Kayaking is a highly popular and interesting activity for any individual to take up. However, before doing so you need to look through different sea kayaks before you can select the one most suitable for you. This will highly depend on the location and your plans on how you will do the paddling.
Choosing the Best Sea Kayak
A large number of kayaks can effectively be used for different activities, but it is important to note that a particular kayak will not necessary perform well in every activity. Therefore the selection process requires that consider a number of important factors before making a purchase. Some of these include:
1. Ways to sea kayak
As a beginner, it may prove a bit difficult to steer the kayak accordingly. There are various basic paddling techniques that one should. It is important to maintain short strokes and do them as close to the kayak as possible. Positioning the blade further out will cause you to turn.
The most common strokes that people use when sea kayaking includes; the low brace and basic forward stroke. When it comes to the latter, you are required to maintain an upright sitting position then stroke deep. In order to move on straight line, the strokes should be even and done on both sides of the kayak.
Low brace helps to keep the boat balance especially when it begins to tip over. Here you are required to place the bottom part of the blade flat onto the water. Increase the downward pressure in order to balance the kayak thereby preventing you from tipping over.
These are just a few techniques. However, the best way to sharpen your skills is by getting into the water. It has been noted that touring kayaks can be mastered much more easily when compared to white-water kayaks and is therefore an important factor to consider in your overall decision.
2. Hull material
The main body of a kayak also known as the hull usually differs from one to another due to the material used. The choice of material you go for play a major role when it comes to weight, durability as well as cost. Some of the available materials include Polythene which is the most popular hull material being used today.
It is less costly, can be repaired quite easily with an excellent impact and resistant to abrasion. Even though it is considered durable, too much exposure to the sun makes it brittle. A hull made from triple tough is known to contain foam core which helps to improve insulation, stiffness, flotation and paddling efficiency.
Thermoformed ABS like composite has a glossy look but is much heavier and less costly. It is also much lighter than polythene and highly resistant to gauges and at the same time repairable. Although almost similar to polythene, composite kayaks are much more expensive.
PVC is quite flexible and is commonly used in inflatable kayaks. It is available in different thicknesses, quite tough, and abrasion as well puncture resistant. Fiber glass although rarely used on its own and also quite expensive is known to produce a long lasting hull that needs minimal upkeep.
3. Skeg vs. rudder
A rudder is known to help in turning and a skeg does not have this capability. The turning is usually more controlled and can also be set to either give a wide or tight turn subject to the intentions of the paddler. When compared to a skeg, a rudder is mounted way further ahead thereby giving it more effect when it comes to the direction of the kayak.
In as much as a skeg rarely does anything to assist you in turning, it has been noted that individuals who paddle kayaks that have a rudder rarely learn effective turning methods through any other means. Other than being in flat water and windless conditions, a rudder kayak is said to be faster than a skeg in similar conditions. The reason for this is because the rudder can be used as compensation for the wind and currents and can therefore paddle at maximum power.
When it comes to a skeg kayak, in order to compensate for currents as well as winds a paddler has to use asymmetrical strokes which results to speed loss. A rudder is also quite popular with individuals who want to go for kayaking without having to master numerous steering techniques needed for effective paddling.
4. Sizes and transportation
Larger sized kayaks are usually built for more than one person. The length affects cargo capacity, this is applicable to both gear as well as paddlers and in some cases tracking ability is also affected. They are also much easier when it comes to paddling but can prove to be challenging when it comes to taking a turn. Cargo capacity is dependent on the width.
If you are planning to transport the kayak on your own, then select a smaller sized one and light in weight. This will enable you to easily carry it in and out of your vehicle without any assistance.
Kayaks are available in different designs with varied prices. Therefore make your selection depending on your budget. Prices for sea kayaks range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand.
As time goes by you will be able to save more money and buy a more costly kayak. But in the meantime, you will still be able to enjoy yourself.
If you would like to find out more on the best Sea Kayak on the market, feel free to read one of our detailed reviews by heading over to our homepage. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out our interactive table of the various types and brands of Kayaks.