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5 Easy Tips to Help You Buy a Kayak

Longhunter Outfitters

You want to buy a kayak, but don’t know which one to get? Ever wish there was a guide to assist in this purchase? Well, here it is. Keep these easy to remember things in mind when buying a kayak.

Angler, touring, whitewater, sit-in, sit-on. The list could keep going. There are so many options on the market for kayak buyers, but which one do you chose? How do you know what kind to get?

Here are five basic things to keep in mind when buying a kayak and doing your research.

No matter what type of activity you are into there is a kayak out there for you. However, there are a number of things to keep in mind when deciding what to purchase. If you use this basic checklist when doing your research and making your decision, you will be far better off.

1. Purpose

david fishing in sk90
Daniel Leathers

What is your purpose in getting a kayak? Simple recreation, fishing, cruising lakes, drifting rivers, running whitewater, aquatic trekking and numerous other purposes are possibilities. Yes, there is also the option of multi-purpose fun.

Do you plan to stand if choosing an angler platform? You will need to identify your needs and wants and that will help you narrow it down.

2. Construction

sun dolphin factory
MLive

Not all kayaks are made equal. However, there are two basic construction techniques when it comes to most modern plastic kayaks. True, you can get into wood and canvas formats as well, but we’ll concentrate on what most of you will be looking for.

One basic form of construction is plastic forming. These are your cheaper kayaks that are not as durable, comfortable or navigable.

rotomolding
Crescent Kayaks

Basically, the manufacturer heats the plastic to the point of being very flexible and malleable. The sheet of plastic is then laid on a form and allowed to harden. At that point, they are welded together using heat and you have a kayak. These are normally branded and sold in your discount and farm stores.

While they may be a less expensive kayak, they are also less durable.

Another technique is rotomolding also called rotational molding. These are one-piece kayaks and are generally higher quality. Many are made up to 1/4″ thick and allows for greater stability and agility in the water.

In rotomolding, the heavy metal form is filled with melted plastic and then rotated to get an even form.

3. Seating

gravity seat
Austin Kayak

Much like everything else, seating in a kayak can determine ultimate comfort. Kayaks come with everything from no seat to a ultra-comfortable gravity seat.

Be sure to test out your seat before buying. Also, be sure to reflect on point one (purpose). If you plan to kayak long days and sit a lot, invest in the best.

4. Price

used boats
Kayak Las Vegas

While we all wish price was never an issue, we must realize that it will always play a part in our decision-making. You can always go to the local discount, big box store and pick up a kayak for about $250.

Of course, you could also go to a locally-owned kayak pro-shop and get a quality kayak that holds it’s value for just a bit more. Quality kayaks are not as outrageous as most people think.

Many times you can get used ones when people are trading them in at the local store or selling online. Quality isn’t out of reach, but it may take more research.

5. Research

LHO Inside
Longhunter Outfitters

Be sure to do your research before you buy. If you live near a kayak pro-shop, this is a great place to get information. Yes, they are in the business of selling and perhaps renting kayaks, but a good shop is also willing to help you find what’s best for you.

Ask questions of everyone you meet. There are numerous forums on Facebook and other internet based groups that can help lead you in the right direction.
One suggestion is to steer clear of the brand or model specific forums until you know what you want. These are full of people that are biased even though they may be well-meaning.

No matter what your purpose is for purchasing a new or new-to-you kayak, be sure to use this checklist as a helpful guide to making the right choices. Here’s to getting on the water this summer and year-round for some great fun.

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5 Easy Tips to Help You Buy a Kayak