HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT KAYAK?
The sporty boat is suitable for relaxed family excursions on the lake, rapid white water trips with friends, exciting expeditions or for kayak racing. We will tell you here which kayak is suitable for beginners and what the differences are between a kayak and a canoe.
1. THE KEY POINTS IN BRIEF
• Kayaks are versatile boats for excursions, competitions or expeditions.
• With a kayak you can go on rivers, lakes, in white water or on the sea.
• Kayaks are fast and manoeuvrable, you can quickly cover long distances with relatively little effort.
• There are different types of kayaks, including inflatable rubber dinghies and folding boats, which are particularly easy to transport.
• Kayaking is sport and leisure fun for beginners, connoisseurs and experts.
2. WHAT IS A KAYAK?
Kayaks were originally used by the Inuit for hunting in the Arctic, because the narrow paddle boats are faster and more manoeuvrable than other boats. Nowadays, kayaking is a popular sport and leisure activity for young and old. Thanks to the different designs, a kayak is versatile and can be used on almost any body of water - be it for whitewater kayaking or kayak racing, for family trips or adventure expeditions.
By the way: Kayaks, like canoes (open canoes that are driven kneeling or seated and propelled with paddles), belong to the subgroup of canoes.
The right choice of kayak
3. WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A KAYAK?
When looking for the right kayak, you should know what you need a kayak for and how often you want to use it. If you are planning a kayak trip with the family on your next camping holiday, an inflatable kayak is a good choice, as you can transport folding and tube kayaks to save space. For kayak racing you need a model that meets the competition requirements - for example there are single or double kayaks. And the construction of the kayak is also adapted to the area of use for whitewater kayaking and expeditions.
4. OVERVIEW KAYAK TYPES
① ONE, TWO OR FOUR PERSON KAYAK
Single, double or quad kayaks are for single use, for two or four people and suitable for sports and leisure.
② SIT-IN AND SIT-ON-TOP KAYAK
Sit-in kayaks have an enclosed deck and the driver sits in a kind of cockpit on the bottom of the boat. Sit-on-top kayaks are open and have a seat.
③ TOURING KAYAK
Touring kayaks are built narrow and longer and are suitable for long excursions. The boats offer more storage space for provisions and luggage.
④ FISHING KAYAK
Fishing kayaks have an open deck, as this offers more freedom of movement when fishing. The boats are often already equipped with fishing gear.
⑤ WHITEWATER KAYAK
Whitewater kayaks are built for use in choppy waters and are therefore robust. The boats are maneuverable and stable and can withstand collisions with rocks.
⑥ RACING KAYAK
Kayaks for racing are extremely narrow, built short or long depending on the requirement, and they score with speed.
⑦ TUBE AND FOLDING KAYAK
The inflatable kayaks are particularly practical and can be easily transported and stored - ideal for fun on the water.
⑧ PEDAL DRIVE KAYAK
In a pedal-powered kayak, you use your legs as well as your arms to propel yourself with pedals.
5. WHICH KAYAK IS SUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS?
If you are new to kayaking, choosing a boat is even more important. You should therefore pay attention to the following criteria when choosing the right kayak for beginners:
• Stability: A beginner's kayak should be stable so that you don't fall into the water during your first attempts.
• Construction: As a beginner, it is not at all easy to move a long or narrow kayak. A boat-shaped kayak is easier to manoeuvre.
• Space: A two-person kayak gives you more stability and space, making it ideal as a beginner's kayak—and you can even take a friend with you.
A tip: Valwix are inexpensive entry-level models. The inflatable tube kayaks are so light and compact that you can transport them in a backpack.
6. HOW SHOULD YOU TRANSPORT A KAYAK?
A kayak usually measures over 2 meters and weighs more than 15 kg - how can you transport it safely? An inflatable kayak is the easiest choice as you can stow it in the trunk to save space. With fixed kayaks, most use a bicycle trailer or the car roof for transport. Bicycle trailers are stable and offer a payload of up to 35 kg. A big advantage: The trailers can be moved to the water.
If you want to transport your kayak on the car roof, you need two roof racks. According to the road traffic regulations, the vehicle, including its load, must not exceed a width of 2.55 meters and a height of 4 meters. The kayak must not protrude at all at the front and a maximum of one meter at the back (exception: if a red flag is attached and lighting is provided at night, a protrusion of 1.5 meters to the rear is permitted).
Regulations may vary by country - don't forget to check the vehicle's roof load. A kayak should lie with the cockpit facing downwards, stable tension belts for kayaks are suitable for fastening.
WHICH IS BETTER: KAYAK OR CANOE?
The key difference between a kayak and a canoe is speed. You can move faster with a kayak than with a canoe. Kayaks are sporty, agile and suitable for white water. A canoe lies quietly on the water and is stable against tipping, and canoes also offer you more space to take your luggage with you.
The design of kayaks and canoes is also different: kayaks are narrower and usually have a closed deck, canoes resemble a boat and are open. Last but not least, a kayak is moved with a double paddle, in a canoe you use a paddle.
Kayak or canoe?
A canoe is ideal for anyone who wants to go (with the family) on calm waters. A kayak suits you if you want to be sporty on the water.