Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:31:15
What kind of kayaking will you be doing? You want to get a kayak that is well-suited for the type of kayaking you plan on doing most of the time. This is one of the most important factors youll need to consider; to determine what kind of paddling you will be doing and how often you will be doing it - White-Water (how advance), Touring, fishing, only ocean kayaking or just casual kayaking. There will be times you will try to do all three but just be cautious - especially if you start out with casual kayaking and then decide to go to Category IV Whitewater kayaking - make sure your kayak can handle Advance Whitewater kayaking. If you are a beginner or your skill level is not where you want it to be perhaps start out with a kayak that is geared to a more causal kayaking style/design with perhaps the rating to handle a mild to moderate whitewater level so as your skill levels improve you have a kayak that will get you to that level. When you get to the more seasoned pro level then trade it in for a kayak that can handle some serious white water rapids.
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.
The rigid (hard shell) kayak is what most people think of when they hear the word kayak. Of the various Hard Shell models, a plastic kayak is usually the least expensive but also can be the heaviest. They are usually tough and can take the abuse, but if they get damaged, they are very difficult to repair if at all. A fiberglass Kayak will be a much more expensive model than a plastic model, but is significantly lighter. Fiberglass can be easier to damage, but can also be easier to repair (can be expensive) compare to the plastic version. Composite types such as Kevlar, graphite and carbon fiber kayaks will be even more expensive and lighter still and more costly to repair once damaged then the other two mentioned already.