If you are interested in water sports or just love adventure, kayaking is surely catching your attention. To get the most out of it, you must learn to differentiate the types that exist and thus choose the one that suits you best. There are different types of kayaks to live adventures in the water.
It’s not just about price and quality. The variety expands to the type of activity you want to do and even the conditions in which you plan to travel.
Here are the types of Kayaks:
1. Fishing kayak
When we refer to the fishing kayak, we also talk about the self-emptying model. It is not considered a classification as such, only that it is used for fishing because it has compartments for tools and accessories such as the rod, the bag, the fridge, among others.
It also allows freedom of movement and most adapts a motor so that you do not have to depend on the oar since the intention with this boat is not the enjoyment of rowing itself. Come on, your hands will be busy with other things when fishing.
Other fishing models come with pedal drives, making them a little cheaper than motorized ones.
2. Whitewater kayaking
The whitewater kayak for its part is a variant of the closed models. The intention is that maneuverability is the priority so they are very short.
It serves both to navigate between the big waves of the sea and to cross a river, streams, waterfalls or rapids.
Its long design, relatively narrow and with vertical shapes at the bow and stern, makes it possible to do twists and turns and is therefore considered the favorite of the most experienced.
These boats have moderately conical bows and stern that allow you to turn with relative ease and thus provide a range of safety in case the current takes you to a dangerous place.
Many have hard rails along the sides or fins like surfboards so you can take turns in the water, as well as protecting you from crashing into hard rocks.
A curious fact is that if you decide on one of them, you will have to become an acrobat when you go out and enter it because it is a model with a moderate to high volume. However, their blunt tip design makes them surface quickly.
If you decide to buy this kayak, there is a system that classifies rivers according to the level of difficulty of their waters. Take this fact into account so that you experiment in the least dangerous waters until you gain some confidence.
Remember to never face the rapids without a partner, it can be extremely dangerous.
It is also important to note that in the case of whitewater sailing, there are different types of rowing, such as playboating, river running, squirt boating and creaking. Depending on the water, the kayaker may require a different type of paddle.
3. Self-emptying kayak
Words more, words less, it is an open kayak. Most are made of very strong plastic.
The biggest advantage of the self- emptying kayak is that if you fall into the water, you can easily resume it, so freedom of movement is the most striking feature, especially if you are a beginner.
Due to its design, it is considered unsinkable since the paddler is sitting on top above the kayak, altering the center of gravity.
It is called self-draining because the incoming water is drained through holes that go from the cabin floor to the bottom of the boat.
Likewise, since the center of gravity is higher, the effort to row is minimal so it is ideal for fishing or diving.
Another advantage is that you can adapt a motor or pedals without many complications.
But not everything is perfect. Being wider they are not so fast so it takes much longer to cover a few kilometers. Similarly, when opened you get wet easily, which translates into an advantage in summer but not the rest of the year.
4. Competition kayak
Also known as racing or track, competition kayaks are designed to cut the water for speed. This category includes speed kayaks, marathon kayaks, and sports river kayaks.
Its lightness does not go hand in hand with comfort as it has little room for the hips and the knees are exposed.
They are long, extremely narrowboats which makes them highly unstable requiring some previous experience to maintain balance during paleo.
5. Surf kayak
The surf kayaks are designed to run at sea and surf the waves. The oars that are used with this type of boat are the bucket ones, in order to achieve greater speed.
The design is similar to whitewater kayaking. They have a low and narrow shape that allows you to navigate in a straight line and at the same time as the wind.
They include edges, edges or keels with a certain volume just in front or behind the paddler to improve buoyancy. Basically it’s like being on a surfboard but sitting.
To operate this boat, special instruction and training are required, as well as getting in and out of it vertically.
Kayaking is considered a high-risk sport.
6. Sea kayaking
These types of boats are not designed for whitewater. The sea kayaks serve perfectly in the open sea or lakes.
They have a low and narrow shape that allows them to navigate in a straight line efficiently and glide more easily through the wind. The knees in these cases are restrained in the cabin, making rowing more effective.
They also have two sealed bulkheads, one at the bow at foot height and the other at the stern behind the seat where they can store camping equipment for long trips.
They are perfect for deep water and often include a tiller for easy handling.
The not-so-good part is that they are the heaviest of all the models and are generally between 15 and 19 feet long.
Experts recommend practicing its use in calm waters in the first instance, especially re-entry since in case of falling into the water it is one of the most difficult to access.
7. Recreational kayak
It is considered the basic kayak and tops the list in the tips for beginner kayakers as no experience is required to paddle them.
They are used for rental in parks and lake houses, so their main function is fun.
Designed to cross calm waters, recreational kayaks are shorter but wider than the rest, giving them greater stability. They also have wider covers for greater comfort.
Recreational kayaks are generally easy to transport on the roof of any vehicle and some models have so much space that you can even walk with your pet.
They work very well in hot climates but their design makes them generate enough resistance to the wind.
8. Touring kayak
When we talk about touring kayak, we refer to the fastest and with good directionality. Generally, this model is developed in any type of sea.
They are considered ideal for excursions and it is perfect for any level of paddler. It behaves very well against strong currents because it is made of a mixture of fiber and polyethylene.
It is characterized by being quite stable without losing speed and maneuverability due to the fact that the bow and stern are slightly elevated, the central part is round compared to what is pronounced of other models, which allows them to attack the waves with more security.
9. Double kayak
The double kayaks are perfect for any family trip. As its name implies, it has two cabins, one behind the other.
They’re usually longer, so they’re mostly inflatable or made of fiber to make them lighter. They weigh just over 18 kilograms and can be easily transported.
With only two air hoses on the sides, the boat does not sail above water but in water. The position of the hoses provides additional security as it is more stable in this way.
10. Rigid kayak
This type of boat is the classic one that ordinary people think of when referring to a kayak. Virtually all are rigid kayaks, however, there are also folding and deflating ones. This classification is based on the construction materials.
The rigid kayak can be made of plastic, which makes it more durable, less expensive and heavier than composite boats made of wood, glass, plastic, carbon, among other materials that make them lighter but more delicate.
These boats are perfect to withstand the strong currents of rapids or the icy waters of the Alps.
11. Folding kayak
These types of canoes are those that can be folded to the point that they fit in a backpack. It is an aluminum cage covered by a waterproof fabric, this makes it extremely light and comfortable.
Despite the fact that the price is higher than that of its peers, its durability is also greater. They are easy to transport and store. They are strong, flexible and in normal navigation, conditions respond quite well so you can navigate with it almost anywhere.
12. Inflatable kayak
The inflatable kayak is the cheapest option of all. They are easy to transport and store. It’s just about taking it out of the water, drying it, deflating it and storing it.
Some do not consider them kayaks but boats but if you are not looking for anything sophisticated that you can easily carry and bring (even on a plane or on public transport), this type of kayak is your best option.
It works very well for recreational purposes because although its glide is quite acceptable, it does not manage to reach too much speed.
They are one of the cheapest. You can find a good model of excellent quality in a range of between 100 and 200 euros.
13. Sports kayak
Although this is not part of the special classification. There are many kayak models that have been modified to adapt to a specific sport.
Thus, there are somewhere you can place the fishing rod, others that have a space for the diving tank to adjust and others where you can store your camping equipment.
The possibilities for kayaking are only limited by the imagination so if you dare, go for it.
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