Thursday, June 19, 2014

Challenger K1 Review

Uncertain if this was going to be an activity we'd enjoy, we didn't want to sink a lot of money into it at first.  After doing our research, the Challenger K1 by Intex made sense as a first time purchase. Good decision.

The pros:

Price.  If we'd decided kayaking wasn't for us, we wouldn't have been out so much money as to make me very upset.

Stability.  While we're not interesting in running rapids, the K-1 can handle it.  We've taken it on some pretty rough lakes, surrounded by power boats, and it's had no problem. We've also taken it on the ocean, although not too far out in the open sea ... yet.  You'd have to work at it to tip the K-1 over once you're in it.

Weight.  Not too heavy, but there's a solidity to this little kayak that is very reassuring.  It's constructed of very strong material.

Ease of inflation.  Two sections, plus the seat.  Takes maybe ten minutes.

The cons:

Not a lot of leg room.  We're both around 5'7", and the way the kayak's designed, even with the inflatable foot brace, it sits very low on the legs.  It's not intolerable, but after a few hours my feet and hips get crampy if I can't adjust my position a bit.  Easy enough to pull my legs up and into the cockpit, but ...

Cockpit seams are unfinished, and are rough and scratchy.

Skeg mount is extremely unreliable.  After having the skeg fall off on our maiden voyage, we drilled single small holes in them so we could run a light line through and affix it to the kayak.  That does work, and we'd very much recommend anyone purchasing one of these boats do so, because ...

Customer service sucks.  There's no other word.  Thinking it would be wise to have a backup skeg on hand, just in case, we called Intex.  Run around and misdirection were the order of the day.  Long story short, replacement skegs are not to be had.

Do we regret this purchase?  Absolutely not.  The pros outweigh the cons, in our opinion.

Stars:  Four.

Here's an Amazon link for the K1:

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