Best Kayaks for 2017

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Find the Best Paddling Gear
Below you’ll find an index of links where you can find some of the best paddling gear. Click on the category links or use the retailer links at the right to link directly to their sites and search all their paddling gear. Summit Online, Sea Eagle, REI and Amazon all offer top quality paddling gear.
I love these companies because they are established, solid businesses. They have learned the importance of product quality and good customer service. That’s exactly why these companies get my “nod”.

These are well established retailers who carry quality gear. They over-deliver with superior customer service and readily make themselves available by phone, online and e-mail. Purchasing is secure and user friendly. If you’re not happy for any reason, they will make your experience right. That’s what a good retailer does!

That’s the only kind of company I can recommend with confidence.

 

Here you will find useful information to consider when buying kayaks.

  • Choice of kayaking
  • Choice of paddle
  • Choice of clothing
  • The construction of the kayak
  • Material, warranty, and more
  • Whitewater
  • Choice of kayaking

The first time you buy a kayak you can easily feel confused. This is especially true if you listen to too many tips. Below we leave some advice that we hope may be helpful in choosing a suitable kayak.

1) Where will you use your kayak?

There is a big difference between a sea kayak suitable for long paddle trips to, for example, Åland and a kayak to be used by the whole family for shorter trips around the lake. Be realistic when you wonder where you will use your kayak and do not let yourself be guided by trendy advice. Someone may say that the perfect kayak is a model that is six feet long because it fits him who is often on long trips over open calm waters. It does not mean that it suits you who want to paddle the islands, rocks and cuts among big breaking waves.

2) Volume

Your weight and expected packing weight have a big impact. A kayak that is too small will be felt as unstable. A kayak that is too big will instead feel like trying to maneuver a bark-like craft and is thus usually harder to deal with in tougher conditions. It’s important to have a good body contact with the kayak’s hull to feel comfortable with the kayak in all water conditions.

3) Length

Usually a longer kayak usually means that it is easier to achieve a higher speed. On the other hand, a longer kayak is harder to maneuver in tougher conditions, for example, it will be difficult to keep a steady course when the ocean waves come from 45 degrees as well as surfing when the waves come from behind. It also has some bearing on the design of the kayak’s hull, for example, a kayak with a round bottom is usually more unstable than a flat-bottomed kayak.

4) Stability and performance

We often see how someone is interested in buying just such a fast-paced model as the one who won the Åre Extreme Challenge last year. Instead, we recommend choosing a less fast but more stable kayak to avoid stability problems and instead concentrate on strong and effective paddle roofs. This applies not only to multisport and competition kits but also to all types of kayaks including models for long-range kayaks.

5) Weight

A lighter kayak certainly has its advantages and this applies mainly when the kayak is to be used for competitive use. Once you have achieved an even pace at the paddling, it does not matter if it weighs 21 kg or 26 kg. Instead, the weight and construction of the paddle can be of greater importance. Most often, a kayak is easier at the expense of not being as shock-resistant, which can be a major disadvantage regarding the hull’s durability seen from a longer time perspective.

6) Packing

If you plan to make longer trips especially during the winter, you will need a kayak with larger packing space. If you overload the kayak’s optimal load capacity, stability will in turn decrease. However, if you only use the kayak for shorter day trips, two packing units are not necessary. A so-called day hatch can be excellent if easy to reach, but a waterproof packing bag in the cockpit can often be at least as good.

7) Skill

If you have achieved the skill required to maneuver a competition kayak, you will experience most kayaks as stable. If you are a beginner and try to paddle a modern racing jersey over hard sea, it will not be experienced as faster as your entire energy will be used to stay if you will even stay in the kayak all over the road! Be realistic about your skill as it is currently and not as you expect it to be in the near future.

8) Material

Material is what distinguishes many models and kayaking marks. If you want a kayak that can withstand hard handling, take a closer look at the growing range of plastic kayaks. Others choose kayaks made of carbon fiber or fiberglass because they are stiffer and provide a greater selection. On the other hand, glass and carbon fiber kits cost more than plastic kitchens and usually require some maintenance because the material is more fragile. This means that when using a glass or carbon fiber kayak, it must be considerably more careful when walking on a rocky beach than when using a durable plastic kayak. Be aware of the differences when making your choice. Furthermore, it may be important to know that cheaper materials (chopmat / splash glass fiber) are more often of poorer quality than those made of more expensive (Diolen / woven fiberglass).

9) Second hand value

If it’s your first purchase of a kayak, you should also check the kayak’s second hand value because you may want to change kayaks down the road once you become more advanced.

Choice of paddle

There are almost as many rules and advices when it comes to choosing a paddle as there are paddles. Almost everyone is right. So it’s not easy to know what to have if it’s the first paddle you get. However, we will try to help you with the following items to help you find the right one.

1) The purpose

Where do you paddle? If you are heading out and paddling mostly on open sea where it is constantly blowing, it may be nice with a narrow long leaf. Should you just be around the cabin by a lake, then a traditional paddle might be the best. If you paddle yourself, you will have a shorter paddle in comparison with long-haul paddling.

2) Length

Length varies with the purpose and your body length. Spraying has a shorter paddle, long-haulage has a longer. Then there are variations within each target group. If you have a longer paddle then you get a lower frequency, but in return you get a longer paddle rack and if you can, you get faster. A shorter paddle gives a higher frequency, it’s not as hard to paddle and you win on it in the long run. A paddle with slender leaves should be about 5 cm longer than one with wide leaves. We have at the bottom of this page inserted a chart showing an approximately how long paddle we recommend for your length.

PADDLAR’S LENGTH COUNTRY PADDLE SPEAKER

  • 150-155 cm approx. 210 cm approx. 188 cm
  • 155-160 cm approximately 212 cm approximately 190 cm
  • 160-165 cm approx 215 cm approx 192 cm
  • 165-170 cm approx. 218 cm approx. 194 cm
  • 170-175 cm approx. 220 cm approx. 196 cm
  • 175-180 cm approx. 222 cm approx. 198 cm
  • 180-185 cm approx. 225 cm approx. 200 cm
  • 185-190 cm approx. 225 cm approx. 200 cm
  • 190-195 cm approx. 230 cm approx. 203 cm
  • 195-200 cm approx. 235 cm approx. 205 cm

3) Angle

If you have an angle of 90 degrees between the leaves, the paddle will minimize wind under the paddling, but you will get an enormous strain on the wrist. A paddle with a 0 degree angle between the blades takes maximum of wind at paddling, giving minimal strain on the wrists. The golden average is usually around 60-70 degrees between the leaves. There the paddle does not get too much wind and the wrists do not load too much.

4) The weight

The weight of the paddle is more important than the weight of the kayak. If you make 1000 paddles with a 1.3 kg heavy paddle then you have 500 kg more than you would have had a 800 g heavy paddle. A kayak is about the same speed regardless of whether it weighs 28 or 21 kg.

5) Shaft

A stiff carbon fiber shaft, though, provides more power per paddle than one that flexes. But it is more stressful on the wrists and in case of prolonged use you may experience inflammation. We therefore sell paddles with shafts of either fiberglass or the combination material Kol / Kevlar. These shafts flex more when paddling, making less stress for the wrists. Should you go on longer trips you should bring an extra paddle. For long-term paddling, it may be good to have one with so-called Quick Lock-sharing. This section allows you to adjust the paddle length and angle. At sea paddling, it is good to have an extra paddle with slim leaves that you can get when it starts to blow up. Drop-rings are recommended for long-term paddling. These prevents water from flowing from the blade down the shank of the hands. From 2004 onwards all long-haul pads will be fitted with drop rings.

Choice of clothing

Being able to get dressed does not only make the kidding more comfortable and fun but can also be crucial in an emergency. If we look at how you usually dress when you’re out in nature like mountain climbing and mountain hiking, add some neoprene and latex, then you’re on the right track to get dressed.

You start with a base layer that rejects water, moisture and sweat from the skin, thus preventing cooling down for a prolonged period of sediment. A good material for use as a base layer is a so-called supercomputer. Another good material is wool and you can also afford to invest in the new material marino wool, this is an excellent choice.

Should you be in really cool conditions, not only is a top recommended in these materials but also long pants. On top of the base layer you need some kind of heating material. Fleece is a material whose main advantage is that the material does not absorb moisture and is relatively hot even when it gets wet. Wool has the advantage that it retains heat even when the material becomes wet while its major disadvantage is that it becomes heavy when it becomes wet.

The third layer should consist of a material that is resistant to wind and water. In this choice, you can easily see how different jackets are designed for different purposes. Those who paddle sea kayaks usually need a piece of equipment that ventiles well to keep moisture away for longer periods of time. Those who paddle shark spend some of their time up and down the water because they need a waterproof seal around the armrest and throat. Neoprene is a material that is often used to seal openings in clothes, such as sleeves, throat and waist. There has been a development in this area by using the material titanium. This is a thin material that provides increased flexibility while providing a truly warming effect.

Neoprene works in such a way that it warms up the water that may come between the material and your skin. There has also been a development by starting using a combination where the inside of a garment is made of and the outer surface of an elastic windproof rubber material. These breaths are surprisingly good. The negative side of these garments is that they are not as robust as some other materials and that they are usually expensive in purchasing. Latex pads around the wrists have the function that water does not penetrate the sleeves when you are sea paddling. For larynx pads, latex pads around the neck are ideal when conditions are such that you must be hot and dry.

Avoid letting the material come into contact with oil or other chemicals, including sunscreen, etc. Protect the material from direct sunlight, and when packing the clothes during the winter season, retain the material’s properties if you massage the muddy pillows. After a couple of years, the neckline can begin to release and a few years later also other mud. Usually a dive shop can fix this problem at an affordable price.

It’s easy to forget that even the head needs protection from protection against cold and wind. Even gloves and socks / shoes specially designed for paddlers are highly recommended if you are out in cool weather. Good clothes are a good guarantee to cope and enjoy paddling in conditions other than sun and heat.

The construction of the kayak

Prijon is the only company in the world to manufacture long-range kettles in HTP. Do not mix HTP with rotational cast plastic. The benefits of HTP are a stiffer hull (which gives better performance), it is more environmentally friendly because the plastic is recyclable. All HTP boats also have a 5-year warranty on fabrication errors. Most of Prijon’s longevity kayaks are built according to a nice geometry. This gives a very good initial stability (for example, when sitting still) as well as secondary stability (ie, how much you can lean aside before turning around). This without compromising on performance. Below are some of the most important details on Prijon’s kayaks.

 

  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable lifting.
  • Tire lines around the entire hull make it easier to handle the boat at, for example, bridges, and is also practical for attaching accessories and equipment on the tire.
  • Pedals to adjust the helmet. Adjustable at angles and distances for the best comfort and to provide optimal support for compensation movements and rolls.
  • Elastic loads where you can store what you want close to hand, liquid, map and compass, etc.
  • Many consider Prijon’s seats to be more comfortable in the market. Sleek seat with removable padded seat cushion for maximum comfort during long paddle trips. New for 2004 is the ability to adjust the backrest when sitting in the kayak and padded knee joint. Both the seat and the knee guard are adjustable in the longitudinal direction of the boat.
  • Elastic loads where you can store what you want close to hand.
  • External hard plastic cover closures protects against sun and physical impact. Neoprene compartment cover closes close to water.
  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable lifting.
  • Rudder Bracket. Easy to assemble and remove rudder for transport.
  • Material, warranty, and more
  • Prilite – 2 years factory warranty

Prilite is a 2004 material that started with Flipper 2003. The technology is taken from the automotive industry, but the plastic is replaced by coexstruded ABS plastic enriched with a UV stabilizer. Prijon is the first in Europe with this material that has a fiberglass-like surface with the same beautiful luster both internally and externally. The abrasion resistance is better than glass fiber and almost in class with rotational cast kayaks. Turning stiffness is generally like a fiberglass kayak. The weight is about 10% lower than fiberglass and 25% lower than HTP plastic. The kayak parts begin as tiles. It is heated to soften and sucked into a mold by vacuum. The bottom has a shape on the inside of the finished product, which makes the outside a smooth and smooth surface. The shape of the upper part is on the outside so that sharp edges, angles and details on the tire can be created while the inside has no sharp edges. The joint between the different parts has an H profile for best fit, durability and stability.

Flex 4

  • The rudder pedals are adjustable longitudinally and at an angle.
  • Adjustable and padded knee support (can also be removed completely).
  • The seat is dated and adjustable longitudinally by approximately 10 cm.
  • The backrest is padded and its angle is adjustable. Even when sitting in the boat (2004).
  • HTP plastic – 5 years factory warranty

Blue Modulation – HTP, is unique to Prijon. They bought the machine by a windsurfing manufacturer manufacturer who went bankrupt. The machine is much more expensive than a rotary machine. They have also developed a number of patents that make it difficult for others to use the same technology. The material consists of 4 components:

  • Outer plastic without color pigment in a silo from BASF.
  • Recycled material from cut-outs, etc.
  • UV stabilizer.
  • Color pigment.

These components are mixed, heated and pressed by a large “syringe”. The syringe creates a plastic tube that closes into the mold. An air nozzle is applied through the cockpit and blows up the plastic tube, which then has the same shape as the mold. The kayak is cooled down in 6-8 minutes and the kayak is lifted out of the machine. Rotational cast boats are easily explained. Pour the colored material into the mold, close the mold and heat it up to make the plastic turn into liquid. The mold is rotated so that the material is poured onto the walls. The result is a boat with perfectly even color throughout the surface but with a softer plastic with lower production cost.

Whitewater

Do you want to start paddling and wonder what kind of kayak to choose? Here are some tips on alternatives to the usual sea paddling.

River running

Longer walks on the river with rapids of different sizes. Stay and surf in the waves on the road! The river running kayak is constructed long and round and with a lot of volume to be able to walk through large waves and rolls. Thanks to its size, it’s comfortable to sit for a long time and you can pack a small sleeping bag and necessities in the back of the kayak for a multi-day trip. Great beginner jak.

Creeking

Canoeing in less often steep watercourses. Limited with water, a lot of stones and maybe waterfalls! Even a creeking kayak has a lot of volume but is short and chubby, so it’s stable while being very maneuverable. Works very well as beginner kayak and is also good to paddle in larger crows. Can you surf in.

Playboating

Surfing in the roll or wave. A “playboat” is really a plastic toy and is designed very much in contrast to regular kayaks. Instead of round bottom, it is flat-bottomed, instead of soft round shapes, it is square, instead of large volume, it hardly has anyone at all. The smaller and shorter the better? all in order to perform spectacular tricks and make the kayak fly. Nothing to paddle long stretches or difficult to do. Hard tough for beginners.

Canoe Slalom

The traditional pudding with roots in the 40’s. Here you have to try a lot of ports in the fastest time. You paddle up and downstream. One uses a 4m long carbon fiber kayak. Pretty beginner friendly.

Downhill

Get down to a stretch of 2-10 km in the fastest time. A bit like multisports, the difference is that run-downs have clear rules on kayaking and you do not have to run afterwards.

Multisport

Are you in a hurry for the river? Then it’s this kind of kayak you’ll have. Long, narrow and easy? Available in fiberglass and carbon black. Perfect for those who compete in multisport competitions. Going well through the rapids but nothing to play with.

Indoor polo

Is it too cold to paddle outside? Enter the bathhouse and play kayak polo with the friends. Good and fun winter training. Lightweight maneuvered plastic kayak designed specifically for the swimming pool.