No one kayak fits everyone, which is why you might be confused about which kayak to buy. The wide variety available doesn’t make it easy to decide either. Luckily, you are in the right place. Here are our tips on what to look for when buying a Kayak
The type of kayak
There are different types of kayaks. The best kayak for you depends on what you intend to use it for. For instance. a whitewater kayak is designed for high maneuverability. Therefore, they are ideal for use on waters with fast current.
Touring kayaks are designed for distance, storage, and speed. Thus, they can be used on oceans, lakes, and straight rivers. Recreational kayaks balance maneuverability and speed.
Therefore, they are more stable hence their popularity. However, they are not recommended for use beyond class II waters.
Fishing kayaks, like the name suggests, are specifically built for fishing. They have fishing gear and accessories to complement your fishing trip. Fishing kayaks also have adjustable seats to offer different seating positions as you fish.
Sea kayaks are narrower compared to recreational kayaks. They are fast and come with additional gear such as rudders to maintain stability. Tandems are kayaks that are built to accommodate two paddlers, hence ideal for a dual looking to adventure.
Kayaks offer two main sitting platforms. It can either be a sit-on, or a sit-in kayak. A sit-on kayak doesn’t have a covered stern or bow.
The sit-on platform is modern and is suitable for those looking to engage in water activities. Its top is entirely open. and its seat is at the top. Therefore it does not offer protection against weather elements such as water and wind.
Sit-on kayaks have scupper holes that facilitate the drainage of water from the boat. The sit-on platform has become incredibly popular since it offers you full access to your accessories. Besides, all fishing boats have a sit-on platform.
On the other hand, a sit-in kayak is a traditional-style boat with a covered bow and stern. There is a cockpit that the paddler can open to sit in the canoe. The cockpit is well-matched with a spray skirt that keeps the water out.
By keeping the water out, these kayaks tend to be warm, thus favorable for use in cold water climate. Different types of kayaks have different cockpit sizes. For instance, whitewater and touring kayaks have smaller cockpits, while recreational kayaks have larger cockpits.
The advantage of a sit-in kayak is that the cockpit offers protection against elements such as water and wind. Also. they offer a lower sitting position. Thus they lower your center of gravity and make you feel stable.
Pedal drive system
Boat manufacturers are building boats which have a rudder and a pedal drive system. Thus, the paddler can steer the kayak using only their legs. Compared to paddling, pedaling is a more expensive pedal system that offers numerous advantages.
First, with a pedal system, you can move the canoe faster than you would have if you were paddling. Second. it is part of human anatomy that legs are more muscular than arms. Therefore, pedaling will make you less tired than you would have been if you were paddling.
Third, pedaling makes it easy to move against a current compared to paddling. And lastly, pedaling only uses your legs. Thus, it frees your hands to enjoy other tasks such as fishing.
Size and weight of the kayak
Should you settle for a wide or narrow kayak? Is a shorter one better than a longer one?
When choosing between a wide and narrow boat. a wider one is more stable. A wider kayak can also support more capacity. However. it is harder to paddle compared to a narrow boat.
As for the length, a long kayak goes faster and makes it easy to cover distance. The fast speed is because longer kayaks tend to be streamlined. Besides, it makes it easy to paddle compared to a short one. Nonetheless, longer kayaks, they can be hectic to turn at a bend.
Weight also affects the speed of the kayak and its maneuverability. Luckily, most kayaks are light, hence easy to handle and transport Consider what you intend to carry with you when selecting the best kayak.
If you are constantly traveling, it is wise to choose an extremely light kayak. The weight capacity will always be listed when buying. Note that the capacity includes the paddler’s weight and other items such as gear. fishing tackles. and coolers.
This is the most overlooked aspect when wondering what to look for when buying a kayak. They come in different colors. and no. the best color isn’t solely dependent on your tastes and preferences. There are other more significant issues in play.
A kayak is a small boat, with minimal profile while on water. Therefore, it is not easily noticed by other boats. If you intend to paddle along waterways or in open water where other bigger or motorized boats are, it is essential to stand out.
Therefore, we recommend you choose a bright color. Maybe bright or orange to let the others know of your presence. No doubt dull colors are sleek, but you wouldn’t want to end up in regret once a speedboat drives through and cuts your bow.
Another factor to consider should be the price of the kayak. The best kayak should be within your price range. and it should offer the best value for your money. You should also ensure the paddles are right and the size is suitable for you.
We have covered everything you need to know about what to look for when buying a kayak. You need to start by identifying why you need a kayak in order to settle for a kayak that meets your need.
Then decide on which sitting platform works best for you. Do you find a sit-on better than a sit-in? Check the pedal system. the size of the kayak as well as it’s color. Good luck finding the perfect kayak