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There are so many kayaks in the market today. It's tricky to know the most suitable one if you are new to the sport. For beginners, the best kayaks are usually not suitable for those wanting to take epic trips across wide open seas or in challenging white waters.
However, they provide a safe and stable way to have fun in lakes, slow-moving rivers and calm seas. Update your knowledge with our beginner’s guide to shopping for kayaks.
Before buying a new kayak as a beginner, you need to consider these 5 things.
If you’re a beginner in kayaking, you’ll go through a learning curve. You will therefore need a kayak that is durable as you try to figure out how to kayak. A good kayak should withstand the abuse and punishment you’re about to put it through.
You should check at reviews on what the previous buyers have to say. Also, you should be keen with the material used to make the kayak. You can choose from 7 original materials. They include: wood, carbon fiber, Kevlar, fabric with a frame, fiberglass, hard plastic and inflatable plastic. A fiberglass or hard plastic kayak is a good bet. Also, the right inflatable kayak can work well for beginners.
Hard plastic is fairly durable, but heavy, whereas Fiberglass is lightweight, but expensive. Kevlar and Carbon fiber are even lighter, but too expensive and not recommended for beginners. Wooden kayaks aren’t used much nowadays because of their weight and high manufacturing costs.
For beginners, when looking for the best kayak, stability of the kayak is one of the most vital things to consider. Look for one that is stable and manageable without constantly tipping over.
Stability of a kayak comes in 2 forms.
It is important to define the length of your first kayak. When determining the length, figure out the most important thing to you. For tracking and speed ability, choose a longer kayak. But if you want one that will turn with ease, then invest in a shorter kayak.
Also, before buying you should consider how you will store or transport the Kayak. Obviously, the longer the kayak, the harder it is to store or transport.
Considering the width and depth of your first kayak plays a vital role in many things from how much you can store in the kayak to its steering.
Most beginners choose wider kayaks since they are more stable and easier to get in and out of. However, choosing a wide kayak means sacrificing some speed therefore making it harder to paddle due to increased drag.
Big guys and those opting for more room and space should go for a kayak with good depth. The kayak’s hull will sit higher to create more room in the cockpit, however, you will be more prone to cold and wind.
People with very long or short legs should look for a model that has an adjustable seat or foot braces. Also, consider the width of the seat, more so if you need a specifically wide seat.
What you intend to do with the kayak plays a big role in choosing the kayak to buy. What is your primary use for the kayak?
Is it for meant for rough waters? Are you looking for something that is family friendly? Do you want to be fishing with the kayak? Or you prefer to just pedal?
What are the important tips to consider before kayaking
You should dress for the water, not the weather. You need clothes that will keep you warm and dry.
You also need helmet and boots to protect your head and feet. Many paddlers prefer to wear a wet suit whilst others prefer dry trousers and dry tops. However, British Canoeing recommend that all paddlers to wear a buoyancy aid at all times. Also, always carry a spare set of clothes.
You need good training to be safe and help you enjoy paddling much more.
Having purchased your kayak, it does not mean that you can now paddle on any bit of water you come across.
You need a license to paddles in some inland water and canals. However, the sea frontline is mostly accessible for paddling although they restrict some areas.
Even if you’re very experienced, it’s never an excellent idea to go kayaking alone. You should team up with another kayaker, so that if one gets into trouble, someone is there to assist.
In case of an accident, the most important thing is to keep people safe. It may sound obvious, but sometimes people forget this during panicked situations. People can’t be replaced but boats can.
Always be prepared to rescue yourself and others. Go through the basic capsize drills with trained instructors.
It might sound obvious but many people when learning how to kayak, hold the paddle the wrong way.
Also, sitting properly in the kayak makes it easier to paddle. Rest your feet on foot pegs found on each side of the kayak. Heels should point towards the center and toes should point outwards. Also, your knees should bend upwards and outwards.
Both sit-in kayaks and sit on kayaks excel in their own particular manners and are better appropriate to certain tasks. Sit-on kayaks are perfect for beginner level paddlers or informal use. Since they have no cockpit and holes, they are nearly unsinkable.
They are additionally low in cost, making it simpler for the individuals are on a tight spending plan. They are perfect for quiet lakes, rivers or a day at the seashore. Sit-in kayaks definitely have their share of relaxed novice level kayaks, but they cost slightly more, with increased overall performance to compensate.
Sit-in kayaks are incredible and with their vast assortment, can be used for basically any kayaking.
As the name entails, sit-on-top kayaks have no encased cockpit and hence, as opposed to the paddler being placed inside of the kayak at or underneath the water level, they are rather situated on top of the kayak over the water's surface.
Both sit-inside kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks are stable. Stability is mostly a task of the width of the kayak.
Obviously, there are other aspects in play. The height of the seat in a kayak hugely affects stability, with seats mounted high over the waterline diminishing steadiness and lower seats expanding it.
If you require more information, please check these references
Kayaking made easy: a manual for beginners with tips for the experienced , article, "books.google.co.uk", retrieved on, Wed 08-July-2020
Kayaking and Rafting , article, "books.google.co.uk", retrieved on, Wed 08-July-2020
Kayaking Guide for Beginners , article, "www.theseus.fi", retrieved on, Wed 08-July-2020
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