KayakIraq! (Actually just some questions about the AEC)

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Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Iraq

KayakIraq! (Actually just some questions about the AEC)

Post by Kylesilva » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:36 am

Why hello everybody, allow me to introduce myself to the community:

My name is Kyle, I am 22 and I am currently in Iraq (woohoo?) with the US Marine Corps. When back in the states, I will be stationed in NC until about a year from now, when I plan to head back to California (I haven't decided north or south yet). I am originally from Benicia, CA.-- the tiny town with (apparently) a lot of AE love going on--so hi to my fellow Nor-Cal'ers. I miss it back home terribly.

[Okay, on to the purpose of the post!]

I have Kayaked about 30 or 40 times stretched over the last four years-- normally for two to four hours at a time. I am in love with the idea of packing up for a weekend and pushing off into the water...its a modern day manifest destiny. After finally deciding that I NEED to have my very own Kayak, I started the online search. About four days into my search, I stumbled upon the AE brand of Kayaks. They look perfect for me (I will live in a Barracks room--so no storage space-- and I drive a sebring convertible--so no roofracks for me). I have especially taken a liking to the AEConvertible, I like that it can seat two or one, and the reviews are glowing.

[I swear I will get to the purpose of the post at some point...]

Basically I am super excited about this purchase. It is a tad (haha, okay maybe a lot more than I was expecting to pay after factoring in the different decks/equipment, etc) out of my price range but if you can't treat yourself to a bit of fun after a seven month deployment, when can you? It's only money, anyways haha.

[So close to the purpose that I can taste it...]

Basically what i'm looking for is...

[oh here it is!]

-if anybody knows of good dealers (or dealers with Military discount even?)
-what gear I will need/want. I am trying to order online in the next few months so it will be waiting for me in March.
-any recomendations you might have for gear/accesories! I am new to owning, so I don't have any PFDs, Paddles, Waterproof Bags, anything. (for referance, I am six feet tall and weight about 160 lbs. )

I love all of the pictures and just perusing around the DB I can see that the kayaking community is a welcoming, helping one that I am extremely excited to become a small part of.

(all the way from Al Taqaddum, Iraq!) :D

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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Rochester Hills, MI USA

Post by jcoop77 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:13 pm

Good to hear from one of our boys in Iraq! We are proud of your work.

I bought the AE convertible in Oct 07 here in Michigan and have used it 40 to 50 times in the past year. I am happy with the boat, ( I am 6'4" 260lb ) however one of my major motivations for the convertible was not realistic. I am married with two teenage boys and I figured that by getting the option to use in single/or double mode, maybe 50% of the time I would have someone with me ( one of the three other members of the household.)

However, I usually am alone in the boat 90% of the time... comfortable, for me, but not what I expected.

Other lessons:
a) realize that the width of the boat ( 32") will cause more drag than a typical hardshell kayak (24") so when paddling with hardshells of the same length, you will have to work harder to keep up, if you can.

b) setting and folding up the boat seem to be a worrisome point to many newbies, but I have not found it tough after the first few times. and it sure beats lifting a boat 4x onto/off of a car for each time that you paddle. I love that I can keep it in the trunk of my car (using 60% of the trunk if I pack it well, though usually I do not. ). In this case it is ALWAYS with me and ready for a spontaneous paddle.

c) the optional spine of the boat is really good when you have two larger people or a windy day when you are single. When i want to save time on set up and take down and paddling alone, I do not put the spine in the boat.

I boought the boat from a local, shop without being able to try it out They had never sold and AE, but ordered it for me anyway. I showed them the deal I found online and the store matched it.


Here is the full package I got for about $1000 including tax.
It has held up well, though since my family does not join me enough, I am thinking of getting a single, maybe a hard shell to be able to paddle with the local groups more easily. I am a rarity... no one around here has ever seen an AE boat.


Two AE2005 Advanced Elements 4-pc breakdown paddle. Features include: durable high-density polyethylene blades; Lightweight hardened aluminum shaft; Rubber drip rings; stainless steel locking snaps;
Feathering blades; Length - 235cm. Breakdown length 31.25 inches; Weight: 3.25 lbs

One AE2009 Advanced Elements Double Action Hand Pump. Features include: Cuts inflating time nearly in half! Double action hand pump delivers air on up and down strokes.

Single deck: AE2021 Creates a "closed-deck kayak" with single seating; Will accept an optional spray skirt; Durable, zippers into place!

Double deck: AE2022 Creates a "closed-deck kayak" with double seating; Will accept an optional spray skirt; Durable, zippers into place!

Two AE2007 Advanced Elements spray skirt, designed to keep bigger waves out & warmth in. Features include: Removable elastic suspender straps; Safety reflectors; Torso bungee; Welded Seams; Quick release lever; Coaming tension adjuster

AE2023-AFC Backbone: a spinal chord for your AdvancedFrame Convertible!

plus two good quality PFDs : Stohlquist Escape PFD

Good luck, let me know if you ahve any questions..

Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:30 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Kayaking Carquinez

Post by Ryker » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:54 pm

Hello Kyle, from one of the Benicia guys!

Thanks for your service to our country!

I bought a “brand newâ€￾ 2005 AE AF 10.5 early in September from a shop in LA that had it sitting in inventory for three years. Got it for $305 including shipping. Found it by doing a nationwide Google search on CraigsList.org. One or two good buys show up each week, so they are not hard to find, just takes some patience. If you want a dealer, I bought paddle, PFD and hand pump from AirKayaks.com up in Clear Lake and you’ll have to look long and hard to find nicer, fairer or more knowledgeable people.

Storage is also a problem for me, as is my transportation – my daily driver is a Miata and kayak and accessories had to fit in the trunk, therefore the 10.5 instead of an Expedition or Convertible. BTW, I’m 6’3â€￾ and 225lbs, so the fit in the 10.5 and the MX-5 are comparable – that is to say, uh, sung, but I can get comfortable.

My kayaking experience before I bought the AF was exactly two rentals, one sit-on-top in Suisun Marina and one sit-inside in Sausalito, both doubles. No regrets, great boat, has done everything I expected it to do. I am thinking seriously about getting a backbone to help tracking.

The neatest thing about having the 10.5 in my car trunk is I can get off work here in Benicia at 17h00 and be feet wet in any of several places in fifteen minutes. So, in just five weeks, I’ve been out on the Carquinez Strait seven times, going from bridge to bridge. I’ve stayed fairly close to the Benicia side, not yet venturing across the channel. I’m still learning how to identify and navigate the almost three knot peak ebb and flood currents. And I’m lucky that our usual 15 to 20 knot wind has not yet been a factor.

As many others on this forum have suggested, as a minimum I always carry the pump, PFD, throw rope, GPS, and headlight, even though I’ve not yet been more than klick or so from shore.

Bottom line, once you’ve got the basic equipment, kayaking is a really inexpensive hobby, and starter boat or long term, I think you’ll do fine with an AE.


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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada


Post by PJohanson » Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:44 pm

Glad you've got plans to go kayaking when you get back from Iraq!
Be sure to put a whistle on your PFD. I tied a compass onto mine as well, but my husband and paddle partner got a deck-mounted compass instead. The whistle is required for safety rules, the compass is great because fog can show up quickly here. Practise taking bearings with a compass so you'll be ready if caught in fog.
A throw bag is a good way to carry the 50 feet of line you're supposed to have. It's easier to hold one end of the line and throw the bag than it is to try to throw a plain rope.
I have a water pump, too, even though it's only been used when we have "falling out of our boats" sessions for safety practice.
Good luck with your tour and your plans!

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