If you’re buying your first kayak then there are a lot of important little details to deal with before you even make a purchase. First of all you’ll want to determine what kind of kayak you’ll be getting. Many professionals banter between the benefits of inflatables or hardshells but which one really fits your needs and wants?
A Deeper Look at Hardshell Kayaks
The hardhsell is the typical kayak – rigid, heavy, and very durable. It is the traditional boat that people think of when the word kayak is mentioned. You’ll find these rigid kayaks in four different materials: wood, plastic, fiberglass, and composite materials.
Wood is perhaps the most traditional but it is also the most inconvenient. You’ll have to spend a lot of money on repairs and maintenance and it can be quite heavy. Plastic and fiberglass are much cheaper on the outset and are becoming the hardshell of choice for many.
You’ll want to stick with a hardshell kayak if you are going for very rough white rapids above Class III waters. Class IV waters are really rough and wild and only the sturdiest kayaks can survive so having a rigid kayak would be nice.
Unfortunately, rigid kayaks have a lot of limitations – they’re heavy so transport is going to be a problem, they have a lower weight threshold so you’ll need to pick what gear will go with you for a ride, and you need a whole team of people just to get it on the water.
In a sense, the need for rigid kayaks is fading. Inflatable kayaks are becoming more durable and they are so much easier to move around. Soon enough, only the most passionate kayak enthusiasts will be sticking to their wood boats.
Revolutionary Inflatable Kayaks
Right from the get-go you will see why inflatable kayaks are easily becoming the better choice: they can fit into the trunk of your car, it only takes one person to carry it to the water, and it has a slightly higher weight threshold so you can have a friend with you, your dog, and some of your fishing or kayaking gear.
Durability isn’t really sacrificed here either. Inflatable kayaks are designed to bounce off the rocks instead of enduring a head-on collision. This ensures that the material isn’t damaged during white water kayaking. Even if they do crash head-on, most inflatable kayaks have multiple layers to ensure they won’t puncture.
With so much convenience, portability, and customization options available who wouldn’t want to go with an inflatable kayak? They are perfect for calm waters so you can use these to go fishing at the lake with your dog or loved one and they are perfect for those adventurous rides on rapid waters.
Choosing One For Your Needs
If you want to go a traditional route and if you are well-versed in kayaking then a rigid, hardshell kayak will do you fine. You’ll already know the ins and outs of the sport by then. If you’re still beginning or if you want a boat that is portable, easy to use, and all around efficient on any water surface then an inflatable is best for you.