How to Find the Right Kayak

How to Find the Right Kayak
Kayaks can vary in price from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It's important that you find the right kayak for you. The right kayak will match your skill level and suit the type of paddling that you intend to do. Take your time when choosing a kayak. Try it out on the water, and get a feel for it; most kayak dealers will have a day in which you can test their models.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Decide how you will be using your kayak. Will you be paddling by yourself or with another person? If with another person you should consider a tandem kayak. What kind of water will you be taking it out on? What will you be doing in the kayak? Do you intend to fish, scuba dive or will you be whitewater paddling? This will help you decide whether you want a sit-inside kayak or a sit-on-top.
Step 2
Consider how stable you need the kayak to be. This will depend on your experience and how you will be using the kayak. Generally the wider the kayak, the greater initial stability it has. Initial stability prevents the "tippy" feeling you get when sitting in the boat. More advanced kayakers will prefer a narrower hull, which means less initial stability but greater final stability, making it less likely to capsize.
Step 3
Consider the size and weight of the kayak. What is the weight capacity for the kayak? Is that enough for what you'll be doing with it? How big is the kayak? Can you easily transport it on your vehicle, and can it be stored easily when not in use?
Step 4
Look at the material. Today's kayaks are made from a variety of materials. If you don't have a lot of space for storage, consider getting an inflatable kayak. Hard-shell kayaks are usually made from plastic, airalite or composite. If you're a beginning paddler or if you don't plan to use your kayak very often, choose a regular plastic kayak; they typically cost half as much as airalite or composite kayaks.
Step 5
Sit in some kayaks. Once you've narrowed down your choices, try a few models to see how they feel. Do you smash your legs every time you try to move around in the kayak? Try and get a feel for how it'll be sitting in this kayak for several hours.
Step 6
Test the kayak on the water. Most kayak dealers will have a day in which you can test their models out on the water. If they don't, consider renting the model you want. The best way to see if a kayak is right for you is to actually try it out on the water.

Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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