Choosing Your First Kayak

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Basic Guidance to Buying your First Kayak

You’ve decided you want to buy your own kayak but your not sure what you should be looking for in a kayak in order to get the best out of it?
Here are a few basic principles of kayaks and kayaking which, if properly considered, will assist you in making the right decision.
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Glide and Tracking

The ability of a kayak to glide and track is particularly important if you are thinking of taking longer trips along rivers, creeks and estuaries. The better the kayak is at gliding and tracking, the less energy you will spend trying to right it.

Glide (travelling with momentum) is affected by the length of the kayak. A shorter kayak will not be able to glide as far as a longer one as their smaller size means they have less natural momentum in the water.

Tracking (ability to travel in a straight line) is also affected by the length of the kayak. As a general rule, a longer kayak will track better than a shorter kayak – however there are exceptions to this rule as hull design and longer keels can improve a kayak’s ability to both track and glide.
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The ability of your kayak to manoeuvre is essential if you plan to kayak in the surf.
Generally, shorter kayaks are easier to manoeuvre in the waves; longer kayaks can be difficult to turn easily and this can become tiring.
However, the shape and design of the hull will also affect the kayak’s turning ability; a flatter bottom will make a kayak easier to turn, for example.
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Kayak stability is crucial for activities such as fishing. It is also a very important consideration for less confident kayakers.

The stability of a kayak depends on a range of design and load factors. Generally, the wider the kayak is, the more stable it will be; however, certain hull designs have stabilising features which compensate for less width.

Your height and weight will also affect the kayak’s stability; taller people have a higher centre of gravity so are more likely to sway, and greater weight will push the kayak deeper into the water, making it less stable. It is always advisable to check out the carrying capacity of any kayak which you are interested in.


Continue your Research...

There are many factors to consider when buying your first kayak – these are just a few. You should also consider what you will be using the kayak for (e.g. touring, fishing etc), where you will be paddling (e.g. on a river, a lake or in the sea) and your own levels of strength, ability and confidence. We would always recommend speaking to a kayak professional before making a purchase. 

Our customer service team have an excellent understanding of the kayaks we sell and would be more than happy to help find the perfect kayak for you and your family. Call us on 01872888132.
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