How to Choose a Kayak

How to Choose a Kayak
Kayaking is a sport that allows you the freedom of solo exploration or group discovery. You can meander a quiet lake, shoot the rapids in whitewater or surf the breaks in the ocean. Kayaks can be used for exercise, as a boat for fishing or a platform for scuba diving. Your choice of kayak will ensure your enjoyment of it.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Kayak paddle Personal flotation device Paddle leash Sponge Bilge pump
  • Kayak paddle
  • Personal flotation device
  • Paddle leash
  • Sponge
  • Bilge pump
Step 1
Decide what aspect of kayaking holds the most interest for you. Choosing an activity that you are going to pursue will guide you in the selection of a type of kayak. There are kayaks for recreational use, touring, and maneuvering through white water.
Step 2
Once you have decided what type of kayaking you want to pursue, look at the types of kayaks that are available for that sport. Kayaks can range from inexpensive plastic models to high-priced fiberglass. Recreational boats can be sit-on-tops, or sit inside. Touring kayaks are long and slender, with waterproof storage in fore and aft compartments. White water kayaks are short and maneuverable. There are tandem kayaks available if you are going to be paddling with a partner. Folding kayaks are also available.
Step 3
Decide how much you want to spend. All categories of boats have entry-level, mid-range and expensive models. Be realistic with your budget. It is easier to upgrade than it is to downgrade.
Step 4
Go to a sporting goods stores that sells kayaks. Speak with the sales people about the available models. Many shops have the ability to order a boat if they don't carry the particular model you are seeking.
Step 5
Check with stores to find out if they sponsor paddling days in which manufacturer representatives bring a variety of kayaks to try on the water. This enables you to evaluate different kayaks.

Tips & Warnings

 
Paddling stores are the best places to purchase kayaks. Staff in these stores know and have often used the equipment being sold. See if your local stores have rentals. This is another way to try different boats before purchase. Check out local paddling clubs, which often do group paddles that can help you try different boats.
 
Paddling stores are the best places to purchase kayaks. Staff in these stores know and have often used the equipment being sold.
 
See if your local stores have rentals. This is another way to try different boats before purchase.
 
Check out local paddling clubs, which often do group paddles that can help you try different boats.
 
Kayaking can be a dangerous sport, so get proper instruction.

Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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