Inflatable kayaks, lightweight and requiring little storage space, offer stability on the water and ease of transport. Kayakers and fishermen use inflatables as well as plastic hardshell kayaks, and inflatables may be easier to fly into remote areas.
Inflatable kayaks sit higher on the water, meaning paddlers are more subject to wind. This can cause problems for beginners trying to control the kayak. They are slower in the water than hardshell kayaks and provide no spray or water protection.
Storage and Care
Inflatable kayaks have to be pumped up before use and deflated after use every time. Dry out the inflatable before storing it. An inflatable kayak will not fit on a storage rack, so prepare to transport the wet kayak in your vehicle.
A inflatable kayak is not as durable as a hardshell kayak and will need to be replaced more quickly. Leaks occur more often, and your kayak may need patching if it becomes damaged by rocks and debris.
Article Written By Courtney Johnson
Courtney Johnson is a freelance sports writer and photographer based in California. Her articles and photos appear regularly in newspapers and magazines such as "Triathlete" and "Cross Country Skier." Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in media production and minor in writing. She is studying for her copy editing certificate at the University of San Diego.