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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:45 am 
paddler

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 6
Hi,

I'm looking to buy an inflatable -would love a hard shell but no storage space and folding ones are a bit too pricy for me at the moment.

I'm very much torn between those two models. Unfortunately I was not able to find any comparative reviews. Generally not many reviews for the swing out there.

I am looking for an inflatable that is performance wise comparable to a similar hard shell kayak. Like a pyranha river runner style kayak. I know they will never be the same but I'd like to get close, especially in terms of speed, and power transfer.

I do favor the swing slightly because it is light weight and I want to go traveling, also the material is supposed to be faster to dry and easy care. One thing though is that it looks like it is quite wide. Did anyone find that to be a problem / issue especially when compared to a hard shell you can put the paddle very close to the kayak?

The AE looks like the sides are not as wide and also that you sit a bit are lower in the water. Another plus is the detachable deck. However it's heavier and not such a quick drying material.

It would be great if someone who as paddles one or the other -or ideally both could give me some advice on which one to get. There's also a slight price difference but I don't mind that.

thanks so much
Jens


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:27 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:48 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Wisconsin, USA
I have only paddled the AE Convertible and enjoyed it. I looked at a Sunny at a kayak show and didn't like the look of the hull bottom. It reminded me of a Sevelor. The AEC paddles well and tracks well.

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Long Haul Stretch Mark 2
BSD 36 HP Sport & BSD 24 HP Sport
Advanced Elements Convertible
2015 Windrider 17 white w/white & black sails


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:54 am 
paddler

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 6
Thanks for getting back, I am currently leaning towards the swing. Mainly because of the weight and I've heard it compares to a hard shell of similar size.

How's the AE compared to a hard shell in your experience?

thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:33 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:48 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Not so fast in the water but not bad. Stable too. The Back Bone is a great improvement and I added the Drop Stitch floor too. The spray decks are a must to stay dry. It's 15 ft long and makes paddling with 2 easy. Wind didn't seem to bother us. We liked ours but we are spoiled now with the LH MK2.

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Frank
Long Haul Stretch Mark 2
BSD 36 HP Sport & BSD 24 HP Sport
Advanced Elements Convertible
2015 Windrider 17 white w/white & black sails


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:27 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 43
Jens, this video should show you fairly well how the Gumotex (Innova in the US) Swing handles https://vimeo.com/59471594.

If you don't mind an open sit-on-top style boat, the Gumotex (Innova) Safari delivers pretty close-to-hardshell performance. See this video https://vimeo.com/59394941 and also read reviews here http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... l?prod=572 if you haven't already.

Gumotex (Innova) also used to make a decked version of the Safari called the Traveller (reviews here http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... ?prod=2696) which you can still get hold of if you're in the US direct from Innova for $699 (marked down from $1200) or from The Boat People

The also discontinued Grabner Jump delivers probably the closest to hardshell river runner performance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-lSe7vQsHQ) but you're unlikely to find one. Snap it up if you do though, they are awesome

Don't know anything about AE boats I'm afraid but there are lots of reviews on paddling.net

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Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:55 pm 
paddler

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 6
Hey paddler,

thanks for the links. I had seen the french videos of the swing. Looked pretty good.

I did go for the swing I in the end. I have only taken it out on the uk's canal system so far. So no rivers with an actual current.

I can say that it handles pretty well, it's very agile but tracks well at the same time even when there's quite a bit of wind.

I found it quite close to a hard shell I sometimes use at the local boat club. It does not get there 100% but pretty close. I think speed and stability is definitely comparable, it's way more agile on the plus side. On the downside I'd say it does not glide quite as well.

One thing I do not like on the swing I is it's footrest. My legs can barely reach it if I sit upright. And it's not so much a footrest but more of a sort of cushion that's attached to the boats floor in the middle. Meaning that if your legs do reach you have to always press pretty hard with both feet to keep it from slipping away.

I'd have much preferred if the foot rest was attached to the boat on both sides and a bit closer to the cockpit. Now every time I'll have to find something I put in the front of the boat to support it.

The second issue I found was the deck material. It's not 100% water resistant. I haven't taken the boat into any whitewater. Just on one of my trips it started to rain heavily and moisture seemed to seep through the deck material.

Actually I don't mind this so much just thought I'd mention it.

Despite these two minus points I do recommend the swing though. It performs really well and is super light and easy to set up. -also looks pretty good ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:15 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 43
yeah well, that's hevealon for you I suppose. I've not seen it in the flesh, but its just a teflon coated version of their litepack fabric that I've never been very keen on. They use it to keep costs and weight down I suppose (am I right in thinking that you don't get the gumotex dry bag/rucksack with the swing?). think yourself lucky you've got the euro version - the US swing is 100% hevealon

congrats on your purchase anyway. Oh yeah, re the footrest it may be worth having a close read of 'jeremy's' reviews of the Traveller in the paddling.net link that I posted. He did something with the OE footrest in his, if I remember right. Replaced it with a rigid brace from another manufacturer, which could be an option for you

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Barum Albatros
Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:36 am 
paddler

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 6
Hey

I don't think I'd mind the whole boat being hevealon I think. I guess the hull is naturally 100% water resistant due to the rubber material beneath. Maybe the hevealon adds a bit of robustness to it when going over rocks etc.

I also own a sevylor tahiti and the gumotex material used for the air chambers looks quite similar to what the sevylor has. I believe them when they say it's more rugged. But I still get cautious whenever I see a sharp edge or a pointy branch.

Re the link you mentioned I've had a look at the reviews and also did a search for footrest but could not find anything.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:16 am 
forum fanatic

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 43
this is a deeper link http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... ?prod=2696. if you scroll down to the review posted on 2-11-2011 you'll find the info on how he changed his foot brace. (bear in mind that it's the traveller, not the swing that he's reviewing so you may find that it's not relevant to you at all)

the nitrilon material the g'tex is made out of will be significantly tougher than the PVC used in the tahiti - I had a tahiti as my first boat and it managed to puncture itself in 4 places just being rolled up in the shed! (that was some years ago though, so they may have improved it since)

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Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:40 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:37 am
Posts: 147
Location: Vancouver BC
I think that deck material needs a spray of outdoor scotchguard or some other water repellent spray. From what I remember the deck is just nylon or polyester, very similar to the decks on Advanced Elements kayaks. I liked trying out the Swing, not a good boat for me but it was a fun and comfortable paddle. Hope you enjoy it Jens!


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