Your browser doesn’t support JavaScript or JavaScript isn’t allowed, so some functions of this website will not work.
Instructions for adding this website among trusted sites (with JavaScript allowed) can be found here.

VODÁK sport | speciálka na lodě a běžky



Baraka comparison with Pálava, Orinoko, K2

13.12.2010 19:05:29     Autor: Jirka

Review of Baraka for the umpteen time

A lot has been written about a self draining inflatable canoe made by Gumotex, still I am going to share my own experience with you.

In Vodák sport we have one Baraka canoe lent for testing and demonstration until it gets into full production. Our club went to Slovak rivers last long weekend, so I took the Baraka.

There was a good water level there, so we went down lots of rivers and creeks. On those quite little ones like Ráčkový creek, Boca or Štiavnica I paddled a kayak (my new Pyranha ReCoil), on bigger rivers like Černý Váh, Bílý Váh, Váh a Belá I paddled the Baraka. The easier rivers I went down with my children, the more difficult I paddled with my wife. So what was Baraka like?


Its manoeuvrability was excellent both on white water with an active bowman and on calmer water in three with a weaker bowman. The third inflatable seat worked well. The third person held on to the boat thanks to the side ropes even in steeper rapids.

Baraka?s speed is good, too. It?s really comfortable for shorter paddlers but I, being 190cm tall, would appreciate a slightly higher seat when kneeling. Sitting was comfy even for me. Width of kneeling is sufficient. During a long period kneeling a nut of the seat slightly hurt me on my paddling side but it was O.K. when sitting. If the nuts hinder you, they can be replaced in the old way by a rope.

The thicker hull was very comfortable for knees. It absorbed impacts of stones well, so the knees didn?t suffer. I would kneel into this boat again although I haven?t done anything I should be punished for.

Volume of the boat was excellent. I think we didn?t reach even a half of its maximum loading limit. In waves water didn?t splash over the bow but rather over its sides. It flew out rather quickly, although the draining could be a bit quicker. A draining sleeve can be easily sealed, which is great. The boat was absolutely dry on flat water.


Even the boat?s little gadgets are amazingly thought out, as for example bow and stern nets for sundry, an extending rope in both the bow and the stern or slings for a pump, a rescue bag and other things. Especially the rescue bag tied at hand is a very pleasant thing, unique in inflatable boats.


My general impression of Baraka was very good. Of course there are some details that could match my needs better, however if the boat is designed for general public, then I cannot think about many changes. In any case you should try it out.



Comparison with other Gumotex canoes.

I don?t intentionally compare it with boats of other producers because such a comparison cannot be objective. It?s always burdened by personal favours for specific producers and boat features aren?t set objectively. Therefore I?m going to compare inflatable canoes made only by Gumotex. They are Pálava, Orinoco and K2 rebuilt into a canoe by adding seats from Orinoco.



The basic advantage of the new Baraka in comparison with Pálava is the self draining hull. Due to that running down a streamy river of higher grade is safe. Baraka?s speed, stiffness and stability are noticeably better than Pálava?s. Manoeuvrability of both is similar. On white water Baraka?s thicker hull protects knees better. Baraka bends less on drops than Pálava, it behaves rather like a solid boat. But its bow doesn?t sink even under the drops thanks to its volume. Wider kneeling in Baraka makes the boat more stable in rapids. Baraka?s advantages on flat water are a larger loading capacity and a lack of inflatable decks, which can blow out under the Sun. However, for largely quiet rivers with seldom easy rapids I would prefer Pálava, which is cheaper, shorter and lower, more wind resistant, lighter and more compact. For universal use in rapids and on flat water I would choose Baraka for its good features on flat water and excellent features on white water.



Compared to Orinoko Baraka is faster and lighter. It is slightly less manoeuvrable than Orinoko, but that is compensated by its higher speed and lower weight. Orinoko is slightly stiffer and it drains through the draining sleeve faster. Passive stability of Orinoko is better than Baraka?s, but Baraka is even more stable in rapids than Orinoko. So I would prefer Orinoko for very difficult streamy rivers, while I would choose Baraka if I were going to paddle technical creeks as well as streamy and sometimes quieter rivers. In addition the price/output rate of Baraka is better, so my choice between Baraka and Orinoko is obvious.


 Baraka/K2 (rebuilt into a canoe)

I have to admit that K2 has been my favourite among the canoes produced so far. It is the most versatile and the fastest canoe out of those mentioned above and it most resembles a solid boat. It?s a kind of sports boat, which is its disadvantage. Most paddlers on inflatable boats prefer their slower and steadier features. Moreover K2?s loading capacity is lower and its draining holes cannot be sealed, which is another disadvantage in comparison to Baraka. Due to the lateral draining holes K2 is totally unsuitable for calm rivers. These holes let the water out, but on flat water they allow the water to splash in, so the boat is never dry. I would choose K2 for a light experienced crew on white water. Otherwise I would certainly prefer Baraka.


The new Baraka canoe can be bought in any VODÁK sport shop, or it can be ordered in our e-shop .

vodácký bazar vodácké noviny  site map