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Discussion Starter #1
I came across a Innova Safari IK for $300. Not my top choice. I have never used one, seen one or know anyone that has used one. I could use some input from any of that have some history with one. There is also a Tomcat Solo in my area on CL for $400.

Thanks, Bradd
 

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For just a 100$ more most of us would opt for the Tomcat if you are planning on running anything serious or load carrying.
 

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Jimm said it... the only reason I would opt for the innova is if i were really set on the performance being very sporty , similar to a hard shell... but if that were the case I would just get into a hard shell. ( by sporty I mean very maneuverable / nimble, but also very tippy, and non-confidence inspiring )


Innova Safari Review


I would read these reviews... these guys are pretty spot on... and they speak highly of the innova....


but my personal bias.... I have never seen an innova out on the water. I am VERY weary of all the smaller, chinese made brands... rafts and duckies see tons of abuse... and I personally only trust a few brands to endure that abuse...


with that being said... I personally would 100% go for the tomcat... with a tomcat you know exactly what you are getting, and you know that it can stand up to the abuse.
 

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To Bradd: if you are looking for something sporty and even cheaper than the Tomcat, get a Sevylor SK 100Ds. I was in the same situation as you 1 month or so ago, seriously looking out for Tomcats when I read about the Sevy on AMAZON. I did a quick search of its reviews , mainly on this board and on google and then ordered one. Not at all disappointed so far. Very nimble, yet very stable, light to carry and seems pretty sturdy. I am actually glad I got it instead of the Tomcat and hopefully will feel that way for a long time.
 

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Well Bradd, the first thing to consider is what kind of rivers are you mostly going to do. And would you like the option of possibly carrying a small child or dog with you on river trips. I bought my Tomcat in 2008 and have logged over 1000 river miles, having done small technical class III+ and big, pushy, huge waves class III+. But what I liked most about it was the room and weight capacity of 300lbs. I did many river trips with my daughter (age 11) in the front and myself way in the back. Also gives you the option of carrying plenty of gear for multi-day trips. I also have the Sevylor SK 100DS that Jimm mentioned, and I can tell you that none of the above options work with the Sevylor. The Sevylor is strictly a nimble, quick, light IK for very technical stuff, not very good in big water at all, and simply does not drain well. For the extra $100, just get the Tomcat, you will not regret it!!!
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You may be right re the sevy, Guner. I just wanted something strictly for myself, doing overnights at the most. I think it will be awesome for the small technical rivers of new England, with occasional forays into bigger water once I am more used to it. I have paddled a buddy's Tomcat and I agree with all you say, the 2 things I did not like were the weight and the very high seating position that made me feel very tippy as compared to my mamba hard boat. The sevy does not have those 2 drawbacks for me.
 

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Aire is a great company and they make high quality products. Even though the Tomcats are made in China, they are still a great boat for the money. They are used by outfitters all over and they seem to hold up almost as well as the US made boats. I would go with the Tomcat.
 

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innova whitewater kayak

I had the innova safari kayak and its a great ik. Light weight 24lbs, thigh straps and backpack. I been on the ark. Browns canyon, Taylor river, Arkansas river, Numbers, the east fork creek, gunny gorge and the San Juan here in Pagosa Springs. I had a blast with it. Fun boat will surf small waves ,but not a play boat, just a good down river kayak.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice. I was kind of thinking the same thing but was having a hard time passing up a good deal. Sounds like the Tomcat is the right choice though.
 

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Yes the innova safari is tippy, but that is good for running hard water. It will respond
better than the tomcat for sure. What ever boat you get it still will be fun.
 

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re the sevylor[from a bit upstream in this thread]...

Gunner I took my SK100 into its first cl 3 big water foray and was very pleased with it. It easily went thru 4-5' waves and I did not feel it was slow to drain at all.It would definitely be a better choice than the Innova boat for sure.
 

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Gunner I took my SK100 into its first cl 3 big water foray and was very pleased with it. It easily went thru 4-5' waves and I did not feel it was slow to drain at all.It would definitely be a better choice than the Innova boat for sure.
I own 3 SK100's and my sentiments are the same as yours. No problems on the salmon, snake, payette etc. drain very quickly. I have the mesh Aire Cargo hold in the rear, and the Dry Aire Cargo hold up front, and can self support on over nighters and it still handles well and drains fast. The sad part is, I picked them up for about $200 a piece and now to get one, you have to pay closer to $400 (supply and demand caught up) but i love them.
 
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