Choosing A Kayak: Beginner’s Guidelines

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 A newbie can be tricky.

It is said to be undoubtedly confusing to choosing a kayak especially when you’re new to this sport. Kayaking — is done by a sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. Some still unable to have a complete knowledge when selecting a kayak.

In this article, we’ll review and help you make an informed decision to the different guidelines a beginner must have.

Each has its unique and different features, various of types available along with their advantages and disadvantages.

There are several factors that must be consider:

a. The water body that you intend to kayak on.
b. The weight of the kayak, budget, and durability.
c. Method of sitting: sit-in or sit-on-top.
d. The kayak’s size and storage space considerations.

For most bodies of water, a recreational sit-in or sit-on-top kayak will do the job, provided there are certain favorable conditions. Most kayaks used should be short to allow for easy paddling and manipulation and should have an attached rudder for underwater movement.

1. Sit-In Recreational Kayak

This is the most common kayak type in use. They are perfect for calm water bodies as they just slide with minimal efforts. These kayaks are not hard to operate but are remarkably more problematic than a longboat in terms of steering. Most of these kayaks have a length of 10 feet and weigh between 40 and 50 pounds, which makes them lightweight and easy-to-convey.

Seeking for relaxation while choosing a kayak is what some other beginner tend to look and a sit-in recreational kayak might be perfect. Their features are:

a. They make provisions for a spray deck or skirt. You can decide to attach a bilge pump, but you must know how to perform a wet exit.
b. They are easier to paddle.
c. The kayak offers control to the kayaker and are easier to maneuver.

2. Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

The best used on calm water bodies. Their main disadvantage is their vulnerability to tipping or capsizing.

However, most fishermen and fisher women prefer this kayak as they have enough space on top. If you’re looking for more room, this kayak is the best for you. They have the following features:

a. They have more weight than sit-in kayaks.
b. You can easily get on and off them without any incident, even in deep waters.
c. There are several stash spots and scupper holes for easy storage and drainage.
d. Most models come with rod holders for the fishing enthusiasts.

3. Sea Kayak

These are longer kayaks which means steering is easier here. Their additional length maintains your course, even if there are winds or extreme water movements. They are perfect for races as their length provides stability and better speed. These kayaks are best used on large water bodies like large lakes or the ocean. Perfect the act of a wet re-entry and rolling before using a sea kayak, so you can save yourself at any time.

A sea kayak is more expensive than a recreational kayak. Sea kayaks can be used for long journeys as they are designed to provide comfort to the kayaker and better cruising speed. An impressive feature of this kayak is that it has hatches that separate the compartments so if water enters the vessel, it won’t shift from a single compartment to the other.

4. Touring Kayak

This is a mix between a recreational kayak and a sea kayak. They are longer and narrower than recreational kayaks, but not sea kayaks. This is perfect for a person used to recreational kayak but is seeking a more relaxing ride. There is an attached rudder to allow for better movement underwater. It costs less than a sea kayak and has a skeg that offers better control over any high winds and tidal currents.

This kayak is designed to be thinner and longer with more built-in features. It also has a better hull shape when compared with a recreational kayak. The greater hull shape means there is more storage space for all your gear with airtight bulkheads that ensure the equipment stay dry and reduces the water intake if the vessel tips or capsizes.

5. Whitewater Kayak

These kayaks have a length between six and eight feet and are best used in one spot for relaxation instead of traveling the length of a river or lake. This kayak is perfect for a beginner, but you should have enough knowledge on how to perform a wet exit before using this kayak.

The whitewater kayak has a rocker which runs from the bow to stern and helps to regulate the way the vessel turns. This allows for easier rapid traveling and wave surfing. They have two hull types: the displacement and planning hulls. The planning hulls create a wider footprint in the water allowing for more stability and easier surfing. The displacement hulls are rounder and are more effective at tracking, but it doesn’t offer the stability that the planning hull does.

6. Inflatable Kayak

This kayak is available in the sea, recreational, hybrid, and touring models. They are manufactured with no air in them and then inflated by the owner or user using a hand or foot pump. Their setup could be five minutes long. The materials used to create them are exceptionally durable so you might not easily puncture them. Most of these kayaks are multi-chambered which means a rip in one layer or side won’t collapse the vessel.

They are lightweight and can be packed into most car trunks. The weight is between 25 and 35 pounds and is easy-to-convey after deflation. They offer great navigation as they are stable vessels that don’t drag in the water which makes them perfect for shallow waters. It might be stable, but they have a limited loading capacity. For instance, a 2-seater kayak has a 150kg capacity including passengers and other loads. A bigger boat can carry up to 230kg. You should never travel far when using an inflatable kayak.

Here’s additional information about the 9 Best Kayaks You Should Know About (Regular & Inflating) 

Choosing A Kayak: Wrap Up

For a beginner, selecting a kayak it could be scary. Ponder your aim on the water and skills before choosing a kayak.

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Choosing A Kayak: Beginner’s Guidelines

kadriegbeyemi

Travel is an experience that enables me to uncover and realize important things about myself. This feeling is what I wanted to share with as many people as possible. There's still a lot of adventures that we get to experience - Kayaking is a great way to get out into nature, explore waterways, and get an excellent workout.


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