Hey, Johnny here
If you’re reading this then, like me, you’ve discovered how much fun kayaking can be. Or perhaps you’re just curious about this sport and want to know more. For me anyway, it all began in the middle of summer last year when on a whim, a friend convinced me to take a kayaking trip with him around San Francisco Bay. Before then I wasn’t exactly the most outdoorsy person. Exercise of any kind seemed a chore and my life at the time seemed so busy that it seemed like there was no way I could make any time for outings.
My friend would not let me go on it through and finally just to please him I gave in. He’d discovered kayaking a few months earlier and just wouldn’t stop going on about it. Some pictures he’d shown me of his recent trips on the water certainly looked good but I remained sceptical until he convinced me somehow to follow him on his next one.
That first day’s events proved to be exciting, challenging and difficult all seemingly at once. I discovered just how much energy and drive it takes to paddle for long periods across relatively flat water but also the excitement of gliding from place to place and seeing views I could never have imagined before. By the end of the day, I was exhausted but fascinated by the experience. The next week I walked into an outdoor store and purchased my first kayak. In retrospect, I could have made a better buying decision with just a bit of research. The model I settled on was a great starting point but wasn’t suited for my needs. If you find yourself in the same position I was of wanting to buy your first kayak but being a little clueless of where to start then read on and let me break things down for you.
Considerations when choosing your first kayak
A few factors should be considered before even looking at particular kayaks. If you know what your needs are then the rest is easy.
Where and how will you use it?
What kind of water do you plan to use your kayak on? Some kayaks are built for use on flat slow moving bodies of water while others are designed for use on fast moving rivers. If you’re planning for some wet and wild rapids than a kayak designed for fishing will be completely impractical.
Sit-in or sit-on
Kayaks come in two basic types. Sit-in kayaks allow you to sit inside the hull in a lower position. With this, you’ll have greater control and more storage space. Sit-on kayaks are designed so that you sit above the waterline which is better if you plan on doing some fishing.
Stability and Durability
Two forms of stability exist when considering kayaks. Primary stability refers to how stable a kayak is when sitting still on a flat body of water. Secondary stability refers to how stable you are in high motion activities like river rafting. Kayaks that are great at one type are usually terrible at the other.
Kayaks come made in several types of materials such as hard plastic, carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass. What you’ll be using the kayak for and how often with dictate the best material. For instance, inflatables are best for use in rapid water because the water can guide them more easily.
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
This was my first kayak, and while I loved its versatility (and affordable price tag) it just wasn’t meant for the level of usage I put it through. Still, this is a great first choice for beginners who just want to test the water. It comes with an inflatable pump and can be set up in only 10 minutes a rugged tarpaulin bottom makes it great for dealing with rough entry’s and exists and can be packed up in a backpack design for easy storage. If you’re thinking of doing a little hiking than you can’t go wrong with this design.
- Comes with a hand-pump
- Easy setup and transport
- Affordable price
- Not durable enough for heavy use
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
Made of high-density polyethene hard plastic, this 40-pound recreational kayak remains very popular as a beginner model thanks to its high stability and ease of use. It’s also very affordable making it an easy first investment and because of its hard-plastic design, it’s highly durable. The foot braces are adjustable making it comfortable and is surprisingly lightweight for its construction.
- Extreme durability
- Great balance and ease of handling for beginners
- It tracks easily
- Not suited for fast moving water
- No drain plugs
- Limited storage
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
If you’re planning to do some fishing or camping with a buddy then you’re in for a treat with this. This tandem kayak is immensely popular for its rugged design and storage space. Recently I had the chance to test this out on a two-day camping trip. For a trip like this storage and comfort are very important which is exactly what we got out of this. It has a high degree of stability and its adjustable seating make it very comfortable even when used all day. It owes its durability to an 18-gauge PVC construction that makes it perfect for lake use. if you’re already into fishing and camping then it makes perfect sense to start with this. When taken care of properly you can expect this to last for years and still give top performance.
- High build quality
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Doesn’t come with pump or paddles
Lack of information Is what leads most people astray when choosing products. When you’re trying out a new sport like kayaking for the first time some of the differences in design and construction may seem petty but experience will show you that the little things make all the difference. Armed with the right knowledge and a clear vision of your needs and desires you’ll have no problem choosing the right kayak. For beginners, the above kayaks are some of the best out there and will provide you with a great instruction to this thrilling and challenging sport.