They say new Swing Evos are in the works with D/S floors (like the Thaya) but also integrated D/S bows and sterns, which will be interesting.
The 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 distributors 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.
As others have commented, they appear to 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.
The 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 actual 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.