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Despite several negative reviews, I decided to try this kayak.
I am amazed - this is easy to carry, the bag is one of the better carry bags I have seen; the kayak is unpacked and inflated in 5 minutes. The footrests install quickly, and then you are on the water. It is a lightweight kayak to carry to and from the water. Once it is on the water, I found this kayak very stable and comfortable to paddle - it is more stable than some rigid kayaks I have tried.It is fairly quick on the water, and turns easily; in a fairly strong wind, I found the tracking to be acceptable. My wife, who has never kayaked until a week ago, tried this out and paddled a mile or so with no problems, and commented that is was easy and comfortable. All in all a great kayak, and a great buy.
Overall, I was happy with my purchase and the kayak feels sturdy, stable and tracks well almost like a hard shell kayak. I would recommend it.
Feel: It feels like a hard shell kayak on the bottom and sides (not top). I don't notice any flexing. Like a SUP you can literally stand up on on.
Stability: It's quite stable. However if you are a beginner it may feel a bit unstable until your skills improve. For anyone else who has owned sea kayaks or smaller this is a great. This is a V bottom kayak which is impressive for an inflatable. I would have been happy with an inch narrower.
Tracking: It tracks well but without a rudder there will always be minor corrections when you stop padding. In other angles it tracks like any other sea kayak depending on the wind and waves.
In the waves: In 2-3 foot waves and heavy boat traffic it feels safe. When the waves come up behind you, which you normally have to watch for anyways, the nose does stays up since there is a lot more volume up there.
What can be improved.
1 - The seat is hard both on the bottom and back. I had to put 1/2" pads on both. There is excellent back support but you have to pad it.
2 - The weight is a bit at 40lbs. Not something I carry on my back (I'm 150lbs). The way the straps are setup there is too much weight on top. So i just cart it. So in short, pls add wheels to the case like the double.
3. Considering the performance aspect of the kayak, there is limited support for your knees if you're trying to angle the kayak (The top is a cover and not hard). I would have definitively added straps for the knees against the bottom for those times I'm in waves and want more control (feature request).
4. The Canadian site did not have the spray skirt for sale which is unfortunate. The rim of the cockpit is "a hard rubber ring" but it can't take as much pull as a hard shell. Additionally, you need a thin rim on the spray skirt otherwise it will not get under the lip. For the moment I'm using a cheaper nylon skirt that leaks but keeps me mostly dry.
I’ve used inflatable kayaks before but this one is sooo easy and manageable as it glides through the sea! I loved it. I’ve yet to experience rough seas but it is so comfortable and I just let part of the sea. Easy to disembark and get back in.
Well I am not the most balanced or coordinated so I took this out on Sale waterpark first time and I love it. It does have a more boat shaped hull so feels at first like your on a bit of a knife edge, then it's significantly wider and flatter in the center which does hold you. A bit like it has two tipping points. I held onto the quayside and tipped to the capsize point and found it to be when the water is at the edge of the deck. I would have to throw myself pretty hard to one side to actually capsize; so I find the capsize tales a bit silly really. I have no great experience. A bit of paddling with the sea cadets 40 + years ago. Of course you can sit in it!!
Handles beautifully, like I remember a solid kayak. Amazing to me that this level of feel and performance can be achieved with an inflatable. I wonder how it will cope with constant folding / unfolding, but so long at it holds air, I think we have to be realistic.
It is heavy, about the weight of a very full very large suitcase. No way you will be hiking and paddling. My partner thought that made it less accessible for many women ie getting it on her back at all, which I think is a fair point. Some suitcase wheels on the base of the case might be a worthy improvement? Amazing craft though, looking forward to many happy hours in it!!
I love mine. This was my 2nd kayak, coming from an ultra-stable flat-bottom inflatable. Sure, it's a bit tippy but some of these reviews are ridiculous.Within an hour I was comfortable paddling it, edging it for tighter turns and balancing it without paddling.
No idea why "experienced paddlers" post bad reviews of this for being too tippy - it's a joy to control when you get used to it and works great with a greenland paddle too.
I've yet to take it on tidal water but absolutely will be doing so soon.
I have had the Kayak for two weeks now and taken it out for 3 rides already and it is an absolute dream. I am a beginner in kayaking and initially it take a couple of paddle strokes to get used to it but I am over the moon with this kayak.
I read a lot about the supposed instability, and yes it is not rock solid on the water like a paddleboard but for an inflatable kayak I have had no problems at all (been on Thames and surrounding tributaries). I am about 95kg and pumped the kayak to 10psi and it is all fine.
Inflating the Kayak take 4-5 minutes - only 1 of 5 air chambers takes 3 minutes the rest is a few pumps only. It is easy to carry it to the water. Once in the water it tracks pretty straight and it is comfortable.
A cautious buy after reading so many adverse feedback on its stability. As with any new equipment, the key is to know its features and orientated myself to operate the kayak with confidence and enjoyment! Tested the kayak on calm rivers and rough open seas and it performs satisfactorily; especially when taking high waves head on! Almost capsize a few times on very choppy waters but learn to maneuver it better with each tour. The optimal pressure is 8 PSI for me with light load. Love this kayak and will take it out once a week to explore new places.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on the 1-person High-Pressure Dropstitch Inflatable Kayak Strenfit X500. I am glad that this product has been working well for you and that you love it.
At Decathlon, our mission is to make sports accessible for the many. It is our responsibility to ensure that our products are made to satisfy our users.
Feel free to write a review on other Decathlon products and I hope to see you in our store soon!
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Honestly I don't understand all these complaints regarding the stability of this kayak. Capsizing after 10m? Really not sure what to say...
I've been using this kayak for more than year, at the moment using it pretty much every week on a river (Thames), did also many lake trips with camping etc. Taken it couple times to the sea.
All I can say is that this kayak is an absolute rocket, the performance is great, I could easily compete with my friends in the rigit kayaks and even beat them many times due to V-shape of this kayak.
Yes, it doesn't feel as stable as flat, sit on top kayak but it really needs a couple minutes to get the balance and get used to it. I have never ever capsized, neither any of my friends that wanted to try it or even people that did the kayaking for a first time in their life!
And yes, it's worth to fine the best pressure to pump it up to, based on the weight and additional load, that can help a lot.
However, I did most of my trips with the recommended pressure (10bar) and no load and I'm just about 55kg and it was absolutely fine.
If you look for kayak that is easy to transport, easy to assemble, has a great performance and looks absolutely great, then I highly recommend this one.
I bought this kayak thinking I was going to do some gentle touring around some islands in Thailand. How wrong was I. First day I got every thing set up and took it out only to capsize within 10 meters. I spent the rest of the day trying to get the hang of this kayak to no avail. I have 10 years experience in kayaks on rivers, sea and lakes. This kayak is now for sale after 1 day of use. Don't bother.
I’ve been really pleased with my purchase of the X500, I was really concerned at first having read SO much about issues people are having with stability of this kayak particularly when stationary. Itiwit have made some improvements to their Version 2 (you can check if you have latest version by looking at the strap on the bag and finding the ‘V2’ stamp). I’ve found that with the V2 improvements and by only inflating the floor to 5PSI, which was suggested on a couple of sites, has mean’t I’ve had no issues with stability even when stationary or on a windy day. This kayak is exactly what I’ve been looking for, something inflatable so can easily be stored and transported but that looks and performs like a ‘real’ kayak!