Incept K40


  • For half a dozen videos of the K40 in action, click My Videos.
  • For my preview of the Incept K40 while mulling over similar options, go here.
  • For a brief test run and video in a K40, skip to this.
  • Read my initial review of my new boat here.
  • For a second opinion on a K40 read this.
  • For early sailing experiments with the K40 go here.
  • And for later posts, technical, impressions and travels, click the Incept K40 category on the right or the menu above
  • For my not so successful ride along the Ningaloo Reef in  northwest Australia, click this.

Late 2010 I was looking for a kayak that was more seaworthy than my Gumotex Sunny to make the most of three months in northwestern Scotland. To cut a long story short (alternatives discussed here) I narrowed it down to the Incept K4o Tasman inflatable kayak made in New Zealand.
They call it a ‘sea kayak’, but a purist hardshell sea kayaker would scoff at that description. I see the Incept Tasman as a light, manoeuvrable and versatile do-it-all touring kayak that’s competent on lochs, rivers and seas up to Force 4, and will do everything my old Sunny could, but better. It has plenty of space, is much easier to load (left) than a hardshell SinK, and could manage the rivers of central France, day trips on a train, two-up in calm water and non-solo sea kayaking excursions in moderate conditions. And best of all, you can shove it under the bed or into a suitcase and take it anywhere in the world without getting bogged down with cargo. In September 2011 I flew with the K40 (and my packraft) to Australia without incurring any excess baggage charges. It was there that I found the limits of the high-sided K40 in very windy conditions.
When you read what little there is about Incept sea kayaks, you’ll soon come across the late Audrey Sutherland who it’s said was involved in the design. You can read an interview with her here and another one here. Hawaii-based Audrey was a pioneer of solo travels in inflatable kayaks, something that only came to be known in 1978 when she published Paddling My Own Canoe (right). Based on her decades of experience packboating alone in Hawaii and Alaska in a hypalon Semperit Forrelle III whose twin side chamber design presaged Grabners, Seakers and Incepts. She was said to have come up with a Fibonacci-like set of IK specs which are reflected in the K40. 

An inflatable is my preference … something I can take with me instead of having to ship a boat over or leave a boat up there. It has to be a weight I can carry, because I go solo.”

Amazingly for the UK where IKs are seen as pool toys, there was briefly Incept dealer: Sea Kayak Oban where I initially tried out a test boat. Paddle chum Gael eventually bought that red boat. At at the time I was buying, a shop in Germany quoted £1450 with a much quicker delivery time to the UK so I went with them to get paddling, . There’s a lot more on my first impressions here, including my take on sizes and weight which vary from source to source.