Tag Archives: gumotex seawave kayak

Gumotex Seawave kayak preview – 0.25 bar

Seawave main page (less speculation; more up to date user-info)

seawaves

The Seawave was released in 2013 and in 2016 a very similar model came out with a rudder option. The Seawave can be used as a single, double or triple and was being sold in France and Germany for around €990 and in Czecho for around €700 and up to a staggering £1140 in the UK with extras. In the 2020 Covid recession sales it’s being discount by 20% down to £799 – a lot of boat for the money.

My stats are 4.5m, 78cm wide and 17kg with a claimed payload of 250kg which sounds plausible. Significantly, the Seawave’s pressure is rated at 0.25 bar (3.6psi), midway between the Gumotex IK norm of 0.2 and Grabner’s 0.3 bar. Some of Gumotex’s orange series whitewater boats run 0.25 and their IKs were never that shoddy. Having said that, the PRV in the floor of the Seawave has the same ordinary rating you’ll find in a Twist or a Palava or probably any other Gumotex IK (more here). It’s the side tubes that now rated to take 0.25 bar, not 0.2. What they now call Nitrilon is not like the stiff old hypalon-like Nitrilon of my early Gumboats. Increasing hull pressure is one way of getting a more rigid and therefore faster IK, but it’s the integrity of the ‘I-beam’ floor that’s the usual limitation. The Seawave has a pressure-release valve in the floor but not on the side tubes, and I read these pressures are said to be on the conservative side. Gumboats can handle more in the side tubes providing you watch it when out of the water in the heat

seawavecat

Looking at the stills and other pics of what may have been an unbranded prototype at Le Ciotat, the Seawave definitely isn’t just a regular 410C with an optional, €200 velcro deck supported by curved alloy spars (similar to my old Incept K40). Velcro’s a trick I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to consider on my old Sunny in an effort to make it drier.

The Seawave is long for an IK, but with just a skeg (also optional – but there’s a  rudder now), you wonder if this could be hard work to turn into the wind. However, in France kayaks destined for sea use (beyond a certain distance from the shore) must be homologated or approved in some way, and the Seawave has passed this test.

gumtip

The great thing with the velcro deck (for one or two) is that it can be removed; on my Incept I paddled like this 99.9% of the time, with the deck rolled to one side. Even at the slightly higher pressures, I have to say at one point in the video I noticed the Seawave bending with the swell. My Sunny used to do this, taking on water over the low sides, but with a deck that ought not be less of a problem, even if you imagine there’ll be some seepage through the velcro in heavy conditions or white water.

grabend

Flexing is a problem with any long inflatable and even my short and high-pressure Grabner (left) flexed in certain conditions. Manufacturers get round it with metal frames (Feathercraft, Advanced Elements), twin side tubes (some Grabners, Gumo Seakers, Incept) stiff fabric (Incept) or just high pressures like Grabner, but that demands very good construction. Drop-stich panels are the new way of doing it now.

Scotty

There are more impressions as well as some nice pictures from an actual owner, Norman, right here (translated from French). He ran a 410C for a few years and talks of pumping his Seawave right up to 0.35 (5psi) bar which makes for good speed (6kph average he claims). That is 40% above the recommendation so let’s hope the seams on the Seawave can take it, cap’n.

mod-drainer
sw14

It looks like grey, Halkey-like valves in the back, not the old-style black ones that Gumo used. And I see that Gumotex have again adapted an idea that I had on my Sunny years ago (right), a drain hole at the back. Only theirs features a neat sliding cover. It could all be the normal process of improvement of course, but I recall that after I had some smaller skegs made for my Sunny (and sold to a few others), Gumotex reduced the size of theirs to the current black plastic ones. And then the velcro deck idea. Whatever, it’s gratifying to see ideas I have tried or written about actually making it into production.

Enough of this speculation! Actual impressions on receiving my boat here, followed by half a decade of use.

Gumotex (Innova) inflatable kayaks

“My solution: Gumotex Solar 410C … the difference is ludicrous!”
Happy Gumotex owner after running a Sevylor Hudson for a few years.
Great website – what a wealth of information. I wish I had read it before buying my Sevylor Pointer K2, I would have bought a Gumotex. Never too late; it just costs you more. Anna M.
gumofac
gumolde

In my opinion the long-established Czech Gumotex rubber factory in Břeclav make the best-value, proper IKs in Europe (in North America branded ‘Innova’). All you have to do is pick the best one for your needs. To see the 2020 catalog click this. Gumotex also made some expensive, high-pressure, super-tough models, such as these raft-wide Ks.

gumomanu

In 2011 they stopped selling the Sunny in Europe. The 25cm longer, but similar Solar 410C took its place and in 2017 became the near-identical Solar 3. In 2019 that got renamed the Solar 019 with a new identical model called Thaya featuring a more rigid drop stitch floor.
Hybrid drop stitch hulls using their rubber-based Nitrilon fabric looks like the new direction for Gumotex IKs. The same durability but better performing boats which glide like hardshells but roll up into a bag. The Rush models of 2020 took this a step further.

Compared to some IKs, Gumotex are simple, robust and gimmick free, and over the years the design has been refined: better skeg fitment, better removable seats (but still heavy), lighter material options while in most cases keeping PRVs in the floors. Better push-push valves as well as lighter Nitrilon, and now with fitted or removable decked boats like the SeawaveFramura and Rush.
The sporty Safari (with a 330XL version) the Solar 3/019 as well as the Framura and the versatile Seawave are all great touring boats, and the Nitrilon Twists are light.
I haven’t owned or tried every Gumotex IK mentioned here, but in most cases know people who do- or have. The video below shows what sort of whitewater fun you can have with Gumotex IKs and even canoes.

gumistan

Gumotex IKs are what I call ‘tubeless’ (this definition has since been adopted by Innova). There’s more here but in short this is the ‘European’ way of making IKs: simply gluing all the sections into a sealed inflatable vessel, like a packraft. It’s expensive but has advantages over the bladder ‘inner tube’ boats more common in the US.
Most Gumotex IKs are made out of Nitrilon, their version of DuPont’s hypalon: the original tough, EDPM-like synthetic rubber-coated fabric as used on white water rafts that lasts forever but has now been superseded by similar but lighter fabrics. You might have thought that full-coat Nitrilon over a bit OTT so a few years ago Gumotex introduced LitePack (later called Nitrilon Lite) on low-end IKs like the Twist, with the rubber coating only on the outside. It saved weight but the boats proved to be less durable and Nitrilon Lite was quietly dropped in 2018. (A mate of mine has many failures with his Lite Twists).
As mentioned, the current Nitrilon (as on my Seawave) feels thinner and more supple than the original less shiny and stiffer Nitrilon of years ago. Maybe it’s not as tough but I bet it’s lighter.

One thing you should know with Gumboats is that all except the Seawave, Rush (and the Ks) are rated at 0.2 bar or 2.9psi, something for which a Bravo footpump is fine. This is better pressure than many other IKs, but not like the 0.3 bar boats from Incept and Grabner.

I’ve read of Gumboaters running more than the recommended pressure in the side tubes to make the boats stiffer and more responsive. I suspect they could take it as long as they don’t get too hot out of the water. Running at the recommended pressure can mean that when a boat gets over 3.5m long – like the Solar 3 – it will flex in the swell or rough water. This was a nuisance with my Sunny in roughish seas because it swamped over the sides. Fwiw, I ran my Seawave side tubes for years at 0.33 bar – 50% more than the recommended 0.25. I had no problems with the thing peeling apart but importantly, I did add 0.33-rated PRVs so that the sides would purge air if they got too hot.

seawavebaden

On flat water, long boat flexing can mean reduced speeds if you’re heavy like me. Apart from going on a diet, I considered various ideas to fix that in my old Sunny, but in the end settled on a Grabner Amigo, a basic boat best described as a ‘high pressure’ Solar 3. It was solid as a brick, but expensive. I sold the Amigo and from 2014 ran a Seawave which I adapted in various ways, including running over-pressure side tubes with added PRVs, as mentioned.

For waterside holiday fun to longer touring expeditions, you can’t go wrong with a Gumotex IK.

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