The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
The weather is cold in many parts of the country, which means some people will soon be dying to get outside for some physical activities. If you’re planning a trip somewhere warm and need an activity, kayaking is a great way to get active and take in some beautiful scenery. Kayaking can be a solo event, or you can go with a friend or group of people. If you have a body of water anywhere near you, you should check it out while paddling along in a kayak. We have scoured the web for cheap kayaks and have found some unmissable kayak deals. Check out the list below for kayak sales so you can start planning your trip to the lake.
As mentioned, kayaking allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life by getting out on the water to explore scenic beaches and take in extraordinary views that can’t be seen from shore. Kayaking is also a great form of exercise and an activity that the whole family can enjoy. There are many different types of kayaks to choose from, so how do you make the right choice? There are several factors to consider when setting out to buy a 3kayak. Here are some areas to focus on: where you want to kayak, sit-in or sit-on-top, shape and size, weight, and budget.
Where You Kayak
Where you want to kayak is the first item to consider. Though kayaks aren’t categorized by water type, it is helpful to know what kinds of waters you will be exploring when buying one. Rivers, lakes, and coasts are different environments that offer various obstacles for your kayak to handle. Rivers have a current, and though we’re not talking about rapids, there is still a continual flow of water to contend with. If you’re kayaking on a river, you want a stable and sturdy kayak that will turn quickly. Stable and sturdy equals short in terms of kayak length, and you can go with either a sit-in or sit-on-top model – whichever you are more comfortable in. Lakes don’t have as much flow as rivers, of course, but you will still likely have to contend with waves. If the weather is calm, you can choose an inflatable kayak or sit-in recreational kayaks for lakes and do just fine. However, if whitecaps appear, a recreational boat may get overwhelmed. Coasts, meanwhile, offer a wider range of weather conditions to contend with. Here you will encounter wind, waves, currents, tides, and more. In this type of water, you will want a sit-in kayak with a rudder and fixed tracking fin (also known as a skeg) known as a touring kayak. If, however, you are in warm water and don’t mind going for a swim, a sit-on-top kayak with the same features will be just fine. If you are kayaking on both rivers and lakes, a short recreational kayak of either seat variety will do. Most of these types of kayaks have a skeg, which will allow you to turn when the skeg is up and track efficiently when the skeg is down.
Types of Kayaks
Sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks have been mentioned several times above, but what is the difference? Sit-on-tops are usually recreational boats for lakes and lazy rivers. They are also popular in warm coastal waters. Sit-on-tops are easy to get on and off, so they are best for casual use and play around near a cabin with the kids. With a sit-on-top, you are definitely going to get wet, so they are best for warm weather and warm water. They usually have scupper holes, which makes them self-draining, so there is never a need to pump water out of them. Sit-on-tops are typically heavier than sit-in kayaks. If you’re into fishing (recommended reading: best kayak fishing accessories), many sit-on-tops have rod holders or a place to add them. Sit-in kayaks come in recreational forms as well, but there are also day touring and touring models. They are faster and generally have more cargo space. Sit-ins are comfortable in all types of weather and give you a greater sense of control due to the multiple contact points between your body and the boat. They are also easier to paddle than a sit-on-top.
Other Items to Consider
When browsing kayaks to buy, consider the weight of the kayak and whether you can handle it or not. You will have to carry the kayak to the body of water that you want to explore, so be sure you can do so without too much of a struggle, especially if you are going to be on solo trips. Also, consider your budget when purchasing a kayak. If you are a beginner, start with a cheap one to be sure that you enjoy the hobby before you go out and spend a ton of money on an expensive boat. You may even find that a decent paddleboard would be more to your liking.