Kayaking can be expensive! Figure out your budget first, then plan accordingly.
Getting into the sport of kayaking can be a fun-filled one, and understanding what items are necessary is the key to starting off right. First of all, kayaking can be a costly sport (yikes!).
Many that want to get into it don’t realize just how expensive it is until they begin to check how much the gear costs. Once the gear is bought, however, the fun and excitement felt while paddling down a white river or even on an open, calm body of water simply can’t be beaten.
You can picture it now – a cool afternoon on a quiet lake, riding the river rapids and experiencing that adrenaline rush you’ve been looking for. You can choose to do it alone, with your friends, or compete with other groups. Kayaks come in 3 basic types, there are what is referred to as solo kayaks, tandem kayaks, and there are the ones that are designed so they can convert from solo to tandem or even a set of three.
Plan your trip based on your experience level, or you’ll end up swimming, not kayaking.
There is another way of classifying kayaks, and that is based on their seats. This classification is relevant for those attempting to find kayaks suited for their skill level. If you and your companions are new to kayaking, it’ll do you good to choose sit-on-top kayaks as these will provide you more balance and can make you feel more relaxed on the water while you work on the basics of the sport. You don’t want to end up stuck in the water, now do you?
On the other hand, if you and your partners already have relevant experience in kayaking, you can go for the sit-in kayaks which are aimed for kayakers who want to perfect their balance and performance. Though you can rent regular kayaks, you may try what other outdoor enthusiasts are now doing, and that is buying their own inflatable kayaks. Unlike the solid, traditional kayaks, the inflatable kayaks are considerably lighter, simpler to deal with, and easier to carry and store. Rather than mounting a solid kayak on your car’s roof rack, you could just deflate an inflatable kayak, fold it and store it in its case and that’s just as easy to have it. Aside from these conveniences, they are also more affordable than the standard kayaks
If you’re concerned about strength, then you should go for those that will provide you great strength features and durability. If you find inflatable kayaks, they are made of components that are not only watertight but puncture resistant too. Their valves likewise offer excellent security with firm constructions for preventing accidental air loss.
Now, the kayaks are not the only things you must be concerned about if you’re planning on going kayaking. You’ll need some great kayak paddles too. Don’t underestimate the power of the paddles because with their length and shape features; they can be your arms and legs for your kayak. You can discover more about them when you check out the best kayak paddles on the internet.
I’m ready to kayak! How do I start?
The first step in kayaking is to learn the basics and get comfortable with techniques and procedures that are involved when learning how to kayak without tipping over. The necessary skills include the checking your equipment for defects and potential breakages so that you can repair or replace any of the affected equipment before you head onto the water, unless you’re into sinking, risking your life, and becoming a meme.
If you are wondering about what kind of equipment you should buy, you need to make sure that you find a good supplier that offers a money back guarantee in case you have any problems. If the company stands behind their products, they are not going to hesitate about giving money back guarantee. Many times, people are not sure what they need to get whenever they are searching for the right kayak accessories or kayak hardware. There are a few things that you should pay special attention if you plan to purchase these items.
While some will argue that certain items are non-essential gear, what I’ll list will not only make your kayaking experience more fun, but also safer.
Essential gear for kayaking includes:
You can’t go kayaking without a kayak. What is important to know is that there are several different types of kayaks you can buy. You can buy a whitewater kayak, ocean kayak, or a touring kayak. Each kayak is unique and meant for a particular style of kayaking so you should choose your kayak based on what kind of kayaking you plan on enjoying.
This stands for Personal Flotation Device. NEVER kayak without a PDF. A PDF is also known as a life preserver and having one on at all times could very well save you if the unthinkable were to happen.
Each kayak uses a specific type of paddle so be sure to ask the store where you are purchasing your kayak from which paddles are appropriate.
This is only required for whitewater kayaking, but it doesn’t always hurt to wear one.
This helps keep the water out of the kayak. When purchasing one of these, I’ll advise you make sure it will fit you and your kayak.
While some may say these are not necessary, I know those of you that have experienced blisters scraped knuckles, and cold hands may argue the point.
Worn at your discretion but very nice to have in colder waters.
These should be comfortable and fit easily into your kayak.
* Rope Bag
This could save your life or that of your friend. Strongly recommended.
If you get caught up in some ropes or trapped underwater, you will be happy that you have one with you.
* Float bags
These are bags that go to the stern of the kayak and keep it from sinking should you get separated from it.
* Dry Bag
Great for stowing gear like cameras and other non-essentials. Keep it inside the kayak with you.
Now that you have all the necessary equipment, you are ready to hit the water and have the thrill of a lifetime. While some of the gear I listed is essential and some is somewhat non-essential, to fully enjoy your kayaking experience I recommend that you get it all. If you are going to skimp on some of the gear, never skimp on safety gear. You can replace a camera, but you can’t replace a life, it simply isn’t worth risking your life to try to save a couple of bucks.