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 do not know anything about this sport, but you have a 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.
Most Important Things About Kayak
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 essential that you take into account the type of kayak when transporting them since some are inflatable, removable, or foldable.
The best kayak
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 exciting prospects. Next, we leave you the most outstanding products by their sales volume and evaluation of the users. We even offer you a boat to take a child over seven years old.
- Explorer K2 inflatable kayak with 2 paddles (312 x 91 x 51 cm)
- Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak with One Paddle (274 x 76 x 33 cm)
- Kayak Jilong (capacity for 2 people, unisex and one size)
- Bestway Hydro-Force Lite-Rapid X2 Inflatable Kayak
- Sevylor Adventure Plus (2 + 1 P) (green unisex kayak)
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.
Challenger K1 Inflatable Kayak with One Paddle (274 x 76 x 33 cm)
Inflatable kayak with 274 x 76 x 33 cm measures 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.
Kayak Jilong (capacity for two people, unisex and one size)
This inflatable kayak for two people (up to 160 kg) is ideal for navigating rivers, lakes, and seashores for both sports and hobbyists. Made of resistant PVC, it includes three air chambers and two fins that guarantee the correct direction. Boston valves facilitate inflation and deflation. Consists of a bellows pump and two blades.
Bestway Hydro-Force Lite-Rapid X2 Inflatable Kayak
This inflatable kayak, designed for fishing and sailing, has two inflatable seats (up to 160 kg) and a central fin in charge of stabilizing the direction. An integrated drain valve and a special construction that prevents water entry include an extra-strong repair patch and two 218 cm aluminum oars. Measurements: 321 x 88 cm.
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 excellent 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 incredible maneuverability. Please note that this item does not incorporate paddles.
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 whitewater and surfing requires a lot of technique and dexterity. The racing one, with less practice, needs an excellent physical shape. Next, we explain everything you need to know about this sport.
What is the kayak?
Kayaking is a water sport carried out with a type of canoe (also called a kayak). Invented by the Inuit, an ancient Eskimo civilization, it was used for 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 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 sea kayak or touring case, 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 will 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. One or two people can operate it. 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 boat’s hull. 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 the kayak can I practice?
You must bear in mind that no kayak works for all modalities, so you will need one boat or another depending on the activity you are going to practice. 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.
|Unstable. They 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 a roll?
The roll is the self-rescue maneuver that the kayaker must carry out when his boat has capsized. The roll should be applied when kayak has overturned, and crew member has been submerged in water (with their head upside down and their legs inside the boat). This maneuver consists of turning the kayak without letting go of it.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the kayak?
We have already explained the different types of kayaking. All of them have benefits in common that we are going to tell you about below. Keep in mind that, to this day, kayaking is not only an official sport, but it has become an entertainment practice that even allows you to go fishing.
- Improved physical condition, since a large part of the muscles, is activated
- Contact with nature
- Release your stress by requiring concentration
- Increased social relationships
- It allows you to know unforgettable places
- Depending on the type of kayak you buy, the outlay will be higher
What material is a kayak made of?
The most common material is polyethylene plastic since it is the most resistant. The lightest and most maneuverable kayaks are those made of fiberglass. This material is very susceptible to rupture by impact or abrasion, but it can be repaired. Composite kayaks (Kevlar or carbon fibers) give more rigidity and resistance to the boat.
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 this boat’s parts. Therefore, we are going to explain the details of it thoroughly. It would help if you always considered 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 significant 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 specific luggage inside. Essential in closed kayaks and fishing.
How can I transport my kayak?
Suppose you have chosen to buy a rigid kayak. In that case, 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 essential points that you must take into account:
You should have a preferably long car since the kayak cannot exceed more than 15% of the vehicle’s length (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 signaling or light type.
It would be best if you bought some quality bars or roof racks 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. It is essential to buy a kayak carrier to adapt the bars to the hull in the latter case.
It would help if you tied your kayak to the roof rack/bars firmly but without going overboard, as you could damage the hull.
Finally, it would help if you signaled your load with the V20 plate. If you don’t know what it is, it is a square plate with white and red stripes. It would be best if you carried it at the end of the load whenever your kayak sticks out of the car.
Can children kayak?
If your child is around seven years old, you can take him to your cabin, securing him with your feet. The other option, much more attractive for the little ones, is the duffing, which allows them to go in the kayak storage division. Duffing does not support reaching high speeds or long walks. Later, you can go along with the kayak and the paddle adapted to your age.
How much does a kayak cost?
In addition to buying your boat, you must purchase a minimum of equipment consisting of a paddle, bathtub covers (in the case that the kayak has a bathtub), a vest, a waterproof bag (in the point that it has hatches), and a deck bag. The expense is quite variable depending on the type of kayak. In the case of closed ones, we can speak of a minimum outlay of 500 euros.
Kayak Buying Guide
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 your kayak must be 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. Besides, you will spend a lot of time sitting in your kayak, so comfort is crucial.
There are indeed no “carved” kayaks. However, these boats are designed for the paddler’s approximate weight, 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.
Logically, 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. Besides, 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 considering your experience, you can choose an open or closed kayak. Enclosed kayaks require more excellent 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 water passage.
This type of closed boat allows navigation both in rivers and seas and excellent 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 resistance), 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 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 is usually relatively cheap. If you love fishing, try kayaking. It will not disappoint you.