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!
What Do We Do With Our Equipment?
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!
Cleaning Your Gear
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!
Boats and folding 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.
Drysuits, wetsuits and PFD’s
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.
Repair and Maintenance
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!
Adequate Conditions for Storage
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.
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!
Introduction to Kayaking – Kayaking Sport Overview
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.
Types of kayak
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.
KEY CONSIDERATIONS/ Questions
- How old is the kayak being sold
- What condition is it in upon first look (scratches all over are not a good sign)
- Does the hull have any damage or the bottom of it from hits and rocks
- What is the reason the current owner is selling?
- Where has it been stored
- If its inflatable does it have any sun damage, sun can dramatically decrease the lifespan of a inflatable boat
- Is the owner trustworthy, can he provide you an ID photo just incase the kayak has been stolen
- Can the owner provide you some contact details so you can contact in case that you find any problems in the future (its a possibility you later find a leak you didn’t see on first inspection)
- Can you try the kayak out with the owners permission (this might be asking a bit much but you need to try it to make sure there is no leaks and the boat performs to its original standard
What do you want to use it for?
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!
Testing Out a Few Ocean Kayaks
We tested the Ocean Kayak Drifter kayak, in the Angler version. This version includes a couple of flush mount rod holders, and a nice tankwell with bungees. At 13 feet long, and almost 33 inches wide, you are going to be hard pressed to flip this boat. You could almost stand up on this boat and sling a fly. It would take a bit of practice, I am sure, but if you are looking for an incredibly wide, stable, fast kayak, the Drifter Angler at 13 feet is an excellent addition to your stable!
The Frenzy is a great little boat, and at 9 feet long, you can quickly grab this boat and go. If you have any farm ponds, or creeks off in the cut around you, this is going to end up being your go to kayak. At 33 inches wide, you can’t flip this boat. It will fill with water before you get it flipped over. I haven’t tried standing on it, but I could easily see how you could get away with slinging flies on this kayak.
The Prowler 13 is one of Ocean Kayaks better selling models, and the new version is not going to be any different. They rebuilt the keel line on this boat, to allow it to cut through the water a lot better. It did a great job before, but now, it is untouchable. It has a nice hatch on the front, and looks like it is going to be decently waterproof. I would still be careful with storing electronics and such in it.
Next on the list is the Scrambler. This is a great all around boat, for any time of fishing you will encounter. Small enough to throw into the car or truck and take to your favorite pond or creek, but still long and wide enough to handle rougher surf, or a faster moving current. The way that Ocean designed this boat, it isn’t really made fo bigger paddlers. You could easily get your girlfriend or wife into this boat, and they would be comfortable enough that you wouldn’t hear any complaining!
Last, but not least, is the Yak Board. The step child in Ocean’s lineup, but quickly becoming one of my favorites. Yes, it is only 8 feet long, and is extremely wide, so it isn’t going to paddle very well. However, as long as the wind is dead, and there is no current, you could easily stay in one spot fishing on this little kayak all day. Ocean Kayak did a good thing when they reintroduced this boat to the lineup, and I am sure there are going to be a lot more fans of it.
Kayaking offers physical as well as mental health benefits it can be done for exercise as a hobby or for rehabilitation purposes
The physical and health benefits are toning and strengthening of the back arms shoulders chest and core muscles of the abdomen.
According to NGR outdoors and event an advertising company and the Penn State Hershey Center for nutrition and activity promotion kayaking uses most of a person’s upper body muscles in paddling and uses many of the lower body muscles in balancing while you’re in the kayak.
It has also been proven to improve joint health through low-impact movements such as paddling and improve and maintain healthy joints.
The act of paddling itself improves range of motion while improving flexibility which keeps joints fluid and lubricated.
Some people with tired and achy joints just want to put them up on a pillow and relax which is one of the worst things that you can possibly do. Because then it keeps them stiff and immobilized.
A statement from Web M.D. claim that kayaking is aerobic activity which increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart muscles and long-term kayaking can:
- lower the blood pressure
- decrease cholesterol
- decreased blood sugar levels
- decrease body fat
- decrease anxiety and depression while also
- decreasing fatigue
Since kayaking can be an act that encourages weight loss I found that kayaking for three or four hours per day can burn up to 1000 Cal. Statistics have shown that for a 120 pound person to steadily kayak for one hour they can convert up to 300 Cal for a 180 pound person to kayak steadily for three hours they can convert nearly 450 Cal
Celeste Riddell a fitness professional with thatsfit.com states that rowing and paddling are great for upper body workouts that can also help you to improve flexibility circulation and joint health plus getting out onto the water takes away the stresses of everyday life and can really boost and rejuvenate your spirit.
There are also many mental health benefits. As previously stated kayaking has been proven to reduce stress. Kayaking also allows for a decrease in anxiety, depression as well as promoting relaxation which provides a sense of calmness and peace. If you have ever been in a boat by the water or in a kayak and you have listened to your surroundings and watched the rhythm of the water, the birds flying in the sky, the trees(or palm trees) whistling, it has a meditation and harmonizing quality to it.
NGR outdoors with the Western Tennessee University have developed a rehabilitation program similar to a program that of the Walter Reed Army medical Center. It allows disabled veterans to learn how to kayak. Those people who have had amputations or had spinal cord injuries kayaking is their physical and emotional healing.
This method has been very successful so far. Although some spectators may say that kayaking is a lazy activity it actually does have great physical and mental qualities. It takes a lot of balance and strength and power to move around for long distances. Anything that can get someone off of the couch out and away from the television is great in our books.
Personally I enjoy kayaking not because I think of it as exercise but because it gets me out of the house. It lets me put myself an environment that allows me to think and meditate and enjoy my surroundings. The added benefit that it is exercise is just a bonus to me while I’m sitting on the water or paddling through and enjoying life.
Kayaking is a somewhat inexpensive activity after the initial purchase of the kayak going out onto the open water is free. It does have an advantage over going to the gym because you don’t have to pay the monthly membership and it allows you to get out of the stuffy condensed room with some people that aren’t always the best smelling (not pointing at any gym out in particular hehe).