Basic tips for beginners for choosing a river kayak

Published September 17, 2016 in Outdoor Activities

river-kayakKayaks are designed for paddling in different environments such as rivers, oceans, lakes and seas. Before purchasing a kayak, paddlers are advised to evaluate the environment in which they are likely to paddle their kayaks. Manufacturers design kayaks for paddling in different environments and also for use by different kayakers depending on their paddling skills.

River kayaks come in different styles that include sit in kayaks and sit on top kayaks. Some kayaks can be paddled by one person at a time while others allow for duo-paddling, which commonly referred to as tandem kayaking.

When choosing a river kayak, for beginners and skilled kayakers, there are some important aspects that an individual should put into consideration. Some of the important aspects include the material used to make a kayak, size of a kayak and even their weight.

Kayaks are made from different materials, which makes a kayak fall into either the class of hard-shell or inflatable kayaks. Most of the hard-shell kayaks are made from plastic, fiberglass, wood and Kevlar. Inflatable kayaks on the other hand are made from polyvinyl materials, poly-utherane, hypalon or even strengthened rubber.

Depending on paddling experience, there are several types of river kayaks that an individual can choose from. Manufactures have developed kayaks for skilled paddlers and also for beginners who are keen to perfect their paddling skills in big rivers and streams.

The choice of a particular river kayak is mainly based on the sitting style in a particular kayak. Many beginners prefer inflatable sit-on-top kayaks as they are considered more stable than the sit in kayaks. Sit on top kayaks have an open cockpit that allows a paddler the freedom of movement.

In case a kayak capsizes, a paddler can easily rescue themselves since they are not confined in a cockpit. Sit on top kayaks however, are best suited for rivers that do not have rapids or other major obstacles. Presence of rapids, may hamper the stability of sit on top kayaks and hence they risk capsizing.

Sit in kayaks on the other hand will perform well in rough and also in calm rivers. A paddler is confined in a cockpit and hence they have a greater sense of control to their vessel than in a sit on top kayak. Sit in kayaks however require some level of expertise to successfully maneuver them on rough water. Sit in kayaks have been used for recreation, kayak racing and in other assorted adventures. Some of the sit in kayaks have huge storage spaces where paddlers can store their paddling gear.

Apart from the hard-shell kayaks, inflatable kayaks can also be used for river paddling. These kayaks feature large storage spaces. Just like sit-on top kayaks, inflatable kayaks are stable and can be used by both novice and skilled kayakers.

Inflatable kayaks are portable and some of them can carry more weight than the hard-shell kayaks. Materials used to make most of the inflatable kayaks is durable and therefore can endure the impact on rocks and other obstacles in a river course. Individuals can also use inflatable kayaks to equip themselves with basic skills in river fishing.

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