Whether you are planning to paddle your kayak for only a few times or you are planning to use it for extended overnight trips, you would want it to glide down the river or the ocean with little effort. But buying a kayak for the first time can be challenging especially with various models that vary in size, weight, and features sold in the market. Without a clear understanding of the different types of kayaks available, you may end up regretting your purchase. So how about you start with a guide?
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- Molded finger handles on each side of the kayak
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Last update on 2022-06-11 at 19:43 PST/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Types of Kayaks
Kayaks come in two basic styles. There is the sit in boats and the sit on top boats. Each type carries its pros and cons. It’s essential that you know the difference between the two so that you are better informed about your purchase.
Sit In Kayaks
They feature a cockpit which is where you sit. There is a cockpit rim around the cockpit which is where you keep your spray skirt so that the water remains out of the boat. There are seat and foot pedals which can be adjusted according to the paddler’s length, inside the cockpit.
Can Be Used In Any Season
Lovers of long kayaking should consider buying these as they can use them in spring as well as autumn weather.
These boats have a low center of gravity which translates to better stability and faster paddling.
Protection From Spays of Water
With a cockpit rim that encloses the cockpit, spray waters are kept out, and hence the paddlers can have a smooth ride. Also, the absence of drain holes in the bottom of the cockpit ensures that it remains dry throughout.
The closed cockpits are built directly into the hull of the boat which means you will be closer to the water and therefore can fish with ease. Also, users can access the entire hull hence can store all their fishing equipment.
Your kayak will be filled with water if you flip and hence recovery can be tricky.
Freedom of movement is restricted.
Accessing items in the back part of the kayak can be challenging.
Sit On Top Kayaks
They are used mostly by paddlers in warm water who love swimming. They feature an open cockpit design that allows paddlers to jump off and get back on. Users sit on a molded depression instead of being in the vessels.
They Are Easy to Enter And Exit
Since the cockpit is open, it makes it easy for one to get in and out. This feature makes them a preferred choice for fishers, divers, and surfers.
The open-air designs allow room for stretching out and relaxing while on the water. Also, you can place your feet in the position you find comfortable since they offer more footrest options.
Easy Access To Your Gear
You can effortlessly access simple gear like water bottles and fishing rods. Again, they have storage space to keep your fishing tools.
They have small holes that allow water to drain through them. In case you topple you can flip them back.
They are wide which means they have a high center of gravity hence difficult to paddle and inefficient.
Little Space For Gear Storage
These models don’t provide much dry storage space due to their molded tops.
Offer No Protection Against Harsh Weather Conditions
The paddlers are exposed to wind, hot sun and waves since the cockpit is open.
What to Look For When Buying a Kayak
This comprises the total of the boat, your gear and you. If the boat is overloaded it will sit too low in the water and paddling may be inefficient.
Longer boats glide more efficiently and offer abundant storage space. Kayaks with shorter hulls turn more quickly.
The material used affects the durability and the weight of the kayak. There are two common materials used for constructing kayaks.
Kayaks made of plastics are the common ones.
Lightweight fiberglass boats can resist obstacles in the water without turning over, and it is unlikely for them to get damaged. But they can be repaired in cases of accidents although they are expensive.
Price also plays a part in decision making. Your place of purchase determines the price. A big box store could be selling them at a higher price than a locally owned pro-shop. Also, you can buy a second-hand kayak which is cheaper as compared to a brand new one. Whichever the case, go for a quality kayak. This means that you have to do more research.
As there are many uses of kayaks, you should purchase one that meets your needs and wants. The purpose will help you determine the features of the kayak. For instance, a fishing kayak should have space for holding fishing equipment.
Don’t just purchase the first kayak that you see. Instead ensure that you research the model you want to buy and that it will suit your kayaking needs. But with this guide you will be able to make a better choice.