AIRE's SPUD is a full blown playboat. It is great for SUPers who want to kayak and catch waves on the fly. It can, and will, surf everything. For not being a hardboat, this inflatable shreds right off the bat. Wearing the thigh straps is a must to really edge it.
Over the summer, I've succesfully flat-spinned this bomber, playful inflatable. I spudded a total of 30 days, and usually used a Werner Shogun paddle (although any paddle will do). I even spudded Brown's Caynon at 3100 CFS over the fourth of July weekend. It was the most fun I've ever had. At that level, I wouldn't have felt confident in a kayak.
While I began the season kayaking, I immediately switched to the SPUD because you can do way more. I definitely got into some pwaves that I normally can't on a kayak.
The biggest pros? It's easy to transport. It has 2 chambers so it's really light. You also can't argue with Aire's ducky quality - they've been doing great stuff in the inflatable market for decades. It's also a user-friendly boat. Anyone that is thinking about getting into kayaking must try SPUDDING first. Or, if whitewater makes you nervous, this is the perfect vessel to give you the confidence to captain on your own.
Luke Cutler lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.