Posted by: airkayaks | November 15, 2018

10 Neat Gift Ideas Under $25 for Paddlers

It’s “that time” again, and the pressure is mounting to find the perfect gift for a fellow paddler. AirKayaks has put together the Guide to 10 Neat Paddling Gift Ideas Under $25 – guaranteed to please a variety of water enthusiasts without breaking your budget.

Seattle Sports Digi Wallet and Audio Case

1) Seattle Sports Digi Wallet & Audio Case – $9.95
Two compartments with two levels of protection for phones or personal items while on or near the water. The wallet side is waterproof and totally protects phones, cameras, MP3 players, money, credit cards and personal items – you can even talk, text and manage music right through the case. Features a headphone pass-through port with audio capability for your smartphone or MP3 player.

 

Chinook 20-Liter Dry Bag

2) Chinook 40-Liter Rolltop Dry Bag – $16.95

Economical dry storage, perfect for a day of gear on the water. Measures 12 x 24 inches unrolled. Also available in 57L size.

 

Seattle Sports Paddling Leash

3) Paddle Leash from Seattle Sports – $17.95
Don’t be caught “up a creek without a paddle!” The streamlined, low-profile, retractable Paddle Leash cord is easy to pack and stays out of the way while providing an eight-foot expansion. A unique quick-release feature allows your paddle to be quickly and easily attached to and from the leash. Length 34.25 inches expanding to 8 ft, weight 1.8 oz

 

Seattle Sports Diamond Dry Bag

4) Seattle Sports Diamond RollTop Dry Bag – $19.95
An economical solution to protecting your gear. The large H2Zero Diamond RollTop Dry Bag from Seattle Sports offers a good combination of functional privacy at an economical price. Built with a rugged polyester exterior, the H2Zero Diamond RollTop Dry Bag features a clear, diamond-shaped window for easy visual access to gear. Great for clothing, food, gear.

 

5)  Seattle Sports Paddler’s Bilge Pump – $19.95
A must for any boater. The Seattle Sport 8 gallon per minute Bilge Pump features an easy-grab handle, super-strong pump shaft and heavy-duty impact resistant plastic.

 

Seattle Sports Waterproof Cell Phone Case

6) Seattle Sports E-Merse XL Original Cell Phone Waterproof Case – $19.95
The Seattle Sports E-Merse R/S Original XL Cell Phone Waterproof Case offers maximum, submersible, waterproof protection for your electronics and valuables when properly closed. Use your cell phone while on the water – text, call and access APPS right through the case!

AquaMarina 90L Backpack for Inflatables

7) Aqua Marina Magic Adjustable 90L BackPack for Inflatables – $20.80

The adjustable 90-Liter Aqua Marina Magic BackPack is a simple way to transport your inflatable, paddle, and pump – at an economical price!

chinook5mapgry6008) Chinook Aquatight 5-Map Chart Organizer – $23.95
A unique dual-section, trifold map case holds up to 5 standard-sized maps! Two waterproof compartments with view windows and four attachment points for lashing to kayaks, canoes, backpacks and bicycle handlebars. Available in gray or black.

Seattle Sports Map Case

9) Seattle Sports Magni-Map Pro Splashproof Chart Case. $24.95

Rugged and waterproof map case sized to fit maps up to 14.5 x 12.25 inches. It has an included flexible magnifying tool to enlarge tiny map details on the go.

PackLite™ Roll Top Dry Bag Set: AE3506

10) Advanced Elements Packlite Dry Bag Set – $24.95
A nifty, ultra-lightweight set of three rolltop drybags in three sizes – 3, 5 and 10 liters – for dry storage options. Bag measurements are 7 x 8.5 inches, 6.5 x 10 inches and 9 x 16 inches. Available as a set only.

Visit the AirKayaks.com website to see all of our paddling gear under $25.

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This past summer, Red Paddle Co announced the launch of their new 9’6″ Compact Inflatable SUP Package, a revolutionary game-changer in the inflatable paddle board industry.

Red Paddle Co Compact 9'6"

Based on the popular Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″, the 9’6″ Compact features a 32″ width with 4.7″ thickness, yet packs down to half the size of a conventional Red board without sacrificing performance, rigidity or durability.

Red Paddle accomplished this through a series of material breakthroughs and innovative design, starting from the ground-up and re-engineering each part.

While the initial shipment was scheduled for a November arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to obtain our first shipment early. This past week the UPS truck dropped off the new Red Paddle Co Compacts, which we immediately put to the test. (Please note, some of the information here will be repeated from other writeups.)

Red Paddle Compact 9’6″: Getting Started

The box as received weighs 32 lbs, measuring 26 x 17 x 15 inches.

What's inside the box.

Inside the box is the SUP body, Titan dual-barrel pump, pressure gauge, backpack, cinch belt, 2 removable fins, coiled ankle/leg leash, 5-pc breakdown paddle and repair kit – as well as a bonus cell phone case. Once rolled up, all items fit into the backpack. The instruction manual is fairly minimalist, but more details on many of the steps are printed on the components, such as the pump and military valve. (AirKayaks notes: The first shipment of Compacts did not include the instruction manual, but we have uploaded a PDF copy to our website. They also did not include a repair kit, but you can obtain one by contacting Red Paddle Co.)

Weight is 29 lbs for “all items” in the backpack, which easily fits in the back of a small car. The board alone is 15.6 lbs, while the pump is 5.5 lbs and the backpack 4 lbs.

Rolled up around the Titan pump.

The Red Paddle Compact 9’6″ inflatable SUP arrives rolled up around the high pressure Titan pump, inside the backpack.

Unfurl the Compact body.

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

Closing the inflation valve.

The Red Paddle Compact 9’6″ 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.

2018 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.

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!

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.

Pumping up the Red Paddle Compact Inflatable SUP

We pumped about 50 strokes using both barrels until the board unfurled, and the needle was moving. By another 12 pumps we were at 5 PSI and it was getting tough. We removed the plug, switching to single action mode. Another 50 pumps took us to 9 PSI, 25 more to 11 PSI and and 25 more to more to 13 PSI, where we stopped.

Pumping up the Red Paddle Compact Inflatable SUP

The higher the pressure, the stiffer the board. The recommended pressure is 18-22 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.

Installing the Red Paddle Compact fins

Next step, install the tracking fins. The Compact 9’6″ uses an FCS fin box – this is a common, slotted box that allows one to use various fin styles. The Compact comes with two red 5.25-inch, FCS fins with pin, which quickly snap into position without need for hardware or tools. The two fins are located inside the backpack, in the mesh pocket.

Installing the Red Paddle Compact fins

Point the fins towards the board tail and insert the two slots on the fin into the two fin box slots. Then push toward the rear and you will feel them click into position.

TIghtening the grub screws on the fin box.

Inside the cell phone case is a red Fin Key. While it is possible to skip this next step (see our note below under On the Water), we HIGHLY recommend using the Fin Key to tighten the tiny grub screws on the side of the fin box – if lost, a 3/32nd (2.35 mm) allen wrench will work. (AirKayaks note: Red Paddle suggests adding the Fin Key to your key chain, but there is also a pocket at the very end of the coiled ankle leash cuff hiding under the velcro.) As a precaution, pull up on the fins to make sure they are truly attached.

Attach the ankle leash to the rear d-ring by opening up the velcro on the narrow end, and sliding it through the d-ring, looping back. Fold over the other end of the velcro, and then fold the remaining piece of velcro on top – this ensures a good seal. When down on the water, you will wrap the larger, padded portion around your ankle or calf.

Red Paddle 5pc breakdown carbon SUP paddle

Last step, assemble the paddle. All five paddle pieces are housed inside the bag. This includes the T-Grip Leverlock handle, a slightly longer tube that fits only onto the handle, two more shafts and the blade.

Assembling the Red Paddle 5pc breakdown carbon SUP paddle

Pull open the Leverlock and slide the handle tube onto the handle.

Assembling the Red Paddle 5pc breakdown carbon SUP paddle

Then attach the next two shafts using the push-pin system. You will note that one side of each piece is vee-shaped, ensuring a snug fit. Finally, attach the blade. A couple of notes here – the Leverlock latch on our paddle was quite tight, making it difficult to pull up; we finally used a stick to pry it open. The vee-edges on the handle shaft can be somewhat sharp, so be careful not to pinch your hands. As there is no guide to show you if you have the handle facing in the correct position, make sure that the writing on the handle is in line with the writing on the shafts. This will ensure that the handle and blade are in sync.

Ready for the water!

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

Red Paddle Compact 9’6″: 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.

Red Paddle Compact with Dropstitch technology

First, the Red Paddle Co boards are constructed using “dropstitch” technology. The top of the board is held together with the bottom via thousands of “stitches.” 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 22 PSI and ensures that air doesn’t move around inside the board, creating a stable ride.

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 industrially-fused 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.

The Compact 9'6" is rigid.

With the Compact 9’6,” Red Paddle Co introduced the revolutionary PACT technology. Ten years in the making, PACT technology is a new weaving process which creates a denser, high-tensile thread matrix at the core of the board, with a super-strong, malleable outer layer. The Compact 9’6″ utilizes 120mm dropstitch technology, making the board more rigid than many boards yet still allowing the rider to keep a low center of gravity.

Rails on the Compact 9'6"

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.

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

Bungee deck lacing with 6 d-rings

A bungee deck-lacing system with 6 metal d-rings begins 26 inches from the snout, measuring 12 to 23 inches wide and 19 inches deep – a perfect spot to attach gear.

Red Repeating Graphics on the Compact Inflatable SUP Deck pad.

A textured, traction pad featuring the “Red Repeating Graphics” is 59 x 26.5 inches deep, beginning roughly 40 inches from the nose. The traction pad is separated into two pieces with a 3 inch channel.

Padded carrying handle

A 6-inch, padded carrying handle is now located just “left of center” beginning about 54 inches from the nose.

Military valve and hull ID number

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

Ankle leash d-ring.

One leash d-ring is located across from the military valve, on the right side. Both valve and d-ring are located roughly 8 inches from the tail.

Relocated valve, handle and d-ring create a "living hinge"

The relocated valve, handle and d-ring – in conjunction with the 3-inch channel – essentially create a “living hinge”, allowing one to fold the board in half and easily roll the Compact into a smaller package.

Compact quad stringer on the underside

A unique “quad stringer” system is placed on the top and underside; as the board is inflated, the stringer becomes tighter making the 9’6 Compact more rigid without the bulk. Each pair of the 4 stringers is 2″ wide, positioned 11 inches apart running the entire length of the board, both top and underside.

Red Click Fin System

The removable Red Click Fin System features two fully recyclable 5.25 inch FCS fins and fin box with an integrated pin system ensuring the fins are not lost while paddling. A red Fin Key is located in the cell phone case, allowing one to tighten the fin box side screws, ensuring the fins are not lost. The fin box is compatible with most FCS fins.

The Bump

At this point, we want to mention “the bump” which can appear to be a defect to first time paddlers. As previously mentioned, 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. While this is mostly hidden by the fin box, it is still somewhat visible. This is normal and not something to worry about.

Revolutionary new Compact inflatable SUP from Red Paddle Co

The new Compact backpack went through a rigorous engineering redesign focused on adjustability and comfort. The result is an ergonomic carrying bag nearly half the size of the standard rollerpack.

Red Paddle Compact - Lumbar Support on the backpack

Lumbar support can be customized by raising or lowering the belt pack via an integrated velcro system. An adjustable, cushioned waist belt provides the perfect fit, and also sports two d-rings for more attachment points.

New backpack for the Red Paddle Co Compact inflatable SUP

The padded shoulder straps have two points of adjustment – top and bottom – with reinforced anchor points and concentrated padding. Each of these allow one to personally optimize the backpack for a more ergonomic fit.

Red Paddle Compact Backpack

The bag sports a quilted front and selectively padded back, a padded top handle and two padded side carrying handles; the handle cores are tubular closed cell foam. 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.

Red Click Fin System

There are two interior mesh pockets with velcro closure. One pocket measuring 4.5 x 9.5 inches initially houses the cell phone case, but can be used for a water bottle. The second pocket, measuring 9 x 10 inches, is perfect for the 2 removable fins. Each pocket has a cloth loop, used to pull the velcro open, or to attach other gear.

Compact paddle inside the backpack

Two sets of elastic loops have imprinted lines showing where to stash the breakdown paddle components.

Outer measurements on the backpack are roughly 25 x 16 x 13 inches, allowing the board and all accessories to fit inside. Weight reduction is saved via the smaller size, and removal of the wheels. All this makes a lighter-weight, 4 lb./1.8 kg backpack that features 53% less downward force applied on the lower back.

2018 Red Paddle Co Titan Pump

The Compact 9’6″ 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 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. Read our Titan Pump Review for more details.

Red Paddle Co Gauge

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.

Paddle blade

The new Compact 9’6″ package also includes Red Paddle Co’s innovative new 5-piece, adjustable, breakdown paddle. Individual shaft sections are constructed from a rigid, high-modulus carbon. These have been cut on an angle to minimize twisting and are assembled with a push-pin system. The laser-etched nylon blade delivers durability and performance.

Leverlock system

A Leverlock grip system allows one to readily adjust the paddle from 71.5-80 inches/181-203cm (specs say 70.8/180cm to 82.7/210cm.) The system includes the leverlock handle (17 inches long/6 oz), handle shaft (19.25 inches long/4 oz), two pushpin shafts (19 inches long/4oz) and the blade (19″ long/17 oz) for a total of roughly 1.8 lbs/0.8 kg. In addition, the individual shafts can be removed to create a paddle suitable for smaller riders (55-64 in/140cm to 162 cm and 38-47 inches/94cm to 119cm), making it a great choice for families.

Red Paddle Co Coiled Leash

Last but not least, the 9’6″ Compact System comes with the popular Red Paddle Co Coiled Leash. The leash features an interchangeable ankle or calf cuff with quick release loop and integrated key pouch. The coils prevent the leash from dragging in the water, plus dual pivot points reduce twisting.

Red Paddle Co Compact 9'6" Inflatable SUP

We did measurement tests. The Compact 9’6″ inflated is 144 inches long, 32 inches wide, and just under 5 inches deep – on target with the published specs. Payload is up to 209 lbs/95 kg.

Red Paddle Compact 9’6″ On the Water

Red Paddle Compact - On the water

I took out the Compact 9′ 6″ on a slightly windy day with mild chop. Despite the shorter length (I’ve been more used to the 11’3 and up boards) the 9’6″ was fairly stable, and something that one would quickly get used to – and the lower volume makes it easier to pump up. The Compact tracked well, had a good glide, and was very maneuverable. And it’s zippy! Heading into the wind, the board rode over small swells easily and handled beautifully.

Red Paddle AllWater, Compact and Ride 10-6

The design of the Compact 9’6″ is similar to a “shrunken-down” Ride 10’6″. Yet, the Compact 9’6″ reminded me very much of the original AllWater 9’6″, one of the earlier Red boards. This was redesigned into the Ride 9’8“. In fact, the 9’6 Allwater was the first board I owned, and one of my favorites.

Red Paddle Compact - On the water

While I am more of a “fair weather” paddler, I took it out the next day in increasing wind, with larger waves. The Compact paddled downwind pretty easily, but the larger waves made it a more unstable ride. Experienced paddlers will be more comfortable in these situations than beginners.

Paddle shafts are angle cut.

While we sell many 3pc and 4pc breakdown paddles, we have never used a 5pc breakdown paddle. I was pleasantly surprised with the included Red carbon paddle. Despite having several connection points, the move towards the 45-degree cut/anti-twist connectors make the paddle act as one unit – the paddle felt sturdy and rigid, no rattling. And at 30 ounces, it’s lightweight! I did have difficulty opening the Leverlock handle, and – on a personal note – I do struggle with push pins. My only suggestion would be a mark on the shaft to easily line up the handle with the blade. That said, it’s a very nice paddle and feels good.

The Compact backpack is easy to carry

The “compact” size of the backpack is a great upgrade. Most inflatable SUP bags are so long, they hit the back of my knees while walking. The new Compact backpack is nearly half the size, and thus quite packable, quite adjustable, and very comfortable. I do want to caution that the padded back material is very fuzzy, meaning if you are near cut straw, dried grass and burrs, it will attract all of them. So grab a towel to drape over it in these situations.

As most recently we have used the larger boards (Sport 11-3 through the Voyager 13-2) it was quite refreshing to pump up a board with less volume, and surprisingly easy!

Red Paddle Compact - Used as a sit-on-top

A little-mentioned fact is how fabulous the inflatable SUPs are as sit-on-tops. While there are no appropriate attachment points, by gluing on two side d-rings, one could add a kayak seat and double-sided kayak paddle. 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.

At this point I do have to mention something which happened on the first use. As the initial Compacts arrived without instructions, I did not see the Fin Key in the cell phone case. I attached both fins into their slots, clicked them into position, and pulled to make sure they were secure. I then took the board down to the beach (fins in the water) and launched by pushing back. As I started to turn around, the board kept spinning and felt pretty unstable. Standing up was also difficult, so I immediately headed back to shore. At which time I noticed two bright red objects in the shallow water – the fins! As I paddled backwards to get out into open water, the fins hit rocks, popping them forward and off the board. So look for that Fin Key!

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.

Red Paddle Compact - Lightweight!

And did I mention how light it was?

Rolling up your Red Paddle Co Compact 9’6

Rolling up the Compact 9'6"

Deflating the board is pretty simple. Disassemble the paddle and put into the backpack. Remove the tracking fins and store in the bag. 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. Roll up the board from the nose to initially push out most air, and then unroll and fold the board in half down the centerline. Lay the Titan pump down on the nose end and start tightly rolling up the board from the snout. As you roll it up, air will continue to be pushed out of the open valve.

Rolling up the Compact 9'6"

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.

Red Paddle Compact 9’6″: Bottom Line

Red Paddle Compact - On the water

This is a great board – particularly for smaller and average-sized individuals! It’s nimble, rigid and paddles well. Each of the board components are well-thought, creating a “compact” package that will appeal and adjust to a wide variety of paddlers sizes and ages.

Te Red Paddle Compact fits in the back of a small car.

The Compact is a great choice for families, easily packed in a car or RV and light enough for most members to carry. The backpack is infinitely adjustable for a wide-variety of comfort levels, while the 5pc breakdown paddle can be reconfigured from 94cm to 203cm in length.

Easily carried in the smaller backpack

It’s also perfect for the outdoor urbanite using mass-transit, or those remote adventurers wanting a backpackable option without sacrificing performance.

Red Paddle Co Compact Inflatable SUP

The Red Paddle Compact 9’6″ is a good all-round board, great for flat water, calmer shorelines, slow-moving rivers and that remote alpine lake, but nimble enough to be equally at home with an afternoon of light surfing.

While the Compact 9’6″ components fit neatly into the backpack, this is a great candidate for the original HP EZee pump, a slim-barreled, high-pressure pump that will take a bit longer than the Titan, but will allow the board to roll up tighter and will save another 3-4 lbs.

Rolling up the compact

Best of all, it rolls up into the included backpack – which can house all the necessary accessories – making it a great inflatable for traveling via plane.

Red Paddle Compact - On the water

The Red Paddle Compact 9’6″ is another winner. At $1899 MSRP, it’s on the higher end of the retail market, but it is truly portable, innovative and does include the carbon paddle, Titan pump, a premier backpack and coiled leash. For more details or to purchase, visit the Red Paddle Co Compact 9’6″ product page at AirKayaks.com. You can also watch our YouTube video, below:

 

Well-known for eye-catching graphics and innovative technology, Hala Gear is one of the few standup paddle board companies focused on the inflatables market – most feature hard-shells with a few inflatables thrown into the mix.

Hala Gear Rival Nass

Founded in 2011 by Peter Hall, Hala Gear headquarters is based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The company philosophy is centered on performance, durability and quality – in fact, each of the Hala inflatable boards carries a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

For 2018, Hala has 20 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing ranging in size from 6’11” to 14’0.

Our first review centered on the Carbon Nass with Hala’s unique carbon stringer. Based on that, we opted to test out the economy version Rival Nass package, which features the roller pack, dual-action pump and a breakdown paddle – part of Hala’s “Straight to the Water” package series.

So, here is our product review on the Rival Nass inflatable SUP, a 12’0 by 32″ x 6″ recreational and touring model from Hala Gear.

Hala Rival Nass 12’0″: Getting Started

The box as received weighs 42 lbs, measuring 39 x 22 x 12 inches.

Hala Gear Rival Nass - What's in the box.

Inside the box is the SUP body, high-pressure dual-action pump, pressure gauge, roller backpack, cinch belt, removable blue race fin, breakdown paddle, instructions and repair kit with valve wrench, fin plate and patch material (no glue) – as well as a bonus 12-volt car pump. Once rolled up, the SUP board and pumps fit into the backpack, as well as the paddle.

Weight is 35.5 lbs for backpack, board, paddle and pump, which all easily fit in the back of a small car. The board alone is 23 lbs, while the pump is 2.5 lbs, the paddle is 2.35 lbs and the backpack 5.4 lbs.

Unfolding the Hala Gear Rival Nass

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

Opening and closing the valve

The Hala Rival Nass 12’0″ 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.

If using only the dual action pump, you will pump up the board in the UP (inflate mode) position.

Filling the Rival Nass with the included 12-volt pump

If you are near your vehicle, you can start off with the included 12-volt car pump, which uses a slightly different process. Insert the cord into the car power point, and then extend the pump to the board (it has a 6 foot cord), with valve in the DOWN (deflate mode) position. Why do you do that? The pump does not have enough torque to open the valve when running. While the pump does come with a couple of adaptors, they do not couple with the board’s valve, one just needs to hold it over the valve, and turn it on. Immediately the pump will start inflating the board until it fills out (about 1 to 2 PSI ) taking about 1.5 minutes – you can hear a change in the motor. At that point, turn the 12-volt off but QUICKLY turn the plunger into the UP (closed) position so that the air doesn’t come back out. (AirKayaks note: the included instructions are not totally helpful. But, the instructions for both pumps are imprinted on the dual action pump as well as in the Hala SUP Manual.)

Dual action hand pump

Now we move over to the dual action pump. The Hala boards come with a single action /double action hand pump. One selects the mode by moving the red lever on the pump. Begin with the lever pointing towards the right which is the double action side. This means the air is pushed in on the up and the down stroke. This can become tough to pump as you get up towards the 5 PSI range. With a simple “twist of the knob” towards the left, the pump becomes a single action pump – pushing air in on the down stroke only, making it easier to reach the higher ranges.

Attaching the hose to the board

Attach the hose to the pump, making sure there is no cross-threading. (AirKayaks note – we did cross-thread the hose and lost some air). One side of the pump says IN and the other says OUT – for inflation, attach the hose to the OUT side. 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 Hala Gear Rival Nass

We started pumping in double-action mode – at 45 pumps it reached 5 PSI. We then continued another 20 pumps to 7 PSI – at this point it became tough. We switched to the single action mode, and with another 50 pumps were at 10 PSI. Once again, it started getting tough. We switched to single-action half-strokes – another 25 took us to 12 PSI.

Pumping up the Hala Gear Rival Nass

The higher the pressure, the stiffer the board. Hala’s recommended pressure is 15 PSI; if you are a smaller person, you can easily get away with lower pressure such as 12 PSI – no sense in spending more time pumping than one needs to. So, a total of about 150 strokes taking several minutes, along with the 1.5 minute 12-volt prefill.

Those that really want to make it easy, should take a look at the AquaGlide 12-volt HP 2-Stage Turbo, which will fill up to 20 PSI.

Last step, install the tracking fin. The 12’0″ Rival Nass uses a US Fin Box – this is a common, slotted box that allows one to use various fin styles. The Rival Nass comes with a blue 9-inch, Sarusurf race fin which quickly snaps into position without need for hardware or tools. The fin uses a finger screw to ensure the fin is secure.

Here was our first issue – the instructions said the thumb screw/plate was on the fin, but it wasn’t. We finally located it in the repair kit.

Attaching the fin to the Hala Gear Rival Nass

Note that one side of the fin has a pin, the other a hole for the screw and fin plate. Point the fin towards the tail, and insert the side with stainless steel pin into the center slot – pushing back.

Attaching the fin to the Hala Gear Rival Nass

Drop the fin plate into the center slot and move forward. This is easy to do if you minimally 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.

Three-piece breakdown paddle

Last step, assemble your paddle. The Rival Nass comes with an aluminum, adjustable, 3-piece breakdown paddle. While there are no instructions, here is the assembly. Take the center shaft with pushpins, and insert into the blade section. You may need to push the interior foam further down into the blade shaft. Do NOT remove the foam – this creates an air barrier that will allow it to float for a short time.

Assembling the paddle

The handle with grip and center shaft are ovaled, making it easier to position in two ways – but only one is right. Open the clamp on the center shaft, and insert the handle end, making sure the numbers printed on the shaft are pointing towards the side of the clamp with screws – this will ensure the handle grip and paddle are both pointed in the right direction. While the paddle can be adjusted from 68 to 89 inches, adjust the paddle roughly 8 inches longer than your height – this may need to be adjusted later, but it’s a good start.

Picking up the Hala Gear Rival Nass

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

Hala Rival Nass 12’0″ Inflatable SUP: Board Design and Construction

As shape, thickness and construction all make a difference in a board’s performance under varying conditions, we’ll first give a little insight into the thought-process behind Hala boards.

Eye-catching graphics on the drop stitch material

First, the Hala boards – like most inflatable SUPs – are constructed using “dropstitch” technology. The top of the board is held together with the bottom via thousands of “stitches.” These threads are “double stitched” so if one were to break, another holds. This allows the boards to be pumped up to high pressures of 15 PSI.

Hala boards have three general construction types – carbon, core and fusion. Hala’s Rival series boards are constructed with Fusion Technology, a double-layer, machine-laminated process which reduces the amount of glue used, creating a lighter board that is structurally sound.

Side d-rings

The weakest link in an inflatable paddle board is the rail (side edge) area – where the top and bottom panels join together. Some iSUPS are constructed with one rail layer – Hala features two layers of taping to ensure minimal chance of air leakage due to punctures.

Besides construction type, the rocker (how straight or curved is the side view from nose to tail) makes a difference in board attributes. Hala has three generic types – glide, progressive and full. The Rival Nass features the Glide Rocker (depicted by a slight rise in the nose and tail, shown above on the Hala Carbon Nass) which increases glide and speed, yet still allows some maneuverability.

Hala Rival Nass 12’0″ Features and Specifications

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

Front carrying handle and military valve

There is one military valve for inflation, located a couple inches from the snout on top of the board. This sits next to a 6.5 inch woven handle.

Bungee deck lacing

A bungee deck-lacing system with four woven, cloth d-rings begins 46 inches from the nose, measuring 14 inches wide and 16 inches deep – a perfect spot to attach gear.

Crocodile deck pad

A textured, traction deck pad is 92 x 24.5 inches, the main portion beginning 43 inches from the nose.

Center carrying handle

In the center is a soft, padded 7 inch handle, positioned 72 inches from the nose. A stretchy, removable, padded handle cover makes carrying the board more comfortable, but it can also be removed to expose the low profile woven handle. Additionally, one can shove the paddle blade under the bungee deck lacing, then wrap the handle cover around the handle and paddle shaft, providing a simple and nifty means of carrying both.

Two more sets of d-rings are located 5 inches and 29 inches behind the center handle (36 and 60 inches from the tail.) The two back sets can be used to attach gear, but also can be used to attach an optional kayak seat for “sit-on-top” paddling.

Stomp pad

A rear stomp pad with an approximate 1.25 inch rise begins about 4.25 inches from the bottom of the deck pad. A 6.5 inch mesh rear carry handle with ankle-leash d-ring is located at the tail.

Bottom view of the Hala Gear Rival Nass

There is one removable, deep-water blue SaraSurf flexi fin measuring 9 inches, in a US fin box.

Dual action hand pump

As previously mentioned, the board comes with a dual-action, high-pressure pump with gauge, featuring both inflate and deflate modes, as well as a small 12-volt pump. (AirKayaks note: There is an additional o-ring included with the pump. This allows you to use the pump with other board valves which might have slightly different configurations.) The pump measures 25 inches tall with a 3-inch barrel and 12-inch wide foot base. The hose is 48 inches long with one adaptor.

Opening up the Hala Gear Rival Nass

The included “Hala Rival Rolling Backpack” (size Small) features a 2-way zipper with a neat slanted feature, that allows one to really open the bag enough to get the board back in easily. Integrated roller wheels allow one to pull the bag across harder surfaces such as sidewalks, parking lots and airports.

Hala Rival Rolling Backpack

Inside, an integrated cinch strap system allows one to strap the board into position, while three outer compression straps (two sides and one top) allow one to tighten up the load. One upper and one side handle allow one to carry the bag in alternate positions – these also feature removable handle covers. The bag weighs roughly 5.4 lbs with approximate measurements of 36 x 17 x 12.

Ajustable, padded shoulder straps, chest and and waist strap allow one to use it as a backpack. Two d-rings are available to attach more gear. When traveling, the straps can quickly be hidden inside a rear panel pocket measuring 20 x 16 inches, behind the panel so as not to “snag” on other objects. There is one interior zippering clear pocket measuring 14 x 9 inches, perfect for stashing the fin. An ID slot is located on the back exterior as well as one more cloth carrying handle.

Side view of the Hala Gear Rival Nass

We did measurements. The board length came in at roughly 144 inches (12 feet), 32 inches in width, and 6 inches deep – on target with the advertised specs. Carrying capacity is estimated at 250 lbs.

Hala Rival Nass 12′ 0″ on the water.

I took out the Hala Rival Nass for a short time on both calm water and some chop. First impression, this is a really nice board!

Hala Gear Rival Nass on the water.

On calm water, the Rival Nass handles like a dream – very smooth glide, good tracking, and relatively fast. The board’s 32-inch beam feels quite stable but also fairly maneuverable. In chop, the board also handled well, gliding over small swells.

The included pump and adjustable aluminum breakdown paddle are entry level but sufficient.

Adding a seat to the Hala Gear Rival Nass

I headed back in to grab a kayak seat and paddle. While not the seat sold by Hala (I had an AquaGlide Core seat) just about anything with good support will do. The seat straps can quickly clip to the two sets of rear d-rings, though the addition of four small carabiners would make it simpler.

Hala Gear Rival Nass used as a sit-on-top

In sit-on-top mode, the Hala Rival Nass is a dream – smooth and fast with great turning capabilities – rivaling the handling of some inflatable kayaks.

While I did not bring out my furry paddling buddy, Cleo, I would have no hesitations in bringing out a canine companion; doggy claws are no match for the board’s rugged construction, and the slightly wider silhouette is more forgiving to “sudden movements” when spying some fish.

Hala Rival Nass 12′ 0″ Inflatable SUP: Packing it Up

Packing up the Hala Rival Nass is pretty simple. First, remove the tracking fin. (Make sure to screw the fin/plate back onto the fin so it doesn’t get lost.) Then simply open the valve and much of the air will swoosh out.

Folding up the Hala Gear Rival Nass

With the board face side-up and the valve still open, fold up the end of the board to the US fin box, then tuck the tail under. Once started, simply keep folding tightly, kneeling on the package to keep pressing out excess air.

Unpacking the Hala Gear Rival Nass

At the end, replace the valve cap to protect the valve. If you’ve rolled tightly, you can easily cinch the roll together and put into the pack, along with the pump and paddle.

Bottom line on the Hala Rival Nass 12’0″ Inflatable SUP

Hala Gear Rival Nass : Side view

Like its big sibling, the Carbon Nass, the Rival Nass 12′ 0″ is a great, all-around performance board. The Glide rocker – with a slight nose lift, flat center and minimal tail rise – optimizes speed, glide and traction, while the wider 32-inch bullet-shaped silhouette provides a stable base without sacrificing performance.

Paddle attached to the board

A front bungee deck lacing system and centralized rigging provide enough attachment points to stow an afternoon of gear.

The Hala Gear Rival Nass easily fits in the trunk of a car.

The included Rival roller bag easily fits in the trunk of a small car, yet quickly converts to a backpack, making it a great option for RVing, back-country treks or remote vacations. The fusion-material construction is rugged yet lightweight – at a mere 23 lbs, the Rival Nass is easily carried by most people. Stash the straps in the hidden pocket and the Rival Nass is just as easily wheeled through an airport or across a parking lot.

Hala Gear Rival Nass with a kayak seat

The Rival Nass is perfect for lake crossing, coastline cruises, lazy rivers and day-long excursions. When the wind kicks up, or you need a break, strap on an optional kayak seat and paddle; the Rival Nass makes a fabulous sit-on-top vessel – zippy with great tracking – extending the usability.

Add in eye-catching colors and graphics, economical pricing and a well-thought out “Straight to the Water” package with backpack, 12V, paddle and pump and you have a winner. MSRP is $1199.

AirKayaks note: A limited amount of 2018 Rival Nass “Straight to the Water” packages are available at AirKayaks for a sale price of $899. Now is the time to pick up a great board – replete with backpack, paddle and pump – at a really great price!

For more information or to purchase, visit the Hala Rival Nass 12′ 0″ inflatable SUP product page at AirKayaks.com. Or give us a call at 707-998-0135. Stay tuned – we hope to have the Rival Nass 12’0″ video out in a few weeks.

Posted by: airkayaks | October 5, 2018

2019 Innova by Gumotex Inflatable Kayak Line Update

We recently obtained details on the upcoming 2019 inflatable kayak and canoe product line for Innova Kayaks by Gumotex.

Gumotex is well-known in Europe as a manufacturer of high-quality inflatable kayaks and canoes which are environmentally friendly as they use minimal PVC. Each can be inflated up to 3-PSI, making them more rigid for better performance. Additionally, the manufacturing process and materials produce kayaks that are quite compact, making them a great choice for travel.

Innova Seawve with double deck and three seating positions

In 2016, Gumotex acquired the company and assets for Innova, Gumotex’s US-based dealership, and began importing more of the Gumotex product line to the US under the name Innova Kayaks by Gumotex.

For 2019, the Innova product line has been redesigned with product tweaks, material upgrades, price changes and the introduction of one new model featuring high-pressure, drop-stitch material.

Innova 2019 Twist 1 and Twist 2

On the entry-level side, Innova has redesigned the popular 8’6″ Twist 1 and 11’10” Twist 2. Both kayaks are now constructed from Nitrilon, the rugged material used in the original Sunny and Helios models and currently used on the Solar and Safari models; the 2018 models were produced using Light Nitrylon, a less rugged and lighter material. Nitrilon (also called Nitrylon) consists of a synthetic rubber coating over polyester on the inside and outside of the tube; it is stronger, more abrasion and puncture-resistant than PVC as well as being greener – there is minimal out-gassing.

Innova Nitrilon MaterialWhile the kayak silhouettes remain virtually unchanged, the added material thickness increases the kayak weights from 16 and 24 lbs, to 20 and 29 lbs respectively. With the material upgrade comes price increases. The Twist 1 pricing will rise from $399 to $449, while the Twist 2 increases from $519 to $599. The Twist 2 interior has been redesigned slightly to include additional d-rings, providing an easy conversion from a tandem to a solo kayak, thus more versatile for larger paddlers, or those needing more space for extra gear.

Innova Solar 410C in red

The 13’5″ Solar 410C has been redesigned as the Solar 2019 and can be considered for 1-2+ paddlers. While material construction remains the same, the interior has undergone some updates with seating placement, splash guards and added bungee deck lacing. The kayak comes with two seats, but there is the option to purchase a third inflatable seat, allowing two adults and a small child. The Solar comes with the upgraded 80L backpack similar to the one included with the Sunny and Helios. Prices remain the same at $759.

Innova Swing II Ln Inflatable Kayak in Green

The decked Swing series – consisting of the 10’4″ Swing 1 and the 13’2″ Swing II – have also undergone changes. While the upper deck still features a polyester (PES) fabric with polyurethane (PUR) coating, the kayak hulls have transitioned to Nitrilon, matching the construction of the current 13’6″ Swing EX. The two kayaks now come with draw-sack carrying cases. Prices have increased on both; the Swing 1 moves from $599 to $699, while the Swing II changes from $799 to $879.

While there are no design changes to the Swing EX touring model, the 2019 price has decreased from $899 to $799.

Innova High-Pressure Thaya Touring Kayak

Biggest news is the introduction of the Thaya DS, a 13’5″ high-pressure touring kayak – similar in design to the Solar – now featuring a unique blend of Innova’s traditional Nitrilon material and dropstitch technology. Dropstitch technology consists of two fabric layers held together by thousands of threads, allowing the chambers to be inflated to much higher pressures. This creates a kayak body that is quite rigid, stable and maneuverable. The Innova drop-stitch material utilizes Nitrilon rather than the PVC found in other high-pressure kayaks, and is glued and welded to the side tubes. The Thaya features a 34 inch beam with a max payload of 507 lbs and weight of 39 lbs. Similar to the Solar, the Thaya is touted for 1-2+ paddlers, with the ability to reposition the seats as well as purchase an optional third seat. The Thaya DS comes with the upgraded 80L backpack. MSRP is $1219.

Innova 2019 Vagabond Canoe

The 1-2+ paddler Vagabond canoe has been updated with a sportier look, narrower bow and stern and elongated hull to improve handling. The canoe length was increased 8 inches to 13’1″ with a decreased beam of 35 inches. The new silhouette offers more room for baggage and a greater variety of seating positions. Foam-covered plywood seats allow one to paddle sitting or kneeling, with the ability to carry lots of gear or add an optional third seat. Pricing remains the same at $899.

Innova 2019 Safari Whitewater Self-Bailing Kayak

The 10’10 Safari 330 self-bailing whitewater model, the 14″11 Seawave touring model, and the 12’4″ Halibut fishing kayak have undergone minimal changes. The Safari 330 and Seawave maintain the same prices at $699 and $999 respectively. The Halibut pricing will be increased from $1199 to $1249.

Innova 2019 Halibut Fishing Kayak

The 2019 Innova models are expected to be available in late Spring 2019.

With introduction of the new models, material and design changes – as well as some price increases – now is a great time to purchase an Innova kayak. All in-stock Innova kayaks are currently 15% off, with prices ranging from $339 to $959. Deeper discounts are available on the remaining few Helios 1 and Helios II kayaks, now $499 and $699 respectively.

For more info or to purchase, visit the Innova product pages at www.AirKayaks.com.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 30, 2018

Hala Gear Inflatable Paddle Boards – What’s New in 2019

Well-known for eye-catching graphics and innovative technology, Hala Gear is one of the handful of standup paddle board companies focused on the inflatables market – most feature hard-shells with a few inflatables thrown into the mix.

Hala Carbon Hoss

Founded in 2011 by Peter Hall, Hala Gear headquarters is based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The company philosophy is committed to performance, durability and quality – in fact, each of the Hala inflatable boards carries a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

For 2019, Hala has 19 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 6’11” to 14’0″. This includes the introduction/evolution of two new models – the Carbon Playita 2+2 and the Peno 2+2 – and the retirement of both the Daze workhorse and Luya. All 2019 boards feature updated graphics and color schemes. Boards range in price from $999 to $1599, with some minor pricing changes.

Hala Nass

For 2019, Hala Boards continue to feature three general construction types – carbon, core and fusion. The Carbon boards feature a carbon/kevlar-type woven stringer, strategically placed to give an extra layer down the central length of the board for rigidity and performance. The Core boards are constructed with two layers of drop-stitch material and are typically found in the boards that will see more hard-core action. The Fusion SUPs utilize a newer laminating technology that saves material and weight, making them lighter and less costly.

2019 Hala Rocker Shapes

Also for 2019, Hala has refined their previous 3-style rocker construction, now separating the full rocker into surf and river, while maintaining the progressive and glide rockers. The Surf rocker features a minimal rise in the tail with a curved nose; this places the center of balance back further to allow the nose to rise naturally. The River rocker features a precise curve from tail to nose allowing maneuverability and surfability. The Progressive and Glide rockers continue to focus on performance and speed.

Hala Pena Surf Board

A new, patented “double stack ” technology debuts on the 9′ x 32″ Carbon Playita 2+2 and has been revamped on the 6’11” x 32″ Peno surf boards. The double stack technology is a method of construction that gives the boards a narrower 2-inch rail, which is then double-stacked 2″ for rigidity, stability and volume. This creates a surfing inflatable that handles closer to a hard board. Both boards feature the new “surf” rocker; with the Playita geared towards performance ocean surfing and the Peno as performance river surfing. The two boards will debut at $1499 and $1299 respectively.

Woven mesh d-ring

All 2019 Hala boards now feature woven mesh d-rings rather than metal d-rings. The mesh d-rings are softer, lighter-weight with a higher tensile strength, eliminating scratching issues associated with metal. The d-ring locations have become more centralized, allowing better control over weight distribution when carrying gear.

2019 Hala Carbon Series

The performance-oriented Carbon series with woven Kevlar-type stringer consist of the 14′ x 26″ Nass-T, 12’6″ x 30″ Nass, 10’11” x 30″ Playa, 11′ x 34″ Hoss and 10’6″ x 32″ Straight Up and new Playita 2+2. The five original models continue virtually unchanged except for a graphics makeover and d-ring redesign; prices remain the same for 2019 at $1399 for the Hoss and Straight UP, $1499 for the Nass and Playa, topping at $1599 for the Nass-T.

2019 Hala Rival Series

The “light-yet-tough” Rival Fusion series includes the Rival Hoss, Rival Playa, Rival Straight UP, Rival Nass and Rival Asana. The Asana fitness board has been redesigned in the more portable Fusion construction rather than the heavier Core construction of 2018. Graphics and d-ring setup on all five boards have undergone a redesign as well. Prices on the Rival Hoss and Rival Straight UP packages will increase $100, making all the Rival packages equally priced at $1199. Each of the Rival series will also be bundled with an upgraded 3-pc breakdown paddle touted to be stronger yet lighter. An upgraded t-grip handle has also been designed to prevent potential “handle spinning” issues.

2019 Hala Surf & River Running Series

In the rugged Core series, the River rocker will be found on the 9’6″ x 36 Atcha, 8’6″ x 34″ Atcha 86, 10’10” x 35″ Rado and 10′ x 34″ Radito. Both the Rado and Radito have been redesigned with click fin boxes rather than the fixed side fins, allowing more customization options. Otherwise the boards remain the same with updated graphics and d-rings. Prices increase slightly on the Rado and Radito to $1349 while both Atcha’s remain at $1299. The burly 11′ x 36″ Fame board continues as a fishing favorite with a more stable progressive rocker, a possible added stomp box and similar graphics redesign – at $1299, there is no price increase.

Also in the Core series, the Surf Rocker can be found on the 8′ x 30″ Gram and 6’11” x 30 Milligram boards, again featuring new graphics but with prices remaining the same at $1099 and $999 respectively.

Hala Backcountry Comfort Roller Pack

All 2019 Hala iSUPs come with the Back Country Comfort Rolling Backpack or Travel Tough Backpack – both feature integrated wheels, making it easier to thread through airport lobbies, while still comfortable enough to pack into the remote country. All boards come with the Hala pump and pressure gauge, a nifty little 12-volt car pump that allows you to fill out the board quickly, repair kit and instructions. The Rival series – called the Straight-To-The-Water package – also include an adjustable, aluminum breakdown paddle.

Expected availability of the 2019 boards is February to March, 2019. Ask to be put on our Notification List if interested in any of the 2019 products.

2018 Hala Asana

As the 2019 board updates are predominantly cosmetic, those interested in saving some money will find a limited amount of 2018 Hala Gear boards currently available at 20% to 25% off – all Rival Hoss, Rival Playa, Rival Straight UP and Rival Nass packages are now as low as $899, while the performance models start at $1199.

For more details, visit the Hala Gear Inflatable SUP product pages at www.AirKayaks.com.

You can also read our Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Hala Gear Inflatable Paddle Board.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 27, 2018

Innova Inflatable Kayaks now up to 15% off

Save up to 15% on all in-stock Innova inflatable kayaks during AirKayaks’ End-of-Season Sale!

Innova kayaks from Gumotex are made in the Czech Republic from PVC-free materials. With 10 models to choose from, water enthusiasts will find a wide variety of 1, 2, or 3 person kayaks for sale, designed for touring to whitewater. And they’re highly portable – Innova kayaks are a great choice for travel!

We’re cleaning out the warehouse in anticipation of Innova’s new 2019 kayak line. Now is a great time to pick up a lightweight, environmentally-friendly kayak at super savings!

Pick up the popular, lightweight Twist 1 or Twist 2, now starting at $339 and $449.

Innova Solar 410C in red

Need more interior space? Check out the Innova Solar 401C boasting open seating for 1 to 2+ paddlers, now $639.

Looking for a more enclosed option? The Innova Swing series now range from $509 to $769.

New Innova Seawave inflatable kayak for 1-2+ paddlers.

Save $150 on the popular Innova Seawave performance touring model, which features an open design for 1 to 2+ paddlers and the ability to add optional decks or rudders.

Shop early for best selection. For more details, visit the Innova Kayak Product Pages at AirKayaks.com. Or give us a call at 707-998-0135.

Stay tuned, we will be posting on the upcoming Innova Kayak Line for 2019.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 20, 2018

Video: Advanced Elements Sport DS High-Pressure Inflatable Kayak

Our latest video on the new Sport DS Inflatable Kayak – manufactured by Advanced Elements exclusively for AirKayaks.com.

The new Sport DS high-pressure inflatable kayak is fun, nimble and paddles beautifully. Compact and lightweight with a 4-6 PSI floor, the Sport DS features a simpler, streamlined, open cockpit design best suited for lakes, bays, calm rivers and inland waters. At 10 feet 5 inches, 28 lbs and a payload of 250 lbs, the Sport DS is perfect for all ages and experience levels, appealing to price-conscious individuals who simply want performance.

The Sport DS is fourth in AirKayaks’ high-pressure inflatable kayak series, joining the 10’10” AdvancedFrame DS XL, the AdvancedFrame DS XLC with zip out deck, and the Convertible DS tandem for one or two paddlers.

The Sport DS series for AirKayaks comes with upgraded accessories:

  • High-pressure double action pump with a pressure gauge
  • High-backed lumbar seat
  • Blue diamond rip stop fabric
  • 4-6 PSI inflatable drop stitch floor for extreme rigidity compared to the standard pvc floor.

For more info on set up, features, specification and performance, see our detailed product review/write-up with photos on the Advanced Elements Sport DS inflatable Kayak. To purchase, visit the Sport DS product page at AirKayaks.com. You can also contact us at info@airkayaks.com or give us a call at 707-998-0135.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 9, 2018

2019 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board SUP Lineup

We recently received details on Red Paddle Company’s new inflatable SUP lineup being introduced for 2019.

Compact on the water.

Red Paddle Co inflatable boards are well-known throughout the world for their ruggedness, innovation and performance. Over the past 10 years, Red Paddle Co has been the industry leader, introducing the game-changing Tital dual action pump, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion material technology, Rocker Side Stiffening (RSS) system and the Forward Flex Control (FFC) nose rod on the racing boards.

(AirKayaks note: All in-stock 2018/2019 Red Paddle Co boards are currently on sale at 15% off through January 15th at AirKayaks)

Over the years, Red Paddle racked up numerous awards throughout the product line, including Gear of the Year from Outside, Men’s Journal and Backpacker magazines.

2018 heralded the 10 year anniversary of the brand, commemorated with the introduction of the Ride 10’6″ Limited Edition model.

Revolutionary new Compact inflatable SUP from Red Paddle Co

Red Paddle Co launched the 2019 season by unveiling the Compact 9’6″ inflatable SUP package, a revolutionary new board that rolls up to half the size of a standard inflatable paddle board.

Rolling up the compact

Based on the popular Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″, the 9’6″ Compact features a 32″ width with 4.75 inch thickness, yet packs down to half the size of a conventional Red board. Red Paddle accomplished this through a series of material breakthroughs and innovative design, starting from the ground-up and re-engineering each part. Very simply, by redesigning the board layout, adding quad stringers as well as technological advances in base materials, the Compact 9’6″ can be folded in half and rolled up tightly without sacrificing performance, rigidity or durability.

For more information on the new Compact, read our article Red Paddle Co’s Ultra-Packable Compact 9’6″ Inflatable SUP Package Also read our in-depth product review on the Red Paddle Co Compact 9-6, which also includes a video on the new Compact.

Compact paddle inside the backpack

The Compact 9’6″ package comes complete with Titan pump, backpack, cell phone case, fins, gauge, coil leash and a 5-pc. carbon breakdown paddle; the entire package weighs in at roughly 28.5 lbs (12.7 kg), with the board alone at 16.65 lbs/7.4 kg. All components fit into the included backpack, which measures 22 by 16.5 by 11 inches. Rider weight capacity is 209 lbs. MSRP $1899.

Red Paddle Co Original Gear Line

Also for 2019, Red Paddle Co is introducing the Red Original line into the US and Canada. Available previously in Europe, the Red Original series features high-end gear and apparel designed to enhance the “Red Experience.”

Red Paddle Co Original Board Lock

The Red Paddle Co Original Board Lock ensures your board remains secure. Featuring a programmable combination lock and 340cm length, the 3.2mm marine-grade, twisted stainless steel cable slips through the ankle leash d-ring and is capable of tethering one or multiple boards. MSRP $59.00

Red Paddle Original UV Board Bag

A new Board Bag “body bag” offers UV and element protection for your Red Paddle SUP. Available in two sizes, the bags can be used on the Rides, WindSUPS and the two smaller Sports. MSRP $199.

Red Paddle Co Original Deck Bag

The Red Paddle Co Original Deck Bag is an easy access, 22 liter waterproof deck bag made of a rugged 100% waterproof TPU fabric and featuring a YKK aquaseal zip. The bag is loaded with features and built to last. MSRP $199.00

Red Paddle Co Original Insulated Drink Holer

A Red Paddle Co Original 750 ml Insulated Drink Bottle is constructed from marine grade stainless steel and is capable of maintaining hot liquids for 12 hours or cold liquids for 24 hours. MSRP $39.

Red Paddle Cam Lock System

Red Paddle Co’s breakdown paddle design will be updated in the US, with the Lever Lock system being replaced with the Cam Lock system. All paddles except the Kiddy Alloy adjust from 180cm to 220 cm; the Kiddy paddle adjusts from 130-170cm.

The new Carbon 50/Nylon is an economical option replacing the original Red Paddle CO Fiberglass paddle, now combining a carbon-hybrid shaft with a durable nylon blade. An upgraded version – the Carbon 50 – features a carbon hybrid blade. Prices are $179 and $279 respectively.

A new Carbon 100 paddle with multi-directional carbon weave shaft is also available with nylon or carbon blades. Prices are $239 and $329 respectively.

All 2018 Red Paddle Co inflatable board models continue into 2019 unchanged in design, construction, graphics, features or pricing. The current 23 models range in size from the 8’10″ Whip to the 22’0 Dragon with models focused on surfing, whitewater, all-round, touring, racing and specialty activities.

For details on each of the boards, read our blog entitled 2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP Lineup and our Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Co board. This will be updated shortly with the Compact 9’6″.

Titan twin cylinder pump

Currently available gear – such as the Cargo Net, smaller Dry Bag, Schraeder valve adaptor, Titan Pump, Coiled or Flatwater leashes and standalone All Terrain and Original wheeled backpacks – continue, with some slight price increases.

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager 13'2

As an End-of-Season incentive, all in-stock 2018/2019 Red Paddle Co boards are currently on sale at 15% off through January 15th. With no changes in 2019, this is the perfect time to pick up a Red Paddle board before the season starts. AirKayaks is also including a free adjustable, carbon breakdown paddle ($199 value) with each purchase. Prices start at $899 for the Snapper 9’4″, running up to $2799 for the 17 foot Ride XL multiple paddler board.

The Red Original Gear is in transit and should be available in October 2018. Compact 9’6″ SUP Packages will be arriving soon after; pre-orders are being accepted. To order or for more information, visit the Red Paddle Co product pages at AirKayaks.com.

Posted by: airkayaks | September 2, 2018

15% off All In-Stock 2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPs

AirKayaks is pleased to announce a special purchase of 2018 Red Paddle Co inflatable standup paddle boards, now 15% off, with savings as high as $490.

Extended bungee deck lacing.

Considered the number one inflatable paddle board, Red Paddle’s SUPS are known for their ruggedness, featuring MSL Fusion construction, super-reinforced dropstitch material, machine-pressed deck pads, double layered rails and heat-treated seams. Each board comes with the Red Paddle Titan pump, allowing one to inflate a paddle board to 18 PSI in less than 10 minutes, as well as the popular Roller BackPack.

 

Red Paddle Co 2018 Lineup

The 2018 Red Paddle line featured 23 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10 to 22’0. This included the introduction of 1 new model – the Voyager Tandem 15’0″ – 6 renames, a Limited-Edition Ride 10’6″ 10-Year Anniversary model, a consolidation of the racing boards, revamped graphics and added features on several of the current boards.

AirKayaks is clearing out the 2018 inventory. Now is your chance to get one of the best inflatable SUPs on the market, with prices ranging from $899 for the Snapper 9’4″ to $2799 for the megalithic Ride XL. The incredibly popular Ride 10’6″ is now $1099, the Voyager 12’6″ is now $1359, while the Sport 11’3” is at an all-time low of $1279. AirKayaks also has a handful of 2017 boards at even greater savings – as well as closeout Red paddles (from $143) and Roller Backpacks ($79.95).

While all 2018 boards have a one year warranty, by registering your board with Red Paddle, you get a free upgrade to a 24 month warranty.

If that isn’t enough, AirKayaks is throwing in a free adjustable, breakdown carbon SUP paddle – a $199 value – with many of the 2018 boards. Check out the remaining available inventory on the Red Paddle Co product pages on AirKayaks.com – but shop early for best selection. Sale ends Jan. 15th, 2019.

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

2018 Guide to Choosing Your Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board.  Or, give us a call at 707-998-0135, email info@airkayaks.com or visit the website at www.AirKayaks.com.

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

 

Red Paddle Co has announced the launch of their new 9’6″ Compact Inflatable SUP Package, a revolutionary game-changer in the inflatable paddle board industry.

Revolutionary new Compact inflatable SUP from Red Paddle Co

Based on the popular Red Paddle Co Ride 10’6″ with similarities to the original 9’6″ All Water, the 9’6″ Compact features a 32″ width with 4.7″ thickness, yet packs down to half the size of a conventional Red board without sacrificing performance, rigidity or durability. The package comes complete with Titan pump, backpack, cell phone case, fins, gauge, leash and carbon breakdown paddle; the entire package weighs in at roughly 28.5 lbs (12.7 kg), with the board alone at 16.65 lbs/7.4 kg.

Compact on the water.

Red Paddle accomplished this through a series of material breakthroughs and innovative design, starting from the ground-up and re-engineering each part.

Top and underside views of Red Paddle Co's new Compact inflatable SUP

The 9’6″ Compact is constructed from a newly-developed core material, featuring a high-resolution thread matrix called PACT technology. Ten years in the making, PACT technology is a new weaving process which creates a high-tensile thread matrix at the core of the board, with a super-strong, malleable outer layer.

A unique “quad stringer” system is placed on the top and underside; as the board is inflated, the stringer becomes tighter making the 9’6 Compact more rigid without the bulk.

The Compact design allows it to fold in half.

The deck pad is now “split” with the handle placed just left of center. Both the inflation valve and leash have also been placed off-center, in essence creating a “living hinge,” allowing one to fold the board in half and easily roll the Compact into a smaller package.

A bungee deck-lace system with 6 d-rings provides enough space and attachment points to secure extra gear.

Red Click Fin System

The removable Red Click Fin System features two fully recyclable FCS fins and fin box with an integrated pin system ensuring the fins are not lost while paddling. The fin box is compatible with most FCS fins.

New backpack for the Red Paddle Co Compact inflatable SUP

The bag went through equal scrutiny and now touts a smaller footprint; dimensions are roughly 22″x 16.5″ x 11″ as compared to the current roller backpack of 38″ x 14″ x 12″. The entire bag was redesigned to enhance comfort. New features include lumbar support which can be customized by adjusting the height, a cushioned, adjustable waist belt and adjustable backpack straps with concentrated shoulder padding. Each of these allow one to personally optimize the backpack for a more ergonomic fit.

Compact paddle inside the backpack

The carry handle is constructed from a tubular, closed-cell foam padding, with reinforced handle and strap anchor points and rollover seams. The interior features a fin pocket, water bottle pocket and paddle storage straps. Weight reduction is saved via the smaller size, and removal of the wheels. All this makes a lighter-weight, 4 lb./1.8 kg backpack that features 53% less downward force applied on the lower back.

New carbon 5pc breakdown paddle

Included in the 9’6″ Compact Package is an innovative 5-piece, breakdown paddle, with a shaft constructed from a rigid, high-modulus carbon. Individual shaft sections have been cut on an angle to minimize twisting and are assembled with a push-pin system. The laser-etched nylon blade delivers durability and performance.

Paddle blade

The paddle weighs 1.8 lbs/0.8 kg and can be adjusted from 70.8 in to 82.7 in (180-210cm) with a longest shaft length of roughlly 17.7 to 20 inches. In addition, the individual shafts can be removed to create a paddle suitable for smaller riders (53 in to 65 in/135cm to 165 cm), making it a great choice for families.

Last but not least, the 9″6″ Compact System comes with the popular Red Paddle Co Coiled Leash, as well as the remarkable Titan Dual Chamber pump, which lets you pump up the board to high pressures in no time.

Rolling up the compact

Each of these components worked together to create a board that is as rigid, high-performing and durable as the standard Red boards, yet easily folds and rolls up to half the size.

Easily carried in the smaller backpack

The 9’6″ Compact Package is perfect for the outdoor urbanite planning weekend escapes or wanderlust riders wanting a packable option without sacrificing performance. The 9’6″ Compact is also a great choice for families, easily packed in a car or RV, light enough for most members to carry, and a carbon paddle that can be adjusted for most sizes. Max payload is 209 lbs person and gear.

Red Paddle Co Compact Inflatable SUP

The 9’6″ Compact System includes Titan pump, gauge, repair kit, Compact backpack, two fins, 5 pc-carbon paddle, leash and cell phone case.  MSRP is $1899.

 

For more details, also read our in-depth product review on the Red Paddle Co Compact 9-6, or watch our YouTube Video, below. To purchase, visit the Red Paddle Co Compact Package product page at www.AirKayaks.com.

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