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  • Fun on the Water: How to Choose the Best Inflatable Kayak for Your Needs

    by Ringo Ladue February 20, 2020 7 min read

    A kayaker paddles his red inflatable kayak on the water. It is a 1 person kayak, or solo kayak, and also could be used as a 2 person inflatable kayak. In this case the front area is being used as storage and has a yellow bag in it.

    Fun on the Water: How to Choose the Best Inflatable Kayak

    Did you know there are more than 16 million kayakers in the US? It's one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in the country. It's also really easy to get involved.

    If you enjoy the outdoors and want to get out on the water, an inflatable kayak is a great way to get started. Inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity because they are inexpensive to buy, they are high performing, and they are also easy to learn how to use. 

    With a small investment and a quick learning curve, you too can get out and enjoy the water. There are many different options to choose from and lots of easy to access bodies of water.

    We want you to enjoy the water in an inflatable kayak. We've put together a guide to help you know how to choose the best inflatable kayak for your needs. So, read on and get paddling. We know you'll love it.

    Benefits of an Inflatable Kayak

    One of the main benefits of an inflatable kayak is that it is easy to store and transport. If you don't have a lot of storage space at home for a hard-shell kayak, an inflatable one will serve your needs.

    You won't need a roof rack on your car. You don't need to purchase a truck or larger SUV to tow it either. You will be able to easily fit it in the trunk of your car, or even the backseat. Inflatable kayaks setup quickly so you will be out on the water with minimal time spent setting up and packing down.

    Because they are lightweight you can carry an inflatable kayak by yourself. You'll be able to launch it easily. If you like to recreate on your own it's a great option to consider. 

    They are also much more affordable than a rigid kayak. Some inflatable kayaks start as low as around $100. However, you will be better off in the long run with a higher performing kayak even if they cost a little more. Spending $500 or more will get you a kayak that fits you, suits your recreational needs, and will last longer too.  The value that you get out of an upper tier inflatable kayak will be easily realized once you experience their performance and ease of use.

    Types of Inflatable Kayaks

    There are a number of different types and styles of inflatable kayaks. These are not inflatable pool toys or floaties. Inflatable kayaks are certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The certification states that the kayak you purchase is an approved boat or water vessel. With that certification, you have peace of mind that your inflatable kayak is safe to use on the water. 

    You need to think about what activities you'll be doing in your kayak when you consider which type to buy. You might want to use your kayak to fish or to run rapids. You might want to leisurely paddle down a river or across the lake. Or you might want to get out on the ocean and ride a wave. There's an inflatable kayak for every use you can think of.

    Inflatable fishing kayaks come equipped with fishing-pole holders and space to store your tackle boxes.  These angler kayaks are a unique, comfortable, and hands on way to catch fish. More importantly, they allow you to get to fishing spots that you can't get to by land and are difficult to get to in a boat. Now you can fish areas that others cannot, and you are likely to find some magical new fishing spots. It really is a fantastic way to fish!

    Self-bailing kayaks  are perfect for whitewater fun. They won't fill up with water as you run the rapids. Strategically positioned holes drain water from inside the inflatable kayak. The drains are normally positioned above the surface of the water and drain through one way drains that go through the air chambers and flow out of the kayak. 

    Sit-on-top kayaks are great for leisurely paddles in warmer climates. If you sometimes get claustrophobic or don't want to feel confined to the kayak in case of a capsize, they are a good choice because your legs are free.  They are also easier to board before launch and easier to re-board if you fall off and want to take a swim.

    Sit-In inflatable kayaks are better for colder environments or for more strenuous activity. You can also fit a spray skirt to them if you need more protection from the rain or elements. A low center of gravity gives you a faster and more efficient kayaking experience with greater maneuverability while also limiting the effect that wind has on the kayak.

    Another thing to consider when choosing a type of kayak is whether you will paddle solo or with a friend or loved on. Inflatable kayaks come in solo or tandem models so there's an option to suit your needs.

    Other Things to Consider

    An Inflatable kayak is easy to maintain, but you do need to make sure you have a dry place to keep it when it's not on the water. That way you'll avoid getting mildew on the kayak. Repair patches are simple to apply so if you do get a small tear you'll be able to mend it easily. This isn't necessary very often, but it is good to know that it is normally an easy fix.

    You'll also want to get a kayak that fits you. Choose a model that works well for your the style of kayaking you want to do. There is a lot of personal preference and dependence on what type of kayaking you are doing versus height and weight having a direct effect on your choice. You may even want to test different styles to see what works best for you.

    If you've never kayaked before you might want to consider a shorter, wider kayak. These will be more stable as you learn the sport. Most people find that a sit on top style kayak works better for kids and beginners as long as the weather is warm and you don't mind getting wet.

    Shorter kayaks are more maneuverable but longer kayaks will be quicker and easier to keep going in a straight line. Choose a style that fits the type of water you will be on and what type of kayaking you will be doing the most.

    Some kayaks will come with a skeg or fin to help you track your inflatable kayak in a straight line. These kayaks don't pack down quite as small but they are great if you are covering longer distances on lakes or calmer water. 

    One drawback of an inflatable kayak is that you have to set it up each time you use it. Luckily, the setup time can be reduced down to minutes. Something to consider is whether you want a pump-and-go model or one that you need to assemble and requires more time. You can inflate pump-and-go kayaks in a matter of minutes. 

    Get on the Water in an Inflatable Kayak

    With so many options, there's a perfect inflatable kayak for you. Spend time thinking about how you want to use your kayak. Find a kayak that fits you. Make sure you have space to store it properly. When you have all these things sorted it's time to pick your inflatable kayak.

    We have a great selection of inflatable kayaks. No matter whether you're going to fish, ride waves, or relax with a cocktail on the lake, our inventory has you covered.

    Visit our website to take a look at our kayaks. With a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, speedy shipping and delivery, and price matching, we've got you covered. Our first-class customer service team features staff with all the expertise to answer any of your questions. If you want to know more about inflatable kayaks, give us a call today.

    Types of inflatable kayaks that you have to choose from:  Inflatable Fishing Kayak, Whitewater kayak, Sit on top kayak, sit in kayak, tandem kayak, and 1 person kayak.




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