If you’re in the market for a kayaking adventure, then your first step will be to purchase a kayak!
This may seem a simple task, but it’s one that must be taken seriously as there are more than a few kinds of kayaks and a range of styles and prices that can seem overwhelming to an amateur kayaker.
And if you buy a kayak that doesn’t suit your purposes, you’ve wasted a whole lot of time and money.
There are basically three types of kayaks: Rigid kayaks, folding kayaks, and inflatable kayaks.
- Rigid kayaks are the conventional-looking, charming wood kayaks.
- Folding kayaks are almost as durable but they are much easier to transport and store.
- Inflatable kayaks are even more convenient and easy to use than folding kayaks and they’re also the lightest and cheapest. This is one reason inflatable kayaks are such popular buys.
But let’s learn about these kayaks in greater depth.
Rigid kayaks are sometimes favorites among kayakers, because they boast a rugged charisma. They’re hard-shelled, which means they’re either built of wood, fiberglass, plastic, or some combination of these materials. They’re very resistant to the weather and can endure a whole lot of hardship. However, they’re also heavy – especially plastic kayaks – and won’t fit through small places. Not to mention, they’re not easiest to paddle around in. Plastic kayaks are the cheapest of the rigid kayaks, but they’re not necessarily the top choice for kayakers either. They are on the opposite spectrum of inflatable kayaks.
Folding kayaks are very popular among outdoor enthusiasts because they have strength comparable to their rigid counterparts, but are also easy to move around and store. Just like their name implies, they fold out. The collapsible fold-out kayaks are some of the most pricey kayaks one can buy, but they are a step above inflatable kayaks, as far as durability goes.
As for inflatable kayaks, these are really the most popular buys. This is because they are cheaper than the rest and are supremely easy to transport and take to the water. Those planning fishing trips especially like inflatable kayaks, because they can paddle very quickly and keep up with those speedy fish! Also, inflatable kayaks are amazingly easy to transport and store.
Whenever you’re shopping around for a kayak, you first have to determine what sport or activity you want to use it for and only then, should you consider the prices. Each style of kayak is so different that if you buy a rigid kayak and expect to go on a fishing trip with it, then you find your experience spoiled by a kayak that is, well, simply too rigid for such an adventure! Fishing kayaks tend to be inflatable kayaks, because they can fit anywhere and thus broaden the horizons of a fisherman or woman.
But some basic questions you must ask yourself when browsing the kayak market are:
- How many people can the kayak hold?
- How much cargo can it hold?
- How easy is the kayak to paddle?
- How easy is to transport and store?
- How controllable is it?
Then you can take a look at the prices and figure out what your budget is.
Remember, inflatable kayaks are the cheapest and most versatile, but they are of lower quality than others and may not be good if you expect your kayak to endure a lifetime of camping trips!
It’s best to compare products and prices online before you do anything else, as you can get a good idea of what you’re looking for and thus, narrow down your options.
Various outfitters can guide you and your kayak shopping and help you pick out the perfect kayak for you.
It also may be a good idea to buy from a dealer who specializes in the specific kayak you’re interested in.
For example, if there is an inflatable kayaks or rigid kayaks manufacturer, they will better serve you than a more generic manufacturer.