5 Things To Know Before Buying a Kayak
With so many options for kayak buyers these days, you can easily get overwhelmed as a first-time buyer. It's important to do your research in order to buy a kayak that really suits you best. To help you with the choosing process, we made a list of 5 things for you to consider.
1. Sit-In or Sit-on-Top kayaks?
Sit-In kayaks are the perfect choice for experienced kayakers, as they are faster and easier to navigate with. With these kayaks, you also have a greater chance of staying dry while paddling. However, they tend to be less stable, and if you happen to flip over, it's much harder to get back in. There are some more stable varieties of Sit-Ins on the market, but you should take into consideration that they are not as fast.
Sit-on-Top kayaks are suitable even for complete beginners, they are stable and easy to get in and out of. These kayaks are the way to go if you're a recreational paddler, they are also kid friendly. The downside of Sit-on-Top kayaks is their speed, they're quite slow compared to the Sit-Ins. However, for a beginner or recreational kayaker, that's not an issue. Another thing to note is, as they lack the enclosed seating area, you will get wet as you paddle.
2. Kayak length and material
As mentioned above, Sit-on-Top kayaks are very stable, but they are not equally fast and easy to navigate. Longer kayaks are both faster and easier to navigate, but they are harder to move around and to store. Regarding materials, most kayaks are made from similar durable plastic, but some weigh less than others. The downside of lighter kayaks is that they don't last as long, but that doesn't mean they lack quality. When choosing a kayak, the optimal weight range should be from 25-28 kg.
3. Seating and storage
Many kayaks come along with a seat included in the price, but that seat is not likely to provide the optimal comfort while paddling. If you plan to use your kayak for the longer periods of time, make sure to invest in a high-quality seat. If possible, test out the seat before buying one.
Another thing that gets overlooked with buying a first kayak is in-kayak storage. Many buyers wrongfully assume that the storage pockets are completely waterproof. To keep your belongings safe, we recommend using a dry bag. Dry bags by Feel Free are our top choice and we use them on all of our guided kayak tours.
4. Kayak Paddles
Choosing a good paddle is equally important as choosing a good kayak. If the paddle is low-quality, it will significantly worsen your kayak experience. A good quality paddle will save you a lot of energy, especially if you have a slower kayak. Regarding the kayak paddles; you get what you pay for, so try to opt for the more expensive ones to be sure you're getting better quality.
5. When to buy a kayak
When buying most of the outdoor equipment, the best time to buy is at the end of the season, when the prices tend to drop. In the case of buying a kayak, that means late summer or early fall in most places. If you are looking to save some money or you're on a budget, you might consider buying a used kayak instead of a brand new one. If you choose to buy a second-hand kayak, be sure to test it, and to go to a trustworthy source like registered touring or rental businesses near you.
Like other rental companies, we are frequently updating our kayak fleet, so we sell some of our well-maintained kayaks at the end of almost every season. If you happen to be near Pula when buying a kayak, feel free to contact us.
In conclusion, even with many options to choose from, there are just a few trustworthy kayak manufacturers that truly meet the quality and usability standards. If you are not sure what to choose, check out the kayaks that we use and trust.
We hope we helped you with these tips. Happy kayaking!
Your Istra Kayak Team