Melba Kayak May 02nd, 2018 - 08:17:56
Lets go over some of the different methods to transport your kayak(s). Transport Methods Rack Systems Most kayak transport needs can be satisfied by adding an after-market rack system. A rack system includes the bars and feet (adapters) that attach the system to your particular vehicle. The bars can be used alone or they can serve as the base for additional kayak carriers and accessories. The most widely used systems are made by Thule and Yakima. These types of racks offer the most weight capacity and are the safest way to transport kayaks on a vehicle. Factory Racks Many vehicles come with factory bars (usually the flat oblong shaped ones) and these can work fine to transport your kayak and can usually be fitted with most kayak carriers, but they lack the carrying capacity and long term strength of a good after-market rack system. So if you need to carry multiple kayaks or even one heavy single kayak, investing in a good rack system will be your best option.
4. Price Realistically, you should plan on spending $500-$700 on a good quality kayak. There are plenty of name brand models that have good recreational kayaks in this price range. In this price range, you can get good storage space and great seating that you will be happy with for a long time. You can find kayaks much cheaper than $500, but honestly I would not recommend going with a kayak that is at the bottom of the price range. They will be much harder to paddle, they will have uncomfortable seating, and you wont have the storage space to be comfortable while you are out on the water. Remember, we want to get you the BEST cheap recreational kayak, not the cheapest one on the market.
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.
Lift Assist Accessories: Companies now make accessories to help you get your kayak unto your roof. One such product is the Hullavator by Thule, this hydraulic assist rack folds down the side of the vehicle where the kayak is loaded at waist height and the whole thing folds back onto the roof with the aid of mechanical assistance - Nice! Weve had many customers tell us that without this system they wouldnt have been able to continue kayaking because of physical limitations brought on by age or injury. Sure its expensive, but worth every penny. Roller Loader: This little device works to help you get your kayak up on your vehicle. It basically is a dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just roll the kayak on or off. A very low-tech option that works particularly well with mini-vans, SUVs and station wagons is a rubber backed bathmat. Just to place the mat (with rubber backing down - so it wont slide) on the rear of the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of a kayak being loaded using a bathroom mat.