In the 1997 San Juan Challenge an Innova Helios (as the only inflatable entry) was one of only 17 kayaks out of a field of 41 to finish this 40-mile race. With winds of 25-29 knots, gusting to 45 knots, nine rigid sea kayaks capsized and needed to be pulled from the water by chase boats when they could not self-rescue in the rough conditions.
The Innova Helios II won its section, averaging 3 knots. In a 25-knot headwind, it was faster (by ½ a knot) than the rigid sea kayaks in the race. In calm water, it was slower (by ½ a knot) than those same boats.
Some inflatables, like the Innova Safari, are unique in their ability to handle a wide variety of water conditions. Use your Safari in whitewater, surf, and when touring.