Advantages of backbone?

AE2023-AF1, AE2023-AFX, AE2023-AFC, AE2023-DF2.

Moderator: JCOOLEY

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popstich floor

Post by raw10128 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:39 am

does the new potstich floor replace a backbone. does it perform better than a backbone. anybody know.

lee johnson
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Dropstitch Floor vs. BackBone

Post by lee johnson » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:06 pm

I have ordered a new dropstitch floor for my Expedition, which I normally use with a BackBone (as I do with my AF 1). I also have a Garmin GPS and will check the differences in performance later in a couple of weeks, once the new floor has arrived. What we know is that the old "air mattress" low-pressure floor plus BackBone works very well, indeed, and, given the low air pressure in the floor and the fact that there is nothing to go wrong with the BackBone, it is a wonderful and reliable system for improving the performance of all Advanced Frame kayaks. The advantages of the new dropstitch floor are 1) it weighs less, saving several pounds over the old mattress floor + BB, and 2) it is only one item and thus easier for many people to set up. The real questions remaining are: 1) does it rival the BB in performance, and 2) does it hold up, despite the extra pressure, or will it, over time, simply fall apart at the seams? Of course, Airis uses this kind of high-pressure floor in all its SOTs and seems to be getting away with it. So, reliability may not be an issue, despite one's caution over the extra pressure. In the meantime, please consult airkayaks' site for GPS readings from Holly Harris on the BB vs. the new Dropstitich floor. Her results suggest the two different ways of going are similar.

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Location: Glasgow Scotland

Post by John » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:34 am


Just a word in support of the backbone. I have had an AE convertible since 2009 without the backbone. The kayak has performed well and we have enjoyed it. However, in waves, even pumped fairly firm there was a flex that both slowed the boat and made it less manageable. The backbone (bought recently) has eliminated this. It tracks well, glides well, and the paddlers sit in a better position. It is expensive (especially for us in the UK) but definitely improves versatility and performance... it gives the paddler backbone in hairier conditions.


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Backbone DS Floor

Post by rjf » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:05 pm

I have the old blue DS 1012. Can you under inflate the DS floor and use the backbone? I also have the AF Elite kayak and the poles due make a difference in glide. I hate to buy the flimsy floor to use the backbone if it can be use on with the DS floor under inflated. Any thoughts?

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Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:23 pm

The Backbone and DropStitched Floor work in similar fashion by stiffining up the bottom of the kayak. The backbone is the cheaper option if your kayak came with the stock floor. Because yours came with the Dropstitched Floor, you shouldn't need the Backbone.
If you did choose to use both, it is not recommended. We have yet to hear from someone that has under inflated the floor and put in a backbone.

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