Not sure what kayak to buy? We understand! With the variety of kayaks available to choose from it can be overwhelming. Our friendly staff can help you decide on what will fit you and your budget. Don't worry about a creepy sales pitch, our salesman/saleswomen do not work on commission. We are available to answer any questions during store hours. Give us a call, we would be glad to help you! Below is also a helpful guide to choosing a kayak.
When trying to narrow down what kind of kayak you would like, here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Where will I be using it?
- Do I want to fish from it or just paddle around?
- Will I be using it year round?
- What will I be bringing with me? A small child, pet, hunting/fishing gear?
- Do I want to use it for multi day trips?
Types of Kayaks
Whitewater kayaks are designed for moving water so you would be using them on rivers. They are not intended to be used on slow moving water or lakes since all they would want to do is spin in a circle and be hard to keep straight. You would take you a long time to get to where you want to go and you would be wore out.
Touring kayaks are designed for going a long distance, speed and having lots of storage. They are great for lakes, oceans and some rivers. They will glide through the water with very little effort but are a little bit harder to turn. You can also have a rudder installed which helps with turning and to stay straight on windy days.
Recreational kayaks are designed for the more casual paddler and are more stable than the touring and whitewater kayaks. They can be used on lakes and rivers. These kayaks are more popular than the touring and whitewater.
Fishing kayaks are designed for use in a lake, ocean or river. You can fish from any kayak but some are made specifically for fishing. They are usually wider, more stable and some of them you can even stand in. Most of them will come with an adjustable seat so you can sit higher for easier fishing and come with tackle box storage, rod storage, tracks to add an endless supply of fishing accessories. You can fish from any kayak but fishing kayaks specifically make it easier to fish from.
Tandem kayaks are a two person kayak. Some are made with an adjustable seat so it can be paddled solo or a third seat can be added to some for a small child.
Sit-In Kayaks have a “cockpit” opening for the paddler to sit down inside the kayak which covers their legs. There are different cockpit sizes, whitewater and touring are much small so you can have a "skirt" which helps keep you warm and dry. Recreational kayaks usually have larger "cockpits" and are less likely to take a skirt unless it is specially made. Sit-in kayaks in general give you more protection from the sun, wind and water. They will also seem more stabl since you are closer to the water.
Sit-On Kayaks have an open deck and do not have a "cockpit" for your legs to go under. You have no protection from the sun, wind or water but you usually have scupper holes which are designed to drain any water you get in the kayak. It is easier to get in and out of and allows you to have more gear which is why most people that fish will use a sit-on top This has become a very popular style of kayak.
Pedal Drive Kayaks
Pedal drive kayaks have become more people over the years especially with the fisherman/fisherwoman. Just about all brands have a pedal drive kayak in their line. You are able to keep your hands free for fishing instead of constantly having to pick up your paddle to move. It is faster and easier to move on those windy days.
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Size and Weight of Paddler and Gear
Make sure to pay attention to the weight capacity which includes the paddler weight and any gear you will have. If you exceed the weight capacity, the boat will not perform like it should and will feel less stable.
The price will vary drastically and there are lots of reasons for this
- Material - less expensive kayaks are thinner and made from a different quality of plastic. This will effect how the kayak performs which is worse than a better quality kayak.
- Size - As kayaks get bigger, the price goes up. Longer kayaks will track better and be faster than shorter ones
- Seats - As the seat gets nicer, the price goes up. Some have a molded seat, a thin padded seat with a few adjustments, thicker padded seat with lots of adjustments or a very comfortable adjustable seat that can be moved from low to high position and is removable that can be used as a camp chair and provide great back support. It is always worth it to spend a little more and get something you will be comfortable in and want to spend all day on the water.
- Accessories - Fishing accessories, built-in rod holders, storage hatch, rudders, bungee, and geartracs are a few items that can make the price go up
- Manufacturer - Made in the USA kayaks are going to be better quality kayaks than cheap ones made in China.