Kayaks are amazing watercraft. They let people explore all types of waterbodies -ponds, lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. They let you and one of your friends or partners enjoy a great day on the water. You can also take your pet on a kayak and enjoy the outdoor activity together. If you love viewing nature closely and at your own pace, owning a kayak is a good idea. But, purchasing a kayak is not a straightforward process. There are several factors that come into play when it is about buying a kayak. In this article, we will discuss what things you need to take into account when you planned to buy a kayak.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Kayak
The key factors that you should consider carefully before choosing a kayak include the waterbody where you will use your kayak, different types of kayaks, its size, speed, maneuverability, and the type of paddle you will use to navigate the vessel. Let’s discuss these factors a little elaborately.
Where Will You Use It
Before purchasing a kayak, consider the type of water body where you like to paddle it. It is because you will not get a versatile model that will let you paddle it with all types of water.
Ponds and lakes
If you like to enjoy a calm ride, ponds or lakes will be the right water body for you. These water bodies are a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. To enjoy paddling in calm water leisurely inspire many people to own kayaks. Paddling a kayak is also a one form workout. Whatever your purpose, exploring nature leisurely or doing exercise, lakes or ponds are the right place to paddle a kayak.
Canals and rivers
These water bodies come in different sizes, shapes as well as with different water nature. You will get both calm rivers and rivers or canals with strong currents. Another important thing is that water conditions are also unpredictable in these waterways.
Oceans and seas
Like rivers, situations in seas and oceans can change with the weather. Paddling a kayak close to the shoreline is safe. It is because managing water is easier there. Keep in mind that several factors like storms, wind speed, and tidal fluctuations can make kayaking in oceans perilous.
Various Types of Kayaks
Kayaks of different models come in two basic styles. These are sit-in kayaks and sit on top kayaks. Sit-in kayaks come with a confined cockpit where you can sit inside the cockpit. Sit-on-top kayak means there is a seat placed on its surface where you can sit exposing your legs. Both sit on top kayaks and sit-in kayaks offer different advantages.
Though both types of kayaks sit in or sit on top are highly stable, sit-in kayaks will give you higher control to paddle the vessel. Another advantage of sit-in kayaks are these kayaks are suitable for cold weather or varying weather condition like high-wind or rain since you can take shelter inside of the watercraft. However, sit-in kayaks are not perfect for hot, humid weather. Confining yourself in an enclosed space is not a comfortable experience after all.
Sit on top kayaks come with scupper holes. The usefulness of these holes is if water gets into your vessel, you can drain water out. Another advantage of sit-on-top kayaks is that you will get greater mobility with sit-on-top kayaks. Sitting on a deck means you will get more maneuverability than sheltering into an enclosed cockpit. For beginner kayak paddlers, if you ask what type of kayak is suitable for beginners we will endorse sit-on-top kayak since this type is convenient for easy get in and get out. The other types of kayaks you see are basically the subtype of either sit-on-top kayak or sit-in kayaks. Lets now discuss these subcategories of kayaks.
- Recreational kayaks
These kayaks belong to the sit-in-kayak main category. They come with a larger opening allowing kayak travelers to easily enter and exit from the vessel. The maximum length of these kayaks is 10 feet. Recreational kayaks don’t offer much speed but they are highly stable. These kayaks are also ideal for beginner level kayak adventurers. The cockpit of these kayaks is also designed spaciously so that users of recreational kayaks don’t feel claustrophobic. Another advantage of these kayaks is that you can also take a child inside of the cockpit.
- Touring kayaks
These kayaks are also known as sea kayaks. They are sleeker than those of recreational kayaks. They are long and narrow and usually come with 12 feet length. However, unlike recreational kayaks, the cockpit of these kayaks are more confined. It means the kayakers find it difficult to exit from the vessel in case it is about to capsize. They offer greater speed often used in many kayak racing competitions.
- Inflatable kayaks
The main benefit of these kayaks is they are easy to store and transport. They are suitable for carrying them in your car and enjoying a kayaking trip in a waterway that is far away from your home. You can even transport a kayak on a plane. For entry-level kayak adventures, if transporting a regular kayak appears to be a daunting task, inflatable kayaks are the right choice.
- Fishing kayaks
If you love fishing in your free time, purchasing a fishing kayak will be a good idea. It is because this kayak will let you enjoy two recreational activities simultaneously. These kayaks include features like a fishing rod holder, motorized pedal propulsion arrangement, and additional cargo storage.
- Tandem kayaks
Do you want to share a kayaking trip with one of your friends or spouse? Then pick a tandem kayak. These kayaks are also ideal for learning to pedal a kayak from someone who is a seasoned kayaker. These kayaks are large in size. So they offer more storage. However, tandem kayaks are not suitable for transportation.
How a kayak will behave on the water depends on its width, length, and weight. For example, small and wide kayaks offer greater stability while narrow kayaks are suitable for higher speed. Storage space and portability is also closely related to kayak size.
Kayak paddle is another quite important factor that you need to think carefully before choosing a particular type. It is because your kayaking experience depends on a kayak paddle too. Don’t choose a kayak pedal that is either too short or too long. Hopefully, determining the right size of a kayak paddle is not a difficult task. Rent or borrow a kayak with a paddle. Then test the kayak in the water and see how you feel with its paddle.