Kayaking, also known as canoeing, canoeing, or kayaking, is a way of life. An adventure water sport that, depending on the modality that is practiced, can become extreme. If you are one of those who does not know anything about this sport, but you have the bug of getting on a kayak, stay. In this article we are going to tell you everything about this type of canoe.
If this summer you want to discover secret caves, narrow passages and places full of charm, do not hesitate, get a kayak. Nor is it an impediment for children, since those over seven can practice it. And remember, no matter how expert you are, you must not forget the basic safety rules to avoid surprises on your journey.
The most important
- Kayaking is a sport that will open the doors to new sensations and places to discover. There are several types of boats depending on the modality that you are going to practice.
- It is recommended that you learn to do the self-rescue or roll maneuver.
- It is important that you take into account the type of kayak when transporting them, since some are inflatable, removable or foldable
Ranking: The best kayak on the market
If you are interested in getting on a kayak, don’t miss the options we offer you. For beginners, inflatable kayaks are one of the most interesting options. Next, we leave you the most outstanding products by their volume of sales and evaluation of the users. We even offer you a boat to take a child over seven years old.
- Position no.1: Explorer K2 inflatable kayak with 2 paddles (312 x 91 x 51 cm)
- Position # 2: Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak with One Paddle (274 x 76 x 33 cm)
- Position # 3: Kayak Jilong (capacity for 2 people, unisex and one size)
- Position # 4: Bestway Hydro-Force Lite-Rapid X2 Inflatable Kayak
- Position No. 5: Sevylor Adventure Plus (2 + 1 P) (green unisex kayak)
Position no.1: Explorer K2 inflatable kayak with 2 paddles (312 x 91 x 51 cm)
Inflatable kayak designed for two people (maximum 180 kg) with inflatable floor and sports graphics. Made with resistant vinyl, this boat has inflatable, removable and adjustable seats. It includes two independent air chambers with Boston valves to facilitate inflation and deflation. Includes double aluminum oars. It measures 312 x 91 x 51 cm.
Position # 2: Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak with One Paddle (274 x 76 x 33 cm)
Inflatable kayak with measures of 274 x 76 x 33 cm and made for a single crew member (maximum 100 kg). With an aerodynamic design, it is made of high quality vinyl material. They have an inflatable floor and seat. The latter is removable and adjustable. Includes 218 cm aluminum paddle and manual inflator, as well as graphics for greater visibility at sea.
Position # 3: Kayak Jilong (capacity for 2 people, unisex and one size)
For both sports and hobbyists, this inflatable kayak for two people (up to 160 kg) is ideal for navigating rivers, lakes and seashores. Made of resistant PVC, it includes three air chambers and two fins that guarantee correct direction. Boston valves facilitate inflation and deflation. Includes a bellows pump and two blades.
Position # 4: Bestway Hydro-Force Lite-Rapid X2 Inflatable Kayak
This inflatable kayak, designed for both fishing and sailing, has two inflatable seats (up to 160 kg) and a central fin in charge of stabilizing the direction. With an integrated drain valve and a special construction that prevents the entry of water, it includes an extra-strong repair patch and two 218 cm aluminum oars. Measurements: 321 x 88 cm.
Position No. 5: Sevylor Adventure Plus (2 + 1 P) (green unisex kayak)
Robust kayak with space for two adults and one child (up to 200 kg). It offers great comfort and stability in the water. Includes Boston valves and a pressure gauge for pressure control. The three seats are inflatable and removable. The removable fin and directional cross members give it great maneuverability. Please note that this item does not incorporate paddles.
Shopping Guide: What You Should Know About Kayaking
If you have never gotten into a kayak, you should bear in mind that the crossing or calm waters may be one of your best options, since the whitewater and surfing requires a lot of technique and dexterity. The racing one, with less technique, needs a very good physical shape. Next, we explain everything you need to know about this sport.
What is the kayak?
Kayaking is a water sport that is carried out with a type of canoe (also called a kayak). Invented by the Inuit, an ancient Eskimo civilization, it was used as a means of transportation, hunting and fishing. However, the Inuit could only get into the kayak once they came of age. It was then that the family built this boat.To this day, the kayak is a kind of very light canoe with one, two or four crew, paddlers or kayakers that are technically called K-1, K-2 or K-4. Navigation is carried out with double bladed paddles that do not need to rest on the hull. In the case of sea kayak or touring, the course is directed by a rudder located at the foot.
What are the differences between kayak and canoe?
We often tend to confuse kayak and canoe, so we are going to explain the main differences between one and the other, although both are considered canoes. In the canoe, the crew member is kneeling and propels himself with a single blade paddle. It can be manned by one or two people. They are more uncomfortable than kayaks and in Spain they are not very popular.In the kayak, the crew member is seated facing the front (bow) and is propelled with a two-bladed paddle that is not supported on the hull of the boat. They are for one, two or four seats and can be of various types depending on the discipline to be practiced. There are inflatable ones, to facilitate transport, and self-emptying, for beginners.
|Canoe||Down on my knees.||Single blade shovel.|
|Kayak / Canoe||Seated.||Double shovel.|
What types of kayak can I practice?
You must bear in mind that there is no kayak that works for all modalities, so, depending on the activity you are going to practice, you will need one boat or another. The benefits offered by each one are also different, so, before purchasing a kayak, think carefully about what you want to do to make your purchase a success.In this way, we highlight two types of kayaks: open and closed. The former usually measure between 2.50 and 4 meters and the crew member is seated on the boat. In other words, this boat does not have a bathtub (also called a “cockpit” in English) and the hull has holes to favor the exit of the water typical of the waves. They are ideal for beginners.
These types of kayaks are much more stable than enclosed kayaks in which, on occasions, the paddler needs to carry out the self-rescue (roll) maneuver. In addition to these two types, we also highlight the removable, folding and modular kayaks whose objective is to facilitate transport.
|Kayak Type||Kayak model||Pro||Cons|
|Open kayaks||Self-emptying kayak or sit on tops||Ideal for beginners.Tipping over is almost impossible, but in the event of a fall into the water it is easy to climb.
For diving, fishing or surfing.
|Not suitable for many kilometers.By having the higher center of gravity, the force and control of the kayak is reduced.
Wider and slower than a traditional kayak of the same length.
|Open kayaks||Fishing kayak||It is a self-emptying kayak with fishing accessories.Freedom of movement.
It allows to carry all kinds of fishing accessories.
|It has the same drawbacks as the self-emptying kayak or sit on tops .|
|Enclosed kayaks||Whitewater kayaking or surfing||Short in length, slightly rounded hull and flat in appearance.Ideal for rough waters and sharp turns.||It is not easy to get out of them.It is common to have to roll (self-rescue when the kayak has turned over).|
|Enclosed kayaks||Kayak polo||Similar to whitewater kayaks.Bow (front) and stern (rear) rounded.
|The blows between players are frequent.Slower than track kayak.|
|Enclosed kayaks||Whitewater kayak||Fast and light boats.Ability to function under strong currents of water.
Long, narrow and with vertical shapes in the front and back.
|They can easily capsize, which is why roll-over is common.|
|Enclosed kayaks||Calm water kayak and competition (track, marathon and sport river)||Minimum weight, long and very narrow.Maximum hydrodynamic performance.
Measurements vary depending on the competition.
|UnstableThey require experience to maintain balance.|
|Enclosed kayaks||Sea kayak and tour||High speed.Some models have a built-in rudder.
5 m long and 0.55 m wide.
|There are some manufacturers that distinguish between sea kayak and touring kayak.The latter is the most stable and robust.|
|Enclosed kayaks||Slalom kayak (Olympic discipline)||Great maneuverability.
3.5 m long and 0.60 cm wide.
The paddler is embedded in the tub. It has attached the spray cover.
|It is common to have to practice rolling.Great instability.|
What exactly is the kayak maneuver known as roll?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the kayak?
What material is a kayak made of?
What are the parts of the kayak?
If you have no idea about kayaking, but have decided to get on one, you need to have a minimum knowledge of the parts of this boat. Therefore, we are going to explain the parts of it in a simple way. You must always take into account the difference between the bathtub of open kayaks and that of closed ones.
- Rudder: It is optional. It is located at the feet of the crew member. It is a piece similar to a fin.
- Seat: Composed of backrest and seat.
- Lifeline: Rope that surrounds the kayak and allows the crew member to hold on in the event of falling into the water.
- Bow: Front. Its shape influences speed.
- Stern: Rear.
- Bathtub or cockpit: Place where the crew member is sitting in the kayak.
- Rudder control: Used to raise or lower the rudder when the crew member is in the water.
- Helmet: It is the lower part of the kayak. Its shape is very important depending on the activity you want to carry out.
- Keel: Lower part (it is submerged). It is in charge of giving the kayak directionality.
- Pedals: Place where the crew member has their feet supported. The rudder is directed from the pedals.
- Deck net : To hold what the crew member wants to carry.
- Handles: To transport and move the kayak.
- Tambucho: Watertight compartments to carry certain luggage inside. Essential in closed kayaks and fishing.
How can I transport my kayak?
If you have chosen to buy a rigid kayak, you must always transport it under strict safety measures to prevent it from moving or even falling, compromising your safety and that of other users. For this, we leave you a summary of the regulations with the most important points that you must take into account:
- You should have a preferably long car, since the kayak cannot exceed more than 15% of the length of the vehicle (it should never do it from the front). Nothing can protrude from the sides.
- The load cannot cover the license plates or the car lights or any other type of signaling or light.
- You should buy some quality bars or roof rack so that they do not damage the hull of your kayak (you can also use a homemade foam liner to avoid damage to the deck of your boat).
- The kayak hull can be positioned up or down. In the latter case, it is essential to buy a kayak carrier to adapt the bars to the hull.
- You must tie your kayak to the roof rack / bars firmly but without going overboard, as you could damage the hull.
- Finally, you must signal your load with the V20 plate. If you don’t know what it is, it is a square plate with white and red stripes. You must carry it at the end of the load whenever your kayak sticks out of the car.
How much does a kayak cost?
Given the outlay involved in buying a kayak, it is necessary to study the options well. Therefore, we offer you some key points that you must take into account before making your purchase. Remember that it is very important that your kayak is as comfortable and stable as possible, especially if you are a beginner.
- User Level
- Physical form
- Kayak type
- Shovel types
If you are a beginner, do not opt for a kayak with features for advanced levels, as it may not turn out well. The most common thing is that you get scared and do not feel comfortable with your boat. Getting in and out of the bath must be relatively easy for you. In addition, you will spend a lot of time sitting in your kayak, so comfort is very important.
It is true that there are no “carved” kayaks. However, these boats are designed for an approximate weight of the paddler, which means that they can behave very differently in the water. The height of the kayaker is decisive when choosing their paddles. If you are 1.55-1.65cm tall, your blade will be shorter than if you are 1.65-1.85cm or taller.
It is logical that you have doubts about what material to buy your kayak. If you opt for fiber, keep in mind that it is more susceptible to breakage due to impacts, but it is faster and offers many more features – starting with its hydrodynamic behavior (according to the dynamics of the water) -. Plastic kayaks are made with molds, so their evolution is almost nil.
Plastic is much heavier to transport and has much less structural rigidity than fiber, but it is indestructible. The fiber kayak is built by sheets or layers, and its hull is always intact, almost like the first day. In addition, they slide much better through water than plastic ones. The downside is that they are much more expensive.
Depending on the activity you are going to practice and taking into account your experience, you can choose an open or closed kayak. Enclosed kayaks require a greater knowledge of the technique and are always more unstable than open ones. In this type of kayaks, the crew member is seated inside a bathtub or cockpit sealed with a bathtub cover that prevents the passage of water.
This type of closed boat allows navigation both in rivers and seas and a great mileage performance. They are usually fiberglass. For their part, open or self-emptying kayaks are characterized by being much cheaper and offering easy transportation.
Depending on its construction, we can choose to purchase a rigid kayak or an inflatable, removable, modular and foldable kayak. Leaving aside the rigid ones, which we have already commented on previously, we are going to see the characteristics of each one:
|Kayak Type||In favor||Against|
|Inflatable kayak||They are the cheapest and easiest to transport.Rollover is almost impossible.
|Bad navigability.Possibility of pricking.
Experts do not consider them kayaks, since the sensations they transmit are a bit different from rigid kayaks.
|Folding kayak||They are very old models, but they have evolved.Stable with great navigation.
Lightweight and resistant.
Easy transport and storage.
|They usually need a rudder.They have become a specialized product for travelers. They are also used in the military field.|
|Detachable kayak||It does not reduce its volume. It is separated into several parts (usually three).It does not lose rigidity.
Lightweight and resistant.
|The attachment points can become worn.The splice system adds weight to the boat.|
|Modular kayak||It is similar to detachable, only that the parts are fully compatible with each other.||The bonding points deteriorate with use.They let the water in.
They are usually heavy.
You can choose between aluminum blades (very basic), scoop (light and for calm waters), sea or fishing (carbon fiber and resistant) and Greenlandic. You must take into account the length, and choose between the straight or ergonomic pole. The blades, made of plastic, nylon, fiber or carbon, can be high or wide angle.
Kayaking is, more than a sport, a way of life for those who practice it often. If you are one of those who is considering trying this world of sensations and emotions, go ahead, you will not regret it. For this we advise you to opt for a comfortable boat without many navigation requirements.
From there, you can go out alone or with friends. Also, you will notice an improvement in your physical form and you will release stress. The transport of this type of boat can stop being a headache if you decide on an inflatable kayak, which, in addition, is usually quite cheap. If you love fishing, try kayaking. Will not disappoint you.