Melba Kayak April 07th, 2018 - 12:07:51
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].
Wooden kayaks are the original and hand-made quality model. A smooth, warm wood kayak can be a beautiful thing. The prices on wood boats vary considerably. They are easy to repair but do require lots of routine maintenance like an ordinary boat would. Need to be stored properly and the quality can vary as well - depending on the craftsmanship. Folding kayaks offer the advantage of easy portability and storage. A folding kayak is a collapsible - made of fabric stretched over usually an aluminum frame - but that can vary. Their price is on the expensive side when comparing kayak prices, but they tend to last longer than a typical hard-shell and their resale price usually remains reasonable (depends on the care it received over the years).
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.
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.