When you’re buying a kayak, there are quite a few questions you’ll want answered before you pull the trigger. Do you go for a touring kayak? Do you get a fishing kayak? Or, do you get something that’s small and works very well in whitewater? The thing is, all of these questions are secondary. The main question you’ll want to be asking is whether you should get a single kayak, or a tandem one.
There are a few considerations that might tip the scales one way or the other, but if you think about it, a tandem kayak is a bit better in a few regards. So, if you’re considering which one to go for, why would you get a tandem kayak over a solo one? Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
Looking for a good tandem kayak? See our guide to the best tandem kayak here.
This is the first reason why you would want a tandem kayak over a solo one. Now sure, the first thing you’ll think of when buying a kayak, provided you’re buying it alone, is that you’re buying it for yourself. This is why you’ll primarily be looking at solo kayaks.
However, going out on the water alone will get boring eventually. You have nobody to talk to, for example, and this can be extremely boring if you’re out for four or five hours, fishing and waiting. This could be solved by finding someone to paddle with, but is that always an option?
If you already have a partner, or a good friend that would like to join you in your water adventures every once in a while, a tandem kayak will make things much easier. You can just grab them along and enjoy together – whether it’s for an hour-long trip, just for fun, or for a full day out on the water, fishing gear and all.
When you’re out on the water, there is always the possibility of something unexpected happening. Whether you’ll capsize, or the weather will turn bad, you could easily get in trouble. Things are even worse when you’re paddling in unexplored territory. Maybe you took your kayak along on a family trip and have nobody to take with you. A GPS navigation device might help, but your best bet is a person familiar with the terrain. If you don’t have one, someone who will keep you calm and help you make reasonable decisions to get yourself back to safety is also helpful.
Now, if you were to have a tandem kayak, you could easily take your friend, or your partner, along for the ride. If not, you could find someone from the locals that has experience and knows the waters you’d be paddling, so they can guide you and tell you whether there’s an unexpected problem you might not have foreseen.
Before we dive into this argument, we must mention that the same thing can be said for a large solo kayak. But if you’re getting a larger kayak anyways, might as well get one that fits two people, right? There’s also the fact that a single kayak is narrower than a double one, which also helps.
The fact that a wider kayak is more stable is simple physics. There’s a larger contact area with the water, meaning tipping over is much less likely to happen. Compared to a single kayak, you can easily have two people stand up in most tandem kayaks, without it tipping over, without issue. With a tandem kayak, the center of gravity behaves a bit different, too, and the fact that you have more gear in it weighing it down, helping with stability, is another benefit.
Let’s discuss speed for a minute. You might be thinking that a wider kayak is slower, and to some extent, you would be right. However, all of that is countered, and even improved upon, with the fact that a longer kayak is often more aerodynamic. The shape of the hull allows it to cut through the water more easily, with less resistance, resulting in more speed. The last argument we’d like to make when discussing the paddling ability is the tracking. A longer kayak will maintain direction much more easily. This is very welcome, especially with novice paddlers who are still getting used to things.
The last advantage that tandem kayaks have is all the room you’re getting. A single kayak can only have so much room, which might be problematic if you’re out on a multi-day trip, or you want an extended fishing trip. Packing your backpack and a few essentials is okay with any kayak, but if you want a couple of fishing rods, a sleeping bag and a tent, as well as food and drinks for a few days, you’ll have a lot of problems fitting all of that in a solo kayak.
Oh, and there’s one thing we didn’t mention. You could have all that room for yourself, and your gear, if you don’t have another person that wants to join you. But if you do have a pet, for example, why not take it along for the ride? All that extra room can comfortably seat your furry friend, and if they like water, they’ll have just as much fun as you, if not more.
A solo kayak might seem like a good option if you’re paddling alone. However, when you take into consideration all of the advantages you have if you get a tandem kayak, justifying a solo one becomes increasingly difficult. If you’re looking at one kayak to do everything for you, from a quick solo trip out, to a multi-day trip with your significant other, a tandem kayak is the way to go.
Well the time finally comes at the end of summer for some of us who experience the four seasons to temporarily abandon our favorite activity and think about storing our kayaks and canoes.
Parks close, cold and ultimately snow and ice will be present and invite us for winter sports or other type of outdoor activities. And yes, it’s always possible to play outdoor even during those super cold winter months!
You may think it’s easy to store your equipment and it does not require a lot of knowledge and experience.
However a little planned care for your kayaks or canoes and other related accessories can result in better and safer paddling when the season comes back.
It’s a fact of life everything gets old even your kayaks! Throughout the years, you can expect scratches, holes, real cracks (the kind that get you worried), faint painting. We’re not living in an ideal world so we need to plan maintenance care and storage at least once a year.
Your safety and pleasure on the water depends on it!
I discovered by experience using expensive outdoor equipment, that there are three steps not to be forgotten:
• Repair and maintenance
• Adequate conditions for storage
Follow these three simple yet very effective principles for any of your gears (kayaking, scuba diving, camping, hiking…) and you’ll be able to enjoy safe and performing equipment during all your seasonal and favorite activities!
We all agree that when you unpack your gear at spring time it feels much nicer to find cleaned boots, stoves, sleeping bags, tents and boats!
• Remove all lose components (straps, seats, hatch covers) and wash them with warm fresh water using a mild detergent (don’t use strong commercial products or bleach that will burn the fibers). Rinse well thoroughly afterwards. Don’t forget to wash also your personal flotation device!
• Remove salt water and sand from your kayak or canoe or diving gear (regulators): rinse the boats, and all the attached parts (deck cords, toogle handles and bulkheads), pedals, rudder or derive
• Use an eraser-type sponge if your kayak stays in the water during the entire season
• Try to check all the O rings for dirt and clean well the openings of your dry compartments.
• And most of all let all your gear dry properly –put your boats upside down and off the ground. Use a towell if necessary.
Paddles are very expensive, I keep all our paddles in a safe place in our basement during those long winter times.
If you have 2-piece paddles then store them in separate pieces. But before that, clean the joints both inside and outside with a small bottle brush (I’m using my old baby bottle brush!):
After this easy step I simply wash and rinse the paddle carefully and dry with a soft towel.
I do the same thing for my canoe’s wood paddles.
Before anything else wash them and dry them very carefully. Actually this is the same thing you should do after each use! Check all zips carefully during that process.
One thing for sure: Do not put your wet suits in a washing machine!
If you need to replenish the waterproof treatment on your PFD or dry suit then the best thing to do is to consult individual manufacturers for guidance.
Check every boat and every piece of equipment carefully to see if any repairs need to be done.
And don’t be lazy. If you see something wrong, just repair it now!
You need to put your canoes or kayaks in a safe place. That is somewhere where they won’t get damaged.
If you leave them in the snow, then you might expect some damage to occur from freezing and expanding or your local wildlife!
The best thing to do is to store your canoe or kayak in a garage. If you don’t have a safe place like that, then simply store your boat outside, but well covered. Then you can cover it quite easily.
Any outdoor activity like kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking among others, requires a few winning elements to be successful.
As Stephen Cowey put it so well you need to have the end in mind. The ultimate goal is always to have some pleasure through an activity that you can realize any time any day, and you can experience with your family, children or your friends!
So here is a list of 7 habits you can practice any time, and get the maximum on your next paddling trip or exciting adventure!
Yes indeed, don’t go kayaking even on a flat water body for three hours right at the beginning of the season because you’ll get discourage pretty fast if you’re not fit.
Within 48h you’ll experience body aching on all your big group muscles, like shoulders, arms, and back muscles.
That will resolve very fast, but then it’s unpleasant and unnecessary.
Hence, it’s important to do regular exercises and cardio throughout the winter to keep our body healthy.
I got a gym set up at home to keep us busy during the long winter days!
See my son… How he developed those muscles-)
When we get bored, it’s very motivating and exciting to read or watch videos on inspiring stories.
I remembered when I read an interview about Audrey Sutherland when her new book “Paddling North” came out!!
What a feeling! Suddenly I got re-energized, and look through my own equipment to get ready for my next canoe-camping trip -)
Ok: Let’s be straight forward on that one. I don’t mean go out and spend $500 in just a few hours!
No. Instead, review your equipment, see what’s missing or too old.
You may want to get some new , ecologic water bottles, or find new cooking set for camping.
Maybe get another water proof camera that you’ve seen during your last trip!!
If you go canoeing always on the same lake… well at one point it becomes very boring, and you don’t enjoy the activity any more.
You don’t even paddle efficiently.
So make plans to visit new places by checking other paddling blogs and prepare your trip.
That will guarantee some excitement and you’ll be looking forward to go out and paddle.
Don’t go for one type of activity. Try to be diversified and practice other things like SUP, biking, mountain climbing, scuba diving. In winter season, enjoy some skiing, snow shoeing, dogsledding.
The list for outdoor adventures is pretty long!
See this afternoon, I went out and did some cross country skiing.
It was so beautiful in the woods with all that fresh snow… Quiet time for me!
That means the best way to do it is to keep in touch with your friends or family and present them your latest adventures and great photos.
You can use your Facebook page and keep engaging, and you can also visit other people’s pages to find new ideas or share your experiences.
If you keep running during the whole week, and then go on a two-day trip canoe-camping with your kids, that could be a recipe for failure.
You’ll be so tired, you won’t really enjoy that free time in the woods.
The only thing you’ll probably keep thinking, is a good bath and some resting time in front of your TV!
So try to plan time to relax and free your mind and body to be available for your next outdoor trip!
Let’s see how.
Early June 2008. Preparing for our first canoeing trip of the season.
Lift up the canoe on my shoulders.
Lose balance. Wrong decision.
Forced with my left arm fully extended to straighten the canoe with my car roof.
The best decision would have been to let the canoe fall on the ground.
In a split second I decided to get injured rather than to get a scratch on my red canoe.
Over 3 months of shoulder pain and sleepless nights.
A paddling season “on the water” as we say in French –meaning no season at all.
A visit to the orthopedist simply to hear that only time will help –based on the RMI that demonstrated a 50% tear of the supra-spinatus muscle.
To make it short, it was only in October that I found a sport orthotherapist to treat that little problem and finally get my sleep back!
Then I did over 8 months of regular arms/shoulders stretching to be able to fully extend my left arm again. No fun.
My point with that story?One: Get fit before the start of the paddling season
I wasn’t fit at all to lift up that canoe and I exposed myself to injury fairly easily. I did nothing much during the winter season to prepare my body and big muscle groups to get ready for other types of movements that I usually do during summer time.
Let’s say that I was indeed fit at the end of the previous summer, but I did not maintain that level of cardio or muscle strength during the following months. It requires less effort to stay fit than to start all over again each spring.
Regular cardio workouts (spinning, jumping rope, cross country skiing to name just a few), cardio-based bodyweight exercises (plyometric push-ups, jumping jacks, boxing moves) coupled with stretching is definitely the right thing to do.
For instance, I like to do from time to time Billy’s Bootcamp workouts. Guaranty you’ll sweat!!
I also use free videos and training plans.
Of course, best to check with your physician what you can do (before starting anything) if you have some health concerns.Three: Live your life to be healthy
My personal definition (and there are a lot!!) is a combination of several “how-to-do” activities or lifestyles behavior:
• Eat well! Here is the dirty dozen to avoid.
• Learn to relax and… do it!
• Get and stay physically on shape year after year
• Learn to play! Surprised? Playing like our kids do help us to forget all our daily worries and make us discover a world we had almost forgotten. Believe me on that one –I do it every day.
• Educate your mind with spiritual readings or music.
So your turn now: Are you fit to start the new season?
Write your comments in the box below!
Summer or not, it is always a good time to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat to a more relaxing and peaceful location, like the beach or by the lake. With so many water activities to choose from, you definitely cannot get bored!
One of the most popular activities for people who want to test and ride with the waves is kayaking. It is not as extreme or complicated as surfing, but it is certainly one of the most enjoyable things you can do on water. Are you tired of swimming all day? Try kayaking instead!
But, before you jump on a kayak, make sure you are familiar with the activity first. It is not an easy-peasy one, after all. Continue reading below to get our introduction to kayaking!
Kayaking may look like simply riding on a boat, but it is much more complex.
Considered as both a recreational activity and a competitive sport, kayaking is usually performed with a specialized boat, “the kayak”, and a double-bladed oar for paddling. Kayaking is very versatile and can be done in practically any body of water— In fact, you can do it on rivers, oceans, seas, and even big lakes.
A more interesting and exciting fact about kayaking is that you do not need any advanced skill to do it. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned kayaker, you can practice kayaking easily. However, it is still best to have a professional nearby, especially if you are kayaking for the first time. Remember: safety first!
Nowadays, kayaking is considered one of the preferred water activities by a majority of people in the world. But back when it was first discovered, kayaking was considered anything but a recreation activity.
The earliest record of a kayak’s usage happened thousands of years ago. The Inuits (or Eskimos), inhabitants of the arctic region, created and used kayaks made of driftwood and sealskins to serve as their primary mode of transportation for hunting, fishing, and transferring supplies from one place to another. In fact, the term “kayak” literally translates to “hunter’s boat.”
As years and seasons changed, so did the construction of kayaks. In the early 1900s, Europeans replaced sealskin covers with fabric, and thanks to Hans Klepper, a German inventor, the folding kayak was born.
By the 1930s, kayaks had become more than just a necessary mode of transport— as evident by the use of kayaks in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. As time passed by, several versions of kayaks were also invented— fiberglass, plastic, and more. Until today, kayaks are still improving in terms of materials and construction.
In reality, there are two types of kayak:Sit in kayak, Sit on Top Kayak
A sit-in kayak is the most common (and traditional) type of kayak— this is the one which is usually seen in pictures and river kayaking. As the name suggests, with this kayak, the user sits inside, meaning most of his/her body is going to be covered in an enclosed cockpit. To prevent water from splashing on the upper part of your body (which is not that covered), you can purchase a spray skirt, which also functions as a flexible gasket.
Sit on top kayak
Unlike sit-in kayaks, this type allows the lower part of your body to be a bit free, since it is not secured in an enclosed cockpit. Sit-on-top kayaks are also affordable and recommended for first-timers and recreational kayakers. Choose this type of kayak if you are still practicing and honing your skills.Kinds of kayak
There are also different kinds of kayaks, each with their own purpose and advantages:Recreational kayaks
This type of kayak is perfect for beginners or those who just want to enjoy calm rivers or lakes. Recreational kayaks are not meant for more extreme modes of kayaking, but they are still sturdy and are made for comfort and stability. Recreational kayaks can be sit-in or sit-on-top— go with whatever suits your leisurely needs.
For people who want more adventure than a calm river and wish to go with the rapids, then this kind of kayak is the one to rent or buy. It has two major subcategories: creek boats (for overall versatility) and play boats (for trick contests and optimum maneuverability). Whitewater kayaks are also smaller than touring kayaks, and they are often made of high-impact plastic.
For long escapades in different bodies of water, a touring kayak is the one for you. This kind of kayak has a long design, which makes it easy for people to store things for overnight of all-day activities. It is also energy-efficient, which makes it a lot easier to paddle fast and far.
Like the name suggests, inflatable kayaks are not constructed from the usual materials that other kayaks are made of. This kind is commonly made of high-denier nylon and PVC, and is perfect for people who want to go kayaking for recreation. Since they are inflatable, they are very portable and take less space than other kinds of kayaks.
If you want to fish with other modes of transport than a common boat, then a sturdy fishing kayak is for you. It has angler-friendly rod holders and ample storage spaces for your fresh catches of the day. Fishing kayaks are usually simple and has great access to remote spots, making them greater than small boats for true-blue anglers.
Most kayaks can only fit one person, but tandem kayaks are different. This kind of kayak can sit up to two paddlers, and are available in both sit-in and sit-on-top types. Because of its slightly upgraded seating capacity, tandem kayaks are the common choice of couples or families who wish to enjoy recreational kayaking with their loved ones.Kayaking Tips
Recreational kayaking might be peaceful, but it does not hurt to have a professional teach you a thing or two. After all, kayaking is done on water, and accidents might happen, so might as well get thoroughly educated before getting on (or in) that kayak.Dress for the water
Before kayaking, consider the temperature of the water that you are about to paddle on. Wear a life jacket all the time and layer up with clothes if the water is cold. Remember: safety first!Choose your gear
Depending on the type of kayaking activity that you want to do, choose the right kind of kayak and paddle for you. If you are just going for a stroll, then a recreational kayak might be a good choice. Want to go on a whitewater or rapid adventure? Opt for a whitewater kayak, then! Remember: choose carefully.Make yourself comfortable
Most probably, you will be kayaking for hours, so it is very important to make yourself comfortable and at ease. Sit straight and make sure that you are paddling the right way.
So, as you’re discovering buying a used kayak isn’t as easy as you thought, your first task will be to learn how each type of kayak is different from the other.
First of all, there’s the “recreational” kayak. This is probably what you picture in your mind when someone mentions the word kayak. Recreational kayaks are often made of different materials, but they’re made of plastic or fiberglass more often then not. In fact, a combination of fiberglass, and/or plastic is very common, as this increases the durability and decreases the weight of the kayak. Wood kayaks are the most beautiful but are rarer these days due to the availability of stronger materials however, they boast a rural charm!
If you want to know how to buy a used kayak, it might be because you’re interested in a fishing kayak — some of these are the heaviest and quite pricey to boot. Professional fishing kayaks are even more expensive, but this is because they come with more features compared to their non fishing counterparts. Kayaks made of a combination of these materials are the lightest but they also are on the high-end of the price range. So if you’re looking to buy one of these more serious kayaks — hard-shelled and ready for anything, promising to last a lifetime — then you’ll definitely trying to investigate how to buy a used kayak to save as much money as possible.
Used Recreational Kayak – Often cheaper then a fishing kayak
– Large variance in pricing
– Wear and tear may be minimal dependent on who you purchase from
Used Fishing Kayak – Often more expensive since specialized for fishing
– Cheaper options available but usually on the high end
– Wear and tear is often higher since these kayaks are used by hobby fisherman that like to get the most out of their kayak
Used Inflatable Kayak – Much cheaper then anything available in other two categories
– Wear and tear is a huge concern since inflatables and their materials degrade quicker (you should put a year date of 5 years old max dependent on wear and tear)
Folding kayaks aren’t quiet as expensive. But the cheapest used kayak is usually the inflatable kayak! It may be worth it if your looking to save money with a used kayak to instead buy a brand-new inflatable kayak. Amateurs and experts alike love inflatable kayaks because of how easy they are to transport, store, and paddle around in. They are so versatile and while they aren’t quite as sturdy and long-lasting as other kayaks, they are simply the most convenient and easy to use. Make sure if you are purchasing one of these you take a look at all points of the hull since they are prone to tears and the previous owner might have just used a patch kit a bunch of times. Its essentially you try it out on the water to make sure there are no leaks and that it maintains its full inflation.
When you’re exploring your options for buying a used kayak, beyond just understanding the various types of kayaks, you’ll need to understand what they’re used for. A rigid kayak is ideal for certain sports while an inflatable kayak is better for others. Determine what your purposes are — do you want to go fishing or are you more of a recreational user? Whatever your answer is to that question, there’s a different kayak type for each user.
Moreover, if you want to learn how to buy a used kayak, the best place to begin is by looking at some of our kayak guides (Fishing Kayak Guide) (Inflatable Kayak Guide). The Internet is jam-packed with websites of various kayak manufacturers and dealers, most of which are based offline but that offer extensive photo catalogs and information online. We have compiled most of this information within our kayak guides through hours upon hours of extensive research. This is a great why to find out what exactly your options are. You can compare the different kinds of kayaks and their prices very easily with the web. There may even be online classifieds from individuals, not retailers, that have a kayak they’re ready to get off of their hands! You can save a lot of money by doing lots of price comparison online.
But if you’re still a little unsure of how to buy a used kayak, then here are some specific online resources for you.
craigslist.com can really help you in this area, as they list dozens upon dozens of used kayaks that are up for grabs.
kijiji.com is just as useful. Just make sure that you get the right kayak for the right price. If you want to take to the rapids, don’t get a fishing kayak and vice versa!
ebay.com can sometimes have good deals for kayaks
Hopefully, buying a used kayak doesn’t seem like such an intimidating ordeal. So what are you waiting for? Now that you have an idea of how to buy you can answer the call of the ocean!