Melba Kayak April 27th, 2018 - 08:28:21
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.
Many recreational kayaks have tremendous initial stability but have a very abrupt secondary. When they reach their secondary limit youre literally dumped. Conversely there are kayaks that wobble like mad but are very forgiving when they come to the dump point. Most recreational fishing kayaks have a good compromise of both initial and secondary stability. Since you sit on or near the floor of a SIK they tend to seem more stable. In SOTs you sit on the kayak and since it has a double hull you also sit higher. This higher sitting position can initially make a SOT seem less stable. If you have a SOT and a SIK that are the same length and width the SIK will probably be more stable. Because of this SOT designers tend to make their kayaks wider. So no matter which style you choose there will be a model that you will feel comfortable in. Initial stability can seem more important to beginners and secondary stability more important to seasoned kayakers. It makes sense. The beginner hasnt developed a sense of balance yet. Its a lot like learning how to ride a bicycle. When you start out its new so you think about it more. After a short while it becomes second nature and you dont think about it at all.
Helpers & Load Assist Devices No matter what system you are using you will still have to physically set the kayak into or onto it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will find that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will find what works best for you and your situation. But a little help doesnt hurt. So here is a list of products that can help make bearing the weight a little easier. Thule Hydro Glide: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to hold the kayak during transport. The kayak slides easily on felt covered pads. Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak up onto the roof from the rear of the vehicle. Loading Bars: Thule as well other companies make a bar that extends out so you can lift one end of the kayak on the bar and then lift the other side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger.
But, as important as the structural makeup of the kayak is, kayaks are typically classified to the type of kayaking theyre designed to do. Kayaks built for touring are much different from those for whitewater paddling. There isnt any single kayak that will excel in every type of paddling category. As you shop for your kayak, you need to anticipate your future paddling style and then select a kayak that should perform well in that primary kayak category but also keep in mind your skill level and price range as well. Now there are kayaks out there - especially in the inflatable kayak category that lends itself better to multiple styles/designs then their counter parts. So if you are not sure if you will be using your kayak in any one particular category, consider some high quality companies like Sea Eagle, Innova, Airis and Advance Elements to name a few who use a lot of cross over inflatable kayaks to fit multiple needs. But keep in mind that they will not excel in all categories, they still focus on one particular category but do well in other categories better then most. So focus still on a particular category.