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Old 04-25-2014   #1
Front Range, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 79
Looking to buy Inflatable Kayak, is Aire Force the one?

Ive kayaked for almost 20 years and looking to make the move into an IK due to some shoulder problems and never breaking out of my intermediate rut .

Id like to find one that has similar performance to a hard-shell kayak and would work well on III & IV runs, Boulder Creek, Clear Creek, Foxton, Eagle, Ark, etc I only plan on using it for day trips and would have raft support for any multi-day trips.

I took a look at a post from last year,, and was surprised no one mentioned the Aire Force. Anyone have an opinion on the Aire Force, Aire Lynx, NRS Maverick Performance, Star Yellow Jacket or RMR Animas and how they; run rivers, surf, ferry, your hard-shell friends make fun of you

Let me know if any of you IKers are on the Front Range. I am always looking for some folks to go with.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 04-25-2014   #2
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
I've never really run into anyone running interesting water in a force. Folks who are IKers move to more stable boats for big stuff. kayakers buy 'em, as you say, cuz they boat closest to a kayak. But few kayakers use them ...they seem to become gf boats or loaners.

my experience is that the force is a fun way to spice up runs with low consequences of swimming. Performing like a hardshell means it flips as easily as one, but very few can hit combat rolls, so the swim exposure is higher.

I never claim to have found affinity with any boat that needed to be rolled. But I'll add a vote for the aire floor lynx, which is the most versatile of all the options. It can creek, it can haul 200lbs on a self support multday, and it packs small enough to be hiked in.

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Old 04-25-2014   #3
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 427
I also think the Lynx is great (but I am not a hard sheller, and I have never been in a Force, so take it for what it's worth).
By the way there is a 2014 Lynx with a couple of outfitting changes (2 D-rings, flip handles on bottom, some mesh drainage, and perhaps more significantly some change to the floor that results in a 2" lower center of gravity. (I don't know if the new floor desighn has chamged the profile of the bottom of the boat.)
Here'sa link to a short video from Aire.
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Old 04-25-2014   #4
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
I paddle a Force and love it in class 4 water! I had the model before the 2012 redesign and prefer the newer model with the bigger tubes. If you want performance in an IK get a Force or a Thrill-Seeker. Anything else is just a small raft.

I'll have my Force at DRE's demo campout on Saturday, May 10 if you want to check it out up close.
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Old 04-25-2014   #5
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Also, I've discussed the Force on the buzz a bit, so you might find more discussion if you do a search. It would be easier to find if the admins would add an IK category like they did for SUP...
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Old 04-25-2014   #6
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 332
IK choice

As Slickhorn says, the Lynx is probably the most versatile IK available today. It does , however, come at a price, even the used ones. I would also look at its less expensive cousin, the Trib Strike. I had one for 4 years and foolishly sold it to get another hardshell. I paddled it in technical and big water cl 3/3+ all the time and flipped only a handful of times, mostly from pilot error. The one major diff between the Strike and the Lynx is the rocker, The strike having much less. This may affect resurfacing on big drops, but I never tried anything over 4-5'Its load carrying is also smaller but for me at 210 lbs, doing an overnighter was never a problem.
The Strike is a much underrated IK and worth looking into.
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Old 04-25-2014   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
I mainly paddle a trib now. I have paddled a force a few times and it is much more responsive than the trib. With the front and rear bags it doesn't take on as much water as other duckies. So it is more responsive when boats are filling up with water. I have been looking to upgrade to a force myself. I also used to paddle a hard shell years ago.
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Old 04-25-2014   #8
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
Inflatable Kayaks

Problem solved.
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Old 04-25-2014   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
The. Force is for the more aggressive duckier on surf's, boofs, catches micro eddies better, and is much faster than other duckies, ocean surf's well...if rolls easier than other duckies if you can roll one...superior outfitting..rolls up slightly more compact then a Lynx, can barely meet Southwest 's size requirements for free baggage.....Cons :much less forgiving /you will flip more, can 't carry enough for overnighters, and is not so great in big water with squirrely laterals.Iski I do all the runs you named in mine.

Noone runs interesting water in one? gotta disagree Slick..I have run IV plus and done 1st D 's in Central America in mine..I have the original Xl they have made them more stable now :wider with bigger tubes and more bow rise
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Old 04-25-2014   #10
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 312
I think SOTAR's SL kayak is the best all around boat. but they are very pricey. there is a steal of deal on their hotsheet . A barely used 10ft fot 1k. regular 2400. that's my 2c. happy paddling !

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