WindPaddle sails are something we’ve wanted to add to our site for quite a while, as we get lots of inquiries about sailing inflatable kayaks. These simple umbrella shaped units do not require technical expertise, though you definitely want to use them with fin-equipped kayaks or those that have built-in keels. They have a rim made of specialized composite that folds & twists into thirds, just like one of those car windshield sunscreens. Folding one up can be tricky the first couple times as we found out, though Nick from Windpaddle has lots of helpful videos – including how to stow one of these. You can leave them folded up on your kayak until you need them.
WindPaddles attach to your inflatable, decked hardshell, or sit-on-top kayak with a small set of snap cords at the bottom of the rim. You then control it with a bungie cord at the top of the rim. You can also angle it if the wind is not coming from straight behind you by loosening one of the bottom cords. With an extension, the top control bungie can be tied off to the hull of your kayak or inflatable, so you can use your paddle for directional control.
We are exclusively an inflatable dealer, so among our boats we mainly envision the mid-size Adventure sail being used with models like the Tributary Sawtooth, our Trinity II-USA, or the various Innova solo and tandem touring models. If you use one with any AIRE or Tributary model, you can connect the Windpaddle attachment cords to the AIRE factory cargo tie-down loops that run along the sides of the inflatable floor. If the cargo loops seem too low, you can use a couple one foot cam straps as extensions off the cargo loops. With the Innova kayaks, a few like the Helios models have little grommets at the rear edge of the bow dodger, and those maybe could be used for attachment points. However, for most Innova models we recommend buying two small D-rings patches and a tube of barge cement (about $25 total) with your Windpaddle (The small rubber D-rings are not on our site, so phone your order in if you have an Innova). On a tandem model, the front person usually operates the Windpaddle, so for something like an Innova Sunny you would glue the D-rings down about 15” to 18” forward of the front paddler’s tummy on top of the main side tubes.
We are carrying two sizes of WindPaddles, this Adventure being the smaller of the two. We do not carry Windpaddle’s smallest size, the Scout ($105), but we can special order it. The Scout would be mainly for some of the more petite Innovas like the Swing EX or Helios solo. The Adventure sail is intended for solo models and smaller, less sluggish tandems. It would not be a good fit for wider bigger boats like the AIRE SuperLynx. For that model or the Sea Tiger, the larger Cruiser that we carry is a better choice. That is listed separately in this section.
The Adventure is 47” in diameter and weighs a pound. It is about 17-1/2” in diameter folded up. Winds of 5 knots to 20 knots are the recommended range. Higher wind speeds can overpower the Windpaddles and make them hard to control, and if the wind is too mild it won’t create enough push to billow the sail and move the kayak. As mentioned up above, should the wind be off angle – not straight behind you – you can turn the Windpaddle so that it is no longer perpendicular to the angle of the boat. You do this by loosening one of the bottom cords. In theory these can work almost parallel to the line of the boat, though this would increase the tippyness and decrease the speed a lot. At most reasonable wind & sail angles though, you can still move along, but do note these won’t work in a head wind. And when you are moving along at a good clip, also keep in mind that you will most likely have to paddle all that distance back to where you launched, unless the wind direction changes abruptly.
Windpaddles fit nicely in a suitcase for air travel if you like to take your inflatable kayak on planes. All models have a clear window to see through in the middle section of the sail. This one is $130, or $117 if you order it with a boat.