When it comes to buying a kayak, it can seem like the options are almost limitless. If you’ve seen “Wild Water” on TV with www.satellitetv.net, kayaking is probably on your to-do list, and you might want to buy your own kayak. Like just about any other purchase, narrowing the options down is a matter of becoming an informed consumer.
What is its Purpose?
Every other decision that goes into kayak design is affected by its intended use. Paddling into open sea has vastly different requirements than shooting white water rapids, and those needs will differ from calmly floating on a lake surface taking pictures of scenery.
Some kayaks are designed to sit on top of, and resemble surfboards. They are less restrictive than sitting inside the boat, and can be easier to learn how to use. Others provide a cockpit for the pilot to sit inside the boat. These provide more control, easier effort in propelling the kayak, and offer more security in rough waters.
This refers to the behavior of the kayak at rest, when a pilot boards or exits the vessel. A boat that rocks a lot while at rest is said to have low initial stability. High initial stability is generally preferred by newcomers, and people engaged in activities like hunting or photography. One way this is accomplished is with a wide beam, or width of the boat.
Secondary stability refers to the amount of rocking of the boat while it is underway. In general, a kayak with high initial stability will have low secondary stability. Experienced kayakers prefer low initial stability and higher secondary stability
This refers to the ease with which a kayak changes direction. In part, this will be affected by secondary stability, but also by the shape of the hull and the length of the boat.
Tracking is the term that describes the tendency of the boat to follow a straight line when it is coasting. This can be enhanced by a deeper or v-shaped hull, more length and adding a rudder or keel.
The material the kayak is constructed from should be considered as well. Wood will weigh more than plastic, but will withstand more abuse. Metal, fiberglass and other composite materials are also used in kayak construction.