Paul Yuschak Takes a Sunny to the Captiva area on the gulf coast of Florida

Dear Innova,

Just a quick note to let you know how much my family enjoys the Sunny that we purchased this year.

This past spring we purchased the Sunny to take on a vacation to the Captiva area on the gulf coast of Florida. It was great. It was easy to travel with and so easy to set up. Also, I was amazed at how well it paddled even in inlets where the wind and tide made paddling a challenge. I used it on some long day trips to deserted islands and carried a fair amount of gear. My daughters loved paddling it off the resort beach. We also used it a lot off the southern New Jersey coast, taking it out through the surf in search of dolphins. We had such a blast with it that I am selling two of my hard kayaks and purchasing two Safaris for playing in the surf.

Thanks
Paul Yuschak

Sally Jewell, past President and CEO, REI, 51st US Secretary of the Interior

May 24, 2002

I’m very happy to provide you with a testimonial regarding my personal and company experience with Innova, and specifically the Safari model. I have two Innova kayaks (a Safari and a Helios 380) in addition to three hard shell kayaks. I love to paddle on both flat and moderate white water. I have found the Innova inflatables to perform as well as the hard shell boats, which is very commendable given that they pack up into a small bundle and don’t require any rigid hardware. I’ve taken them on airplanes and in my sailboat, enabling me to paddle in places I otherwise couldn’t go.

The Safari is a great kayak — it is exceptionally maneuverable, yet tracks very well both with and without the detachable skeg. The internal straps make it both fun and stable in white water, and the inflatable seats keep the back comfortable on long flat water excursions. The material is exceptionally tough (even on barnacles) and the tube construction gives it the rigidity needed to perform well.

In speaking with our kayak buyer at REI, she indicated that Innova has high quality, durable, authentic boats that serve the paddling enthusiast (as opposed to the price-conscious recreational user).

Well, I’m off to South Puget Sound to paddle for the weekend!

Warmly,

Sally Jewell
President and CEO
REI

Dirk Macfarlane, Lt. Commander, Navy SEAL

Western Pacific Safari paddling in Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia & Darwin

Dear Tim,

I have been paddling your Safari kayak quite often and . . . I LOVE it. In fact, the BLUE RIDGE (SEVENTH Fleet command ship) deployed on the annual “Southern Swing” this year from January to April. During Southern Swing, we were in ports about half the time in places like Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Darwin and Brisbane Australia and New Caledonia. I paddled the Safari in most of those places. The Safari is the perfect traveler’s kayak because it is light, sooo compact and, it sets up so much quicker than folding kayaks. If I hear about some great rapids in a country that I happen to be visiting, I can put the Safari on my back, catch a bus, and BAM, there I am paddling on some exotic river, no hassles, no complicated coordination, just paddling. If good paddling is within a reasonable distance from my point of embarkation in a country, I like to ride my mountain bike, with the Safari on my back, to the paddling location. Now I ask you, how else can you carry a kayak on your mountain bike? You could use a folding kayak, but that spoils my fun because they take so long to set up.

I keep the Safari in my car so that I can paddle whenever I feel like it.

I am very satisfied with your kayak. It is VERY durable, versatile, compact and easy to set up. I have thrown it, dragged it and paddled over jagged rocks with it and it just won’t pop! The bottom is scratched up but there is no sign of serious wear. Believe me, I beat the crap out of your kayak and it laughs at me. I am a dedicated fan. I am very glad that you talked me out of bringing a folding kayak here to Japan. I would never paddle because of the required set up time.

Very Respectfully,
Dirk Macfarlane

Alan Kesselheim: “The Innova Safari is an inflatable kayak that works.”

Alan Kesselheim is an adventurer with more than 10,000 paddling miles in his wake, including two year-long wilderness imersions in the wilds of northern Canada. He is a full-time freelance writer with eight books to his credit, including Water and Sky, Threading the Currents, and The Wilderness Paddler’s Handbook. He is a Contributing Editor for Canoe & Kayak Magazine, a regular contributor to both Backpacker and Outside, a columnist for Big Sky Journal and has published hundreds of stories in national publications like Sports Afield, Men’s Journal, Audubon, Summit, Adventure Journal and many others. He lives with his family in Montana.

In my work as a full-time freelance writer with a specialty in paddle sports and outdoor adventure, I’ve spent a lot of time in inflatable and folding craft. My experience runs the gamut from ocean surf to Class IV whitewater, and from overnight trips to extended wilderness journeys. I have come to an appreciation for boats that really work in the blank spaces on maps, as opposed to the products that only look the part.

The Innova Safari is an inflatable kayak that works. I was first drawn to the boat because of its design, portability, and workmanship. Over a period of several years, I’ve had it in ocean surf in the Caribbean, in Class III and IV rapids on the Salmon River, in fast-moving current and big waves on the Yellowstone River, and on quiet water in touring situations. The Safari is unique because it handles this broad range of adventure with style and grace.

The boat tracks well on the flat, plays rough in the surf and rapids, is stable enough to be reassuring, while not giving away too much performance, and even takes a small load of gear for an overnight or long day trip. I trust the Safari enough to put my nine-year-old inside and let him go for the waves, and I don’t say that about many boats. Having paddled a number of craft that excel within a narrow niche, but fall apart under other conditions, I’ve grown to appreciate the adaptability and nimble nature of the Safari as it performs under the varied conditions presented by real-life paddling.

Cheers,
Alan Kesselheim