Hilaire Falerina Clavet Kayak April 13th, 2018 - 08:58:03
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.
Helpers & Load Assist Devices No matter what system you are using you will still have to physically set the kayak into or onto it. This may seem difficult and awkward at first, but you will find that it will get easier with repetition and ultimately you will find what works best for you and your situation. But a little help doesnt hurt. So here is a list of products that can help make bearing the weight a little easier. Thule Hydro Glide: helps when loading your kayak from one end of your vehicle and also acts to hold the kayak during transport. The kayak slides easily on felt covered pads. Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak up onto the roof from the rear of the vehicle. Loading Bars: Thule as well other companies make a bar that extends out so you can lift one end of the kayak on the bar and then lift the other side onto your rack. Thule makes the Outrigger.
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.
An important option to consider is a rudder. There are pros and cons about the necessity of having a rudder. A beginner would consider having one while the advance kayaker wont. The argument is, if a rudder helps, then use it. Most would agree, that in certain conditions, such as when strong winds and waves are unrelenting, that a rudder should provide just the right amount of course correction necessary to allow the paddler to focus more on their stroke or the scenery instead of their tracking which is what the rudder or skeg improves upon. Price Last but not least pricing - the other most important factors. After you have decided on what style of kayak to purchase, price will be the biggest factor in determining exactly which model to buy (what you can really afford). An entry-level plastic kayak can be as low as $350. Other plastic models can run as high as $1800. Fiberglass boats will cost from about $1000 to $3000. Other more exotic composite boats will cost as much or possibly even more. Inflatable boats can start at about $200 and go up to $2000. Folding boats will set you back $1250 for an entry-level boat and up to $4500 for a top-notch two-some. There are some really good inflatable kayak manufactures and some of the best are Sea Eagle, Innova Kayaks, and Advance Elements. Point to Remember: One more thought. Inflatable boats and kayaks have been around for a while - your Coast Guard and search and rescue people use them all the time... So dont shy away from them. But like any boat or kayak you buy, common sense must always come into play. Join the thousands already enjoying their inflatable kayak and boat. Always remember to wear your Life Jackets when out on the water.