for you? See our 2017 Guide to Choosing Your Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board.  Or, give us a call at 707-998-0135, email or visit the website at

Up to 15% off, free paddle, free shipping in the continental US and no US tax – what are you waiting for!


At this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show, Advanced Elements unveiled their 2018 inflatable kayak product line with announcement of the new AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite – a redesigned version of the AdvancedFrame Sport, weighing in at a minimalist 17.5 lbs.

The AdvancedFrame Ultralite joins the AE1042 AirFusion EVO as one of two new models for next season.

Advanced Elements AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite

Roughly 15 years ago, Advanced Elements launched the AdvancedFrame line, beginning with the original 10′ 5″ AdvancedFrame (then called the AirFrame) followed by the Convertible, Expedition and Sport. Each iteration saw both major and subtle improvements, culminating in a seasoned line known for quality and performance.

Key to the line is the aluminum rib frame found in the bow and stern, allowing the kayaks to easily slice through the water.

Advanced Elements AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite - top view

At 10 feet 5 inches in length, the new AdvancdFrame Ultralite has the same footprint and larger cockpit-opening as the longstanding AE1017 Sport. As with the Sport, the AF Ultralite comes with the more rigid high-backed seat, integrated fin and front bungee deck lacing.

What sets it apart is a series of redesigns and tweaks.

To begin with, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite hull is constructed from a lighter-weight ripstop material upper with a polyurethane tarpauline underside. Left and right bladders are also made of a lightweight – yet rugged – polyurethane rather than PVC. Both bladder covers on the AdvancedFrame Ultralite feature open ends without a zipper, allowing the bladders to be pulled out for cleaning or replacement.

Instead of the traditional low-pressure PVC floor, the AF Ultralite sports a foam floor similar to that found in the Lagoon series. To compensate, the high-backed seat features a 1.5 inch EVA closed cell foam seat base.

The switch to open bladder cover, foam floor, polyurethane bladders and polyurethane tarpaulin hull provide most of the weight savings, making the AdvancedFrame Ultralite roughly 10 lbs lighter than the Sport, and nearly half the weight of the AdvancedFrame.

Other features include a thin aluminum bar riser (as found on the Expedition Elite) and cross bar (as found on the AirFusion) which together provide a pitched deck, allowing water to run off. A second set of bungee deck lacing is found on the rear deck upper.

According to Ryan Pugh, designer at Advanced Elements, the AF Ultralite provides a more portable option that still features the performance of the AdvancedFrame series. “The kayak feels just as stable as the AdvancedFrame and paddles just as well as the Sport.”

Backpack carrying case.

With that focus on portability, the AdvancedFrame Ultralite also comes with Advanced Elements new backpack/duffel bag with removable back straps as currently included with the Expedition Elite.

While the AdvancedFrame Ultralite can utilize many of the optional Advanced Elements accessories, it can not be used with the spray skirts, dropstitch floor or backbone.

The AdvancedFrame Ultralite will appeal to adventurous souls looking for a performance-oriented kayak with a more back-packable design as well as paddlers with physical disabilities requiring lighter-weight options and easier entry.

Advanced Elements AE3022 AdvancedFrame Ultralite


  • Dimensions: 10’5″ length, 32 inches width
    Weight: 17.5 lbs kayak
    Payload: 225 lbs

The AE3022-G AdvancedFrame Ultralite has an MSRP of $649, and will be available in Spring, 2018. For more details, watch our website at, or contact us to get on the Notification list.

At the recent 2017 Outdoor Retailers Show in Utah, Advanced Elements debuted one of their cutting edge new models for 2018 – the high-pressure AirFusion EVO inflatable kayak with dropstitch bladders.

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO Inflatable Kayak

Nearly six years ago, Advanced Elements debuted the original AirFusion kayak – an inflatable hybrid designed to rival the handling and speed of skin-on-frame kayaks. The AirFusion was unique in that it featured a blended design of aluminum alloy frame poles and pressurized air tubes, resulting in a high performance rigid frame system.

The original design was followed three years later by the AE1041 AirFusion Elite. The Elite featured a streamlined set up procedure with fewer poles, a wider beam of 28″ and an integrated rear storage hatch.

The new, patented AE1042 AirFusion EVO design kicks that up a notch, with high-pressure, left and right drop-stitch side chambers which can be inflated from 6 to 10 PSI. Drop-stitch (DS) material is the same used in the inflatable paddle board market, where thousands of threads string the top and bottom panels together, allowing it to be pumped up to higher pressures, thus making it more rigid.

According to Ryan Pugh, designer at Advanced Elements, the leading factor in developing the EVO was to keep improving on the AirFusion design, maximizing performance and simplifying setup. The EVO features 6 inflation chambers (two side chambers, booster seat, two thwarts and the coaming tube) versus four side chambers in the previous model.  The DS tubes are removable, allowing one to replace just a part – rather than the entire kayak shell – if ever needed.

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO Inflatable Kayak - Cross Section

As the DS chambers are more rigid, the kayak is less finicky to set up – originally, one had to air up the kayak slowly, reposition chambers and then top it off. According to Ryan, the EVO is much simpler – just install the poles, air up and go.

In the case of the AirFusion EVO, the DS material on the side chambers also creates a narrower profile without decreasing the interior width. The EVO as currently designed is 24 inches wide.

Additionally, an extra “DS booster” chamber on the seat base, keeps one off the floor.

The outer shell is now constructed from a polyurethane tarpaulin, which – in conjunction with the DS side chambers – gives a smoother finish, increased rigidity and a more hydrodynamic outline.

The EVO still features three aluminum ribs on the floor and under the hull, providing a sculpted look as well as a v-shaped keel, which aids in slicing through the water.

Other features incorporated from the prior models include a foam floor, integrated storage hatch, bungee deck lacing, coaming tube for attaching a skirt, two landing plates, lower seat back and the ability to use an optional tracking fin.

Advanced Elements AirFusion EVO Inflatable Kayak

How does it handle on the water? According to Ryan, “It paddles great. I took out a sample earlier this spring and it handles nicely, glides through the water. I didn’t notice any change in stability with the width reduction. In fact, I felt it only improved the way the kayak paddles.”


  • Length – 13 feet
  • Width – 24 inches
  • Weight – 32 lbs.
  • Carrying capacity – 235 lbs
  • Folded size – 35 x 21 x 9 inches
  • Inflation Chambers – 6 including the seat base.

Price: $1199, availability Spring 2018.

For more details, stay tuned to the website at You can also Contact Us to get on the Notification List.

Older Posts »


%d bloggers like this: