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Are you planning on taking to the water and embracing all kayaking has to offer? Inflatable kayaks are a great option for beginners as they are stable, easy to paddle and far more convenient to transport than traditional kayaks.
While traditional kayaks are slim, more unstable and take some expertise to manage, modern inflatable options like Aquaglide kayaks make the ideal entry into the sport. Here are some of our top tips for those just beginning their watersports adventure.
What to Look for When Buying an Inflatable Kayak
As these kinds of kayaks become incredibly popular, you’ll see various models available, all with different prices and levels of quality.
Single Layer, Multi-Layer & Heavy-Duty Inflatable Kayaks
Single layer vinyl inflatable kayaks are often the most affordable options, so are ideal for first-time paddlers and families. They are best used for sheltered environments that don’t have to combat aggressive waves and wind.
Multi-layer vinyl kayaks are more resistant to damage, so are great if you’re interested in making slightly more of an investment but are still intending to use your kayak for relatively light recreational use.
Heavy duty kayaks are even more durable and are on the more expensive end of the scale. If you want to venture out into unsheltered environments, this is your best bet.
Inflatable Kayak Packages, Paddles & Pumps
When buying an inflatable kayak, it will often come in a package and be equipped with a pump and paddle. While these are more than acceptable for initial use, you may find that you want to upgrade these as you use your kayak more and advance your skills.
You might also want to seek an extra-strong paddle for increased safety. Paddles with splash guards are also useful to have as these stop water from dripping down onto your hands and clothes.
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Inflatable kayaks are available with single or multiple seats, making them great pieces of kit for families to invest in. Seats and foot pegs can usually be adjusted to accommodate different heights.
Depending on how often and for how long you use your kayak, you may wish to upgrade your seat to a more comfortable and durable option.
Storing Your Inflatable Kayak
One of the big draws of an inflatable kayak is that you can easily transport it and store it without having to sacrifice much space.
When not in use, you can simply roll the deflated kayak up into its bag and keep it in a dry place, ready for when you use it next. When folding it away, try not to fold it in the same pattern; the folded points will become weaker and more prone to developing defects.
Like any kind of sport, there are plenty of accessories to accompany your time on the water, whether you want to make things easier, more comfortable or just want to make sure you’re equipped for absolutely anything. This includes things like paddling gloves, kayak paddle leashes, waterproof dry bags and pressure gauges for pumps.
Life jackets are, of course, also an essential.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect kayak to suit your needs, there’s nothing left to do but get out on the water. It’s recommended that first-timers find a flat lake, gentle river or sheltered area to begin practising. Happy paddling!