Thinking about purchasing a Kayak? Steps to be sure it is the right one for...
Hello. Kayaking has gained so much in popularity lately. And, it is such fun, and green fun too! Unlike a power boat, once you have your kayak, your personal floatation device [life jacket] and your paddle; you need not carry bundles of cash as you won't have to spend a penny on fuel.
You can get a one person model, or a two person model. In my experience, the one person model is the way to go. Among other things, you do not have to coordinate your strokes with a partner.
Now let's consider length. Kayaks can be as long as 17 feet and as short as 9 feet. Longer kayaks can be used for more storage, while shorter kayaks can turn much more easily. A good length for a beginner is 9 to 12 feet long, while kayaks that are used for tours are as long as 17 feet. The only limiting factor is storage.
What about storage? Do not buy a 14 foot kayak if you only have room to store a 13 footer. Enough said.
Regarding feel, fit, and stability; the only fool proof method is to try several out. Go to a kayak store that offers free fittings on the water. When we did this, the store had 70 different kayaks available and you could literally try them all if you wanted to. It took several hours to find the perfect kayak but it was well worth the time.
Sit On or Sit In: definitely your personal preference. Once you try a number of each out you will make your own decision here. Needless to say if you invision yourself doing serious white water kayaking you will want the type you sit in with a bib to keep you somewhat dry. For general kayaking in calm water, the sit on kayaks are great fun.
And now the paddle: you will want to consider length, weight, and what the paddle is constructed from. Aluminum is light and inexpensive but it will be as cold as the water you put it in.....I stay away from aluminum for that reason. Wood is good for cold water but on the heavy side; and like anything wood you have to maintain it's finish. My choice, even though it is more money is carbon fiber. These are very light, very durable and the most expensive. I believe, however, that they offer you the best investment.
What about lessons? Definitely take at least three hours worth of lessons when you start so that you develop good habits. Enjoy! Joe
on Jun 22, 2010 | Boating