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Friday, April 28th, 2017

Choosing a Kayak

Choosing a kayak

When choosing your right kayak, there are many factors to take into consideration.  We recommend talking with our knowledgeable staff to help with this decision.

Step One – Paddling Style

Where do you want to kayak and what will you be doing? Kayaks fall into different categories.  Each category has the right combination of size options, outfitting, storage, and performance features for the intended uses outlined below.

Attributes

Recreational

Touring

Sea Kayaking


Ideal Types of Water

Ponds, small lakes, bays, slow moving rivers.

Lakes, bays, moving rivers, currents, limited ocean use.

Lakes, bays, moving rivers, rougher currents, ocean.

Trip Duration

Day trips

Day or weekend trips (less than 20 miles)

Day or weekend trips, expeditions

Skill Levels

Low to Intermediate

Intermediate to Advanced

Intermediate to Advanced

Gear Storage

Low to Moderate

Moderate

Moderate to High



Step Two – Performance Characteristics

Once you’ve gotten a general idea of your paddling style, you are able to narrow it down more precisely by understanding the performance characteristics that are typical for each category. Below is a chart of how each performs relative to the other categories in each characteristic.

Characteristic

Recreational

Touring

Sea Kayaking


Stability

Best

Better

    Good


Manageability

Best

Better

    Good


Speed/Glide

Good

Better

    Best


Tracking

Better

Better

    Best


Maneuverability

Good

Better

    Best

 

Definitions

Stability – general capability of boat’s resistance to tipping over under normal conditions
Manageability – refers to ease of carrying, car topping, and storing the kayak when outside of the water
Speed and Glide – boat’s efficiency moving through the water and potential for higher velocity.
Tracking – boat’s ability to stay in a straight line.
Maneuverability – boat’s ability to turn precisely.

Step Three – Features and Outfitting

Once you’ve decided on a kayak model or two that fits your needs, looking at the features and outfitting can help in making your decision.

Cockpit: Cockpit outfitting is key to finding the best fit for comfort, safety, and control. Look for inclusion of a thigh brace or backrest, and adjustability if you will be doing longer trips or kayaking rough conditions. Pay attention to cockpit size to ensure it fits your body type.

Hatches and Bulkheads: Located at either end of the boat, the hatch is the opening to store gear and the bulkhead is the vertical wall that seals the compartment. Also a great safety feature providing buoyancy to the boat.

Deck Rigging: Deck lines, bungies, and toggles add safety in convenience for certain types of paddling. A spare paddle, compass, navigational charts, and other items can be readily available on deck.

Rudder: A mechanical device at the stern of the boat that is foot controlled and can aid in both steering and tracking.

Drop-Skeg: Mechanical device at the stern of the boat that can be deployed or retracted by hand. Aids in tracking, but not steering.

Finally, we offer a variety of sizes in all of our kayak categories to comfortably accommodate paddlers of all proportions. The best way to ensure the right fit is to come in to our store and allow our staff to show you the many options we have in stock to meet your paddling needs.

Hull Styles- 

There are 2 primary hull syles, Sit on Top, and Sit inside.  The Sit on Top is the most popular style in the warmer Florida climate and the preferred hull style for most Kayak Anglers.  You can see our vast selection of Fishing kayaks by clicking “here”.

 

             
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