Choosing a lightweight kayak – A buying guide for the beginners

Choosing a lightweight kayak – A buying guide for the beginnersThe thought of owning a kayak can be exciting but with the wide array of choices in the market, buying the best one can often get overwhelming. You would then have to consider how you will use the kayak, where you will paddle it and how often you’ll use it. Are you going to use it on a lake that has calm water or amidst the rough ocean waves? Are you looking forward to having a relaxing experience with your kayak or an adventurous day?

A kayak lets you reach beachside grounds, enjoy the splendid views that you can’t see from the shore or just have some fun time with your kids in the water. While you can use a kayak in many ways, there are various ways of choosing the boat as well. How are you going to decide which kayak is the best one for you? Here are the key areas to focus on.

  • Where do you wish to paddle? Are you going to paddle on a river or a seacoast? This way you can streamline your choices
  • Sit on top or sit-in? Which seat option do you prefer? The traditional sit-in option or the modern sit-on-top option?
  • Your budget and weight of the kayak: There are few materials that have a direct effect on the price of the boat. That also accounts for the durability and weight of the boat.
  • Size and shape considerations: This will have an impact on the handling of the boat.

What size kayak would you need according to your height?

What is the appropriate length of a kayak that you would need to call it a light-weight kayak and also make it match your height? Well, taller guys who are more than 6 feet in height should begin with testing a 12-foot recreational kayak or the sea kayak that has a length of 14-foot. While choosing the right length of a kayak, you have to keep in mind 3 things, especially when you’re tall:

  • Taller people have a centre of gravity that’s higher than shorter ones
  • Tall people have long legs
  • Tall people have bigger feet, particularly men

Cockpit length and width for taller people

Cockpit Width: The right opening of the cockpit for tall paddlers will based on their waist and hip size. With wider hips, the opening should be 20inch wide and with narrower hips, it can be somewhere less than 20 inches wide.

Cockpit Length: This depends on the length of your legs or how tall the user is. Majority of the cockpit openings for recreational kayaks are between 36 and 56 inches long.

Lightweight kayak vs. heavyweight Kayak – Which to opt for

Do you have any idea on how much kayaks weigh? An average kayak weighs around 16kgs or 35 pounds for a single lightweight kayak and 27kgs or 65 pounds for a tandem kayak which can be used by two. The weight of the kayak will depend on how you want to use it. Weight is a rather big factor when you want to use it everyday.

Single Kayak: A single kayak weighs around 35 pounds and it can range till 50 pounds based on the materials with which it has been built and the accessories used.

Tandem Kayak: An average tandem kayak will weigh around 65 pounds. It can weigh 50 pounds if it’s a lightweight one and 75 pounds if it’s a heavy kayak.

Kayak accessories to use

If you’re a true kayak enthusiast, you would definitely get yourself those accessories. With their help, you can customize it as per your requirement. Here are few of them:

  • Anchors
  • Mounting plates
  • Anchor rode and scope
  • Drift Chutes
  • Seats
  • Dry bags
  • Fishing Paddles
  • Kayak Lights
  • Rudder

The 3 best Kayak models to choose from

  1. Emotion 90244 Spitfire Kayak, 8feet

This is nothing but a small spitfire for all those who are not too choosy and can settle with anything for kayaking. It is just 8-feet long and it can fit on top of trucks and cars pretty easily. It is not only great in performance but also portable and flexible.

The 3 best Kayak models to choose from

  1. Sea Eagle Inflatable 330 Kayak

If you have to go for the most lightweight kayak, it is definitely going to be inflatable. Inflatable kayaks are seaworthy and durable, thanks to the developments in technology. This inflates to a length of 11 feet and weighs 500 lbs and is spacious enough to let two people fit in.

  1. Perception Sound 9.5 Kayak

For those focusing on lightweight and short kayaks, the Perception Sound 9.5 gives you the best of both worlds. It is 9.6 feet in length and weighs just 38 pounds. This is a great kayak for a beginner who is using it for recreational purposes.

So, now that you know the details of buying a kayak, make sure you take an informed and measured decision.

FAQ

What are the best Lightweight Kayaks?

Are you looking for some lightweight kayaks to carry with you for fishing or camping? If yes, you could opt for Pelican 10 Foot sit-in kayak which is considered the best among all, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak (the premium option), the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak (Value option), Sea Eagle SE37 Pro Inflatable Sports Kayak, the Sundolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak and the Lifetime Lotus Sit-on-top Kayak with Paddle. Choose anyone from the options if you’re looking for a lightweight kayak.

Who are the Lightweight Kayaks dedicated to?

The small size of the lightweight kayaks is easy to maneuver through calm water and is best for someone with short height. These kayaks can be packed very fast after spending a tiring day at the river. Most of the models don’t even require a roof rack. These lightweight kayaks are best for solo paddlers and teenagers in their adolescent period. They can be fitted inside small cars and homes and requires minimal gear.

How to adjust the kayak to your height?

The whitewater lightweight kayaks have two options – with seat raise and without seat raise. You have to determine your sitting height and then adjust the seat accordingly in order to improve the efficiency of paddling. However, in order to be able to do that you need to make sure your kayak has a seat raise facility.