It's time to speak up - all you 10.5 owners

AE1002(2002-2005), AE1012(2006-Present), AE1017-O(2009-Present)

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It's time to speak up - all you 10.5 owners

Post by Daddy-O » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:05 am

I was thinking about supplimenting our 2 Convertibles with a 10.5 or two (we have a large family). I think it would be nice to have a thread dedicated to your appreciation for the 10.5. So, if you own a AF 10.5, please let us know what you think about it.

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Post by waddle » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:43 pm

Coincidentally, one of the first times I used my 10.5 I ran into a couple that had the Convertible. We compared our kayaks and the length, weight, and convertible top seemed to be the only real differences between them. My 10.5 inflated faster, and I was able to carry it on my own. I love my 10.5. It turns very well, great control, and it's not as fast as a hardshell, but the speed isn't bad. The only downside I've encountered is that my butt gets wet, no matter what I do. I've heard that's not unheard of though in a lot of the models, and it's only a minor inconvenience for me.

I'm only 5'4" so it's extremely roomy for me. I'm able to use the space behind the seat, as well as under the deck in front of my feet for storage. Bottom line: I'd recommend the 10.5 to anybody.

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Love my 10.5

Post by Jaygee » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:51 pm

See my comments re my 10.5 and some photos here: ... .php?t=313

lee johnson
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Post by lee johnson » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:31 am

It appears as if you want the best of all possible worlds, Daddy-O: the AE Convertibles for tandem paddling and AF 1s for solo, in flotillas. My oldest son and I bought three AF 1s so that he and his gal and I could all go out together or separately. He also thinks it is nice not to have to talk to the back of her head; in their own AF 1s, they can talk to each other, face to face, on the water, explore the coastline individually, and join up to compare further observations, without craning their necks.
About the AF 1: if I could own only one kayak (but who would want to be so restricted?), it would be the AF 1 with BackBone, which makes a categorical difference in speed and efficiency, turning a flat bottom into a V shape and bringing the craft closer to hardshell performance but without the problems of transport and storage, best characterized, among hardshell owners, as a pain in the gluteus maximus. The other kayak to tempt me is the Expedition (with the obligatory BackBone, of course), if I wanted to haul lots of camping stuff. It depends on the functions you are looking for, which takes me back to my Dragonfly XC - great for "guerilla kayaking," when you need to strike quickly and fast - there is no excuse not to use that useful little craft or to take it anywhere in the world as check-on baggage. The XC is also terrific on streams and rivers, turning on a dime and giving you nine cents' change, as PJacobsen points out. So, to complement your AF Convertibles, go for the AF 1s, by all means, and maybe throw in a few Dragonfly XCs (now called Lagoon 1s) for good measure. You could end up with a veritable fleet of kayaks, and every one would give pleasure and satisfaction in its own distinctive way. And your grateful family members and their friends could start calling you "Admiral of the Fleet."

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Post by Daddy-O » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:38 am

lee johnson wrote:...and your grateful family members and their friends could start calling you "Admiral of the Fleet."
Hahaha! Admiral of the Fleet! Now there is a thought! :D I ordered two AF 10.5's yesterday from I'll post something at a later date after we get out in ours, but in the mean time, I hope that we will hear from many more AF10.5 owners. 8)
Admiral Daddy-O

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Post by PJohanson » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:07 am

My friend owns a 10.5, and we've paddled together many times. My Dragonfly goes a little slower, of course, especially when he's got the backbone in his kayak.
The weight of the boats is a deciding factor for some people. I find the smaller, lighter Dragonfly in its case is easier to wrestle onto buses and tow along roads on a folding luggage roller. But then, I'm a pretty small person. My friend is a little stronger and swings his 10.5 around with no problem at all!
So I'd say that if you're not actually packing the kayak over a rough trail, the 10.5 is a better choice, particularly for guys.

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Quality of Materials and Construction

Post by NAVYVET » Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:23 pm

I retired after 23 years in the Navy so I have experience with Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs). Honestly, I had seen other inflatable canoes and kayaks in nationally-known stores, and I was concerned about the quality and durability of the Advanced Elements line. I asked Holly of and Jeremy numerous questions and pored over the online manual, as well as reading the reviews at, before I decided to try one.

I just got my AF AE-1012 today from in limited edition green. I have inspected it as if it were a RHIB. That means I checked every seam and every square inch, and the whole thing passed with flying colors. I'd say that it rivals the durability and quality of a Navy RHIB except the AF 10.5 is much prettier. I was half afraid the green would be some terrible "lime" color from the photos I'd seen of it, but the actual color in person is very attractive.
Tomorrow morning, I'll try it out on a calm lake and probably post my results again, but I am quite sure any problems I have will probably be due to my paddling technique (as I've read in other posts) and not any defect in this sleek kayak.

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First Paddle

Post by NAVYVET » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:29 pm

I read every review I could find and all the posts on this message board before I purchased the AE-1012 so maybe this will help someone who's considering it to decide.
My plan was to practice paddling on Crab Orchard Lake for 1 or 2 hours this morning. Instead, I finally (and reluctantly) quit, took her back to the dock, checked my watch and found that I'd been paddling for 6 hours! I'd taken along a thermos of water and a thermos of coffee and a "Little John" portable urinal; I was on the water for 6 hours straight.

Comfort: Obviously, I was very comfortable, but there's more. I'm a disabled vet due to my knees; I also have old injuries to my right shoulder and right elbow. I'd rented a fiberglass Kestrel HV for 1 hour; since I had to brace my knees against the hardshell, I was limping for the next 2 days. After a bracing my knees against the sides and the deck of the AE-1012 for 6 hours, my knees are no worse for the wear. (I'm 5'11", 160 pounds, with an inseam of 33" and size 7 feet.)
W.B.S. (Wet Butt Syndrome): I folded a pack towel and placed it under the seat, as another post had suggested. Of course, I got my feet wet and had splashed from the paddle inside the kayak. When I finished, the towel under the seat, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected from reading other posts. I had a bilge pump under the front bungee cords; I never touched it.
Inflation/Deflation: I practiced once on Friday; it took about 20 minutes. Today, I was very surprised that inflation took only 8 minutes at the dock, and deflation/packing took about 6 minutes. I used an AE double-action pump with gauge. I was not hurrying at all. The starboard deck lift deflated completely after about 2 hours; it was not a problem. The floor lost some air, but I only noticed that at the end of the 6-hour paddle. It had no effect on my comfort level.
Paddle: I used a 240cm Cannon Escape paddle after reading the posts on the Forum. I'm glad I used the longer paddle, and I highly recommend it.
Tracking/Gliding: Tracking was surprisingly good. On flat, calm backwaters, it was amazingly good. When I took it into boat wakes, PWC wakes and into 8-knot winds, tracking was still good, but gliding was almost nonexistent. I was not using the BB I'd purchased; I'm sure it's because I could feel the "give" in the floor when hitting boat wakes. I'll try the backbone on Monday though when the weather conditions will be about the same as today. I did notice the weather helm mentioned in other posts, but it was easily corrected.
Storage: What's stored behind the seat will stay behind the seat. It was much to difficult to try to access it while paddling.

Issues: The only real issue I had was with the PFD from the seat heighth. The seat back hit the PFD just enough to lift it up about an inch. I had to re-adjust the PFD several times; although I could easily shift my position to pin the PFD against the seat back, I would have liked to be an inch or so higher in the seat. This may be corrected by the BB, or I may get a cushion under the seat to lift me.

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Post by lowrider » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:23 am

Hello every one:
I just bought my first Kayak yesterday. It is a used AF1 in great shape. I got it off Craig’s list for $250.
It cam with a paddle, pump and spray skirt. Those valves are tricky but I got it going. Set it up twice yesterday so there should be no problems to day. On the second inflation the foot pump blew out. I went to Academy sports and picked up a dual action pump for $7.99 and it worked great. Pumped up the main chambers in 2 minutes flat. Don’t tell my wife I did it in the living room. Packing it back up was a little tricky. Nothing a big shoe horn cant handle.
I plan on hitting the water in about an hour. Wish me luck.

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Post by lowrider » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:00 pm

Man that was fun. The seat is very comfortable. I think anyway since I have never been in a Kayak before. Never once felt off balanced and tracked great, when I was paying attention. My strokes are all over the place.
But 2 hours out in 96 degree sun was enough. 10 minutes from bag to water. That new pump as awesome. I want over an under water obstacle with about 8 inch depth and did no rub. I an 200 pounds, how shallow will this thing go.
If I new how to get the pictures from my phone to my computer ,I would post them.
Bottom line "love this boat".

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Post by sonar » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:06 pm

We have two A F Kayaks the best inflatables we have had.

Having had many types and makes were glad we now have these. We are getting out more in the AF than we did in any of the other makes.

A great looking Kayak with a quality build certanly turns heads when were paddling the rivers and lakes.

A number of people did not know that they were inflatables. So theres a tick for the very high quality looks.

We have one green and one Orange. Both look well.

Easy to inflate / Easy to clean and pack away if required.
I cant say enough about them.

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Love it!!!

Post by doyousubaru » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:55 pm

Couldn't be happier with my AF 10.5. Any issues are due to "operator error" :!:

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Post by joshcl » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:24 am

I got my AF 10.5 earlier this year and love it. It's very portable and easy to pump up. I h ave had no problems with durability. I have ran over some rocks in a shallow river and not a scratch. As everyone says it's very comfortable, assuming you're not very tall (like over 6'). I don't have a problem with having a wet seat either. I don't have a backbone for it yet, but it travels fine without one too.

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