Challenger K2 Inflatable Kayak Review
Pictures & a consumer's review of the Intex Challenger K2 inflatable nylon kayak including usage tips & care instructions.
the Intex Challenger K2 Inflatable Nylon Kayak during a trip to the Lake
Taupo region of New Zealand.
The total cost of this new Intex Challenger K2 from a seller on "TradeMe" (similar to eBay) was $164.95 NZD or about $115 USD.
After carefully opening the box, we found the kayak neatly rolled up in a large nylon carrying bag. It felt very heavy for its size, which was a good indication that the "Super Tough" nylon material could take some abuse without failing.
Also in the box were two disassembled paddles with rubber hand grips, a "double quick" air pump, the inflatable front seat, an instruction booklet, a plastic 10cm inflation guide ruler, and a small inflatable wedge used to prop up the nose of the boat.
|The cargo net was
already attached to the kayak and so were the hard plastic "skegs" on the
bottom of the boat used to provide additional stability when traveling in a
All we had to assemble were the paddles, which screwed together easily with the black plastic collars and rubber hand grips.
|The owner's manual
stressed that inflating the kayak in the correct procedure was important for
First, the attached rear seat needed to be inflated, then the "floor" of the boat, and finally the main hull chamber.
|To help the front
of the boat glide through the water, there is an inflatable wedge piece that
needs to be inflated and pushed in to the front crevice with your feet.
Finally, I inflated the detachable front seat and snapped it into place on the hard nylon hooks attached to the floor of the boat.
|The kayak should be
inflated until the chambers feel firm but not rock hard.
To help ensure proper inflation, Intex included a flexible nylon 10 CM (~3.9 inches) ruler.
There are two [----10cm------] markings on the boat that you hold the ruler against and they will be the same size when the boat is neither under or over inflated.
|I was really
surprised with how well put together the boat felt once it was fully
inflated and laid out across the entire length of the living room.
There are black braided ropes attached all around the Intex Challenger K2 kayak that are useful for carrying it.
The boat does flex when carried, but not as much as you'd expect an inflatable boat to sag when suspended from each end.
of the four rubber hand grips had a small tear in it.
I thought about contacting the seller or Intex for a replacement, but it didn't pose a problem when using the paddle.
|Once we were
familiar with the inflation procedure and the kayak's other equipment, we
took it out for a "spin" in Lake Taupo.
I put the emphasis on "spin" because our first attempt at navigating the kayak resulted in a few unintended 180 degree turns due to my over enthusiastic paddling.
inflatable boat is much more flexible than a fiberglass or plastic kayak, it
tends to spin if you paddle too hard and then try to correct the turn by
paddling even harder on the other side.
I found that it was best to paddle gently and evenly on both sides of the kayak to move forward in a straight line.
|On the water, the
kayak felt stable and secure with the sides hugging our hips and the lower
portions of our torsos.
I sat in the back and had to place my feet on the sides of the front seat.
The cargo net on the front of the Intex Challenger K2 kayak did a great job of securely holding our waterproof hiking back pack stuffed with water bottles, snacks, and our cell phones (wrapped in plastic bags for extra protection).
|During the few
weeks that we owned the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, we probably used it about
a dozen times.
It works best for floating down gentle rivers or exploring the shallow shore lines of a calm lake or pond.
It would also be a great kids' toy in a large swimming pool.
The kayak is big enough to fit two adults, three kids, or one adult and two small children.
maritime safety laws required that we have a personal floation device or
"PFD" for each person.
Boaters caught without a life jacket can be faced with a $200 NZD fine.
We bought used life vests on TradeMe for about $25 NZD each in order to inexpensively comply with the regulation.
|Overall, I was
pleased with the quality and function of the Intex Challenger K2
Inflatable Kayak for the brief period that we used it.
Learning to maneuver the kayak and travel in a straight line proved to be frustrating at first until I became accustomed to its handling characteristics.
But I can't complain too much considering how affordable of an option it is for getting out on to the water.
If we had been in the USA, we could have ordered the boat with free shipping from an online retailer such as Amazon.com.
In comparison, a new hard body recreational sit-on-top kayak, such as the Mission Surge would cost about $1000 NZD and require a several hundred dollar roof rack for our car.
Plus any accessories such as seat cushions, back supports, paddles, and cargo tie down straps.
|In conclusion, for the price, you can't beat the durability and good times to be had with the Intex Challenger K2.|
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