Kayaking is an activity that helps you explore nature and exercise at the same time. It is a sport of low impact as it does not stress your body. However, it requires your upper body strength to propel it using a double ended paddle.
There are numerous kayak brands on the market today. Therefore, selecting the best kayak can be a challenge and a confusing experience. However, with this guide, everything will be easy as you will learn all you need to know about kayaks.
This concept consists useful information about the various materials that kayaks come with. You will learn about the various features of a kayak in order to fully understand how it functions. Keep reading for more information.
Types of kayaks
When buying a kayak, you need to understand the various kayak types that exist on the market. This will enable you to choose the best model that matches your intended purpose. It is rare to find a kayak that serves various purposes. This implies that understanding the kayak types enables you to pick the best that suits your purpose.
These are popularly known as sea kayaks. They are best used for traveling in open rater for long distances. They are also great in withstanding rough conditions. They are the kayaks to use when you need to stay for multiple days in your sea travel. In most cases, they measure between 3.7 and 4.9 meters long. They have large compartments to enhance gear storage, but their cockpit is small in size.
These are the kayaks intended for sheltered day trips on calm waters. They measure between 3 and 3.? meters long. These kayaks feature a large cockpit to enhance access into and out of the kayak. They have a small hatch to enhance equipment storage. The design of these kayaks is fairly stable. However. you cannot use this boat on rough waters, extended trip and windy days. These boats are not great in tracking.
A surf kayak and a white-water kayak are related. However, the difference is that a surf kayak has a front rocker while a white-water kayak has rockers both in the front and at the back. A surf kayaks. therefore, resembles a surfboard. Most of the times, surf kayaks feature fins like surfboards.
White water kayak
Unlike most kayaks, white water kayaks are specifically designed for rough waters. They are smaller as compared to other kayaks. They measure between 1 .2 and 3 meters long. They feature a greater rocker and rounded bottoms. This implies that the end of the boat turns upwards in a sharp manner in order to rise above the water. Therefore. the boat can manage waves in a better way. Even if they are great in maneuvering through rough water, they are not good in tracking.
Sit on top kayaks
These are different kayaks from the traditional models. The user sits on top of the boat as opposed to inside the boat. They are great for children and beginners. This is because you can easily get in and out of the kayak. You should use this kayak in warm climates as it leaves the body exposed to elements. This kayak is also slower as compared to other kayaks. These kayaks measure between 3 and 4.5 meters.
Basically, there are 3 structures or forms of kayaks. You should pick the best that represents your interests.
These are kayaks durable enough to easily move them from one place to another. Their shape is highly flexible and they are easy to store. When you are not using them, they are easy to dismantle. However, it takes you longer to set this kayak up. When it comes to speed, they are not as excellent as the hard shell kayaks.
Hard shell kayaks
These are sturdy and rigid kayaks. Their rigidity prevents you from adjusting their size. If you want to buy this kayak, it is wise to determine its transport and storage means first.
These are kayaks that are easy to store and feature great performance. Once you need to use it, a pump is used to inflate the kayak. It has compartmentalized design which makes the kayak buoyant.
This is also known as the beam. Wide boats provide more primary stability on calm waters. Narrow boats, on the other hand. move faster and provide greater secondary stability. This especially when the kayak is leaning on one side.
Kayaks come with weight limits. The weight capacity is mostly listed under the specs section on any REI product page. Factors affecting weight limit include the amount of gear, trip length, and the number of paddlers.
Shorter boats like the recreational kayaks are easy to maneuver and turn. Long kayaks, on the other hand, are easy to paddle for long distances. They are also great for tracking. If you need to carry the kayak, shorter boats are more portable than long ones.
Taller and larger users should be keen on the kayak depth for adequate leg room and space. Taller sides are great in deflecting water and they also offer more storage space. The only disadvantage with them is that they will slow you down a lot as they catch more wind.
The following are some of the features of a kayak:
- Hull rocker
- Hull shape
- Foot Pegs
- Thigh braces
Kayaks feature various materials. The kayak material is very important when buying a kayak as it determines the boat's price, durability, and weight. The following are common kayak materials that you will find on the market today.
- Thermometer ABS
- Polyvinyl chloride
- Soft shies
A boat is the major kayaking purchase. However, it is not the only component used while kayaking. There are other items that you will need during this sport. They include;
- Spray skirt
- Car rack
- PFDs and safety gear
- Cockpit cover
- Bilge pump and sponge
With the above information, you can be able to select the best kayak that best represents your interest. A kayak allows you to access scenic beach side campgrounds, enjoy breathtaking views that are invisible from the shore and quietly explore an estuary. With this item, you can play with your kids in the waters or get into a morning workout. When buying one for the first time or when replacing a damaged kayak, consider using the above information for the best kayak on the market.