What To Look For When Purchasing A Kayak

Kayaks have long been used by boating enthusiasts who enjoy exploring lakes, rivers, or the open sea by paddleboat. If you're thinking of getting a kayak to try some boating yourself, you'll want to make sure that the boat that you choose has all the right features to make your time on the water the most worthwhile. Here are some key things to look for when purchasing a kayak.

The Level of the Kayak

There are kayaks for sale that are suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced kayakers, and choosing the right type will depend on your experience level. Recreational kayaks, which are usually more basic in design, are especially good for beginners. If you've already had some kayaking experience, you may do well choosing a boat that is lighter in weight but still has a fairly sizeable cockpit and offers great durability. Touring-style kayaks are more ideal for advanced kayakers. 

Sit-on-Top or Sit-in

A sit-on-top style of kayak is one of the best options for a beginner, and this may be especially true for you if you want something that is easy to get in and out of and has self-bailing capabilities that can give you additional security as you get used to boating. You'll likely do well with a traditional sit-in kayak if you have more experience with a paddleboat and want something that allows for more efficient paddling.

Weight Capacity

You'll want a kayak that can accommodate your body weight along with the weight of any other kayakers if you choose to get a boat that has multiple seats. If you plan to bring a cooler, fishing equipment, or other items with you on your journey, you should get a kayak that can handle the weight of these extra things.

Type of Hull

The hull, which is the shape of the kayak's bottom, can be shaped differently depending on the specific kayak that you buy, and each hull type has its advantages. You can choose from the following hull types:

  • Flat: Flat hulls provide excellent stability and are especially good for beginners.
  • Rounded: A rounded hull may be a better option than a flat hull you want something that gives you more speed and flexibility while maneuvering.
  • V-shaped: V-shaped hulls can be great for long kayaking tours and can help you maintain a straighter line while paddling but may not give you the stability that you need if you're still a beginner.
  • Chine: According to Men's Journal, the chine describes how a kayak's bottom connects to the boat's sides and can either be more rounded or angular in design. Kayaks with chines that are more rounded tend to offer better secondary stability. 
  • Pontoon: Pontoon hulls can be excellent for stability but tend to make kayaks travel slower.

Kayak Material

It's also important to look at the specific material itself that was used to build the kayak. A boat made of polyethylene plastic is a great budget-friendly material option, but this material also tends to make the kayak weigh more. ABS plastic can be more expensive but will be lighter in weight. Composite kayaks, which usually consist of a mixture of lightweight fiberglass and ultra-light carbon-fiber materials, can offer top performance.

Choosing the right kayak will be easier if you keep all the important factors that differentiate one kayak from the next in mind. Dealers who sell top-quality kayaks can assist you in selecting an option that will be the most suitable for your experience level and the type of kayaking that you plan to do. Contact a kayak company for more information.