What Makes a Good Kayak?

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Owning your own kayak can be a thrilling prospect. But first, consider how you intend to use the kayak, such as where you plan to paddle and how frequently. Will you be sailing on a calm lake or rougher ocean waves? Are you looking for a more relaxed nature experience or an adventurous day of touring? Let’s go over some pointers to help you find the best kayak for you and the type of experience you want. With these questions in mind, your first and most important decision is whether to go with a sit-on-top or a sit-inside kayak, both of which have advantages and disadvantages.

Sit-on-top kayaks

Beginners and children can use sit-on-top kayaks without worrying about becoming trapped inside if the kayak rolls over. Instead, if they capsize, the kayaker falls off and can swim back to the kayak. In addition, the kayak is easy to get upright again because, as a sit on top, it doesn’t hold much water.

One advantage of sit-on-top kayaks over sit-inside kayaks is comfort. Paddlers with large bodies, long legs, or limited flexibility may feel less restricted when paddling a sit-on-top. In addition, the most user-friendly are sit-on-tops. They’re stable, simple to enter and exit, and have no sense of confinement.

Sit-inside kayaks

A sit-inside kayak has a lower centre of gravity than a sit-on-top design, allowing the paddler to lean the kayak on its side for more efficient turning and to remain upright when paddling in rough seas.

A sit-inside kayak can be much narrower than a sit-on-top kayak due to its significantly lower centre of gravity. Thus it is generally much faster than a broad, sit-on-top kayak design. As a result, sit-inside kayaks require less effort from the paddler to propel them forward, making them ideal for long-distance day paddling and expedition paddling.

Other things to consider

Weight

A lighter kayak is easier to carry and load onto your car, especially if you’re alone. A lighter boat also allows you to have more gear because the weight of the boat itself takes up less of the weight capacity. The trade-off is that lightweight materials can significantly increase the cost of a kayak.

Brands

When you begin looking at kayaks for sale, you’ll first notice that there are many brands to choose from, making your decision even more difficult. That brings us to a critical question: Do you require a branded kayak? I’m afraid the answer is yes – there are several notable advantages to buying a kayak from a reputable brand rather than a generic, no-name brand, even if it means spending a little more money.

Single or tandem?

Do you intend to paddle alone or in tandem? This is one of the most fundamental questions you’ll be asked. While a tandem kayak can be paddled by one person alone, it requires sitting in the back of the kayak while ballasting the front. As a result, the kayak will move, but not at its best. On the other hand, going out with a partner is a lot of fun, often safer, and usually less expensive than buying two boats.