Excellent Tips for Choosing the Right Kayaking Equipment
Those who love to hang out on waters, kayaking is one of the best activities to get engaged into. With dozens of different types of kayaks and water environments, such as lakes, seas and whitewater rivers, kayaking offers a great fun for an adventurer as well as a peace-seeker. Here are tips for first-time kayakers to choose the right kayaking equipment.
While choosing the right kayaking equipment, the first equipment you have to choose is the kayak itself. While this seems to be a simple job, it’s not so. One good step you can take is to read comprehensive kayak reviews. Here are things you should know while choosing your kayak.
Typically a kayak has one to three paddlers. Price of the kayak varies according to the material. The cheapest material is plastic while the most expensive one is Kevlar, since it’s considered to be the lightest and strongest.
Also, depending upon the type of waters and scenarios for which they are used kayaks are classified as:
- Whitewater kayaks
- Racing kayaks
- Sea kayaks
- Touring kayaks
- Surf kayaks
- Hybrids (often referred to as recreational kayaks)
Sea kayaks are typically with longer bodies. Whitewater kayaks are created from high-impact plastic so as to be able to bounce off rocks and incur less damage.
For novice kayakers, sit-on-top kayaks are the perfect since they are very stable, simple to enter and exit and are used for recreational purposes. These are usually made of fiberglass and rotomolded plastic. Both these materials are low-maintenance, lightweight and stable. As their width is more, these kayaks normally need slightly longer paddles.
Paddle is the prominent distinguishing factor between a kayak and a canoe. Canoes need single-bladed paddles while kayaks need two-bladed paddles.
There are a lot of things to be considered while choosing a paddle, like your stature, stroking preferences and size of the kayak. For a small stature, lighter and shorter paddle is perfect so as to avoid overexertion.
There is a great variety available in the shape of blades too. Wider blades offer more acceleration but also have to undergo more resistance. Narrower blades have to be applied less effort for each stroke, but the number of strokes required are more.
Blades also may be curved or flat. Curved ones increase the power per stroke. Flat blades are cheaper in price.
There are feathered blades too that cut down on wind resistance.
Just like the kayak, it’s important to choose the right paddle and it requires you to try out the different types available.
It’s advisable to invest in a personal floatation gear or a life vest, though you may be in calm waters. The most popular one is the US Coast Guard Type III because they are comfortable and lightweight with large arm openings that enable wide rotation for arms and shorter waist lengths that provide comfort.
A helmet is advisable to wear while kayaking, especially if the waters are rocky.
You can also make arrangements to keep yourself dry by choosing sprayskirts that cover the opening of cockpit and save the lower body and anything you are carrying from getting wet. However, it’s also important to learn how to detach the sprayskirt while underwater. If you can’t do so, it’s advisable to forego the sprayskirt.
For keeping your personal belongings safe, use dry bags, especially if you want to carry a camera on the ride.
Learning Kayaking Techniques
It is the best to find a certified instructor to learn basic paddling as well as safety techniques. An instructor can teach you important skills faster. Also if you take lessons, you don’t have to initially spend on equipment as it is provided by the school. This also benefits you by making you understand which gear is the best to invest in. This is very important because it makes you know about gear like inflatable kayaks, single or double kayak and more.
Follow these tips and you will have a great time on waters.