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Kayaks Buyers Guide

Kayak 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.

Short & Wide Kayak

Short Kayaks

Shorter kayaks are very manoverable and suit paddling on fast flowing rivers. This manoverability can, for beginners, make them difficult to paddle in a straight line.


Long Kayaks

The longer and more streamlined the shape the faster the kayak can travel. Also being so long is a reduces in the overall manoverability of the kayak and can be easily capsized due to less width.
 Touring Kayak


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.

Sevylor Riviera 2 Kayak
Sevylor Yukon Kayak
 Sevylor Pointer K1 Kayak
Sevylor's entry level, Riviera 2 inflatable kayak is perfect for fun days on the river or calm seas. The Yukon features heavier duty fabrics that allow it to take on rougher waters. The Pointer K1 also features heavy duty fabrics as well as a more streamlined design similar to rigid kayaks.

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.

Point 65 Apollo Kayak Point 65 Tequilla Kayak Point 65 Mercuru GTX Kayak
Point 65's Apollo is their entry level kayak and features sections that are 55 inches in length. This kayak is extremely manageable and can easily be transported in a small car boot. On the water it's very stable, considering its' profile, and also very manoeuvrable.
The Tequilla features the same modular design as the Apollo although the sleeker profile and tracking keel means that the kayak paddles as straight as an arrow.

The Mercury GTX is unashamedly a touring kayak designed to cover long distances at speed. Features a three piece modular design where the front section fits into the middle section saving valuable space.

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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.
Blue Wave Crest Kayak

Demonstration Days

We regulary hold kayak demonstration days here at Penrose Outdoors that allow you to get hands on and try any of the kayaks we stock. If you would like to take part in our next demo day please register your interest by emailing us at enquiry@penroseoutdoors.co.uk.