Kayaking is so much fun! That’s something just about everyone will agree on. However, when kayaking, there is one aspect that is much less fun to consider and think about. It’s an aspect that most people, unfortunately, choose to ignore.
Kayaking is fun, but it can also be unsafe. There are many unsafe kayaks out there, and there are many unsafe methods of kayaking that can easily lead to injuries and other difficulties. Things that you DEFINITELY don’t want.
In this guide, you’re going to learn about what you need to look for when purchasing a kayak, in terms of safety, along with some basic safety precautions that you must remember and follow, at all times.
What Questions Do I Need To Ask When Looking For A Safe Kayak?
There are three questions that are absolutely essential. Asking these questions will make your search significantly easier.-
So, Where Do You Intend To Go Kayaking?
Generally speaking, there are about three different types of places that people enjoy kayaking at. Rivers, coasts, and lakes.
Each one has its own merits, of course, and along with that, there are individual factors that each one brings.
With a river, you’re going to need a kayak that is solid, stable, and durable. Yet, it must also remain easy to maneuver, so that you can turn it and adjust its position quickly.
Lakes are a bit easier – smaller lakes, that is – simply due to their size and the general lack of intense rapids. Just about any kayak should work fine for a small, local lake.
Now, coasts are quite a bit different. When you’re kayaking on the coast, you have to consider things like the tides and their speed, the wind, as well as the waves and just how intense they are. Each one of these factors ensures that you need a kayak with a bit more versatility than others. So, if you intend to kayak on the coast, you’re going to need something that has a drop-down fin or even some kind of rudder.
What Type Of Kayak Do You Intend To Purchase?
There are two primary types of kayaks. Sit-in kayaks, and kayaks that are known as “sit-on-tops”.
With a sit-in kayak, you’re sitting within the kayak itself. This can make it a little more comfortable, overall. Along with that, it actually gives you a bit more control over the kayak itself, since your body is coming into contact with more of the kayak, which makes maneuvering an easier process.
However, they can be a little tricky to get into, and it can be a little difficult actually to get out of one.
With a sit-on-top kayak, they’re much easier to get on, and much easier to get off of. However, your body doesn’t have access to as many direct points of contact with the kayak, so this can make it a little more challenging to maneuver.
Every sit-on-top kayak has what’s known as a “scupper hole”, which is just a hole that allows them to drain on their own, so that way you don’t ever need to pump out water.
Finally, one last thing to note is that due to their size, they tend to be a lot heavier than sit-in kayaks.
Ultimately, it depends on what kind of kayaking you intend to do. If you want maneuverability, then a sit-in kayak is ideal. But, if you want a large kayak that is more durable, albeit less speedy than a sit-on-top kayak works great.
Both are very safe.
What Material Is The Kayak Made Of?
Polyethylene plastic and ABS plastic are the two most popular materials used in kayak manufacturing. Composites such as fiberglass are also used.
With polyethylene plastic, your kayak will be much heavier than kayaks made of other materials. Along with that, the material weakens over time, due to the sun’s rays.
ABS plastic is slightly more durable, in that it can withstand UV rays a little more. Kayaks made of ABS plastic are also a bit lighter.
Composites are designed for performance and speed. But, if you are kayaking in intense spots where there are a lot of rocks, they can easily be damaged by rocks. Therefore, kayaks made of composites aren’t always that safe.
The Basic Safety Tips
Make sure always to wear a PFD – personal floatation device.
Whenever you go kayaking, always go with someone else, or at least tell someone where you’re kayaking, give them all of the details.
Check the weather conditions at least one-day before going.
Kayaking is one of the most fun activities there is. But, it can be dangerous. By following the criteria outlined above, you will have a fun and safe time kayaking!