How many air chambers are there?
Each boat has multiple air chambers. The Helios has three main air chambers,
plus three inflatable decks and two inflatable foot braces. The Junior has two
main chambers, plus an inflatable seat. The Sunny, Safari, Traveller, and
Vagabond each have three main air chambers, plus auxiliary chambers for
seats and decks.
What is Nitrylon
fabric, and is it better than PVC?
is a lamination of nitrile synthetic rubber and natural rubber over a 500-denier
nylon reinforcing fabric on Junior. All other models use a 1,200-denier, low
stretch polyester fabric. Nitrylon is very puncture and abrasion
resistant. It is considerably stronger, easier to patch, performs better in cold
weather, and is much more abrasion resistant than PVC. It also does not have the
environmental problems associated with the manufacture and ultimate disposal of
How resistant is the boat to abrasion?
The Innova Kayaks are extremely abrasion resistant. Scuff marks on the bottom
are normal and dont harm the strength of the fabric. As with any
inflatable, avoid dragging the boat. The UV protectorant 303 is
useful in keeping the color and luster of the boat and it also minimizes scuff
marks (see Accessories).
Are the boats self bailing?
The Safari is self-bailing, but the other boats are not. The Traveller is an
enclosed cockpit design with a spray skirt. For touring, self-bailing is not
especially an advantage if the object is to remain as dry as possible. High
performance can be achieved regardless of whether the boats self-bail. For
example, a Helios 380 EX has won a 40-mile race in 30-knot winds and 4-foot
Return to the top
How do I inflate the boat and how long
does it take?
Inflate the chambers starting with the floor, then the side tubes, then the
decks. Using a foot pump, this will take 5-10 minutes. Other types of pumps can
be used, but care should be given not to over-inflate the tubes. Compressed air
should never be used. The decks, which heat easily in direct
sunlight, should be kept soft.
What is the proper inflation?
The main tubes should feel like a ripe grapefruit when the boat is inflated.
The decks should be soft, since they are always exposed to the sun and you need
to allow for some expansion of the heated air.
How do I get into the boat?
When possible, straddle and sit down. If not, use a paddle as cross brace and
get your weight centered over the middle of the boat before sitting down.
What are the small
inflatable tubes with nylon straps in the Helios?
These are the stretchers or foot braces. They are used to push your legs against to keep a more upright paddling posture, and they are adjustable in
length. An efficient sweep paddle stroke uses a twisting motion of the torso
(rotate your trunk pushing the paddle) requiring bracing of the feet. This
paddling motion will reduce fatigue of the arms.
Return to the top
What water conditions can the boats
The Junior, Sunny, and Helios are rated for up to Class II
river conditions. The Safari is rated for up to Class III,
and the Traveller and Vagabond are rated for up to Class IV
conditions. (For a complete description of these water condition ratings, please
see International Scale of river difficulty.)
What is the best kind of paddle to use?
Use a 2-bladed sea kayak paddle (~230 cm length) for most flat water. A 2 or
4-part paddle is handy to pack. If using the boat in shallow streams or fast
rivers requiring maneuvering, pick a shorter paddle with a strong blade to fend
off rock dings. Innova carries several models of easy-to-pack AquaBound 4-part
paddles (see Accessories).
Which boats are doubles?
The Helios, Sunny, and Vagabond are doubles. However, the light weights of these
boats also make them simple to paddle as singles.
Are rudders available?
An optional rudder is available for the Helios models. The rudder is useful
when paddling the Helios as a double when heavily loaded while touring on open
water. The rudder keeps the boat tracking straight so that all paddle strokes
can go toward thrust, not steering. The rudder also helps in crosswinds when
more lightly loaded. When paddling the boat as a single, or when descending
swift rivers, the rudder is not needed. Some experienced paddlers eschew the
rudder in all conditions, but we generally recommend it for touring doubles (see Accessories).
How do the boats handle in the wind?
All of the Innova boats are low-profile in design and present minimal area to
the wind. For example, the Helios has been raced in 30-knot winds and 4-foot
seas, and it actually performs better than some rigid kayaks in these windy,
rough conditions when loaded and trimmed properly. When paddled as singles, windage for Innova doubles can be reduced by simply putting some gear in the
Can I get back into the Innova boats if I
A great advantage to the open-deck Innova boats is the ease of reentry. You can
use this advantage for snorkeling or swimming. When you want to get back in,
just roll the boat upside down to dump whatever water has collected, then turn it
rightside up again. Grab the side of the cockpit, flutter kick and pull yourself
aboard like you would climb out of a swimming pool.
How should I dress when paddling?
You should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Use common
sense about your possible exposure. Will you be paddling close to shore? How
cold is the water? When paddling in open, cold waters, wear suitable clothing
for immersion such as a dry suit, or at a minimum, dry pants or wet suit
bottoms. When enjoying a flatwater paddle in benign conditions, take along a
small towel to mop up paddle drips and keep the cockpit dry. Always
wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD/lifejacket)!
Return to the top
| Care and Maintenance Questions
How do I clean the boat?
Use soap and water. Do not use solvents of any kind.
Can I patch it?
Yes, each boat comes with its own patch kit. The procedure is much like
patching a tire inner tube.
How should I store the boat?
Before folding and putting the boat into its rucksack, make sure it is clean
Can I leave the boat inflated when stored?
Yes, however, do not store the boat in direct sunlight since long-term UV
exposure is tough on any fabric.
How long will the boat last?
With proper care, Innova boats will last a lifetime.
How can I keep the boat from fading, and
what can I do about scuffs?
Use the UV protectorant 303. This product should be applied
regularly to add luster, deepen the color of the fabric and help hide scuff
marks (see Accessories). Dont use ArmorAll on the fabric since this product doesnt
provide adequate UV protection and leaves an oily residue that can interfere
Return to the top
What is the warranty? 1 year.
Are replacement parts available? Yes,
contact Innova Recreational Products or email@example.com .
Where do I go to get the boat repaired?
Contact Innova Recreational Products or firstname.lastname@example.org .