Melba Kayak April 27th, 2018 - 08:19:13
Your experience as a kayaker Counts An experienced kayaker when shopping for their kayak, will most likely look for different qualities in a boat than a beginner kayaker would. An experienced person will usually look for what they call a kayak with good final stability, while the beginner will more or less value good initial stability - less tipsiness. The tipsiness that is normal for all kayaks with low initial stability makes beginners uncomfortable and shy away, but it is this tipsiness that generally indicates a kayak has greater final stability, something advanced kayakers value when theyre handling bigger waves. [Further clarification on stability: Initial stability is the tendency of the kayak to lean or shift away from an upright position. Final stability is the tendency of the boat to actually tip over. A boat with good final stability that seems tippy will be more forgiving by staying in a leaning position instead of tipping over. A boat cant have both good initial stability and good final stability - its pretty much one or the other. The hull shape will determine what kind of stability the boat has. Another issue with stability is its comparison to speed. A highly stable kayak will usually not be the faster kayak on the water. Typically, the stable kayak will be wider and slower than the narrower faster kayak].
An experienced kayaker more or less prefer a tighter cockpit, while a beginner will usually prefer a larger one making it easier to get in and out of the kayak. Still other beginners may be concerned about either escaping from a tipped-over kayak or being forced to successfully perform what is referred to as an Eskimo roll in order to get back above the surface. If this is a concern, then perhaps a sit-on-top model with a recessed seat and foot-wells may be a great choice or perhaps going with an inflatable kayak which have multiple air chambers for redundancy which results in greater stability than rigid kayaks. With more stability, unlike rigid kayaks, inflatable kayaks are very easy to get into from the water and less tendency to capsize in difficult paddling conditions.
Cons: Pads usually dont have a lot of cushion and can dent some kayaks if transported with the hull down or if you over tighten the tie-down straps. Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to carry a kayak designed to carry the kayak right side up (just like it is on the water). Some examples of these are the Thule Set-To-Go and the Malone Seawing. Pros: These tend to keep kayak in place and protect the hull from damage. These systems usually work well with other pieces of equipment that aid in getting your kayak on your vehicle like rollers and glide pads (we will discuss these later). Cons: These set-ups are designed to transport your kayak right side up, not the ideal way to avoid distortion, but with care this will not be an issue. Also, if you are going to transport 2 kayaks, cradles do limit the usable space on your rack bars. J-Carriers: These work by carrying your kayak(s) on their side in J-shaped racks.
An important option to consider is a rudder. There are pros and cons about the necessity of having a rudder. A beginner would consider having one while the advance kayaker wont. The argument is, if a rudder helps, then use it. Most would agree, that in certain conditions, such as when strong winds and waves are unrelenting, that a rudder should provide just the right amount of course correction necessary to allow the paddler to focus more on their stroke or the scenery instead of their tracking which is what the rudder or skeg improves upon. Price Last but not least pricing - the other most important factors. After you have decided on what style of kayak to purchase, price will be the biggest factor in determining exactly which model to buy (what you can really afford). An entry-level plastic kayak can be as low as $350. Other plastic models can run as high as $1800. Fiberglass boats will cost from about $1000 to $3000. Other more exotic composite boats will cost as much or possibly even more. Inflatable boats can start at about $200 and go up to $2000. Folding boats will set you back $1250 for an entry-level boat and up to $4500 for a top-notch two-some. There are some really good inflatable kayak manufactures and some of the best are Sea Eagle, Innova Kayaks, and Advance Elements. Point to Remember: One more thought. Inflatable boats and kayaks have been around for a while - your Coast Guard and search and rescue people use them all the time... So dont shy away from them. But like any boat or kayak you buy, common sense must always come into play. Join the thousands already enjoying their inflatable kayak and boat. Always remember to wear your Life Jackets when out on the water.