Solo Touring Inflatable Kayaks

Solo Touring

Solo Touring Inflatable Kayak Details

Many of the kayaks on our Tandem Touring page can be used solo as well, but what is shown below are mostly shorter solo-only models. The Sawtooth I (which is really the length of a normal tandem) does appear in both sections, here with one Cheetah seat and in the tandem section with two inflatable backrests.

What is a "touring" inflatable? This means that the boats in this section of our site are made primarily - or solely - to be used in ocean, bay, and flat water environments, with an emphasis on hull speed rather than the level of stability that is required for a whitewater model. Whitewater means rivers and rapids, not whitecaps!

You may notice that most of what follows is from Innova, with only one AIRE and one NRS kayak to break the monotony. The simple reason for this is that no other company makes the variety of high performance solo & tandem touring models as Innova, or at least not a line that are mostly under $900. The factory where Innova boats are produced has made some changes to their lighter weight Twist & Swing models, which include a total of five kayaks. The solo and tandem Twist now have a removable seat, with the solo increasing in length about 2” and the tandem by about 6” to 7”. There are also sprayskirts available for the solo and tandem Innova Swings, found on our Kayak Accessory page.

Innova now makes all the Twists and Swingss in a material with a layer of nitryl coating on the exterior, as opposed to the bare nylon fabric they had for the previous nine years. This coating is not as thick as what’s used on the Solar, Safari, and other heavy duty models, but it provides at least some abrasion resistance compared to older Twists & Swings. It also allows faster drying times, plus easier clean-up with less staining. While the new fabric adds a little weight to each Twist or Swing, among the better quality inflatable kayak brands these are still the lightest you can buy. Since the coating isn’t overly thick, we do recommend you refrain from paddling them up onto, or off of, rocky shores. Oh, and as an added bonus, the Twist I and II decreased in price for 2017!

There will be some new Innova models for 2017, and the two Helios kayaks will be discontinued. The Helios solo and tandem were very ancient models made since the 1970’s, so they had a long run. The Solar 410 model will become the primary tandem touring kayak in the “EX’ heavy duty line, replacing both the Helios 380EX and the Sunny. We have carried the Solar for well over a decade now and are very familiar with the handling characteristics, having paddled it in water ranging from easier Kauai rivers, Monterey Bay & Santa Cruz surf, and some local lakes. It has more room & weight capacity than the Sunny but is not any faster. There is a lot more info on the Solar under our write-up for that boat.

New Innova products will include the 14’9” three-seat Seawave, an extended length Safari with higher weight capacity, and a brand new angler’s kayak called the Halibut. Additionally, the Vagabond inflatable canoe looks like it will be returning, though availability will be limited. The 2017 Innova/Gumotex line up also features a narrow 4’ X 14’ tandem fishing raft called the Alfonso, but how well this model does in the U.S. market will determine if it remains a stock boat or becomes a special order product.

The Seawave has optional solo and tandem spray decks, and an optional rudder kit. There is a similar rudder now made for the Swing EX solo as well, though we haven’t tried any of these rudders yet and it may be a while before we add them to the Kayak Accessory page.

If you go to the intro for the Tandem Touring inflatable kayak there is more information about basic selection and criterion for choosing your inflatable, but we didn't want to duplicate it here for the time being. As always, call us at 925-820-2628 with any questions, or email us at

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