What to Look For when Buying a Kayak
There is a lot to consider when you are purchasing your first kayak. What type of water are you hoping to paddle through? What skill level are you on the water? What are you doing on the water—sightseeing, fishing or just relaxing?
Having the right type of equipment can really make your kayaking experience. Understanding what your personal goals are can help you to make the right purchase.
What Type of Kayak are you looking for?
Depending on what you are hoping to do on the water, you may be interested in a number of different types of kayaks or other supplies. It may be a figure of speech that kayakers “wear their kayaks,” but there is a ring of truth to that statement. When you are on the water your kayak is an extension of you. Make sure that you find one that fits you well.
- Touring kayaks: This type of kayak is perfect for the casual, recreational kayaker that will be going out on flat water, such as the St. Johns River or the Intracoastal here in Jacksonville. Touring kayaks are generally between 13 and 15 feet long and 24 to 26 inches wide.
- Sea kayaks: If you are more interested in taking your kayak out to the ocean, then you may be better off with a sea kayak. Sea kayaks are typically 16 to 18 feet long and only 19 to 23 inches wide. These types of kayaks are able to handle the surf that you wouldn’t encounter kayaking inland.
- Fishing kayaks: Fishing kayaks can come with a lot of accessories ranging from electronics to storage. With this type of kayak you can also opt to sit on top of the boat instead of being confined inside, which could make it a lot easier to actually catch some fish.
- Paddle boards: Taking a paddle board out into the water can be a lot of fun, but only if you take the time to find a paddle board that is right for you. How much you weigh, the conditions that you are planning on paddling in, and your previous experience working with paddle boards all play a role in finding the right board for you.
Safety First! Why Quality Counts on the Water.
Don’t get stranded! How the kayak is made can play a big role in how effective it will be once you are out on the water. Getting a kayak that is made with separate pieces that are put together inefficiently can lead to cracks and pinhole leaks. Purchasing a reliable brand is one way to avoid manufacture errors.
Here are a few reliable kayaking brands that offer a wide range of products, from fishing gear and kayaks to paddles and rescue equipment:
- P&H Sea Kayaks
- Venture Kayaks
- Feel Free Kayaks
- Nigel Dennis Kayaks
- Epic Kayaks
- North Water
- Snap Dragon
- Riviera Paddle Surf
Buying a kayak involves a little bit of extra research, but once you are out on the water you will be happy that you took the time to find the right piece of equipment for your needs.