Looking to buy a new Kayak: Expedition or Evo

Get advice on which kayak may be best for you. Compare the different models. "VS."

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SaltyPaddler
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:34 am

Looking to buy a new Kayak: Expedition or Evo

Post by SaltyPaddler » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:29 pm

Hi all,
I am looking to buy a new Kayak. I have an Aquaglide Klickitat now (10' x 36" sit on top inflatable). I love the stability, but I'm looking for something that can move better through the water. I've read through the forum boards here and an considering either the expedition elite or the EVO. General consensus is that the EVO is a little faster but not by much and the expedition is more stable and can carry more (I'm 6' 190lbs). I'll be taking it out in Pudget Sound with a goal of doing several miles at a time. Any thoughts or recommendations? Side question, do people still recommend getting the bottom rod with an Expedition Elite or does the drop stitch flooring negate the need for one? Thank you

lee johnson
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: vancouver canada

Re: Looking to buy a new Kayak: Expedition or Evo

Post by lee johnson » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 pm

Hello Salty Paddler! First, you will like the warmth of both sit-inside kayaks (AFX, EVO) after being exposed to cold winds sweeping through your sit-on-top in the north Pacific. I own the Expedition (AFX) and the AirFusion EVO and can affirm both are winners. The AFX is probably more comfortable for a large person who is paddling over several hours, and it is, as you note, more stable - which could be important in Puget Sound during high winds and waves. The performance of the EVO is incomparable for speed and maneuverability. The AFX with BackBone is almost as fast but is less maneuverable. The new AFX Elite comes with the drop-stitch floor, however, and does not really need or benefit from a BackBone, which works better with the old "air mattress" style of floor. The drop-stitch floor on the elite AFX produces a flat bottom on the hull but creates two chines where the bottom of the hull meets the kayak's sides. By contrast, the BackBone creates a V-shape to the bottom of the hull that, in my experience, improves hull speed and tracking while reducing "back drag" from its wake. The EVO has its internal anodized poles running the length of the kayak; they connect with the metal forms at the bow and stern. They also impart a V-shape to the hull. The drop-stitch sides of the EVO give a suggestion of a hard chine between the sides of the deck and the hull. The EVO is better for an average-sized adult, the AFX for a larger person. Over the years, I have found that middle age is the time of life when a broad mind and a narrow waist exchange places! On the other hand, even though I am near the recommended weight limit for the EVO, I find it sits in the water quite well, although needing a spray skirt in lively seas. If weather conditions are challenging, I automatically take the AFX (with BackBone). Please feel free to contact me privately if you wish for more information or for clarification of anything I have suggested.

lee johnson
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: vancouver canada

Re: Looking to buy a new Kayak: Expedition or Evo

Post by lee johnson » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:32 am

Postscript: My comments about the superb maneuverability of the AirFusion EVO refer to its configuration without the Skeg. With the Skeg, the EVO becomes much less "tippy" because the skeg acts as a kind of fixed rudder, improving longitudinal stability. The trade-off, of course, is that the kayak now is much more resistant to turning and is much better at going in a straight line. With its Skeg, the EVO is probably no more maneuverable than the AFX Expedition. You have a tough choice ahead of you, Salty Paddler, and may now understand why I have both kayaks!

SaltyPaddler
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:34 am

Re: Looking to buy a new Kayak: Expedition or Evo

Post by SaltyPaddler » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:15 pm

Thank you Lee Johnson, I really appreciate your thoughtful response. After doing more research I am leaning towards the airfusion Evo. I believe it offers the greatest performance difference from the kayak I currently have. I'm looking forward to launching from Lincoln Park and going to Vashon Island all on my own power and in a timely manner. I can't find any older expeditions for sale, just the elite models. Thanks again for the response.

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