Innova Swing II Decked Double

Innova Swing II Decked Double
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Price: $779.00
Manufacturer: Innova
Shipping Weight: 40.00 lbs

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Description

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Innova is now bringing in Swing kayaks with a material that has a moderate layer of nitryl coating on the exterior, as opposed to the bare nylon fabric Swings had for the previous several years. This coating helps with abrasion resistance compared the older bare-nylon models, and it provides a much faster dying time. This new fabric does add a little weight to each boat, but among better quality inflatable kayak brands the Swing II and it’s cousin boat the Twist II are still the lightest you can buy. Because the coating is thinner than Innova’s heavy duty kayaks, we recommend you refrain from paddling the Swings up onto, or off of, rocky shores. It is better to push them out into the water and then step into them.

The Swing II is a fully decked kayak. It has optional sprayskirts (found on our Kayak Acccessory page), but even without them the cockpit combing where you sit is raised up by three removable lightweight anodized aluminum ribs. These insert before you inflate the side tubes, lifting the deck upward a few inches, and this does an amazingly good job of keeping water out of the boat even in wind & chop. Even including the hardware this boat is pretty light at a mere 31 pounds.

Innova Swing II Decked Double new Fabric

The new Swing (and Twist) material is a 500 denier fabric that inflates almost as firm as Innova's 1200 denier EX fabric. The coating now used definitely alleviates concern over salt crust, and greatly diminishes the accumulation of odors. Competing models of other brands, often designed with multiple layers of bladder & hull material, are not even close in weight or drying time. The Swing kayaks have zippers fore and aft on the decks. These facilitate drying and make it easy if you need to use a vacuum for sand.

Specs for Innova Swing II Decked Double

The tandem Swing is 13' on the nose and the width is 33". The weight capacity is always a rather arbitrary figure. Innova says 485 pounds but the most we have had in it at one time was about 380 or 390. 485 seems a tad high.

In terms of performance, the hull speed on a day with pretty brisk wind and 6" to 8" chop was quite good, at least as fast as the discontinued Innova Sunny - no slouch itself. It worked great solo even going straight into the wind and doing a bit of a wheely, though like many inflatables once you turn broadside to the wind you feel the push of the gusts. That said, the freeboard is quite low if two people are on board.

Innova Swing II Decked Double Traveler Friendly

There are two "Crazy Creek" style seats and three air chambers. You have lift handles at both ends and like most of the Innova touring models, the Swing II comes with a removable skeg. The folded size is very compact, though in an effort to keep the price competitive, the carry bag that comes with the Solar and Safari is not included with this one.

Overall a definite winner and quite air travel-friendly, though we might suggest stashing the aluminum arch ribs in a different bag or suitcase from the boat. You never know when metal parts are going to raise a red flag with airport security. Note that there are also two solo Swing models on our Solo Touring IK page.

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Product Reviews

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Reviewed by stwagstaff
02/16/2018 - 01:54:36 PM
Innova Swing II - Good, But No SUV
I am a serial inflatable kayak owner, going back 40 years. The Innova Swing II, purchased by the ever-reliable “Theboatpeople.com,” is my latest purchase. My feelings about the boat are mixed. Overall, it’s not quite what I was hoping for,despite some strengths.

By far, the best IK I’ve owned is the Aire Super Lynx tandem, a sit-on-top boat that’s made several trips to Maui and Baja California, as well as having paddled a number of fun days on the Class III Gorge in on the South Fork of the American. It has been used as a faithful diving and fishing platform, in consecutive years handily serving as a snorkeling mothership for two large adults and two young kids far out over the coral reefs of Maui and Kauai. The boat is fast, tracks well, and is stiff enough to surf safely into the beach in head-high Maui waves (white knuckled, but uneventful.) The catch to this all-around excellence is weight (and price): the $1,800 boat, all in, with cushy foam-padded seats, in the lightest ripstop rolling bag I can find, tips the scales at nearly 60 lbs. Add a patch kit, break-down paddles, and the requisite beefy pump, the total package weighs somewhere in the mid 60s. In practice, this means it gets packed in two separate bags. Even removing everything that’s not glued in, the hull alone is almost exactly 50 lbs in its bag - just a bit more when it’s damp - which busts the airline’s 50-lb weight limit. This not only dramatically increases the price of air travel, but the hassle of lugging two bulky bags is simply too great to be worth it for many trips.

My hope, in purchasing the Innova Swing II, was to replicate most of the utility of the Super Lynx, but massively reduce the weight and bulk. In terms of weight alone, the Swing II succeeds. It’s almost 20 lbs lighter than the Aire. But this has its own price: the Swing is a non-self-bailer with a fabric deck with large cockpit openings. To support this floppy deck, the boat relies on a trio of welded arched trusses made of heavy-gage aluminum tubing and plate feet. These are awkward to install in the boat, and especially awkward to store in a bag. Practically speaking, it would be dangerous to pack these metal parts in a soft duffel along with the boat hull - the feet protrude with hard edged that would easily dig into and tear the boat if it were to get crushed by other luggage - which means you really need to pack this boat in a hard-sided suitcase. There goes the weight advantage.

To keep my Swing II under the weight budget on my recent trip to Costa Rica, I had to pack the boat and trusses in one hard-sided bag, and the pair of 4-piece paddles, a foot pump and patch kit, and bailing pump, in another (that also contained the meager rest of my traveling gear.)

Another problem with the supporting trusses comes in transportation of the assembled boat. While a soft decked boat can be safely tied to a roof using simple straps (so long as it’s clean), the trusses on the Swing form hard pressure points that I found (to my chagrin) easily dent and scratch the roof of a rental car. On the other hand, tie the boat on right side up and the cockpitted fabric deck of the boat acts like a wind sock - flapping violently and threatening to tear the boat apart at modest speeds. Even if you were to tie the inverted boat to normal roof rack cross bars, to avoid damaging the roof, you’ll risk the same wind-powered buffeting. In our trip to Costa Rica, the wind blew hard all week, and the soft cockpit deck proved a constant liability in windy conditions, both on and off the water. Finally, getting in and out of the soft-decked cockpitted boat is much harder than sitting down on an open-topped IK. In surf, the boat easily takes in even small waves, resulting in the need to paddle the non-self-bailer out to open water before pumping out the swamped hull with a hand pump.

The Swing II is not nearly as rigid as my double-layer Super Lynx, which means it’s not as fast and not as nimble, but it does feel very wide and stable. It tracks fine with the included removable skeg, but it feels sluggish in rough water by comparison. I paddled the boat as a tandem, but also solo, which it handled pretty well, by sliding my butt forward until my stomach touched the rear cockpit rim. Unfortunately, the rear seat cannot be adjusted far enough forward to accommodate this amid-ship seating position, so I had to paddle solo without back support, which is soon exhausting. To its credit, the soft deck offers excellent sun and water protection, and the covered cockpit actually makes a great cubby for storing fishing tackle and other gear. It could be very valuable in cold water with the addition of a sprayskirt.

The best experience I had with this kayak was paddling with my 70-something mother several miles up a mangrove river, where we were able to sneak up on a wide array of exotic birds. Most of the time, she had binoculars to her eyes and I provided the majority of horsepower from the back seat. Paddling was easy on the flat, windless water. My mother declared the boat “far more comfortable than that other one,” (the Aire) and she clearly liked it more than I did.

I haven’t completely given up on the Swing II, but I realize it’s not really the boat for me. It’s pretty great on flat water as a tandem. But as an “SUV” for use as an adventure and fishing platform in rough, windy conditions and surf, or where cartop travel is integral to its mission, it simply doesn’t work as well as a good sit-on-top. The soft deck and rigid truss system, in particular, really limits the sport-utility use of this boat.