The best way to ensure both safety and balance for a kayak is to keep it stable throughout the trip. For this, what is required is a stabilizer. Popularly known as an outrigger, it adds that extra security to a canoe or boat and makes it good enough to hit a pleasant ride.
List of Best Kayak Stabilizers
Apart from safety, a kayak outrigger also lends kayaks a good deal of maneuverability so that they don’t face any obstruction every now and then on the waters.
There are various kayak outriggers available with modern features and specifications. In fact, the new-age kayakers choose their own models as per the installation process. Hence, it is advisable to know the installation techniques, and also ensure how compatible it stands with his boat.
There are plenty of brands that have brought feature-rich kayak outriggers with the objective to make the water rides, camping trips and the fishing sessions smooth and hassle-free. If you are having a kayak or a canoe, considering to add a stabilizer on it will be a wise decision.
Factors to Consider while Choosing the Best Kayak Stabilizer
After you own a kayak, it might still not look good to move it. It should be well-balanced on the waters so that it becomes easier to sail with no obstruction. Moreover, stability is a big factor that determines the safety of your kayak.
Apart from these, there are a few more factors that should be taken into consideration while picking up the best kayak stabilizer. Let’s take a quick look at all those factors:
Type of material
Although there are various materials used for kayak outriggers, the one that is preferred by the majority is anodized aluminum. It is no doubt a high-scoring material as it is light in weight and strong as well. So, this does not add extra weight to your kayak.
Also, there are kayak stabilizers that use good quality PVC, which will never rust with time. Moreover, if stainless steel can be used as the material for mounting hardware, it would prove to be quite sturdy and durable as well.
The user-friendliness of a kayak outrigger depends on how easily it can be installed and mounted. So, you need to check whether your kayak needs a few holes to be drilled for attaching the mounts.
Some, however, come with rod holders that make the installation process much easier and less time-consuming. In other words, whichever installation process you are okay with, make sure your kayak has the provision.
Level of Buoyancy
The reason behind installing a kayak outrigger on a kayak is improving its overall buoyancy and justifying its weight capacity. However, the degree of buoyancy depends on the size of the kayak. The majority of kayak stabilizers have more or less similar buoyancy ratings around thirty lbs.
Degree of compatibility
While looking for a kayak outrigger, it is necessary to ensure whether it is compatible with your own boat or not. The more compatible it is, the easier it will be to install. So, it’s always safer to check beforehand as to how compatible your kayak is.
Availability of additional accessories
Most of the kayakers miss out on this aspect while looking for a kayak stabilizer. The availability of extra accessories is definitely an important consideration for mounting hardware.
For instance, the kayak stabilizer kit often comes with the mounting system along with the nuts and bolts. In case you do not find these, it would be advisable to get it from a local store.
What is the purpose of getting a kayak outrigger?
The most crucial reason behind getting a stabilizer for a kayak is to ensure more balance while moving it through the waters. Stabilizers, in fact, prove to be quite useful when paddlers choose to do some quality fishing or take pictures in the middle of a trip.
Camping trips are most often done with kayaks having outriggers or what you call stabilizers. Many paddlers get these to enhance their skills during the ride.
How to install a stabilizer on a kayak?
To install a stabilizer on a kayak, the first thing that needs to be done is set up a mounting system. In other words, you need to position the holders in the required place, determine the future holes on it and thereafter use a drill for getting it done.
You will have the nuts and bolts to properly attach the holders. Once done, just attach the poles and the installation is done.
Where exactly the stabilizer should be mounted on the kayak?
The stabilizer in a kayak should always be installed in such a manner so that it does not obstruct the paddler during the ride. However, some kayak owners prefer installing rod holders, which is also an integral part of the installation process.
If you are not sure about choosing the right spot for setting up a stabilizer, you can always ask someone who owns a canoe or kayak.
How should I rightly align the stabilizer on my kayak?
During the entire process of installing a stabilizer on a kayak, this is no doubt a very crucial step. The first thing to check is whether the pontoons are in a similar position and standing in parallel to your kayak. In case it is not, there would be complications in achieving the desired balance.
The best thing to do is get the stabilizer poles attached to the mounts and also give the stabilizer pontoons the right alignment. Once you are able to track the right position, identify the holes and get on the usual installation process as mentioned earlier.
Now, let’s have a quick look at some best kayak outriggers that are capable to bring kayakers the smoothest trips ever:
Regular kayakers only know what it means to have a safe and joyous ride. To assure this, what every kayak needs is a stabilizer system, and Scotty #302 is indeed a super choice in this respect.
Having ranked among the best kayak outriggers, it scores high in terms of efficiency. Equipped with inflatable pontoons of 30 inches, it leaves no question in regard to its stability.
Moreover, the kit comprises two anodized arms that are 28 inches in length and made of aluminum. Besides, the unit comes with rod holders and mounts for better support.
The fact that the pontoon is quite strong and durable is justified owing to its PVC-made body. The process of both installing and uninstalling this stabilizer system on a kayak is quite effortless.
Also, like other kayak outriggers, Scotty #302 is also quite compact that doesn’t take much space. It might be a bit expensive but worth adding life to a kayak.
Easy to install and uninstall as well
Adaptable to other kayaks and canoes
Difficult to adjust while sailing
2. Brocraft Kayak Outriggers/Stabilizers System
Involving minimal hardware and assuring maximum security, the Brocraft Kayak Stabilizer System comes in a bright yellow shade that makes it stand out. Featuring a unique installation process, it eliminates the use of a crossbar and requires rod holders.
The outrigger arms are 32 inches long and made of good quality aluminum. These arms can be easily attached to your kayak while the mounts made of stainless steel will stay for years to come. On the other hand, the molded PVC floats score high in terms of durability.
The installation of the Brocraft Kayak Stabilizer needs to be done in the correct manner. For this, the stabilizer arms should be positioned correctly so that they don’t come in between the strokes.
Moreover, the way the stabilizer would be installed would not affect the storage space on the kayak. The rod holders are required to set up at the same point on both sides of the boat.
The Brocraft Kayak Stabilizer, in other words, is indeed a tough stainless steel stabilizer and one of the best kayak outriggers. It would be advisable to take professional help for installation. Once it’s done correctly, there will be nothing like it. Regular kayakers can consider it a wise option to invest into.
Does not take up rear storage in the kayak
Stands compatible to fit other boats
Mount lacks strength in staying attached
Here comes something special for those who love to kayak on the waters. The Hobie Sidekick Ama kit is extremely light in weight and incredibly reliable to let kayakers sail on with safety. It just needs to get installed with the help of a drill for being mounted by a crowbar.
While you will be busy snapping photos of natural beauty amidst, it would provide you a stable base, thereby stabilizing your craft. The installation process primarily needs a screwdriver and a drill. Just make sure that the installation is done properly behind your seat ensuring there is enough space for you.
As mentioned earlier, the Hobie Sidekick Ama Kit does not weigh much as it is only five pounds. Therefore, there is no question of adding extra weight to your kayak. Since the pontoons are also quite easy to inflate, you will be able to do so without difficulty. Moreover, there is a quick-release valve that lets the air move out faster.
With the provision of three bars and two pontoons, the Hobie Sidekick Ama kit takes no time to set up. The three adjustable heights, furthermore, allows you to position the secondary bars at your convenience. It’s a perfect package for all those who are looking for a super durable kayak stabilizer.
Build quality is good and hence quite durable
Height can be adjusted easily
Effortless to install
Might not work on all Hobie models
When it comes to shopping for stabilizer kits, Spring Creek Manufacturing will never leave you disheartened. Assuring the highest standards of safety and comfort, this stabilizer package is extremely light in weight and also quite durable for being crafted out of polyethylene plastic.
Easy to use, this kayak stabilizer takes no effort to install and makes sure that your boat stays strong and secure. What kayakers will love about it is that can be extended up to twenty inches in all directions that will provide the width of your choice.
Each float weighs 5 lbs while the universal receiver crossbar has a weight ranging from 7 to 8.5 lbs, which, however, depends on the size.
What most of the users have loved about it is its hydrodynamic design that lets it drag smoothly through the waters and sustains the stability as well. The lockable cam lever arms can be easily adjusted in the midst of sailing.
Compatibility is another great factor for the Spring Creek Manufacturing Hydrodynamic Canoe Stabilizer. It fits easily on other canoes and also takes no effort and time to set it up. Be it a pro or a newbie, this kayak stabilizer is great for anyone who wishes to take kayaking to a new level.
Easy to assemble with no tools needed
Compatible with other boats
Not many color options
Out of the four kayak outriggers mentioned above, the one that seems to have taken away all the accolades is Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System.
Talk about its design, installation process or flexibility, this kayak outrigger is just awesome. The 30-inch long pontoons make life so easy for the one who would be installing it.
Even the strong anodized arms are long enough to assure complete support to the boat. Another aspect that makes it score high is its compatibility with other boats. Not to forget also is the four-locking mount system that assures maximum stability.
The Scotty #302 Kayak Stabilizer System is, therefore, a true winner and stands worth every penny for a kayaker.