Melba Kayak April 07th, 2018 - 12:05:51
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].
2. Size Matters... not so much Kayaks come in different lengths for a reason. Generally, the shorter the kayak, the easier it is to turn and maneuver. The longer the kayak, the better it tracks in a straight line. It is important to know what types of water you will be paddling in before you make a purchase. Recreational kayaks are generally between 10 and 12. There isnt going to be a huge amount difference between a 10 and 12 kayak. Both sizes work great in several types of water, so dont sweat too much over this choice. Dont forget that a larger kayak will weigh more, so make sure you can pick it up by yourself. 3. Storage Space and Deck Rigging Anytime you are looking at recreational kayaks, you want to pay attention to the available amount of dry storage space built into the kayak. Trust me, you will want to take things out with you that you dont want to get wet, so this space will be extremely valuable. Look at the outside of the kayak. Does it have a paddle holder and other bungee type rigging around the deck for storing items you want to keep within reach? You may think these things are not important, but they soon will be. You need to have places on your boat where you can stow things and attach items that you may want to use during your paddle. You also need to know that deck rigging, paddle holders and other attachments can be added to almost any kayak after you purchase it. However, you this may require professional installation.
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.
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.