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The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a solid option for beginners or first time kayak buyers; it provides you with everything you need, including paddles, to get out on the water. Along with other useful features, this kayak offers a spacious interior, inflatable and adjustable seats, and an attachable skeg that makes your experience on the water smooth and enjoyable. It is a stable boat with good maneuverability that allows it to glide smoothly on the water with ease.
Though some inflatable kayaks are built to withstand the fast rapids you encounter while whitewater rafting, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has a recommended use on low profile bodies of water. This includes any calm and slow moving water source, such as a pond, lake, or quiet river. That being said, I have had success using this kayak on the whitewaters, specifically rivers classified as level three. For those of you who are unaware of how whitewater rivers are classified, they ranged from a level one to a level five intensity level. Hence, a level three river is a mid-paced river. One of the risks of taking this product onto whitewater rivers is that it is more susceptible to popping and tears due to the many sharp, hidden rocks in fast rivers. So if you do decide to take this kayak onto such fast-paced rivers, do so with caution knowing that whitewater rafting is not the primary intention of this product.
There are many beneficial features of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak that provide quality, convenience, and ease on the water.
This kayak is made of a durable vinyl material. Thanks to the quality material that makes up most of the boat, I have had no issues with popping or tears in the exterior or interior of the kayak. Keep in mind that if you plan to take this kayak on fast paced rivers or whitewater kayaking trips, there is an increased risk of damage to the kayak due to the plethora of sharp rocks in rivers. If you do experience a tear in the kayak, a repair kit is also provided. I make sure to keep this kit with the boat whenever I take it out onto the water.
A skeg is similar to a rudder: it is a small blade attached to the underside of the kayak that serves to help stabilize the boat and keep it moving forward in a straight direction. Skegs are especially useful in rough water or windy climates where it may be harder to keep your kayak stable and straight while paddling.
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has a removable skeg. This feature is handy, for skegs are unnecessary, and sometimes even a nuisance, under certain circumstances; it depends on the body of water you are kayaking in. For example, if you are kayaking in a shallow or rocky river, the skeg could come into contact with the bottom or rocks and be damaged or break off. This feature is also useful when packing up and transporting the kayak.
When attached, the skeg is very secure to the kayak, and I have never had an issue with it coming lose or falling off. However if you are worried about losing the skeg, I would recommend attaching a line or wire that is secured to both the skeg and the kayak to ensure that if it does fall off, it is not lost.
This kayak comes with two aluminum paddles that can be broken down into three convenient pieces, which is beneficial when it comes time to transport and store the kayak and gear. Though heavy, aluminum is a durable material, ensuring that you will get just as much quality use out of your paddles as you do the kayak itself.
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a tandem kayak, meaning it sits two people. The seats are inflatable and have a backrest, providing comfort when kayaking. You can adjust, or even remove seats using their Velcro straps. Their adjustability also aids in comfort, allowing you to stretch out your legs. Having the option to remove them is beneficial if you are looking to do a solo kayak outing and need room for gear.
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has many clever features that will aid in your comfortability when you kayak. Firstly, the seats have an inflatable backrest, which will provide support and prevent you from straining the muscles in your back and abdomen. The adjustable seats, along with the overall spacious interior, allow you to adjust the amount of legroom available for each person. There is nothing worse than having your leg space constricted and cramped when you’re trying to enjoy a day on the water.
Lastly, this kayak was designed to limit the amount of water that enters the boat as you paddle; The upturned nose of the kayak limits the water that splashes you from the front. The seats are also slightly raised to ensure you are not sitting in a pool of water. Staying as dry as possible will make your kayak journey all the more enjoyable.
Weighing about 31 pounds, this lightweight kayak is easy to carry and transport. It is also fairly simple to set up and put away. Anything inflatable presents the potential for time costing and back aching manual air pumps, but the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has a key feature that aids in manual inflation: Boston valves.
Boston valves are designed to make inflating and deflating easy. You simply take off the outer cap of the valve, which allows you to fill up the kayak with air without any being released. To deflate, you take off the second cap and the air flows out of the kayak. This feature is a blessing, because it allows you to save your time and energy for the water.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when engaging in any outdoor activity is safety. This kayak has many features that aid in safety. Its size and inflated makeup makes it stable and hard to flip, ensuring that you stay in the boat. It also has grab lines on both ends, so in the event that someone does fall out of the boat, they have something to grab onto. This feature is especially important when kayaking in rivers; if the current is fast and someone falls in the water, it can be difficult to stay with the boat and it can be easy to get lost in the water. Having grab lines help prevent this.
Yet the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak’s most important safety feature may be its bright yellow color and bold black markings. On large bodies of water, it can be hard for other larger boats to see kayaks due to kayaks’ smaller size. This becomes dangerous when large, fast motor boats or sail boats can’t see a kayaker, and may result in a serious collision. To reduce the risk of not being seen, it is important for smaller boats to be a bright, obvious color. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak’s bright yellow material makes it easier for you to be seen on the water, and in turn makes your kayaking journey all the more safe.
The main disadvantage of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak are the paddles that come with it. Though it is a plus that the kayak even comes with paddles, the material the shaft of the paddles are made of is not ideal and they are not adjustable.
The paddles provided are made out of aluminum. Although aluminum is a durable metal, it makes the paddles heavy and therefore they are more likely to sink. Aluminum also conducts cold, which can be uncomfortable for colder days and spring or fall kayaking if you were to paddle with your bare hands.
In addition, the paddles are also not adjustable. Whereas some paddles can be adjusted by length to better fit different people and their arm spans, these paddles come in one adult size. This is a disadvantage for those who want to kayak with children, for these one-size-only paddles are likely going to be too big. However, you could always choose to buy a shorter, child-sized paddle.
It is not uncommon for inflatable kayaks to be self-bailing, meaning, they are designed to get rid of any water that comes into the kayak. It is most common for self-bailing inflatable kayaks to have holes for water to drain out of. However, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is not self bailing, so you have to manually get rid of any water in the boat as you kayak or before breaking it down.
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a quality, durable inflatable kayak that is easy to maneuver and glides smoothly on the water. It has many beneficial and efficient features that aid in your comfort, safety, and convenience. It is the perfect kayak for beginners, families, and first time kayak owners who are not yet ready to commit to the pricier investment of a hard shell kayak. It is a good option for those of you who are planning to do shorter day trips on ponds, lakes, and slow rivers.