Advanced Elements Backbone
The BackBone is a bow-to-stern frame for the Advanced Frame inflatable kayak range. Rigidity and performance is enhanced. Separate sections allow for compact storage.
Q. Do I need a Backbone for my kayak?
A. No, Advanced Elements kayaks perform very well without a backbone installed. They are useful if you are up at the top of the weight range of the kayak (due to lots of gear or just being a heavy paddler), are pushing the kayak in to more demanding conditions (choppier water or bigger swell) or you want to "eek" out a little more performance from your kayak.
Q. What does the Backbone do?
A. It adds rigidity down the length of the kayak & creates a "V" shape to the hull, enhancing paddling efficiency & speed.
Q. How can I check that I've fitted the Backbone correctly?
A. If you turn your kayak upside down, you can check if the "V" shape created by the Backbone lines up with the landing plate (at the front of the kayak) & the skeg (at the rear).
Q. The Backbone isn't straight, how do I ensure it is centered?
A. With the kayak deflated, remove the floor section of your kayak. With a tape measure, find the centre of the kayak and with a permanent marker pen and make a small mark inside your kayak at the front, middle & rear. You can then use these marks to very quickly centre the Backbone when fitting.
Q. Does the Backbone break down for storage/transportation?
A. Yes, into 4 pieces for the AdvancedFrame & Expedition and into 5 pieces for the Convertible.
Q. With the Backbone fitted on my Convertible, the floor is too long to fit correctly. What do I do?
A. Just fold over the end. See the installation video on YouTube.
Compare Backbone & DropStitch Floor:
+ve: Cheaper. Achieves a "v-shape" hull. Very rigid.
-ve: An extra component to fit when inflating. Needs to be aligned precisely.
+ve: Weight saving. Simple to fit. Durability. Less chance of damage than a regular floor due to over-inflation.
-ve: Price. Can be bit hard on your bottom & heels. Does not achieve a "v-shape" hull. Extra adapter required for your pump (supplied with your floor).
Jasper Winn will be paddling an Advanced Elements Airfusion Elite kayak on the new Canoe Trail that runs across the north of England from coast to coast - using the Leeds and Liverpool canal and the Aire and Calder canal to cover 150 miles.
Convertible For A Heavier Paddler
Read Patrick's great trip report from his expedition down the Pangalanes Canal in Madagascar.