Best Whitewater Inflatable Kayak for up to class IV - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-26-2016  
Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), California
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Best Whitewater Inflatable Kayak for up to class IV

Hi I am looking to purchase an IK that will be useable in up to Class IV whitewater. I am thinking to get a tandem (2 person) so I have enough space for gear on multi day river trips. Im planning on using it on the Selway in July.

Can folks please advise on what is the best choice currently?

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Old 06-26-2016  
Paul7's Avatar
Post Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 861
I wouldn't limit your search to IK's, other crafts may work also. For example for your stated purpose a Storm would fit the bill very well. I think with tandem kayaks there isn't a whole lot of performance from any of them, compared to single IK's.

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Old 06-27-2016  
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 393
You can't go far wrong with the Tandem AIRE models, or the 2 Tributary models if you want to go the less expensive route. Have no experience with the NRS brands but have paddled Hysides and although stable they are pretty barge like.
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Old 06-27-2016  
Spokane, Washington
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 19
I have had the NRS Maverik II for 6 years, and it has been a great boat. I have done a low water Middle Fork on it with great success. It actually surfs better than my NRS Bandit single. I would also recommend the Aires, as I have several friends with Lynx and Outfitter tandems. I would be hesitant to recommend the Tributary's right now. I recommended one to a friend and it suffered a two foot tear in the outer shell on a class two on its third use. Waiting to hear how the warranty will go. Best of luck in your choice.
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Old 06-27-2016  
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 287

One thing to be certain of, most IKs have an available "performance" upgrade that includes thigh straps and foot pegs. Without these you are a tourist, not a paddler. With them, you can get into the meaty stuff rather nicely. For a tandem boat you want to place the mounting rings where they can be used when you are paddling front, back and from the center. Best of luck!

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Old 06-27-2016  
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Plymouth, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 49
In my experience with IK's, the rowdier side of class III and class IV are about the reasonable and fun limits of IK's without a lot of modifications. While IK's "self bail" they often take on more water then they drain in really rowdy water, meaning about half way through something real fun you're in a bathtub and just along for the ride.
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Old 06-27-2016  
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 393
I have paddled AIRE lynxes, the Force and the Force XL, and also the Trib. Strike over a number of years in upto cl 3+ over and over again. Never had a problem with the bailing though. I am currently paddling a Tomcat, and again no bailing issues. Just go for whichever one seems to handle the best in harder water. As one of the posters said thigh straps and a foot brace are a must.
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Old 06-27-2016  
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,204
If you can find one.
I paddled one in WV a while ago and actually rolled it in the flat water.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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