David Nitsch


I used the Helios 380 for five continuous months in Micronesia this winter. Conditions ranged from glassy calm to the feeling of the breath of Typhoon Dale in November. The boat handles well under almost all conditions. I was able to hold enough gear and supplies for two weeks by myself or one week with a partner. I would also like to comment on the ruggedness of the boat. During the five month expedition, I never had to patch the boat, coming home with only superficial scratches on the bottom. The Helios 380 is a serious boat that can take you places no hardshell can be taken, for a fraction of the cost of a folding boat.

My fiancee and I took your boat to all the Society Islands of French Polynesia and Kandavu and Vanua Levu in Fiji. In Fiji we loaded up all our gear plus presents for the local chiefs, and headed way off the tourist map. We stayed in villages that white people hadn’t been to, and the locals were fascinated with the boat. After three months of hard use, still no patches, and this is after 5 months continuous use the year before! When we moved on to the trekking portion of our trip, we just washed the boat off and put it in a box and mailed it home. At the end of our journey, we swung through southern Thailand and rented sit on tops. We would really have rather had the Helios with us.

David Nitsch, Los Angeles, CA

Mark Farber

“THE HELIOS IS A GREAT BOAT!!! The rudder really helps in wind and heavy chop. Did some easier Class III with some trepidation…a piece of cake! LOVED IT!!”

Mark Farber, Washington D.C.

William Mills

It [Helios] will endure an amazing pounding from a wave that breaks over it without flipping. You’ve designed a dynamite kayak!”

William Mills, Great Falls, VA

Joseph Levine

We call our Helios the Fancy, because she will enable us to follow our fancy to the water of our choice anywhere. The boat offers a special advantage to senior citizens who are tired of wrestling large, heavy, bulky hard bodied canoes & kayaks on to the roofs of their cars for short paddles. Plus, she is fun.

Joseph Levine, Silver Spring, MD

Scott Fairty

“Here’s a photo of me surfing a wave at Scudders Falls on the Delaware River near Trenton, NJ in the Traveller. The boat handled amazingly well. I was able to do snappy eddy turns and peel outs and as the photo shows, the boat surfs quite well. I was able to carve back and forth across a wave as easily as I can in a hard boat.”

Scott Fairty, Browntown, VA

Edward Prados

We received the Helios a couple of days ago and took it out for a spin this evening. It sets up very quickly; we had no problems at all. The kayak performs amazingly well and is much faster than we thought it would be. It handled the windy Potomac River nicely. We are very pleased with the Helios — it is much more suitable than a folding kayak given our housing and storage situation.

Edward Prados, Washington, D.C.

Beth A. Smith

The three months of Summer were spent training for my journey across England and familiarizing myself with the boat. I will say that it performed better than expected in its ability to track. It was more maneuverable than any of the other inflatables of my experience.  The fact remains, no other boat would have offered the advantages of light weight, ease of transport, or overall performance, that the Innova offered. I don’t believe I could have paddled the 190 miles I did paddle in 19 days with any other boat.

Beth A. Smith, Emeryville, CA

Brad Frank, Turlock, CA

“I am pleased to tell you I love the boat and recently took it to Kauai with my wife and we had a great time with it there… I’ll be going to Brazil soon with my Helios, too.”

Brad Frank, Turlock, CA

Paul Maki

In May I purchased a Safari from you and would like to take a moment to give you my impressions. I have paddled the kayak on lakes, slow moving rivers, and in Class II whitewater. My Safari has performed wonderfully in all conditions met so far. I have scraped rocks, got hung up on logs, played in the rapids, worked the wind on a lake (25-30 mph), and even passed up a pontoon boat as I approached a dam on a local Michigan river. The Safari is river ready in ten minutes and ready to go home just as fast. It seems very durable (no punctures yet anyway) and the 303 protectant does a nice job on the finish of the boat. The touring seat is quite comfortable-recently I took a 21 mile trip on northern Michigan’s Pine River with only 2 breaks of 15 minutes. I could not have done that in my hardshell kayak without a dead back and legs. I will continue to use the Safari at least once a week until the season ends. One last thing — your help both on e-mail and on the phone were the personal touches that helped me in finally deciding on the inflatable Safari and I thank you personally for your time and expertise because with no local dealer and no personal experience with Innova; I probably would have purchased a different brand of boat.

Paul Maki, Kentwood, MI

Sgt. Myles Morrison

Thank you for the Helios 380. Everyone that sees it is impressed with its design and quality of construction. Your 380 packs down into the smallest size serious boat any of my Rangers has ever seen. This is invaluable to us. No roof rack necessary, fast, fits easily into any car, pickup truck, helicopter, float plane or power boat.”

Sgt. Myles Morrison, Patrol Leader, Canadian Rangers, Ucluelet Patrol