Kayaks Buyers Guide
Where to Start
When buying a kayak the main aspect to consider is how you intend to use the kayak. If you want a kayak for simply messing around on rivers or calm coastal waters with family and friends the shape and construction of the kayak will be completely different to that of a long distance touring kayak. The thinner (less stable) the profile of a kayak the easier it can cut through the water, this also has a dramatic increase on the speed it can travel due to less drag. Wider kayaks are much more stable and harder to capsize although there is a trade off as its' wider shape slows kayak travel through the water because of increased drag. Entry level kayaks tend to be pretty wide and forgiving making them a perfect for families.
Another important, but slightly mundane aspect to consider is how much space you have to store the kayak and how to transport it to and from the water.
Sevylor Inflatable Kayaks
Sevylor is undoubtedly one of the one of the founding fathers of inflatable water sports products having been in the business since 1948. Throughout their 60 year history they have pioneered the use and development of PVC inflatable's to be used in kayaks, boats and the latest addition, stand up paddle boards.
The range Sevylor offers is extremely diverse, the entry level Riviera 2 two man kayak is aimed at getting families or couples enjoying the kayaking for a relatively small price. While the Colorado, Yukon and Pointer K1 utilise tougher fabrics and more streamlined profiles, along with fins, to provide a more performance based experience. The man selling point of these kayaks has got to be that these can be packed away and stored in a bag. There's no need for a roof rack and the lack of weight means getting your kayak to the waters edge is far easier than a conventional kayak. That being said, inflatable kayaks will never be as fast or as sturdy as a rigid kayak with the emphasis put firmly on enjoyment, not out and out performance.
Point 65 Modular Kayaks
Being born amongst the archipelago's of Sweden, Point 65° North has been manufacturing high performance kayaks since 1996. Their team includes world renown expedition kayakers Nigel Foster and Freya Hoffmeister as well as leading marine designer Magnus de Brito. This combination of talent and insight sees Point 65 creating true cutting edge designs and performance to all their kayaks.
Perhaps it was this lateral thinking that prompted the creation of their modular kayaks, kayaks that couple performance with ease of transportation and storage. The modularity of kayaks such as the Tequila, Apollo and Martini make the sport far more accessible to the greater public who do not have the space or transportation suitable for large one piece kayaks. The added bonus this modular design of course is a single kayak can be transformed into a tandem in minutes by adjoining an extra middle section. This saves having to layout for whole other kayak if you want to paddle as a duo.
Blue Wave Kayaks
Based just up the road from us in Devon, Blue Wave kayaks is relative newbie to the kayaking fraternity. The companies aim 'to sell kayaks that everyone can enjoy; from a complete beginner to a kayak veteran!'. This said, their kayaks are well built and streamlined compared to other lower priced kayak manufacturers' and come with a lifetime warranty which shows a confidence in their kayak that others can not match.
The Crest one man kayak is feature packed, boasting five fishing rod holders, a comfortable padded seat and two water tight storage hatches. As the fishing rod holders suggest this kayak is not designed as a long distance tourer but a recreational watercraft for fishing and day tripping. From our experience the Crest is stable, glides well and offers a lot of bang for your buck.