Gumotex Swing IKs

swinginovlitesThe regular Swings are fixed-decked IK solo or tandem IKs pitched at recreational users who seek reassurance in a very wide boat and the dryness of a deck. There were once and are maybe still two versions of Swing 1 and 2. Innova gumotexfabrics18distributors in the US show red/black or 2017> green/grey hulled models which they still list as made from Nitrilon Lite™.
Europe and maybe Elsewhere never had the black hulled models and are made in Nitrilon (Nitrilon Lite™ has been dropped). The claimed weights for identical boats from EU/US are the same – you presume the green/grey doubles are now identical. See the table right about IK materials with more here

SWING I ▪ Length 3.16m ~ 10′ 4″ ▪ Width  87cm ▪ Weight 11.3kg ▪ Maximum load 120kg ~ 265 lbs £549

SWING II ** ▪ Length – 4.02m – 13 feet  ▪ Width  87cm ▪ Weight  14.3kg ▪ Maximum load  220kg ~ 450lbs £729

Note that what Innova in North America call the Swing EX is a Framura in Europe – a fixed-deck, 4.1m Ik much more suited to solo touring and modest sea kayaking.

swingbotsAs others have commented, they appear swingwideto be taking on IKs from Advanced Elements and even the bird’s-eye view is similar. From the profiles it appears they’re more ellipsoid or ‘lemon shaped’ than other models, or maybe it’s just that they’re substantially wider which exaggerates this impression.
swingbowThe Swings use 2 or 3 curved alloy crossbars (left) to keep the deck taught (similar system on my Incept and Seawave) and make room for the legs, as well as spread and form the width of the boat. Some blurb states these crossbars make the boat more rigid which may well be true. Pushing the hull sides apart to make width and form and avoid a slack deck won’t make an IK more longitudinally rigid, but I suspect that constraining the sides (stopping them from flexing out as the boat bends longitudinally) will have some effect, and it seems that the T-bar ends of the Swing’s crossbeams could do this. If you think about it, when an ‘open peapod’ vessel like an IK flexes longitudinally in the swell / under the paddler’s weight, the hull sides will tend to fold and bow out in the middle. So if the T-bar ends of the crossbars do indeed slot in and constrain the sides, that may well restrict out-bowage and so sag on longways flex – probably no worse than any tentpole on an Advanced Elements or a broom handle as I tried myself on my old Sunny.

As far as the preferred boats for touring, what is desirable is a decked boat the length of a Swing 2, but set up for a single paddler. That is the Framura or Swing EX to Innova – a good-looking, solo-touring, fixed-deck IK for those who think soloing in a Seawave is a bit much.
Sure you can sit in the back of an SW2 and load the front, but it’s not right, is it?

What are the actually benefits of a near-permanent deck on an IK? (the Swings’ decks only unzip partially). Limiting swamping – sure. Keeping the sun off – maybe in sunny lands. Keeping you warm – I suppose so, but that’s what a dry suit ought to do: ‘dress for the swim [falling in], not the paddle [air temps]’ they say.
And so I conclude that the Swings may well sell well but they fall into the less desirable ‘bloat’ category: much wider than they need to be which is great for nervous day/rec users who are attracted to the perceived safety as well as genuine storage advantages of IKs. But for the smaller niche of multi-day touring and sea use (space, speed, convenience), they’re not so ideal.

Another review some Swingers chatGumotex assembly pdf
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2 Responses to Gumotex Swing IKs

  1. Chris S says:

    Mr P went on to ask Gumboat HQ about the seemingly differing models of Swings.

    “I am hoping you can help me with a question about the Swing. I am a little bit confused about the material that they are made from. The Gumotex website says the hull is made from Nitrilon with Hevealon cockpit but the Innova website says the hull is made from LitePack with Teflon coating (Hevealon?). Innova and Gumotex also give different weights for the Swings. Are the EU Swings made from different material to the USA Swings perhaps?”
    GHQ replied
    “Yes, that´s absolutely right. The Swing which is made for European market is from light Nitrilon + cockpit from Hevealon. But Swing with brand Innova (US brand for GUMOTEX) is [entirely] made from Hevealon because Innova company insist on totally PVC free material. And that´s only Hevealon. The weight is same for both of the type of Swing (Swing 1 = 11,2 kg a Swing 2 14,2 kg).”

    So now we know. I did not know Nitrilon or the lite pack version was a ‘PVC’ type of material, but perhaps ‘synthetic rubber’ covers that. And since then the weight of the ‘heavier?’ EU Swing 1 has been verified at 8-8.5kg

  2. Chris S says:

    IK fan Mr P (Mk1 Safari, Mk1 Sunny, Scout Eco) writes:

    “… I’ve just had a look at your Swing article and have a couple of points. Like you, I’ve not seen one in the flesh, so have been trying to get an idea of what they’re like and what they’re made from. Gumotex and Innova each seem to tell a different tale. Innova (and The Boat People) say they’re made of the new version of LitePack – ie Hevealon – but Gumotex say they’re made from Nitrilon, with only the cockpit (I’m assuming they mean the decks) made from Hevealon. This might explain the pretty large weight discrepancies – Gumotex reckon 31lbs for the double, with The Boat People (who claim they have actually weighed it) giving it as 28.5 incl. ribs and fin. But 31lbs is 5lbs lighter than the similarly sized but undecked 410C, suggesting that they can’t be using full fat Nitrilon for the Swings. Perhaps they have started using the 450 denier Nitrilon again (apparently they used to make their boats in both thicknesses, with the EX signifying that it was made from the thicker stuff). Who knows? Food for thought anyway…”

    I think he has a point although I would read ‘cockpit’ as the inner surfaces of the boat and suspect the Hevealon deck material is as light as it can be. I see now that the Innova Swings (US) pictured above have black hulls that look less shiny so could be the teflon-coated fabric Hevealon. But the European Swings (on the Gumotex website have grey shiny hulls suggesting Nitrilon and inner surface (see the unzipped picture) that looks shiny too, so full coat Nitrilon?
    And yet in December Paddlesheep in BC tried a grey hulled boat in Seattle, though the inner looks uncoated – i.e: old Litepack? Could early US Swings have been made in Litepack and the ones that have just arrived in the US feature black hulls in Hevealon?
    But then again GW Dowling – [used to be] a good place to buy Gumboats in the UK – sold a ‘Hevealon Repair Kit’ which features black patches…

    What does it all mean?
    Quite possibly that Europe gets heavier ‘semi-full Nitrilon’ Swingboats, while the US gets lighter Hevealon black hulled boats.

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