How To Start Kayaking: Kayaking Beginners Guide
Are you considering buying a kayak, but you are not so sure whether a kayak is a right choice and which kayak might be suitable for your requirements? This is exactly what this comprehensive guide should help you with. We’ll give you a basic introduction to the topic and, in the end, give you an overview of kayaks that we can recommend so that you can ultimately make the right decision for you.
How to start kayaking – tips and tricks to know
You started kayaking. You may have seen all the fun and good exercise that comes with kayaking, or it may have been right after your doctor ordered you to. Either way, kayaking is an amazing sports activity that you could get into today.
Since this is a whole new area that you want to venture into, you would surely like to know a few basics of kayaking before you take it seriously. Here’s how to start kayaking
WHAT IS A KAYAK
If you are reading this, chances are you will know what a kayak is. However, for people who have never heard of it before. In a way, a kayak is like a canoe. You can paddle it on the water. However, unlike what we see on our canoes, here you are sitting down when using a double-bladed paddle to move forward or turn the kayak. Your legs are often stretched out in front of you. It was originally intended for hunting but is now used for recreational and racing purposes.
WILL I NEED TO PURCHASE MY KAYAK?
At this precise moment, you really don’t need to buy, but to rent one. You can actually do this once you have the skills and want to take things a little higher. Ideally, it would make sense to start with kayaking lessons. These few learning sessions will be equipped with everything you need to know before investing your money in your own kayak.
WHERE CAN I RENT MY FIRST KAYAK?
This sport is becoming more and more popular. Service providers have seen it. You can actually rent the kayak around the most popular kayaking sites or even by the lake. You can hire one and the rates normally depend on the size of the kayak, the type of trip you want to take, and any additional services that will be provided to you after you hire a kayak.
DO I NEED ANY EXPERIENCE BEFORE MY FIRST TRIP?
No, you don’t need any experience to get started. Like any other sporting activity, you will learn throughout the process of developing proper kayaking techniques. However, it is very important that you know how to swim; let’s say at least 25 meters. At first, it is obvious that you might find yourself in the water several times and your swimming skills will come in handy.
WHAT BASIC SKILLS DO I NEED FOR MY FIRST TRIP?
For beginners, there are a few things you need to know before you go kayaking. In this case, we are talking about how to operate your kayak without any problems.
How to get in and out of a kayak?
- When you are on the edge
If you are onshore and want to get in or out of your kayak; with one hand, you should keep the pedal in the center. Place the pedal on a kayak a few meters just in front of the seat; this is the exact place where your knees would be if you were seated. Place your other hand on the seatback.
At this point, your body should be positioned perpendicular to your kayak. Starting with the foot closest to the kayak, enter. You need to do this at a perfect angle, one that will allow you to sit up almost immediately without having to adjust your feet as this can cause your kayak to tip over. In addition, you can use your pedal as a stabilizer for the kayak when you arrive. You should also put some weight on both the paddle and the seat.
- When you are at the dock
If you are at the dock, you must first choose the right place to dock. Here you need to find a place where your kayak is very close to the dock, as this will help you reduce the distance you have to get off. Hold the dock with one hand, then sit down with the help of the other hand.
- How do I hold the paddle correctly?
Typically, kayak paddles have a brand logo on one side. So when you are in your seat you need to make sure you can read the logo.
- How can I do a paddle stroke?
This first shot is important, and you might want to make sure you do it perfectly. First, you need to rotate your torso to the right while stepping forward on the left side of the paddle. Here, around 50% extension will allow you to get that perfect shot. Take the paddle and submerge it in the water and make sure it is no more than half the height of the blade.
Second, pull back with a bit of firmness and rotate your torso to the other side. When the left paddle exits, it should be at hip level. Directly, your pedal should enter the water from the opposite side as you repeat the steps.
- How can I turn around in a kayak?
There are three ways you can do this, but for starters, we’re going to mention one that’s pretty easy to use. First, you can use your paddle as a rudder. When the kayak is in motion, take the blade and dip it into the water on the side you want to turn to. Slide it through the water until your kayak begins to turn to the desired side.
DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
Kayaking, basically, is like any other sporting activity. it involves a sense of the exercise. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t kayak; you can do it whether you are fit or not. However, you might also want to keep this in mind. there is a maximum weight limit. Excess weight can cause the kayak to capsize and this can be very dangerous. Even though being in shape is not a primary requirement, if you want to go for those long kayaking sessions and lose the sweat and enjoy it thoroughly, you have to be in better shape.
WHERE SHOULD I TAKE MY FIRST TRIP?
When you start out you need to slow things down a bit. For beginners, it would be a good idea to take your first trip to lakes and rivers. At first, even a very gentle current can hurt you. So when you are new to kayaking you might want to start with a group excursion. Here you will receive the necessary equipment. For the first few trips, too, you may want to avoid technical kayaking areas, such as waterfalls and rocky rivers. You don’t need the skills required to maneuver in such areas.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Kayaking, much like hiking, has clothing specifically designed for it. Ideally, before you go kayaking, you may need to be well prepared for the elements. For example, if it’s summer, you can do very well in light clothes. However, you shouldn’t have any problems with those wet clothes.
For winter you would do well with a wetsuit, but you might want to layer it with a waterproof jacket.
In addition, it is advisable to wear a life jacket for your safety in case you find yourself in the water.
CARRY YOUR KAYAK
If you know you’re going to be kayaking for a long time, obviously we know you’ve invested in a decent kayak as well. Now how are you running to transport it? You need to invest in the best roof racks for a kayak so that you can carry your kayak over your vehicle. However, when it comes to the roof racks for your kayak, you need to be careful with the choice you make here.
There are tons of designs on the market, and we know choosing the best won’t be a walk in the park. You may want to be on the lookout for the following: First, you need a kayak rack that can fit any type of vehicle. Second, the roof rack must be strong and able to last a very long time. Finally, it should be very easy and safe to load and unload your kayak.
- EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION
It’s a fact, things can get really nasty during your stay, and for that reason, communicating with other people is of the utmost importance. So, before setting out to sea, take your time and learn the right gestures or even the right gestures that kayakers often use to communicate. In this case, it will only make perfect sense for you to be able to go in a group on your first few trips and learn how to use these gestures to communicate.
- STAY ALERT
Things can change in the blink of an eye and for this reason, you need to be vigilant all the time. Sea animals or even rocks can appear out of nowhere and if you don’t see them coming, it could cause you serious problems. While most people often enjoy listening to their favorite songs when they’re on the water, there’s no time for it.
- INVEST IN A SET OF BINOCULARS AND A CAMERA
There is no other way to enjoy these breathtaking landscapes and watch nature than from the seat of your kayak. For this reason, you have to put some money into the best binoculars. However, for this device, you need to make sure that it is lightweight and durable. It doesn’t even stop there; make sure it is also water-resistant.
Bringing a decent camera will also make a lot of sense. Who wouldn’t want to capture these great moments for the future? However, just like the type of binoculars you choose, make sure that your camera is also waterproof as you are using it near water. The camera’s battery life should also be excellent if you know you’ll be spending hours and hours on the water.
- BRING AN ADHESIVE TAPE
Talk to any kayaker today and they’ll all tell you how important duct tape is. At no time should you go out in a kayak without it? This can be very useful if you want your gear not to be rolled around your kayak.
Can I go kayaking if the weather is bad?
Contrary to popular belief, kayaking is an all-weather sport. While it’s great fun and enjoyable when it’s a bit hot, especially in the summer, you can still have an action-packed outing when it’s cold or even raining. However, you may need to be careful with some dangerous conditions such as high winds, high river levels, or even heavy rain. They can make your ride incredibly dangerous and you can end up at the bottom of the sea.
Will I capsize a lot?
This rarely happens. However, if you act inappropriately and your weight is distributed unevenly on your kayak, you will capsize. However, this shouldn’t worry you much. The kayaks are incredibly stable and easy to handle. So these capsize problems are an event.
Will I get wet?
Definitely yes; No matter how careful you are, you will get wet. When you launch your kayak in the water, your feet will be wet. In other cases, the people dabbling around you will love the splash.
Can I go kayaking with the children?
Yes of course; you can go kayaking with children without danger. In this case, we are talking about children aged 4 and over. You need people who can easily understand and follow the given instructions. However, you can use a kayak that you can easily keep a close eye on. So if you want to have an unforgettable weekend with the family, a kid’s kayak is what you need as a family.
What should I buy for my first trip?
As with any other outdoor activity, you should bring some essential equipment. For your first trip, you should pack plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, snacks, and extra layers of clothing. If you can’t just leave your phone behind, make sure you have a waterproof bag where you can safely store your phone without having to worry about water getting in contact with your phone.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SAFETY MEASURES I SHOULD TAKE?
Right before that first trip, if you want to stay safe and stay alive for another day, there are a number of safety measures you need to take. Kayaking, like any other water sports activity, can become very dangerous for beginners. Here are some of the steps you might want to take before that first ride.
- Bring a friend: If you don’t have a guide, bring a friend on your first trip. Another paddler during these first sessions can be of great help. They provide much-needed help and assistance.
- Always know how far away you are: if you don’t have any lifesaving training, don’t go for those long kayaking sessions. In short, you shouldn’t stray far from the shore. You need a place where you can swim easily in the event of an accident.
- Check your flotation device: Make sure this protective gear is tight and not too loose so as not to interfere with your breathing. If at any point the temperatures rise and you want to remove those extra layers, head to the coast first. Don’t do it in the middle of the river or the sea.
- Bring Your Whistle: You never know when you might actually need it. This distress signal can save you in minutes. So don’t underestimate the power of a whistle when you are kayaking.
What should I not bring?
The answer is quite simple. Everything you don’t want to get wet, especially if you don’t have a dry bag with you. In this case, it could be your iPhone, iPod, or other electronic devices.
Ultimately, when you start kayaking, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. However, we hope that all of the tips we have mentioned are going to give you the best experience ever. We’ve tried to cover everything you might need for your first few trips.
Kayaking Accessories and Gear Checklist
How To Start Kayaking: Kayaking Beginners Guide
What is a kayak and where does it come from?
Nowadays, kayaks are a sign of sport and rest fun on the water. But did you know that the name is actually derived from the Greenlandic word “Qajaq” and that the boats were originally used for hunting by the Eskimos in the Arctic thanks to their speed and maneuverability? Even then, these Eskimo paddle boats were similar in shape to today’s kayaks, but the materials used differ considerably. The Eskimos built the frame out of bones and wood and covered it with animal skins. Today most of them are made from hard plastic.
Kayaks belong to the group of canoes with Canadians and are propelled with the help of a double paddle. Nowadays there are different types and styles of kayaks, which are geared to the most diverse needs.
Is a kayak the right boat for me?
Kayaking is a wonderful hobby for many because it gives us the opportunity to explore nature from the water from a different perspective and to do sports. It is therefore primarily important not to be too shy about the water. But don’t worry, even if you feel unsafe or shaky in a kayak for the first time, it doesn’t mean that kayaking is not for you. Often all you have to do is find confidence in the boat and get used to kayaking and then it will soon work out a lot better.
In addition, a stable kayak can often make all the difference. Kayaks are suitable for both sporty and ambitious paddlers and casual paddlers who are just looking for some rest and relaxation on the water. Whether young or old, kayaking is suitable for anyone who can swim and feels physically fit enough.
Areas of application for kayaks
Kayaks are not really limited when it comes to areas of application. In principle, you can drive them anywhere where the water is deep enough and there is no boating ban. No matter whether on calm seas, wild rivers, or the sea, you can see kayakers almost everywhere. But if you have taken a closer look, you will have noticed that the boats often differ a little.
Anyone paddling white water needs a very agile boat. But if you go on tours on lakes and the sea, above all you need a kayak with good speed. It is precisely these driving characteristics that are defined by the shape of a kayak, but more on that later.
Differentiation from other types of boats
Do you know other types of boats beside the kayak? Because before you buy a kayak, you should have asked yourself whether another paddleboat might not be a better choice for your own needs. The obvious alternative to kayaks is Canadians. But many also know them by the name of canoes. These are driven with a piercing paddle and are preferably paddled in pairs.
inflatable boat sup
Compared to kayaks, canoes offer more space for equipment and luggage. They were also originally built to transport goods. Today they are popular boats for multi-day tours and family outings. In addition to the larger space available, they are also more stable in the water.
On the other hand, you are less fast in a canoe than with a kayak. Canoes are great choices for river and white water paddling. On large lakes, you are often left behind in speed compared to kayaks. Canoes are not recommended for paddling in the sea.
Are you looking for a recreational boat to just be on the water and relax? Is it best to find room for as many friends as possible? Then maybe even a bathing boat is the right choice for you. Bathing boats are inflatable boats that offer a lot of space and are mainly used for paddling fun near the shore. You can often see families with bathing boats, as children can also use them as a “bathing island”. The paddling technique is very reminiscent of a rowboat.
Not a real boat, but still worth mentioning because they appeal to many paddling enthusiasts, stand-up paddleboards, SUP for short. In the last few years, there has been a real trend around these boards and you can see them almost anywhere on the water. For this paddling sport, you have to like paddling while standing and it appeals more to sporty people. For example, if you like yoga, you may also like a SUP board, because there are now numerous groups that meet for their yoga units on the water and hold them on the board.
Since SUP boards are inflated, they also convince many in terms of transport, because the boards can be easily transported with the help of a backpack. But in fairness, it has to be said that it is under kayaks There are tube and folding variants that could also keep up with SUPs in terms of transport. But more on that later. In the beginning, it is important to decide for yourself which type of boat you are considering. It can also help to get an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of a kayak.
Advantages and disadvantages of a kayak
The big advantage of most kayaks over many other types of boats is undoubtedly their speed. You can cover large distances quickly with relatively little effort. There are also tube and folding kayaks that are suitable for those who do not have their own car for transport. On the other hand, there is a relatively small amount of space.
In a kayak, you sit with your lower body relatively rigid during the entire journey and have little room to move. In addition, there is relatively little space for luggage, depending on the model. If you want to load your boat a little more, you often need certain pack sacks, which you have to stow more elaborately in the tips of the boat or on the hood.
+ Fast and maneuverable + Versatile use (river, lake, sea) + Easy to learn driving technique + Also available as an inflatable and folding boat + Inexpensive entry-level models available + Ideally suited for those with sporty ambitions
– Relatively rigid seating position – Little payload options – More effort when loading – Not suitable as a bathing boat – Less suitable for family outings
What types of kayaks are there?
As already mentioned, there are a large number of different types of kayaks, which differ significantly in their shape, the material used, and the construction.
Construction: Closed or Open?
In terms of construction, a distinction is primarily made between open and closed kayaks. The closed variant is the traditional construction method that is still seen most on the water today. The driver sits inside the boat and is well protected from splashing water by a hood. However, the tight finish requires some skill to get started.
However, the cover can have different degrees of closure. On some models, it only covers the bow and stern a little. Here one speaks of a half-open kayak. Getting into the boat is easier and you have more space for your knees, for example.
left: open construction, right: closed construction
For beginners, we recommend either half-open kayaks with a less tight cover or an open kayak. Open kayaks are also often referred to as sit-on-tops kayaks, as they are in English. So you don’t sit in the boat but on the boat. There are boat rentals that only rent sit-on-top kayaks to beginners for safety reasons.
Capsizing with these boats is relatively difficult and if it does happen, you fall out of the boat and you are automatically free. With closed kayaks, you have to get out of the kayak if you capsize, which is not a big problem for many, but you should have practiced it. Because some can panic quickly and then it becomes dangerous.
Open kayaks are also more boats for the summer because their construction means that you are exposed to spray water and wind without protection.
Shape: narrow or wide? Long or short?
The shape of a kayak determines whether the kayak is primarily suitable for whitewater, lakes, or the open sea.
above: sea kayak, below: white water kayak
In principle, the longer the kayak, the better the weight of the boat can be distributed on the water and it literally glides on the water. Accordingly, you can travel faster with the same amount of effort than with a short boat. On the other hand, a long and narrow kayak is also more prone to tipping over and less agile. Inexperienced paddlers can capsize much more easily with a long and narrowboat.
Narrow and long kayaks are perfect for touring paddlers who mainly want to cover long distances or sport paddlers who want to work out on the water. This type of boat is the best way to travel on lakes and at sea. However, such kayaks have no place in narrow wild waters.
Kayaks are only really stable when they are short and wide in shape. They are deeper in the water. Due to this design, they also react very quickly to changes in direction and are accordingly very maneuverable. On the other hand, they displace less water and are relatively slow. But that doesn’t matter for their preferred area of use of whitewater, as the current ensures the speed.
White water kayaks
Short and wide kayaks are perfect for the white water area due to their maneuverability and tilt stability. However, whitewater paddling requires a lot of skill and experience, even with the right boat.
But there are also kayaks that are a good compromise between white water rafting and touring kayaking. These kayaks do not set standards in the respective areas, but they position themselves as suitable all-rounders for those who do not want to commit themselves entirely to one area.
For beginners, we are happy to recommend a long, wide boat. Such kayaks are relatively stable. Because no matter what body of water you are on, it is important that you feel safe in the boat, even if one or the other wave comes.
With a long and slightly wider kayak, you can still go relatively quickly with a good paddling technique. And most beginners often do not yet know whether they will be more passionate about touring or whitewater paddlers. A kayak that stands out as an all-rounder is simply the best choice here.
Construction: rigid, tubular, folding, hybrid kayak
Many are only aware of the existence of rigid hull kayaks. But in recent years there have been manufacturers who are increasingly addressing a group of customers who don’t necessarily want to own a car just to transport their kayak. This is why folding, air, and hybrid kayaks have now become established, which especially show their strengths in terms of transport and storage.
rigid hull kayak folding kayak
The classic: rigid hull kayak
Rigid hull kayaks or hard-shell kayaks are typical construction. They are mainly made of hard plastic or, in the past, mainly made of wood. They are particularly robust and therefore very durable. Hard-shell boats also have the best driving characteristics and are available in all shapes and designs.
The advantages of a rigid hull speak for themselves, of course. However, there is a major disadvantage of rigid hull boats that discourage many beginners from buying them, namely the laborious transport and the space required for storage. Rigid hull boats are only suitable for those who have a car to transport it and a garage or basement to store it. For everyone else, getting a rigid hull is difficult.
Many are not aware of the existence of some space-saving alternatives or they are hastily classified as a bathing boats. A lot has happened in the field of portable kayaks in the last few decades and some models do not even need to shy away from comparison with a hard shell boat.
Rigid kayaks can often only be transported by car.
When people talk about portable kayaks, they usually talk about inflatable kayaks. These are available in the affordable entry-level range as well as in the high-priced segment for ambitious kayakers. They are inflated with the help of an air pump and are therefore quick and easy to assemble.
Of course, they can never be as robust as hard-shell boats and you will never find such portable kayaks in the competition area either. In the leisure sector, they are still a really good alternative. Their great advantage of easy transport with the help of a rucksack and space-saving storage enables many to get started in the kayaking hobby.
There are now numerous manufacturers and even more models on the market, which means that choosing a suitable air kayak is not that easy. Driven by stand-up paddling, drop stitch technology has also found its way into air kayaks in recent years. Such drop stitch kayaks promise a similar driving behavior as with a rigid hull boat.
When buying an inflatable kayak, you should above all look for a sturdy material for the boat skin. The operating pressure also makes a big difference, because not all inflatable kayaks can be inflated with the same air pressure. The higher the permissible operating pressure, the stiffer the boat and the better the handling characteristics.
Folding kayaks have a longer history than air kayaks. These consist of a frame that is put together and covered with a boat skin. Due to their good handling characteristics, these are often the first choice of kayak profiles who are looking for a solid second boat. In the leisure sector, they are less common than air kayaks, as they are more expensive and more time-consuming to set up. The market for these boats is far more manageable. Compared to air kayaks, which are more on the water than in the water due to the buoyancy of the air, folding kayaks are less susceptible to wind.
Since many shy away from the long and tedious assembly and dismantling of a folding kayak, manufacturers have created a combination of air and folding kayaks, so-called hybrid kayaks. In these boats, the rods are reduced to a minimum. Thus, the floor consists of a folding construction and the sidewalls of air hoses. This is promised by the combination of the good handling characteristics of a folding boat and the simple construction of an airboat.
Not too long ago there were even divisible kayaks. These can hardly be distinguished from rigid hull kayaks on the water and have the same sailing characteristics. The kayak consists of several building blocks that are pushed into each other for transport. Thus, the boat fits in the trunk of a car, and with the help of a roller bag, the boat can be easily transported to the water.
Anyone looking for a kayak that weighs between 2 and 5 kg should take a closer look at the Packrafts concept. In recent years the trend of packrafting has spread among nature lovers and rubber dinghy enthusiasts. These inflatable kayaks are so compact and light that they can easily be stored in a hiking backpack. Packrafts enable completely new possibilities in the outdoor area.
In this way, hiking in the mountains can be combined with the subsequent descent on the white water. Due to the shape, the driving characteristics are more suitable for running water, but they are just as good for lake crossings or for short tours after work straight from the office.
The trend in bike rafting shows that there are no great limits to the imagination when using packrafts. Such packrafts are taken on the mountain bike tour and when it comes to the water, the bike is simply strapped to the front of the boat. On our Packraft overview page, you will find a selection of Packrafts that we have already tested.
Choice of kayaks
There is an unmanageable selection of kayaks and, especially as a beginner, it is difficult to choose because you cannot know which manufacturers are recommended, how much you should at least spend, and what you should pay attention to in principle.
In the following, some boats are to be presented for both occasional paddlers and ambitious paddlers. By casual paddlers, we mean those who are primarily looking for a kayak for the warm summer days to escape on the water and who only use their boat a few times a year. On the other hand, avid paddlers take the opportunity to be out in their kayaks as often as possible. Whether sunshine or cloudy and rather cold, whether lake or river, the urge to paddle seems to be almost limitless.
Kayaks for casual paddlers
Many believe that kayaks can only be bought in the high three-digit range. This is undoubtedly correct for the high-quality models, where the prices can quickly shoot up in the lower four-digit price segment. However, there are also cheaper entry-level models that every beginner can use to try out the sport without having to dig deep into their pockets.
In the lower price category, there are only inflatable kayaks. Solid-fuel kayaks or folding kayaks can only be found in the higher price segment. The best-known manufacturers of inflatable boats for beginners are Intex and Sevylor. At Intex boats, you get a complete set with a pump and paddle for a very affordable price.
The Intex Challenger K2 is a very affordable 2 person kayak, which is suitable for small paddling tours. The Excursion Pro costs a little more than the Challenger K2. But it offers more space, has a more robust material, and has a higher air pressure.
Another manufacturer that has made a name for itself in the field of inflatable kayaks is Sevylor. This mainly offers beginner kayaks but also higher quality kayaks. The best-known entry-level model of this brand due to its low price is the Sevylor Riviera. We have also tested this boat and in short, we can say that in terms of quality it doesn’t compare to Intex’s.
It must be admitted that these kayaks are more bathing boats than real kayaks. But if you just want to paddle a little comfort on a small lake and where relaxation and recreation area in the foreground, you can also be satisfied with an inexpensive entry-level model in the long term. But if you already know that you are going to put a lot of stress on your kayak, you shouldn’t resort to an entry-level kayak, because the handling properties and material quality are simply not designed for constant paddling.
Kayaks for ambitious paddlers
If you are willing to invest a little more for your future boat, you will get significantly more. Regardless of whether it is a tubular, folding, or rigid hull kayak, there are some manufacturers who have made a name for themselves in paddling thanks to their good quality.
There are quite a few manufacturers of high-quality air kayaks. In the German-speaking region, the Czech manufacturer Gumotex and the Austrian manufacturer Grabner dominate the market. Gumotex is particularly unbeatable when it comes to the price-performance ratio. Grabner boats are more expensive, but they are among the best inflatable kayaks due to their extraordinary workmanship. Decathlon now also offers a model for ambitious paddlers.
We ourselves have been using a 2 person inflatable kayak from Gumotex, the Swing 2, for a long time. This kayak is a real all-rounder and has already proven itself for easier white water tours and excursions on lakes and in coastal areas. The structurally identical boat is also available as a single version and is especially interesting for all those who are planning a multi-day tour. Because the Swing is a real packhorse for its size.
The Gumotex Framura and Itiwit x500 are very narrow air kayaks that are designed for speed. The Framura is made of the proven material Nitrilon from Gumotex and is therefore very robust. The Itiwit x500 is made of a drop-stitch material, which ensures high dimensional stability.
Folding and hybrid kayaks
Out-Trade dominates the market for folding and hybrid kayaks in Germany with the nortik brand. You do not make these kayaks yourself, but a partner in Russia. Anyone who has ever paddled a Nortek kayak knows how close the handling characteristics come to those of a rigid hull kayak. And that is exactly the target group for folding boats. Paddlers who are out and about on lakes and in coastal areas are looking for a compact boat, but do not want to compromise on the handling characteristics.
One of our favorite kayaks is the Scubi 1 XL hybrid kayak. It’s the big brother of the smaller version of the Scubi 1. The Scubi 1 XL is not an excellent kayak for tall people, but also for everyone else who would like to have some additional space for luggage in the boat. The hybrid boat combines the advantages of an inflatable boat with those of a folding boat.
Thanks to the inflatable outer chambers, the frame of the boat could be reduced to a minimum. This is particularly noticeable during quick assembly and dismantling. The floor embodies the concept of a folding kayak, which ensures very good handling characteristics. We can warmly recommend the kayak and would be happy to refer you to the corresponding test report of the Nortik Scubi 1 XL.
If you are not looking for a hybrid kayak, but a real folding kayak, you should take a closer look at the nortik Argo. This folding kayak is available as a 1 person and 2 person kayak, which thanks to its length and narrow cut are very suitable for long tours on lakes and coasts.
Rigid hull kayaks
Anyone who owns a car and has the space at home to store a boat will certainly consider a rigid hull boat. When choosing a rigid hull boat you can’t go wrong as you can with inflatables or folding boats. Because the material used in rigid hull boats is often the same or very similar and they are often robust enough to last for an eternity. This depends on the shape of the boat and its features. There are really a variety of brands of hard-shell kayaks such as Wilderness Systems, Trito, BIC Sport, Riot, Perception, Zegul by The Outdoors, Rotomod, and many more.
Necessary kayak equipment
Before you can start paddling, you should definitely think again about what equipment you need. Most of the equipment that is needed comes to mind quickly, but there are also things that you don’t think of immediately.
Just as important as a good quality kayak is a good double paddle. Here, too, there are big differences in quality between cheap and more expensive models. The material used not only determines the stability, but also the weight. A light fiberglass paddle, for example, is particularly light and requires less effort when paddling. Depending on the height of the paddler, the length of the paddle should also be measured so that a good paddling technique can be implemented.
If you buy an inflatable or foldable kayak or even a Packraft, you should also make sure that you choose a plug-in paddle. Because a space-saving kayak is of little use if you always have to carry a paddle that is more than 2 meters long.
Many novice kayakers often believe that only non-swimmers need to paddle with a life jacket. But this is wrong. A life jacket is part of every well-planned kayak tour. Many kayaking accidents end badly because the occupant did not wear a life jacket. A life jacket provides immediate buoyancy, especially when the boat capsizes.
For example, if you paddle with shoes, pants, top, and jacket, you shouldn’t underestimate how much the things pull you down when you capsize. You need more strength. In such a situation you have next to no chance to take care of the overturned boat. As long as you are not only out and about in bathing suits on a lake, wearing a life jacket is an absolute must.