You’ve decided to take on a new challenge and try kayaking this summer? It’s a good idea to travel differently and go on an adventure. We are aware that it is not easy to know which kayak to take between inflatable kayak, rigid kayak, sea kayak, fishing kayak or sit-on-top kayak. That’s why we are going to help you choose your kayak!
Rigid or inflatable kayak?
For thousands of years, men have used rigid kayaks to move around, fish or travel. Even today, they are the most efficient on the water, they can store a large amount of equipment and face difficult conditions, especially at sea. A rigid kayak is robust but is more difficult to transport and store because it is bulky.
The inflatable kayak is an interesting alternative to the rigid kayak and is suitable for many uses. Manufacturers compete to offer durable, resistant and especially practical inflatable kayaks. The main qualities of an inflatable kayak are its small size and its ease of use. It inflates quickly and can be stored in a bag. It is light however strong because it is inflated under high pressure.
The inflatable kayak is perfect for families. It will allow you to have fun in complete safety in calm waters. However, it is not the most adapted to the open sea and offers a reduced loading volume.
The number of seats
Kayaking is a sport that can be practiced alone or with others. Depending on the kayak tour you are planning and your usual practice, you should first select the capacity of your boat. There are 1 person kayaks for those who prefer to go alone. You will also find 2 person kayaks, 3 person kayaks and 4 person kayaks. If you have small children, for example, it is preferable to opt for a multi-person kayak for safety reasons.
What shape for a kayak?
There are many shapes of kayak and, once again, the choice depends on the use you will make of your boat. You will find round, flat or more V-shaped hulls of different lengths. What you lose in speed, you gain in stability. The contrary is also true! If you are new to kayaking, it is best to choose a versatile, wide and flat model that will be adapted to different situations and that will allow you to progress quickly.
In addition, your kayak should be adapted to your body type and build. If you are tall and don’t know where to put your legs, you’d better choose a wider kayak!
Which kayak for which use?
Let’s take a closer look at the types of activities you will have to choose from if you want to start kayaking.
Smaller and shorter than the sea kayak, the whitewater kayak is designed to allow you to evolve in rivers and in the wildest torrents. They can sometimes be very robust if you have to go down very turbulent waters. A kayak dedicated to adventurers and explorers in search of adrenaline!
Its very narrow shape and V-shaped profile make it ideal for splitting the water and therefore gaining speed. They are naturally more unstable than a sea kayak and are steered by a rudder operated with the feet. The racing kayak is perfectly adapted to competition and is reserved for experienced kayakers.
With a fishing kayak, your priority will not be speed, but stability. Quite short but wide, this type of kayak is often adorned with “camouflage” colors, ideal to move forward discreetly in natural environments. You can stand up on some, while others have a propulsion system at the feet, which allows you to fish while moving forward.
Short or long, a sea kayak must be able to withstand wind and rough seas. Stability is therefore paramount, as is the comfort and responsiveness of the kayak, allowing you to avoid unnecessary fatigue. Sea kayaks are generally longer than their cousins to keep you on course during your kayak trip. Avoid at all costs flat hulls that will not fail to tip you over in case of rough seas! Prefer round or V-shaped hulls, for better stability in case of big waves.
The sit-on-top kayaks are the most famous of all kayaks. The sit-on-top is unsinkable because it is designed around a double hull. Without deck, it is particularly adapted to beginners and to people wishing to make short trips along the beach. You will be comfortable on this type of open kayak. However, you will not be able to use it for long expeditions.
Ready to hit the water?