I’ve had a wild hair growing all week about taking a kayak on a long river adventure, like something out of a Mark Twain novel. Unfortunately, there aren’t many lazy rivers and bayous that stretch miles of untouched ground in California. However, we do have miles of coastline that I can at least putz around on. On this adventure, I take my Intex Explorer K2 out and see what it takes to turn this thing into a capable inflatable fishing kayak.
It was another weekend where my wife was working. Mike and his wife are out in Italy, so I’m left to my own devices on how to spend my weekend. Usually, these conditions call for putting on my dive suit and heading out for some spearfishing action. However, the chlorophyll reports didn’t look great and those tend to point towards poor visibility.
Rather than sit in my boxers eating Apple Jacks, I decided to throw my Intex Explorer K2 into the back of my jeep, grabbed a fishing rod, and plucked the wild hair that’s been nagging at me all week.
Inflatable Fishing Kayak Set Up
The Intex Explorer K2 kayak comes with a high-output hand pump. This makes getting the floor and two main tubes inflated a 5-minute job. There is an order to the inflation process – floor, tube, tube, front and rear shape tubes. Luckily, each part of the process is numbered on the inflatable kayak itself.
Further, the hand pump comes with an assortment of tips. This is to handle the assortment of receiving bungs on some of the accessories. The hand pump and assorted tips should cover inflating all bits, and the total time to get the kayak inflated was about 10-minutes.
Intex Explorer K2 Review
A hard bottomed kayak tends to glide through the water with ease, whereas this felt like an inflatable. I felt that I had to paddle pretty hard to get anywhere, and because of the height and profile of the kayak, it caught a ton of wind. Padding against the wind is a tall order Even paddling with the wind bisecting your path is noticeably tough.
However, the banana boat does have it’s benefits. I could fit this thing in the back of my jeep and carry it to my launch site by myself. This is a fine alternative over dragging a kayak over rocks to get to the water.
The mannerisms in the harbor weren’t terrible. Even though I did get blown around and paddling felt unwieldy, I did make it around the harbor. Paddling in the protection of the harbor was easy, and paddling near the open break was marginally more difficult.
The seating felt low. Between the length of the paddles and the height of the tubes, I felt that I was gliding my paddles over the tubes on each stroke. Further, the back-seating position felt too far back for a single person paddle, adding to difficult handling. Adjusting my seat and posture may help avoid both conditions.
For what it is, the Intex Explorer K2 is a reasonable purchase. The prices are insanely cheap and portability is suited for someone renting a room or even an apartment.
I do plan to outfit this Intex Explorer K2 and make it an adequate inflatable fishing kayak. For someone who is just getting into kayaking or someone who likes to do things the hard way, it can work. There are some modifications necessary to carry gear, as this kayak doesn’t come with fishing rod holders or compartments. For something that is more suited as an inflatable fishing kayak, the Intex Excursion Pro is a ready-made option.
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