Category Archives: kayaks

Learn the ins and outs of kayaks and why they have become so popular.
Compare and review the different models to find if one will suit your needs.

Types of Kayaks

By Peter Gitundu

You’ll agree with me every sport requires a gear designed for it. This is no exception with kayaking. However, there are many different types of kayaks available in the market today and makes it hard for you to choose the right one. Just take a moment and read on for some helpful tips on basic things you ought to know about kayaks.

Their origin is traced to be Eskimos from green land and Alaska. They are basically small boats with a similar structure as a canoe. Their main difference with canoes is that paddlers legs are hidden inside, they’ve pointed bows and sterns and they’re fully covered except for the cock pit.

In the past, they could only accommodate one paddler but today’s there are different types that accommodates one to four paddlers at a go. Kayaks are classified into three categories depending on their structure i.e. rigid, folding and inflatable. Rigid are made of fiberglass, plastic, wood or Kevlar. Plastic ones are tough and long lasting while fiberglass are light weight.

If you want a portable one and easy to store, folding ones caters for this though you have to dig deeper in your pocket. However, the price is worth it. They are made of aluminum or wood. Inflatable on the other hand are easy to carry, they are made up of PVC so all you need to do is put pressure with help of a pump and you are good to go kayaking. They are mostly suitable for calm waters and rivers. One thing to note is that paddling one require more effort and are a bit slower. But worry not, the thrill and experience is amazing.

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Choosing the Proper Kayaking Accessories

By Ernest Tang

Kayaking is an unpredictable sport as you will not be able to foresee the outcome. It is only through preparation that you are able to prevail over whatever odds that might be thrown at you. Different kayaks are built for different purposes to cope with the diverse types of sea conditions. Some are just for sightseeing while other may be for dangerous white water kayaking. When you are dealing with the trying condition of the water, a kayak with a paddle is not enough. You will need other accessories to help you survive and the first equipment you will need is the ability to transport the kayak.

You need to outfit yourself with the right kayaking accessories and clothing is crucial. Clothing has to be waterproofed and disperse all perspiration. The best type is makes of synthetic material as they are resilient. Sandals have to be waterproofed as well as a pair of gloves that will protect your hands from freezing cold in addition to avert blisters.

Kayaking is a water contact sport and can keel over without warning. You can permit a little water displacement and above that, you will put your personal safety in danger. To overcome that you can use sprayskirt that cover you fully that help to avert paddle splash in addition to keeping off rapids. As in water sport, all kayaking accessories need to be waterproof with food cooler manufacture from vinyl to keep it afloat. Add a flotation device too in case of emergency.

There are other essential kayaking accessories depending on whether you are in calm water or out at sea. In the unpredictable sea, you need survival accessories and remember to prepare yourself for any outcome, even the worst. Whatever your discretion; do not over pack as you need to be agile to cope with the treacherous conditions.

A bilge pump, a map and a compass together with paddle floats will do nicely. Irrespective of your experience, you need to carry those indispensable accessories at all time. Other additional kayaking accessories that you can bring along are baseball hat, sun visor to cut off glare and maybe some snacks such as a cereal bar or chocolate to perk you up.

The kayaking expedition will be enjoyable and safe if you get yourself outfit with all the proper accessories. Kayaking is best done in group as more people can take care of each other and it is more exciting that way. Even without kayaking accessories, it can be done but not out at the treacherous sea. Whatever, it is best to equip yourself by choosing the proper kayaking accessories.

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Kayak sales


Day 58 – 1 more hour

Removed all the hardware, seat, lines, etc. and epoxy saturated the holes. I will let it cure completely and start the sanding. Now the nerves are setting in. Soon we will see the final project, however it comes out. I also purchased some lower sawhorses. My table is a little too high to make it easy to sand the surface.

Day 59 – 4.5 more hours

Started the sanding today. Started with 120 grit on my orbital sander with LOTS of disks. I had a lot of runs and drips to remove. Really came out better than I had hoped. Finished with 220 grit with the orbital. Found a few areas that needed a bit more epoxy so I will let it cure for another day or two and start with a sanding block. Hand sanding only from here on.

Started the sanding today

Day 60-63 – 6 more hours

I read the instructions on the spar varnish! The manual advises that once you are finished with the glassing to take your boat kayaking. That is a very pleasant way of saying that is your only choice. You cannot start applying the varnish until 7 days after the last coating of epoxy. Well, I wasn’t planning on introducing it to the world until it was finished so I decided to do some more sanding and I am really glad I did.

I had used my orbital sander with 120 grit and then 220 grit and thought it was pretty good. I noticed that the surface still had a mottled surface even though it felt fine. I started sanding it by hand with the 220 grit paper and was really pleased with the improvement. On the photos you can see both sides of the hull. One half is hand sanded and the other is not. Vast improvement; however at the rate I am going it will take another 12 hours to get it ready for the varnish. With the amount of time I have invested already I am not going to cut corners now. So it looks like no varnish until I’m ready.

I read the instructions on the spar varnish!

Day 64-66 – 8 more hours

I have continued to sand the hull with 220 grit paper by hand and it looks pretty good. My 7 days of waiting are almost up (before I can start the varnish) and then I realized I forgot the half rounds for the hatches. It looks like the hatches will have to wait a week more before they get completed. Also got the clips epoxied under the hatches for the retaining cords.

I did weigh the boat. Without the straps, cords, seat and hatch covers it weighed 38 lbs.

I came up with a fixture to help with the epoxy saturating of the ½ rounds. To allow me to do all sides at once, I made a “V” form from some aluminum foil. Worked neat. I have the hatch seals installed, glued the Velcro to the seat pad and epoxied the other half of the Velcro to the hull, held down by some bricks over Mylar.

I have to epoxy the ½ rounds in place; after they cure I can then remove the hatch straps and can start the varnish. The finish is in sight.

I have continued to sand the hull with 220 grit paper by hand and it looks pretty good.

How to Store Your Kayak For Winter Properly

By Shannon Clark

If you’re someone who is just getting started with kayaking, it’s important that you take the time to learn how to store your kayak for winter. Winter storage is something many people miss out on and then when they go to pick their kayak back up for a kayak trip in the spring, they find out it doesn’t look or function the same.

Here are the main things you must know in order to store it properly.

Clean The Outer Side Thoroughly

The first thing you should be doing is making sure you wash the entire kayak down with a hose first. This will clean off any dirt, salt, or other substances that might have gotten onto it during the summer runs.

A typical garden hose will work perfectly for this – just be sure you are cleaning all sides as best as you can.

Don’t Neglect The Inner Portion

Once you’re finished cleaning the outside, then your next step is to also clean the inside out as well. Usually water will get into the kayak as you’re running the waves and if the salt sits there over winter it could weaken the boat.

Don’t forget to clean in and around the handles as well – every area needs to be washed with clean water.

Stand It At An Angle

After you’ve finished watering it down, then the next thing to do will be to stand it upright at an angle. This will allow all the water to run off it and then when you store it, if it happens to rain or snow (if you’re storing it outside), the water there will also run off it.

You never want to let water sit in your kayak and accumulate when you store it over the winter.

Add A Cover

Finally, if you’re planning on storing it outside and the area you’re thinking about does get a fair amount of sunlight, then you should also cover it with some form of tarp or other material.

This will be important to protect it from UV rays, which can really damage your boat.

So keep these tips in mind to store your kayak over winter. If you do them immediately after you finish your last trip, then you know you will be able to pick your kayak up again next year in the similar condition you left it.

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Camillus Kayak Shop New York


Day 20 -3 more hours

I had forgotten that when you first coat or varnish a raw wood surface, you usually raise all the grain. Well, that’s just what the epoxy did, it raised all the grain. After some scraping with the cabinet scraper and some 150 grit paper, I was ready for glass. It wasn’t too bad. Some concerns at the stern, and I did use some clamps to secure the fabric initially. One thing I did at the stern you don’t want to do. I secured the flaps of glass at the stern with tape so they wouldn’t move. Having never worked with glass I didn’t realize just how much of a problem it is to get the tape off the glass. It was not pretty. Don’t do that.

It was really helpful to have my photographer, Anne, mixing epoxy for me during the glass installation. Saved much time and made it much easier. Next thing to do is to laminate the keel tape and apply the fill coats. Not much to photograph there. See you next week.

I had forgotten that when you first coat or varnish a raw wood surface

Day 18-19 -2 more hours

Laminated the keel tape and applied the two fill coats. Not that difficult although the 6 oz. tape takes a lot of epoxy to wet out properly. It has been quite warm here so I have been placing my epoxy and hardener into a sink of cold water prior to usage and it works very well. As the manual says, the tape does have quite a pronounced edge on one side. Also noted the overlap at the stern. I will see just how well they smooth out later.

Laminated the keel tape and applied the two fill coats.

Day 20-21 -7 more hours

The overlap at the stern cleaned up good! Assembled the deck on the hull. This was exciting. I can finally see the kayak. I ran into something that the manual didn’t cover. It says to wire the fore and aft decks so the wire twists are on the outside, but it doesn’t say how. On the fore deck you can reach two of the three joints but when you add the other panel #5, you have a box with no opening! I solved it by releasing the tape from the bow so it could flex up and installing the wires just enough so I could bend over the ends. After all were installed, I pulled the wires up and was able to twist them snugly. The first application of epoxy is applied to the joints. Tomorrow if it’s cool enough I will apply thickened epoxy to smooth out the joints.

The overlap at the stern cleaned up good!The first application of epoxy is applied to the joints.

Day 22 – 1.5 more hours

Mixed up some epoxy with wood flour to fill my seams. Not too bad. I did locate a potential problem. The manual states to cover the frames with tape and insert a piece of Mylar between the bow and stern so they don’t get glued to the hull. On the 4PD model there is one other area on each side where you must take precaution as well. The very narrow section of panel #5 is so close to the hull, if there is any gap between the panel and the cockpit lip (this is an area where it is difficult not to have a gap), there will be leakage. Epoxy will run down the inside and bond the panel to the hull on the inside. I was able to separate the two by carefully inserting a razor knife and tapping it with a hammer. It popped apart neatly.

Tomorrow is another 96 degree day so I will let the epoxy cure.

Mixed up some epoxy with wood flour to fill my seams.

This Pygmy Murrelet Kayak is For Sale

Photo by Alyssa Moore on Unsplash

Kayaks For Kids

By Marc Fredmen

Kayaking is a great outdoor activity that can be practiced as an adventure sport as well as a recreational activity by people of all ages. This has caused tremendous increase in the popularity of kayaking. If adults have taken to kayaking in a large way, then the children too have not been left behind. In fact kids have taken to kayaking in such a way that there are special kayaks for kids and other equipment available for kids.

Exclusive Kayaks for Children

Lot of parents these days introduce their kids to kayaking at a very early age. In fact, parents are often accompanied by toddlers who share their parents’ kayaks for a joy ride. However, as the kids grow up they start demanding a separate kayak for themselves. In such cases, parents can find it difficult to choose the right kayak for their little ones. Parents must remember that they get special kayaks designed for kids so that it is easier and more fun for the tiny tots to ride the waves.

It is recommended that a sit on top kayak is the best type of kayaks for kids. This is mainly because a sit on top kayak is more stable and thus offers greater security. Also, since there is no cockpit like a sit in kayak, the sit on top kayak is easy to get into and get out of. Also, a sit on top kayak is easier to handle as compared to the sit in kayaks.

Especially, in case of an emergency when the kayak capsizes, children can easily get into a sit on top kayak than a sit in kayak. They only need to tilt the kayak and get on to it. For a sit in kayak, kids must learn specific maneuvers to get into the cockpit.

Also, it is always a good option to buy an inflatable kayak for children. Inflatable sit on top kayaks are very light yet stable and almost impossible to capsize. Also, kayaks for kids made of plastic or fiberglass is also an equally good option for kids. Also, another advantage of an inflatable kayak is that kids can easily carry it by themselves.

Features of Kids Kayaks

While buying an exclusive kid kayak, it is important to ensure that the kayak has the following basic features:

  1. A kid paddle.
  2. Easy to adjust foot and thigh braces. Usually kids kayaks comprise of molded foot wells.
  3. Ergonomic bow and stern grab handles.
  4. A gear strap that can secure the dry bag.
  5. Usually kids’ kayaks are smaller than the normal kayaks. Parents must ensure that the kids kayak has enough speed which would allow them to keep up with the parents’ kayaks.
  6. It is always great to opt for kayaks that have a tri-form hull. A tri-form hull offers good primary stability, which is so much crucial for kids’ kayaks.
  7. There are many kayaks available these days that can be used by parents as well as kids and thus are perfect family kayaks.

These are some of the most important features of kid’s kayaks and must be kept in mind by parents while buying a kayak for their little ones.

The author Marc Fredmen is a kayaking expert and provides essential tips for kayaking beginners []. Paddlers can know more about the different types of kayaks [] here.

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Sit on top kayaks

Review: Tahe Reval Mini LC (full carbon version)

Tahe Reval Mini LC2
I’ve only been out twice, but so far the Tahe Reval mini LC is everything I asked for; Light-Weight, fast speed, and responsive.
Yesterday I only did about 5 miles, but paddling upstream on the Oswego River, I easily could cruise at 5-5.5 MPH (per gps). It was a long day so I didn’t push much, but hitting 6 mph was easily doable. Today I was out longer. Paddled in Oswego Harbor and out past the lighthouse. Not much waves but with winds about 10 mph, creating quite a cross chop. I didn’t push too far, as I was alone, but the boat tracked well, was very stable and took seas and wind nicely.
Paddled up river against the current past two bridges and the boat didn’t flinch on the currents or eddy lines. I felt really stable and am gaining a lot of confidence in the boat.

The light weight makes it a dream. The color is great and I like the workmanship so far. I wish the backrest was easier to adjust. I took one side up a position, and will do the other tomorrow. Thanks for your recommendations and service.

Kayak & Paddleborads Rentals at Willow Bay Syracuse NY

Kayak & SUP Rentals Onondaga Lake Willow Bay

Have you ever wondered what the recently completed west side trail looks like from the water? The water at the North end of the Lake is astoundingly clear; fish are abundant and quite visible everywhere! It’s actually incredible how many fish you will see – it’s like looking into an aquarium teaming with fish. In early June, the fish will be spawing near the shoreline.

The Camillus Kayak Shop, starting June 1, will offer kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals in Long Branch Park at Willow Bay, near the S.U. Boathouse. Brand new recreational kayaks and user-friendly (beginner) paddleboards will be available along with some basic instruction. If you’re a SUP’r who has never tried kayaking or a kayaker who has never tried SUP’ing, this will be a great opportunity. Hourly rentals and week-day specials! Our rental sit on top and sit in kayaks are twelve feet in length. These are better than the usual rental offerings and more enjoyable for recreational kayakers. Tandems will also be offered. Located at the nicest launch area on the lake, it is close to the rest rooms,  bike/walking trail, and is also near the pavilion and parking area.

What style kayak carrier is right for me?

Factors to consider when deciding which kayak carrying system to purchase are:  weight and width of the kayak, height of the vehicle, and if you’ll have help when loading & unloading.  Keep in mind, if you have more than one kayak, you may want to consider 2 different kind of carriers, for example, a J-Cradle for when 2 people are loading and saddle type carrier when only one person is loading. These options attach to load bars (CROSS bars)

Carrier style:  J-Cradle, saddle, stackers and wing styles will work on all kayaks. J-Cradles carry the boat on its side which takes up less width across the top of the vehicle, but work best when two people load the boat – one on each end. Load assist systems, such as the Thule Hullivator and Malone Telos make loading much easier for a single person.

Saddle carriers carry the boat right-side up and are pretty easy for a single person to load, starting by placing the bow of the boat on the back of the vehicle (use a bath towel or the Malone K-Rack, or Thule Waterslide to protect the vehicle and make sliding easier), and slide it up until it is in position to strap down.

Wing carriers extend the width of your vehicle by allowing a portion of the boat to extend over the top of the vehicle. They are also pretty easy for one person to load in a similar fashion as saddle carriers, as the boat stays right-side up. Malone Seawing is a good example.

Stackers allow up to 4 kayaks to be carried on top of the vehicle by allowing the kayaks to be “stacked” on their sides. They are much easier to use when there are at least two people loading, and they fold down when not in use. The Malone Stax-Pro 2 is an example.