It is important to go for kayaks that suit the activity and your level of experience.
Length – kayaks with shorter lengths are more suitable and easy to control. Though kayaks that are bit longer tend to be faster.
Width- slim kayaks are faster, although they are less stable. Wide kayaks offer more stability but are a bit difficult to steer.
5. Weight Capacity
Kayaks that are light in weight are easier and faster to transport and maneuver. One of the important factors to bear in mind is that kayaks’ capacity varies just as their sizes vary. The capacity covers the bodyweight of the paddler and the weight of additional gears added along in the kayak, including fishing tackles, gear, and coolers.
6. Hull Type
The hull design is yet another factor to consider. The hull has a shape that’s similar to the bottom of a boat. And can influence your performance and stability. There are two types of stability:
The primary stability which is also known as the initial stability; it explains how stable the kayak is once you get into the boat.
The secondary stability explains how stable the kayak is once you start paddling. This reduces your chance of rolling over into the water.
Let’s take a look at the types of hulls:
V-shaped that cuts through water in a straighter line and is less stable.
Flat – has enough contact with the water body, making it easier and more stable to turn.
A blend – this explains a v-shaped at the end of both side and a flat in the middle
Chine: explains how the bottom of the boat comes in contact with the sides; this can either happens as a softly rounded chine or as a harder chine.
Rocker – explain the number of curves that occur from the rare part to the front of the kayak.
Rockers with more curves are slow but easier to maneuver.
If the rocker has less curve, it is faster but tends to be difficult to maneuver.
Kayaks with deeper hulls give more room for tall kayakers and offer more storage for gear and other items.
Narrow and long kayaks are:
Not easily maneuvered, but are faster
Less suitable compared to shorter kayak
Suitable for straight distances
Suitable for large and open spaces
Perfect when used on seas
Wide and short kayaks are:
Easy and stable to maneuver
A bit slower than the narrow and long kayaks
Good for winding, narrow, and fast-flowing canals and rivers
Backrest – some kayaks are designed with inbuilt back support, which eases fatigue and gives more comfort.
Using the right paddle will increase your experience. To get the best paddle, you will need to consider the following:
The strength of your arms and your trip length
The paddling style that best suits you
a) Your strength and trip length
Each time you paddle, your arm, stomach, and back muscles are used, this is why it’s important to go for:
Light paddles that won’t exhaust the strength of your arms
Heavy paddles can only slow you down
b) Adjustable paddles
Go for paddles that can be shortened, lengthened, and rotated easily to suit the condition at hand
It makes it comfortable, easier for anyone to take a turn on the kayak
It can be split into two different parts to make transportation easier
Go for a kayak with seats that are more ergonomically suited, adjustable, and more padded. They offer the best level of comfort that will be worth your investment.
13. Cockpit Size
Kayaks that are built with small cockpits offer you more protection and control when you encounter rough conditions. Although it’s easier to get in and out of kayaks that are designed with large cockpit.
These spaces are specifically meant for interior storage. Touring kayaks are usually built with two hatches while few recreational boats and day touring boats have only one.