October 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm #1105Lee Arbach TBPKeymaster
I’m writing this for two reasons: one, because hardly anyone has mentioned Aire kayaks in the testimonials; and two, because there is no better dealer than Lee and theboatpeople. I’m in Hawaii, so only touring kayaks need apply here. I used to have an Innova Helios, but gave it up because it was too small to haul camping gear for extended trips, even though it performed really well in the open seas. As many of you know, the Hawaiian Islands offer quite a few opportunities for extended camping trips, most notably the coast along the sea cliffs of Kaua’i, known as the Na Pali Coast.
My first trip along the Na Pali was in the Helios, which made for a very Spartan affair. My companion and I only carried food, two large beach towels (which also served as blankets) and not much else. The food was meager and by the end of the three day trip we were both pretty hungry.
My second trip was in the import version of the Trinity II, and what a difference! This time, my companion was my wife, Jeanne (who likes a bit more comfort than I do) insisted we pack a tent. But in addition to the tent, we brought along a cooler stuffed with home made frozen dishes like bouef bourguignon, Bolognese ragu, wine, milk, eggs, cheese, cold cuts, bacon, fruit and other goodies. I remember with glee, the poor hikers (who had to hike for a day along treacherous mountain trails) eyeing our provisions with unconcealed envy! In addition we also brought along towels, air mattresses, plastic wine glasses, a French coffee press and other items to increase our comfort. The Trinity II made all of this possible.
The Trinity II is on the heavy side, so when we were taking our flight from Oahu to Kaua’i, we checked it in all by itself and put everything else (seats, pump, paddles, fin) in a duffle bag to avoid fees for overweight luggage. But even if we had to pay the fee, it still would have been way, way cheaper than renting a kayak on Kaua’i. In the seas, the Trinity II performed really well – it was both fast and stable.
We have had so much fun it for a few years, but not too long ago, the vinyl bladders started form tiny splits, causing one bladder to completely deflate while on a dolphin watching paddle in Kealakekua Bay. That day, there were three of us on the kayak, and the left bladder sprung a leak while we were on the opposite side of the bay, a mile and half from our launching point. But, no worries, we managed to make it back by leaning towards the right to avoid slipping off. Even without one bladder, we managed to paddle pretty quickly. After that trip I called Lee, who advised to buy the polyurethane bladders to prevent such mishaps from happening again. We did, so now, our Trinity II is a Chinese/US hybrid with US bladders and Chinese skin, which I think makes it a collector’s item of sorts.
Whether it’s American or Chinese, or both, the Trinity II is a fabulous kayak!
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