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Choosing a Kayak – An Instructional Series

Posted by on December 24, 2011

Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes. Short, long, wide, narrow, heavy, light, ect. The choices seem endless and choosing the proper kayak to fit your needs can quickly become overwhelming. If you’re interested in purchasing a kayak then there are some steps that you can take to narrow your selection of possibilities and get yourself into the right one for you.

The process begins with some internal reflection. You need to think about what you are trying to get out of your kayak. Remember that no one kayak will be well suited for every situation that you may want to be paddling in. An extreme example is that a whitewater kayak will not be well suited for paddling an open-water crossing at sea. However, it’s very important to ask yourself where you are planning to use this specific kayak most of the time? What features are important to you: tracking, stability, maneuverability? Is the weight of the kayak an issue? What is your budget?

Next, make a visit to a great kayak shop with a knowledgeable staff of instructors. A great kayak shop will let you try kayaks out on the water as a part of a free or paid demo program. My number one rule to buying kayaks is that if you haven’t been in the kayak on the water then you don’t know what you’re getting into. Simply looking at a kayak on the showroom wall does not cut it and is the best way to be disappointed by your choice. A knowledgeable staff will know this and they will help to guide you to a set of kayaks that meet your well defined needs and work with you as you demo but they will not push you to choose any one specific kayak. The ultimate decision will and should be your own.

Here at Kayak Dave’s we will help guide you in the selection of the right kayak through this “Choosing a Kayak” instructional series. We’ll cover many topics like:

  • Kayak Classes (Touring, Light Touring, Recreational, ect)
  • Material Selection (Plastics and Composites)
  • Stability
  • Tracking
  • Maneuverability
  • Comfort Features
  • Safety Features

Check back for future posts in this series to help you make an informed investment in a kayak that you’ll enjoy for a long time.

Happy Paddling!

-Kayak Dave

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