Quick Summary: Top 3 - Kayak Sail
"A perfect budget friendly, entry level sail, which you can use in low to medium winds."
"Suitable for those trying to take sailing to the next level and want a premium option."
"Suitable for all types of kayaks. It comes with a wide view area and a additional carry bag. Its size is 42 inches."
This sail can be launched from the deck position of your kayak and clipped or held from the front using its included setup. You can also use the self launching set up before you start sailing or while on the water. This means that when you’re using the WestWind Sail, you don’t need to return to the shore to adjust it. This model is more beginner friendly and gives you a great introduction to kayak sailing. Its size is 42 inches and it comes with clips and a carry bag.
How do I choose a Kayak Sail?
- Vshape Sails
These sails are downwind sails and the main dissadvantage here is that if a large gust of wind comes you will tip over pretty quickly and the fact that you can no sail upwind with these you can only go in the dirrection the wind goes.
- Circle Shape Sails
Most the models here are also upwind sails that can only go in one dirrection and cannot be adjusted. They come with a visor to see through the center of the sail and help you manuever. These are mostly meant for beginners.
- Tall L Shape Sails
Some of the best sails come in this design and they can be pivorted to switch directions and adjusted to take advantage of the wind wherever it may be coming from. These can also be some of the most expense sails and the most saught after.
1. Synthetic Plastic and Cloth: It's always good to know the materials of the products that you are buying. The newer kayak sails, are generally made of synthetic plastic, it may not last as long as the cloth but it does keep efficiency for longer duration. Another traditional type of sail, is cloth. It definitely lasts longer, but as I said loses efficiency quicker. It is also significantly heavier, especially when wet.
Another way to choose the right sail is to decide how experienced you are with kayaking. If you are looking for an easier sail to setup and navigate, the Windpaddle might be the right sail for you. This is because, of its circular mast shape which makes it easier to control. However if you are more experienced and want something a little more heavy duty the hobie sail may be for you. Some sails are easier to setup for beginners in order of difficulty of experience level we would say the following from easiest in regards to setup and control to hardest:
2. Exertion: The addition of a kayak sail takes away the reliance on the paddlers arms and instead puts it on a renewable energy source which is the wind! This allows you to focus more on the other things like fishing or navigating rather then worrying about exhausting yourself
3. Fun: Why get a sail on your kayak? Because it's a blast! The idea of sailing with your kayak is great. You can pull up your sail, in a matter of seconds whenever the wind comes. When I first got my kayak sail, I had no idea how to use it but after a few hours of sailing with it, it was a piece of cake and something to this day i cant live without. It can also be great for sail beginners.
4. Convenience: An advantage of kayak sailing is that it also has some convenience considerations. For example; if you're tired, you can sit back and let the wind take you, and West the breeze while relaxing on your kayak. One of my favorite things to do while Kayak Sailing.
5. Fishing: One of the main reasons I first got into kayak sailing, was because of the fishing advantages. It is extremely good for trolling, and getting you to and from your fishing area. For those less experienced that know what trolling is, this is the art of leaving your fishing line out and slowly moving across bodies of water waiting for a fish to bite.
Top Kayak Sail Brands
BSD, was one of the first kayak sailing companies and has great quality sails. Very durable, and easy to setup. It has great customer service, and they sell the sails through dealers and online. The BSD sails are made from clear plastic materials, which is why the BSD sails tend to be lighter than some of their competitors.
2. Westwind / Vision
The sails are not customizable, but boast a great efficient design and are very easy to set up with any kayak. Westwind has great customer service. Its simple to pull up and fold. The wind-paddle sails, have a very unique design and are very different from the other kayak sails. It is a circular shape, and is put in front of the kayaker with a transparent plastic material in the middle so the kayaker can see.
3. Wind Paddle / Sea Eagle
Sea Eagle sails have great quality sails but only work with specific kayaks because they have a different way of attaching to the kayak. The Sea Eagle, has one of the best quality sails because of its composite design, and it is mainly made of synthetic plastic. This is better than having a cloth sail, because it is lighter and more efficient.
4. Falcon Sails
Faction Sails is a great sail company, with amazing customer service. If you email the owner of the company he will instantly respond. Falcon Sails, use a carbon fiber material for their masts which is one of the better materials for a kayak. One of the main perks of choosing Falcon Sails, is its coolest online feature. The option to customize the mast; you can choose the colors of everything on the mast, you can choose how the lines go and what the logo looks like. This is the main reason I love Falcon Sails.
Other Notable Companies: PAS, Serenity, Complete
Kayak Sailing Tips
Know the surroundings of where you will be Kayak Sailing
Make sure the weather is good for sailing
It is important to check the weather before you go on a day of sailing, because heavy rain and lightning, or extreme wind might pop up. This is a major tip for safety.
A link to the local sailing weather reports.
Wear the necessary safety equipment
Kayak Sailing is not a sport to be taken lightly it brings dangers and hazards that could be threatening. Make sure to be prepared with all necessary equipment on your kayak, by wearing the necessary equipment such as a helmet and a life jacket. You can save yourself from harms way if an incident or collision ever occurs.
Keep your kayak clean!
To keep your Kayak and Sail looking good on the waters and more efficient and durable for longer make sure when you are done for the day clean your kayak and if you have been using it on the ocean to get any salt off that may degrade materials.
Know who is boating around you!
It is important to know who is kayaking, sailing or boating around you. This can stop many incidents and avoid collisions that could really harm you.
Even if you are planning just to be on the water for a couple hours, as a precaution keep a supply of food and water on your kayak in case anything goes wrong or you choose to stay longer. This is a very important safety precaution.
This seems obvious but is important. Make sure you know how to use and coordinate the kayak sail, and understand how durable and what kind of things the Kayak Sail can handle.
Creating your own kayak sail could be an option if you don't want to shell out the money for a prebuilt one. However in all honesty some of the premade options are cheap and could save you a lot of hastle however we know theirs always those doityourselfers out there.
The Basic elements of creating a kayak sail are listed below
- Create and draw out a plan with dimensions and what materials you will need
- Cut the tarp to your specifications (for this you need to choose a solid tarp material there are many options out there but a heavier duty plastic would probably be your best bet.
- Cut piping (usually pvp piping is the best) creating a triangle shape for your mast, the mast must be secure and hold your sail.
- Cut Rope and attach with hooks to your piping making sure to make the sail mobile so it has some give at the bottom of the pvc piping
- Create wood block with dimensions for the bottom cutouts and a mount for the bottom of the kayak (more detailed instructions can be found in the video linked to and the attached documents.
After reading all of this, you should be ready to purchase your first Kayak Sail and get on the waters. Kayak Sails, are really beneficial because of their price which easily fits in most people's budgets. Before you buy a sail, first think what kinds of things you will be doing with it, because certain sails are meant for certain things. Also keep in consideration that some sails only work with specific kayaks.