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Thread: Z-Pro Flash FL-100 Inflatable Kayak

  1. #1

    Default Z-Pro Flash FL-100 Inflatable Kayak

    Hi - I hope it's OK to post here. I was not able to post in the Inflatable Kayaks section for some reason.

    I just thought that I would drop a line regarding my experiences with my Z-Pro Flash FL-100 kayak now that I've had it for a while. Apologies in advance - I've never written a report before so this is liable to be a bit rambling


    First of all - here it is:




    As can be seen it is quite low and wide. This makes it easy to get into (and out of!) and is very stable. I've taken it down some Grade 2 white water, gone over weirs and hit rocks and I don't think I was even close to capsizing once! With a proper stirrup pump the kayak can be ready to go in 10 to 15 minutes. The outer walls are inflated to about 3.6psi and it comes with a detachable floor panel which is inflated to about 7psi. The result of this is that it has a very solid and rigid feel:


    In the floor are a number of drain plugs. They are a bit tight to open and close (a good thing probably to minimise leakage!) which come in very handy when white water kayaking. A number of times my kayak has been completely filled with water due to getting stuck against rocks in a fast flowing river, or going over weirs, and it floats fine although is obviously very sluggish. The drains plugs are handy for allowing the water to drain if you aren't in a hurry.

    There's quite a bit of storage onboard with space to store wet bags and rucksacks in the bow and stern. There are also 6 d-rings for that added sense of security when you want to strap things into the kayak. On the bow there is also an elasticated tie-down area. I usually use this for storing the kayaks bag and stirrup pump.

    The kayak comes with quite a comfy seat which can be flat-packed and stored in the kayak bag along with the deflated kayak. There is also a skeg which can be inserted into a couple of holders in the stern. This needs to be done whilst the kayak is deflated as inflation of the kayak results in the plastic holders closing (which means the skeg is pretty tightly secured once fitted). Fitting the skeg takes a bit of practice but once the technique has been learned seems easy! Paddling the kayak with the skeg on makes a big difference to the handling of the FL100. It tracks pretty well and I always make a point of using it when I know that I will not be doing any white water work (where obviously the skeg should be removed). To be honest even paddling without the skeg is fun as it makes the kayak very manoueverable, turning 360 degree circles with ease. However obviously going from point A to point B is a bit more work.

    Once the kayak has been deflated and packed away into its excellent canvas holdall (also comes with the kayak) then, at 13lb, is easy to carry. I have carried it (using the bag's handles like rucksack straps), the paddle, a rucksack and the stirrup pump a mile back to my car in the past and wasn't too knackered after doing it

    Drying an inflatable kayak will always be a pain but this isn't too bad to do - the inflatable floor can be taken out (it's held in by 2 straps) easily so you can dry underneath it.

    The kayak itself seems very robust - as previously mentioned I have gone over weirs and hits rocks in the past. I have also been grounded on shoals of gravel and submerged rocks and managed to rock myself off (the feet ridges in the floor panel help here!) with only a few minor scratches on the bottom to show for my efforts.

    I'm trying to think of what else should be in a review! If I missed anything just drop me a line or ask in this thread and I'll try my best to answer.

    More photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickan...7626781217265/

    I also have some videos showing the kayak in action:






    Hope this all helps!

  2. #2

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    Nice looking inflatable and good vids. I was trying to work out what the music was in the 4th vid down. I was thinking Megadeth , but I think it's a bit earlier than them. Help me out!?!?
    I didn't come here for a lecture on Communism

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywaters View Post
    Nice looking inflatable and good vids. I was trying to work out what the music was in the 4th vid down. I was thinking Megadeth , but I think it's a bit earlier than them. Help me out!?!?
    Hi - thanks for the compliment :thumbs:
    The music was "Call of Cthulu" by Metalicca

  4. #4

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    Hi,

    I like the videos and music - nice.

    Am looking at one of these but at 135kg and 6'7" I'm tall and wide - how much space is there in the cockpit? It's not something that comes up in the limited comments I've seen elsewhere.

    Any opinions gratefully received.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalex View Post
    Hi,

    I like the videos and music - nice.

    Am looking at one of these but at 135kg and 6'7" I'm tall and wide - how much space is there in the cockpit? It's not something that comes up in the limited comments I've seen elsewhere.

    Any opinions gratefully received.
    Hi - I'm glad you like the vids

    The cockpit area is open so easy to get in to. Where the feet go there a number of ridges and I don't use the furthest away one (I am 5'10") as you can see here:



    Plus the seat could go back a bit so I reckon you should be OK length-wise.

    Width-wise I am about 15 stone and I don't feel too snug. You may get a better idea from these pics:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/clickan...7626781217265/

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    Ronnie

  6. #6

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    Thank you for your (comprehensive) response (my apologies for the delay in replying - been busy/wet) - I'm thinking I'll take a chance on this as ebay residuals seem to be quite strong if it doesn't fit (but it looks like it just might).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalex View Post
    Thank you for your (comprehensive) response (my apologies for the delay in replying - been busy/wet) - I'm thinking I'll take a chance on this as ebay residuals seem to be quite strong if it doesn't fit (but it looks like it just might).
    Great! Hope it works out - let me know how it goes!

  8. #8

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    Nice review . I've flagged it to see if one of the mods can move it to the inflatables sections.
    ​Change is inevitable; progress is optional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default

    I really like this inflatable,there are times when my sea kayak is unsuitable and times when my hard hull canoe is unsuitable.
    I enjoyed the paddling vid from Loch Lomond and recognised every scene immediately.How does it fare if packed away damp?
    Do you think it would make a good fishing outfit? All the best,willie
    "Every action of our lives touches on
    some chord that will vibrate in eternity"

    Edwin Hubbel Chapin

  10. #10

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    I have a Sevylor Colorado that I am pleased with, but unfortunately it's the old model with airbed type valves in the floor and seat sections, and I was looking for a good quality one man kayak at a reasonable price. Inflatable again for transport and safety reasons.

    BossMan - many thanks for placing your review, photos and videos here.

    It was just what I was searching for, so an email to my local Z-Pro dealer
    (H2O Kayaks) and the following weekend I had a Flash 100.

    I've had several trips out in it and it's excellent - I particularly like the High Pressure valves. It feels rigid and is quick to inflate, deflate, and to dry after use. It tracks well with the big skeg, but in some of the smaller rivers in my area vegetation in places has grown close to the surface and the skeg acts as a brake. Paddling without the skeg obviously not so good (big bloke in a little boat), but not a problem and I soon got used to it.
    Although designed to be capable of white water use, which I will probably never do, it's also ideal for a few hours paddling on the Norfolk Broads.

  11. #11

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    Hi, just bought one of these and am realy pleased with it, seems to be the best option for the price range. we got ours from hunstanton watersports who sorted us out a really good deal with paddles, BO, wetsuits, pump etc.

  12. #12

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    Nice trip, looks great !

    Currently researching before buying a inflatable.

    After some googling, i cant seem to find anywhere selling spare Bladders for Z-pro models.
    Are they easy to source if you need a new one?

  13. #13

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    The Z pro Flash 100 that has been so well reviewed here does not have internal bladders. (The Z pro Tango range does and one of the dealers might help you in that respect).

    No internal bladders means higher pressures can be used in the chambers - it's a lot more rigid than an inflatable where bladders are used inside an outer cover.
    Please see my comment in August above - I had so much trouble with the Colorado bladder valves, and it took so long to dry out after use, that I scrapped it and only use the Flash 100.
    It's more expensive but I think it's worth paying the extra.

    Last week I had a paddle in the Lake District in a hired 'sit on', which was larger and much heavier than my Flash, but was surprised that it did not feel as stable - perhaps because I'm used to sitting lower.

  14. #14

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    Ah, never noticed that about the flash, though it was the tango 200 i was searching for, posted in here as there wasnt a dedicated thread for them.
    Hadnt really looked at the flash as it looked a bit small, but the flash 200 is actually bigger than the tango 200 and colorado. So many choices


    I have read lots of reviews etc complaining about the poor floor valve on colorado's. And also about the drying time due to water between the layers (on tangos and colorados). I was thinking that wouldnt be a problem though, as i could stick it in a dry bag till i got home then just hang it up for a while to dry. (maybe im over simplifying?this would be my first kayak)
    I have seen other bladderless models (forget the names now,gumatex?) mentioned while reading, but thats beyond my price limit to be honest, along with the flash's unfortuantly.

    Im only looking for something to do the odd camping trip with,so ill probably stick with the inconvenience of it taking longer to dry, over the bit more expensive single skins.
    As you say, its more expensive,and worth paying the extra for, but im a bit tight

    Just need to see if bladders are obtainable for Tangos now, and that would probably be my pick. Should be, just thought was a bit odd i couldnt find them on google.

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