Earlier on in the year Thom and I purchased two Intex Challenger k2 inflatable kayaks. We’ve used these kayaks a number of times and they’ve saved us a lot of money on kayak rentals around Canada! However on a weekend away in Harrison Hot Springs we noticed that one of the kayaks seemed to have a leak. The hole was in the seam and therefore not the easiest place to patch over. Luckily we’ve figured out how to repair the Intex Challenger K2 and if you’re having the same issue then here’s how we repair ours!
About the Intex Challenger K2 Inflatale kayaks
The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is perfect for casual paddlers. It’s bright great and we always get asked questions whenever we’re blowing it up on the beach in Vancouver. We’ve used it on lakes, on the ocean (but not far out) and plan to use it lots on our trip to Banff & Jasper too.
Perhaps surprisingly, it really doesn’t take that long to pump up. The kayak comes with a hand pump and it’ll probably take you around 10 minutes to unpack and set up everything. The only thing you need to purchase in addition to the kayak is a lifejacket.
The K2 is for two people but we prefer to use one each as you just have a bit more room to play with.
We bought ours on Amazon and they cost about $90 (US&Canadian). The one person Intex Challenger is about $70.
How to repair Intex Challenger K2 kayak with a hole in the seam
Given how cheap the Intex Challenger K2 kayaks are it’s not that surprising that they get some small holes in them. I think the holes in ours are more to do with how we store them than running over something in the water. Since we live in an apartment we always fold our kayaks up and put them back in their storage bags (usually covered in sand still). If you were able to leave yours more loosely folded and clean I don’t think they’d be as prone to holes.
There are a couple of ways to fix Intex inflatable kayaks. The first is if the hole isn’t in the seam and the second works great if your Intex Challenger Kayak has a hole in the seam or anywhere!
First fix: Hole not in the seam
These kayaks do come with a repair kit. The repair kit includes a quick-fix, temporary patch and some plastic patches which require special glue.
You will need:
- Your Intex Challenger kayak repair kit
- Vinyl glue
If you’ve lost the patches you can buy the following substitutes:
- Vinyl Patches & Boat repair kit both of these come with patches and glue
- Instant (more temporary) patches – great for emergency fixes!
Step 1: Identify location of hole
First you’ve got to find where the hole in your Intex Challenger kayak is. This is usually fairly obvious as you’ll hear air hissing out and it’ll stop when you put your finger over it. If you kayak is fully deflated you may want to inflate it slightly to make it easier to identify where the hole is.
You can get a wet sponge and wipe it over the area you think the hole is in. Some small bubbles will appear when you’ve found the hole.
Step 2: Clean & dry the area
Next up you need to clean and dry the area around the hole. Ideally you should always wash down your kayaks after use but sometimes this isn’t possible (and it’s not something we personally do much either!).
Step 3: Apply the patch
If you’re using the temporary patch mid-kayak then just dry the area with the hole and peel off the backing for the patch. Then place the patch over the hole and smooth the edges. Leave this for at least 30 minutes before you take the kayak out again.
If you’re using the repair kit that comes with the Intex Challenger kayaks then you can either apply the whole vinyl sheet or you can cut it to a smaller size.
You’ll need some vinyl cement glue to attach the plastic and it’s best to leave it to dry for a few hours at least.
Second fix: hole in the seam
If there is a hole in the seam, which has been the case with our kayaks, apply a patch as above isn’t so easy. That’s because it’s harder to bend and stick the vinyl in such a way that the air isn’t going to escape. We tried a few different ways to fix our inflatable kayak the first time this happened, but we seem to have found the perfect way now!
You will need
Step 1 & 2
Complete steps 1 & 2 – identifying the hole and cleaning and drying the area as above.
Step 3: Get ready to Goop!
Once you found and cleaned and dried the hole it’s time to get the Goop. Be very careful not to get this on your skin or all over the place. There are warning signs all over the packaging so let’s keep it to the kayak!
Slowly squeeze out the Goop onto the area with the hole being sure to cover a fairly wide area around the hole. I found this is best just to make sure you’ve covered it rather than trying to keep things super neat and only over the hole.
Use the spatula to spread the Goop. It does get very ‘gloopy’ quickly so a spatula is the easiest way to spread it and keep your hands clear.
Goop is clear so it wont’ be immediately obvious but yes, you will be able to see it. However at least your kayak is still paddle-worthy!
Step 4: Leave to dry
It’s best to leave the Goop overnight to make sure it’s fully bonded to your inflatable kayak.
Whilst Goop does dry pretty quickly you’ll find it’s still tacky for quite a while.
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