Melba Kayak May 03rd, 2018 - 10:33:15
The first, most basic consideration in kayak selection is the type of kayak. There are essentially two types of kayaks- the sit in kayak and the sit on top kayak. There are other vessel options such as the inflatable kayak and pontoon boats and other small fishing craft. A SIK is the traditional type of kayak that one thinks of when they envision a kayak. You sit in a cockpit inside the kayak. Any water that comes over the side must be physically removed by bailing or with a pump. Water can be prevented from entering the kayak with the use of a "skirt" which is a membrane that goes over the opening of the kayak that has an opening for your torso. It is a required accessory for white water kayaking and kayaking a rough ocean. One advantage of the sit in kayak is that it can keep you dryer - especially when fitted with the skirt. Often greater stability and maneuverability can be achieved with a sit in kayak as your knees grip the inner walls of the kayak which is what makes this model the favorite among those who kayak for the sake of kayaking. The sit in kayak can however be more difficult to get in or to bail if they overturn, and in one you will have more limited mobility. Among sit in kayaks, the Old Town Dirigo 120 Angler Recreational Fishing Kayak is a favorite for its stability and versatility.
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.
While foam blocks will work, we strongly recommend putting a rack system on your car - this will make life easier, protect the roof of your car, and leave you more room for other accessories & gear. Most rack manufacturers make special rack adapters for 2 door cars with shorter roofs. Both Thule and Yakima make good system for cars. SUVs and Mini Vans The longer roof frame of an SUV or a Mini Van does give you some advantages over cars, but sometime the added height of an SUV can make getting your kayak on top a little harder. Most SUVs come with factory racks that work well to receive most kayak carriers and transport accessories. Factory racks systems do have weight limits, but most can handle 1 or 2 medium to light weight kayaks without a problem. A popular way to transport two kayaks with a factory system is to transport one in a J-type carrier and the other flat or face down on the bars. You can really maximize space by using two J-Carriers.
Trailex makes a single kayak version that is light enough to unhook and use as a dolly to get right up to the water. For those who want to carry more than one kayak they also make multi-kayak trailers. Rack Accessories Rack Pads Rack Pads were originally designed for surfboards but work well for kayaks. The pads wrap around your factory or after-market bars and are held in place by Velcro straps. Rack pads are a very good choice if you transport you kayak face down (the seat area facing the roof), by carrying face down you are placing the load on the gunwales (the strongest part of the kayak) and it is the way many kayak companies recommend to carry the kayak to prevent distorting or damaging the hull. Pros: Like foam blocks, it can be a very economical set up, especially if you already have bars on your vehicle. Unlike foam blocks rack pads cant fly off the vehicle.