Kayaking is one of the best ways to get an invigorating workout and have a memorable day all at once. This increasingly popular sport provides excellent cardio exercise, making it perfect for those who want to keep up with their shape without having to spend hours on end in the gym or running by themselves through steamy streets. Kayaks are small and narrow boats that use paddles and have no motors. They shouldn’t be confused with canoes, although they are very similar.
The cockpit of a kayak is an enclosed area, often covered with a spraydeck to keep water out, where one to two people can sit. Some modern-day kayaks have done away with the traditional cockpit altogether by having paddlers sit on top of their boats.
As kayaks are evolving, they come with a plethora of new features and accessories to match the paddler’s needs. Variations in accessories, style, as well as how it is transported from one location to another, can all be important things to consider when trying to purchase a kayak.
Where would you like to kayak? This is the most important question when deciding what boat style suits your needs. If you are looking for a small and calm lake, river or pond then the type of boat that will suit your need could be drastically different from one needed if paddling in high-current ocean waves, rapids rivers with large open spaces. Ocean kayaks are meant to withstand the roughest waters, while inflatable and plastic models can be easily damaged at a rocky shore. These lighter-weight boats also have more risk of being flipped in rough ocean waves.
How much does a Kayak Cost?
This brings up the excellent topic of cost when purchasing your new kayak. While inexpensive inflatables start around $200, they can’t handle any rough water. They are popular with inexperienced beginners who plan to spend their day only riding tranquil ponds rather than exploring fast rivers where experienced paddle enthusiasts thrive looking for excitement.
Plastic kayaks are great for the budget-minded as they’re relatively sturdy and efficient. They’ll run you about $200 as well, just like their inflated counterparts. You should know that this type of kayak gets easily damaged and will usually be impossible to repair.
If you are looking for a stable kayak made to withstand the elements and also have the budget for it, then consider investing in a sea kayak. These boats can run anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 and provide more storage space than your average recreational boat. They also have features such as adjustable seating which make them perfect vessels for long excursions out on open water. Although they are very lightweight, they will be very durable.
Any additional expenses to consider?
Paddles, life jackets, and other accessories are all important considerations when it comes to kayaking. Fiberglass paddles will cost about $150 on average but lighter-weight carbon models may be more expensive, at around $275-$500 for a set.
A variety of features are available so if you want fishing pole holders or additional storage space, those can also easily be acquired. Kayaks come in many different shapes and sizes with varying levels of comfortability – some have seats that conform to the shape of your body while others require an added cushioning pad for optimal seating capability. All of these additions will mean an increase in price, so pick wisely, depending on what you need.
How will you transport your Kayak?
A kayak is a great investment for those who love the water, but transporting them can be difficult. Luckily there are many ways to transport your new purchase! You could rent an open bed truck or, when traveling short distances, you can use foam blocks and rope as well as bungees. Of course, if you were to get an inflatable kayak, those are pretty easy to move around.
One of the best ways to ensure safe transportation is by buying kayak racks, which are more secure and better suited for highways. Be sure the rack fits your car before you buy it, or else you might not be able to use them. Some of these racks come with locks to ensure a safer trip.
The Different Types of Kayaks
There are three main kayak categories, each of which is suited to a different type of paddling: recreational kayaks for those who want to take leisurely trips; touring/sea kayaks that can handle longer journeys across lakes and in saltwater; whitewater boats designed for navigating rapids.
Recreational kayaks provide a perfect opportunity for those who are not looking to do any strenuous paddling. These boats can be used in lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and slow-moving streams without issue. These will mainly be used on low-impact adventures. They can be either inflatable come in hard plastics or other composites and can lack storage space as you won’t need it during your short time on the water.
Sea/touring kayaks – Sea and touring kayaks are generally longer, faster boats that can go for long distances. Depending on their intended use they may have differing features. Longer sea-kayaking models with a lot of storage space are suitable for trips lasting over the span of days whereas shorter cruising versions require less depth and need not come equipped with as much cargo room.
Whitewater kayaks are designed for paddling in rivers. These boats can be made of rigid materials to help maintain the integrity of your boat should you run into a rock or tree branch, and depending on how long you plan to be out, storage availability might seem like an important factor when choosing which one is best for you. Some models are designed for paddling in extreme whitewater while others are made for beginner scenic varieties.
It’s important to consider whether you want a kayak for solo trips or if your adventures will include someone else. Tandem boats are great because they allow two people and their gear on board, but there is the possibility that one of them might lose balance and tip it over. That’s why a bulkier, heavier, and steadier boat might be better for tandem trips. When going solo, on the other hand, lightweight fiberglass models may be better, because they are easier to transport when you are alone.
The feeling of freedom and serenity that comes from paddling around on a calm, smooth body of water will make anyone feel like they are in their own little world. But before you get out there with your kayak for the first time, it’s important to consider what type might be best just so you don’t end up getting frustrated or disappointed later over something as silly as not having enough room inside.