Last Updated: 29th March 2017
If you’ve found your way to this website, it’s safe to say that you are familiar with concept of kayaking, and most probably looking for some helpful advice and pointers regarding some of the potential purchase opportunities on the market today – especially the very popular Intex Challenger K2.
In recent years, the world of kayaking has changed dramatically, with introductions of new manufacturing methods, increasing popularity and of course, major decreases in expense.
If you’re new to kayaking, you’ll be pleased to know that were previously you’d be paying upwards of $300 for a decent kayak, today you can pick one up for around one third of that amount.
Where many people think of kayaking as a sport for the lone wolf, and the appeal for many is to get some alone time out on the water, more recently that has not been the case.
Looking to shift the dynamic to a more sociable activity, manufactures have begun to produce kayaks for multiple passengers, with two seats as standard and some models boasting three seats.
A great example of a two person kayak for a couple on a budget is the Intex Challenger K2 kayak.
Similar in almost every aspect to the incredibly popular Challenger K1, the K2 brings the extra space needed for the second passenger, along with the extra weight capacity.
However, does it build on the shortcoming of the K1, or is it simply the same kayak with one more seat?
This review is about answering that question and more. Throughout this article we will give you all the information you need to make an informed and sensible purchase. Read on to find out more.
Important Information – Intex Challenger K2
|Overall Length||11.5ft (3.5m)|
|Overall Width||2ft 6in (76cm)|
|Maximum Weight||400 lb (182 kg)|
|Certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association using ABYC standards.|
If you’ve managed to find your way to our Challenger K1 review, then you’ll know that the K2 has a lot to live up to, as it’s no mean feat living up to the Intex Challenger brand.
Renowned for durability, easy maneuverability and effortless tracking, the Challenger line of kayaks is a great choice for beginners. So how does the K2 fit in? What makes it stand out from other multiple passenger kayaks?
Well, for a start, it’s made from Intex’s custom designed super tough vinyl, which is puncture proof and resistant to UV damage to boot. This means that you kayak experience can be worry free, as it’s going to take some serious effort to damage this kayak.
You can be as bad as steering as you like as hitting rocks isn’t going to leave a mark. In the rare occurrence of a puncture, the kayak is bundled with an on board puncture repair kit, to stop you taking an unplanned trip to the bottom of the lake.
A big worry for beginner kayakers, particularly those who do not feel at home on the water, is that they are going to capsize. Well rest assured that an inflatable kayak is incredibly difficult to capsize, given it’s natural buoyancy.
However, twice the number of people on board doubles the risk of someone rocking the boat a little too enthusiastically.
To put your mind at rest, Intex have included I-Beam support for added stability, you can even stand up worry free, this kayak is not going to topple. The I-Beam support helps give the Challenger K2 its massive 350lb weight carrying capacity, which is more than enough for two people and your gear.
Safety As Standard
Finally, as I mentioned with the K1 counterpart, this kayak’s coloration makes it really safe to use out on the water, even when surrounded by other water users. With it’s bright vinyl coating and eye catching graphics you aren’t going to be missed, significantly reducing the risk of collision. That should be enough to put even the most timid of first time kayaker’s mind at rest, the K2 would be an excellent choice for you!
During our review of the Challenger K1, we touched on some points where a selection of the features seemed to be below the overall standard of the kayak, as well as the very high standard set by Intex across their range of products.
Now as the K2 name suggests a later model, it merely means that its for two people rather than one.
Unfortunately, this means that the same faults have not been addressed and are ever-present in the K2 model, as well as the K1. These faults may seem relatively minor overall, which I would agree with, but they are still there so need to be discussed.
Low Quality Paddles
Firstly, there’s the normal issue of the included oars being very below par. In the case of the K2, this problem is compounded as instead of the one 84″ oar, you get two. This is twice the problem, and costs twice as much to rectify as you have to buy two replacements rather than one. But that’s the cost of company.
Limited Water Conditions
As well as the issue with oars, once again you are restricted in the areas that you can use your kayak. Where slightly stronger currents can be tackled due to the fact with two people you have double the forward momentum, it’s still not advised that you use the Challenger K2 anywhere other than lakes and slow flowing rivers.
That rules out rapids and the open ocean, so if you’re looking to get out on those, then this unfortunately isn’t the kayak for you.
On the whole, just like the Challenger K1, the K2 is a really great kayak. It’s ideal for beginners and perfect for those looking to find their sea legs, or more accurately ‘slow moving river or lake’ legs.
Where the K2 is not without fault, the faults are easily rectified, and it’s perfectly acceptable on Intex’s part to aim a product at a target audience.
For the advanced kayaker, this is not an essential addition to your kayak fleet, but for a beginner, you’ll be hard pressed to find something better suited to your needs in a similar price range. Setting you back just over a hundred bucks, (the same price as the K1), you really can’t argue with the Challenger K2’s value.