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Kayak Buying Choices

By F Gual

Before looking for a new kayak, you must consider how you intend to use it. And before that, you have to shop for all the essential equipment you must have.

Choosing the right kayak can be a difficult ordeal. Several factors must be considered before starting a search. Some simple steps will make the search easier.

First, decide what it will be used for. Is this all new to you? Do you plan to enter competitions? This will guide you when exploring all the different designs on the market. An online search will reveal hundreds of choices, and narrowing your choices will take time. Hurrying through this step could bring buyer’s remorse.

But before that happens, you must get all the equipment you will need for safe and enjoyable kayaking. Wetsuit, life jacket, paddle, footwear, and more will be essential, so go for quality here.

Thinking of your kayak as an investment is the way to go. A quality kayak need not be expensive, but lots of research is needed to get the most for your money.

Famous top brands include Clear Blue Hawaii, Old Town, Coleman, Pelican International. The popular Hobie has a line of simple, durable boats. Sevylor has been making tough inflatable kayaks for years. Emotion makes plastic kayaks as small as eight feet, ideal if space is a problem. Folding kayaks have been made in Germany by the Klepper company since the fifties. Their wooden frame covered by a waterproof synthetic skin can be assembled quickly once you know how.

If you have never been on a kayak, it would be wise to rent one, even if only for a day. Learning how to get in and out of the kayak safely may take several attempts to get it right. Plus learning how to hold your paddle through the strokes also takes some trying.

Many people of all ages have become addicted to gliding through the water. Why not you?

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5 THINGS PEOPLE DO WRONG WHEN BUYING A KAYAK

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

The least expensive kayak is the “right” kayak!

When I first opened I had a customer who bought a kayak. The next year he came back and got a better one. The same happened the next year and the year after. The lesson I learned from this is to make sure you have room to grow as a paddler. Had this customer bought a better right kayak the first year he might not have ended up with a garage full. ( This is a little tricky since if you get a kayak that is too advanced you could become discouraged.) TJ.

Ask the dealer! Most dealers will have sold hundreds of kayaks and gotten feedback from their customers. Any reputable dealer will recommend the right kayak he/she thinks is best suited for your enjoyment. After all, do you want to take advice from the most knowledgeable person in the room or the least knowledgeable? LM.

Test Paddling – As a rule, I think test paddling is not a good way to choose your next purchase.Some times I insist the customer tests the kayak first especially if I think the kayak is too advanced for them, but usually beginners who test paddle will under buy. They buy the right kayak they feel comfortable in today and a month later regret buying such a basic boat. I can’t tell you how many people have come into my shop after buying a totally inappropriate boat for what they want to do and tell me I test paddled it and it was stable. If you do test paddle, listen to the Pro. They have seen hundreds of beginners and if they say you can handle a more advanced kayak you most likely can. After all they don’t want to sell you some thing you are going to be complaining about. TK.

Paddling Festivals/Shows – If you have never been to one I highly recommend going. There are usually dozens of manufacturers reps there and these shows are a good source of information. Now for the bad part, the vast majority of shows are put on by one store. When you get there it looks like a bunch of competing dealers, when in fact there is only one. It doesn’t matter which kayak you buy it all goes in the same cash box. Some shows like the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Fest have competing dealers. I really like these shows as you can get some seriously good deals at them. CF.

“The most important things are length, width and weight,” Kitt says. “You have to get the right boat for the right job. The main difference is distance. You have to determine how far you want to paddle. A longer boat goes farther with less effort” Read More Kayaking CNY