New Innova Swing EX

Innova has a new version of their popular Innova Swing now available called the Innova Swing EX.

This is the expedition model.  It’s a nice looking decked inflatable kayak that offers all of the advantages of the regular Swing with a few extras.

Innova is known for making inflatable kayaks with more environmentally friendly materials.

The Swing EX is made with LitePack™ hull treated with Teflon® water repellent. They use no PVC.

This kayak is ideal for flat water touring on lakes, ocean expeditons or up to class II rivers.

The length and width make it ideal for more speed and better tracking.

It’s a really nice looking solo kayak, light weight, durable, and priced fairly well.

Swing EX

Special Features

Spray Skirt

One of the best features in my opinion of this kayak is that it has the option of attaching a spray skirt that will attach to the cockpit with a hoop. (I’m not sure the price of the spray skirt but Innova states it will be available for purchase on their website soon.)

The usual reason for wanting a decked kayak is so that you can get more protection from the elements.

However I find in general with inflatable kayaks that have decks, they still have a large opening for the cockpit so you are still fairly exposed.

With the option of this spray skirt you can really get full protection from cold weather and freezing water.

Although this spray skirt is an extra cost, it is an excellent option for anyone paddling in colder conditions.

Hull

Besides the Innova kayaks, the other decked kayaks I have seen before use a zip-on deck.

These zip-on decks have three main problems:

  1. Their construction tends to result in a heavier kayak
  2. Water can get trapped inside and it can take longer and be more difficult to dry out
  3. They take quite a bit longer to setup

The tubeless system that Innova uses instead is far more efficient.

Below is Innova’s description of the hull construction on their Swing kayaks…

The hulls are made of rip-stop polyester fabric, rubber-coated on the interior for air-retention, and Teflon®-treated on the outside for water repellency and stain resistance.
The air-holding seams are vulcanized and permanently bonded (similar to the way in which tires are vulcanized). Each chamber is individually tested at the factory for air retention.
The Swing “tubeless” construction parallels what tire manufacturers went to decades ago – it is inherently light, but it also inflates to a higher pressure than competing bladder kayaks (3-psi vs. 2-psi). The higher pressure means that the Swings are stiffer in rough water and have snappier paddling performance.

I’m not an expert in this tubeless design but as a regular paddler of inflatable kayaks, I noticed instantly the lightness of the Swing kayak as well as the ease of setup.  The water dips easily off the material and it seems to dry quickly.

Deck

The deck on the Swing EX kayak has a zipper up front as well as in the back. The zipper allows you to easily access your gear stored inside the kayak. It also helps with drying it out.

The deck is supported by aluminum arches at the front and back of the cockpit opening, which provide the deck structure and helps with stiffness.

When the kayak is deflated you have the choice of leaving the arches in or taking them out for a smaller folded package.

Both the front and back decks have bungee cords for securing gear up top as well.

PVC-Free

Innova is committed to making inflatable kayaks without the use of PVC.

PVC material has been recognized as an environmental concern. However it is the most common material used in the construction of inflatable kayaks.

The Swing EX is made completely without the use of PVC.

Valves

There are three separate air chambers in this kayak, each with a “bayonet” style valve.

The valves are set flush with the fabric surface so as not to get in the water.

There is also a pressure relief valve in the kayak floor chamber to relieve air pressure if necessary.

Pictures taken from the InnovaKayak.com website.

Specs

  • Length: 13’5”
  • Width: 29”
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Load Capacity: 396 lbs. (1 person)
  • Material: LitePack™ hull treated with Teflon® water repellent
  • Air Chambers: 3
  • River Rating: Class II

I have reviewed the regular Innova Swing but have not yet tested this new Swing EX.

I love the look of it and I think it sounds fantastic. The size and shape of this kayak make it ideal for expeditions and touring.

The weight is good for a kayak of this length and knowing the Innova company, I have no doubt it performs as it should and is well made.

I look forward to trying it out one day soon.

Click here for more pictures and pricing on the Innova Swing EX from the official Innova Kayak website.

Comments

  1. Joe Zens says:

    Hey guys……I’m thinking of getting a swing ex!!!! I already own a swing 1 and love it!!! I love the stability of it alot. Being that the swing ex is 4 inches narrower, will that comprise alot of stability? Will I be disappointed? Thanks Joe.

    • I don’t think you’d be disappointed. It will be slightly less stable than the Swing I with the leaner width but it is also a few feet longer creating a very solid platform. I find the Swing kayaks in general to be quite stable and the bonus with the Swing EX of course is that it performs really well. You will find it is more efficient than the Swing I, it tracks better and glides nicely. Hope that helps, good luck!

  2. Kevin mcdonald says:

    I just wish they’d install marine zippers: ie water and salt resistant… 🙁
    Really for an ocean going kayak, pretty essential.
    It’s the only complaint I have of my Swing 1 having paddled extensively in N America, Caribbean and in UK waters
    Otherwise great boats

  3. People in the web have had mentioned issues with the skirt being not stable and waterproof enough. Is that something you have experienced and if so is there an easy fix for it. I’m spli between towards the AdvElements convertible and the swing 2. I like the lighter weight of the latter but wonder if the AdvElements may be the more solid option. Thanks!

    • Hi Nils, I haven’t had any issues with the skirt and definitely no issues with it not being waterproof. I know of several people who have bought the Innova Swing who have been happy with it, so that definitely hasn’t been my experience. You could contact Innova and see what they say about it, they might have some insight if this has been a complaint. The Advanced Elements Convertible has always been super popular. I’m not a huge fan simply for the fact that it is so heavy and takes so much longer to put together. However it paddles well and definitely looks nice. Innova offers a 2-year warranty whereas AE only gives 1-year, which might be a consideration factor as well. Good luck!