Innova Safari Inflatable Kayak – A Simply Amazing Whitewater Performer
Spins, holes, surfing, and carving — the Innova Safari inflatable kayak is an exceptional yak for technical whitewater yet it also has a removable fin that affords good speed and tracking ability on calm water.
Rugged yet comfortable, the popular Innova Safari inflatable kayak is also extremely compact and portable. Backpackers will enjoy taking this lightweight 24-pounder into the wild for adventures down Class III water.
A Look at the Kayak
The Innova Safari features thigh straps for edging and bracing control in rapids. It comes with a patch kit, dry bag/backpack, and bailing sponge.
Specifications on the Safari:
- Dimensions: 10' x 28"
- Capacity: 1 adult (220 lbs)
- Weight: 24 lbs
- River rating: Class III
- Self-bailing floor
- Tracking fin (removable)
- Packed dimensions: 20"x17"x10"
- 2-year warranty
Note: Paddle sold separately.
Innova Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes - Factory Direct
Nitrylon™ and 1200 Denier Fabric
The Innova Safari’s three main air chambers have Nitrylon™ coating, a blend of synthetic and natural rubber, which is laminated to a 1200-denier polyester cover. The result is an inflatable kayak with a hull that is puncture and abrasion resistant, easy to patch, and one that holds up better in cold weather than PVC material.
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‘Thumbs Up’ in all Reviews
The red self-bailing Innova Safari inflatable kayak has a definite rocker and a slight keel to improve maneuverability. Owners who have taken it surfing and on down whitewater are thrilled by its carving performance in comparison to a hardshell kayak.
Reviewers note that although the Innova Safari seems tippy, it is not a kayak for performing rodeo moves such as Eskimo rolls. In fact, the new 2009 Safari models are more difficult for advanced paddlers to roll. (Innova’s other self-bailing inflatable kayaks — the Orinoco, K1 and K2 — are designed for extreme whitewater.)
The reviews also caution anyone thinking of buying the Safari to note the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit of 220 pounds and adhere to it. If you weigh over that, you will have trouble with tipping, sitting too low in the water, and steering.
Yet despite its quickness for carving, the Innova Safari is versatile enough for touring. Very few inflatable kayak designs can be used effectively in both fast and flat waters. Usually if a kayak is rockered and frisky enough for boulder fields and whitewater, it’s a wandering, fishtailing, slow mule to paddle across a lake or bay. Since it has a tracking fin that can be inserted on the bottom, the 10' Safari can track straight across calm, placid water with relatively good speed.
The last important point to note is the low profile: The Innova Safari inflatable kayak is less vulnerable to be pushed around by the wind so it isn’t as difficult to paddle as models that sit higher in the water.
Adaptable for any Adventure
The Innova Safari was chosen by adventurer Kira Salak (dubbed a “real life Lara Croft”) to take her on a 600-mile journey down West Africa’s Niger River. You won’t find a better endorsement of an inflatable kayak than that: a lone explorer depending on the Safari with her life while touring miles away from civilization, ready to encounter any type of water, and rugged enough for any encounters with rocks and hazards without worrying about puncturing the hull.
The Safari is the only Innova model designed for all water situations: surfing, moderate whitewater, and touring in lakes, seas, and rivers. Though it is not intended for use by novices, the affordable ($879 MSRP) Innova Safari Inflatable kayak is an outstanding choice for experienced kayakers.
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