Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:31:32
Whether you want to get a sit on top or a sit in kayak, there are a few things you should look for. Unfortunately for so many people, a cheap recreational kayak has turned out to be just that - cheap! You truly do get what you pay for when it comes to buying a recreational kayak. Just because I dont recommend getting a cheap kayak, that doesnt mean you need to spend a ton of money. I want you to get the best recreational kayak you can afford, and love using it for a very long time! 5 things to look for in a recreational kayak: 1. Comfortable Seating Any kayak you buy should have padding on the seat and some adjustments that can be made to the seat. Never, ever buy a kayak with only a plastic roto-molded seat. You will regret the decision halfway through your first paddle. You are stuck with the seat on any kayak that you get, so your money will be well spent by making sure your seat is properly padded and adjustable.
If you have never been out kayaking on your own then you will want to make sure that you have someone more experienced with you. While it is a fairly calm ride, there are things that you are going to want to watch out for. You also may want to hold off on purchasing your own kayak until you get a hang of riding and paddling in one. This way, you will be able to know for sure that this is a hobby that you want to get more involved in. Also, it will teach you what to look for when shopping for the perfect kayak. When you head out on the waters the first couple of times you will want to make sure that your experienced friend is walking you through everything that you need to know. If you feel as though you do not have anyone that you can turn to for this matter then it is time to hunt down a professional. There are many places that offer personal coaching on how to kayak. You can rent their boat and then hire an instructor for a couple of hours. By going this route, you will be sure to learn everything that there is to know about this fun and relaxing water and fishing experience.
Tips for Transport: Always give the kayak a good push and pull before driving away to make sure you are secure. As a general rule if you can rock the vehicle without the kayak shifting on its perch than you are fine. If the kayak is sliding back and forth on the bars or in the carriers than you need to go back and tighten the straps. If using straps with auto-lock buckles, always put a half hitch in the strapping after tying down to insure that even if the buckle loosens the strap will not come lose. If using ratchet style tie downs it is very easy to over-tighten and do damage to the kayak. So make sure that the kayak is snug, but dont go overboard. When transporting in a flat bed pickup dont choose places on the kayak to fasten to that can fail - like the handles. We recommend passing the straps through the scupper holes of the kayak and tying that off in the bed of the truck. Some cars roof areas can compress/dent in when using foam blocks, these dents usually pop back out. Always try to place foam blocks on the strongest part of the roof (this will be the areas closer to the front and rear windows) Also, if you find that some part of your kayak is making contact with the roof after you tighten it down then placing a piece of rug or padding there is a good idea to protect the car from scratching.
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.