Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Product Dimensions: 123 x 36 x 20 inches ; 36 pounds

I bought the K2 for three reasons: Price (currently 159.00); larger capacity for two (wanted it for the dog); and because guys like bigger boats.

The K2 is sporty looking, large, and does hold two. In fact, it does not work well with only one person ... it needs added weight for tracking and for one person the paddling is more strenuous. It inflates easily but, because of its length, really takes two people to get it to the water; not because it's too heavy, just too bulky.

Issues: As with all the Intex kayaks we ordered, the paddles are useless. They're too short and on several occasions I've hit the connecting button and the paddle separated. They are also flat, not curved; they just don't work well.

The seats lack back support and, to be honest, are rather cheaply made. While there are support straps for the back, I'm what you'd call hefty and found these supports to be lacking. Further, the seat connects to the floor of the kayak via velcro strips, 2 on the bottom of the seat and 2 on the floor. This limits where you can put the seat. With just one person, the front strips are too far forward and the back ones too far back. You need weight in the front, otherwise the bow lifts too high from the water. Also, the piece connecting the back of the seat and the bottom is flimsy; one connecting piece has already started to tear after very limited use.

As many reviewers of the Intex kayaks have said, the skegs simply do not want to stay on the boat. I drilled a small hole on the skeg and ran a line to one of the tie down lines on the back.  That way, at least if it falls off, I won't lose it. Intex customer service is, from our experience, deplorable.

Bottom line: I would only buy the K2 if it was for two or if you planned on hauling some weight to counter that of a single person. If you need strong back support, consider another boat. With even weight distribution, it does tack properly and can be fun. The boat itself is sturdy and stable, but the peripherals kill it.

This review can be found on Amazon at:  http://www.amazon.com/review/R1QFSN8P3K288M

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