Inflatable kayaks are a bit like mountain bikes. You can buy a blinged-up piece of overweight junk with ‘full suspension’ from a superstore for under a hundred quid. Or, if you’re serious about your cycling fun you can buy something decent that’ll be a joy to own and ride.
They don’t make crap hardshell kayaks or canoes as far as I know; perhaps it’s down to manufacturing costs and demand. But they sure make some ‘inexpensive’ IKs which leads to the assumption that all forms of inflatable watercraft are slow, floppy beach toys little better than a lilo. That’s what I used to think too until I tried out an NRS MaverIK in Idaho back in 2005. As with owning a nice bike, a quality IK inspires you to go out and try new things. Below is my version of an IK 101.