Ahhh the wonderful AIRE Outfitter Series Tandem Inflatable Kayak, or as we affectionately call them, Funyaks. These inflatable kayaks are known and loved by many. They measure in at 12’5” long, 41” wide, and weigh 46 pounds. Even with their small size, these bad boys are suitable for anything from lazing around in flat water to going down the class III gorge of our trips down the South Fork of the American River, both of which we do here at Rock-N-Water. These boats have given me nothing but good memories, both on and off the water. I am the Funyak manager at Rock-N-Water making it my responsibility to repair them if they spring a leak and need to be patched, or any other issues with them. Before accepting this position, I had no experience repairing boats, but I have had hardly any trouble jumping into learning how to repair these boats. They act very similar to a bicycle tire, in that they have a tough and durable outer chamber and a more flexible inner tube. This design makes the repairs far cheaper and easier than that of a different kind of design.
My first time using a Funyak was when I was the young age of just 14. These boats are so easy to use that I went down the whole lower half of the American river and didn’t get any injuries. I did get tossed out of my boat a few times but it sits so low in the water that getting back in was no challenge, and now I have a few stories to tell about it! That day I got to explore the river with the control in my own hands and experience a different side of the river. The gift of having control of my own vessel meant more to me than I realized; it helped me understand more about actions and consequences in a way that I hadn’t known yet. This experience slingshotted me into growing further as man and those lessons still stay with me to this very day.
Overall, be it having fun or learning lessons about life, these boats are wonderful. After using these for personal and commercial trips as well as working with them physically, I can say that I know these AIRE inflatable kayaks are capable, forgiving, and versatile vessels that if treated correctly, will last you a very long time. It has been a pleasure to use these crafts personally and commercially, and I look forward to the years to come with these boats; full of adventure, excitement, and being able to share the fun with as many people as I can.
Have fun yakin!
By Joe Birkenes, River guide, Funyak manager, and seasoned dancer