Kayaking has never been so popular. With newer and sleeker kayak models hitting the market and more emphasis being placed on the importance of well-being, the kayak community has blossomed into a diverse industry.
Like with many hobbies that require specialist equipment, it can be a tricky minefield to navigate your way through in order to find the ideal kayak for your water adventures. JAM Kayaks‘ beginners guide to kayaking will help lead you through the jargon so you can find the perfect buoyant companion for paddling with.
Firstly, what is kayaking and where did it originate? Kayaking was originally invented by the Inuit and Aleut people around the Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea and North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They were primarily made from wood or whalebone, and covered with skins of seals. The craft is believed to be around 4,000 years old and was used mostly for hunting in oceans, rivers and lakes.
Before getting serious about kayaking there are a few things you should consider. If you take a look at any kayak retailer, you’ll be faced with hundreds of options, which can be pretty confusing. Luckily if you are stuck in this first-time-buyer quandary, Jam Kayaks is here to help!
When it comes to purchasing a kayak, we recommend try-before-you-buy when possible, and ensure to try in the conditions you’re likely to use the kayak, i.e on open seawater or calm lakes etc. Kayaks come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and purposes. Before you decide to dive right in let’s go through some of them to give you the best idea of what will fit your lifestyle.
Recreational Kayaks – Recreational kayaks are usually the starting point for many kayakers looking to get into the sport. The most common characteristic of these kayaks is that that they are stable.
Inflatable Kayaks – These are some of the best selling kayaks nowadays because of their portability. The most common buyers of these kayaks are beginners or people who are downsizing and don’t have the room for a hard-shelled kayak.
Touring Kayaks – These kayaks are usually geared towards intermediate paddlers who want to travel longer distances. Some common characteristics of these boats are that they have a longer length and have a thinner cockpit. These features allow touring kayaks to have better tracking ability and paddle along at a greater speed.
Fishing Kayaks – When many people think of fishing on the water, they think of a father and son in a canoe fishing. However, kayak fishing is long on its way to surpassing that ideology. Fishing Kayaks are designed to be stable, to allow the angler to stand and cast. Many fishing kayaks also feature hatches and places to store your fishing gear.
Sit On Top Kayaks – These kayaks are not covered but can be used for a wide variety of reasons. Many people choose sit on top kayaks because there is more room to store belongings that you want to bring with you such as layers, snacks, equipment etc…
Tandem Kayaks – These kayaks are designed for two or more people, and they tend to be preferred by people who may be on a budget or those who don’t have space for two separate kayaks. To use these boats, all passengers have to paddle in unison, which can take some getting used to.
White Water Kayaks – These kayaks are for the adrenaline junkies as they are usually found in fast-moving waters. They are very short and feature narrow hulls. They also require a tremendous amount of skill to manoeuvre.
Armed with new information and a clearer picture of what kayaks are out there to try, it’s time to get out there and try some out!
With Jam Kayaks, we offer try-before-you-buy on all our models. As we’re located on the beautiful south Wales coastline, there are plenty of coastal, river and lake opportunities to try a Jam kayak. Get in touch for more information.