Do you like going outside to enjoy the beautiful sun and the blue sky? Of course you do. Kayaking is a great way to get up close to mother nature and her endless beauties. Therefore, it is no surprise that of late, kayaking has become one of the most sought-after outdoor activities in the world and people from all over all walks of life are taking interest in kayaking because it offers an amazing opportunity to explore natural beauties while at the same time helping us all to stay fit and stay strong. These slim little boats are offering breathtaking views of beaches or big lacks that are otherwise impossible to behold unless you are seeing it from the mechanical eyes of a drone.
If you wish to get a completely different perspective of the world and the natural world, you must learn how to kayak. Definitely learning kayaking is not a rocket science. As obvious, there is a steep learning curve involved, but before even you start learning kayaking and its various complex aspects you need to purchase a kayak at the first place.
Buying a Kayak may simple and straightforward to some people but it is not. There are hundreds of different types of Kayaks available in the market and therefore for choosing the one that suits you need is a herculean task. Most beginner kayakers feel overwhelmed and they often feel lost when they go to a local market to purchase a Kayak. To help you out, here we have listed some tips that both beginners and pro Kayakers should check out to identify a well-built yet affordable Kayak –
Best 6 Budget Kayaks
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak is unmatchable when it comes to stability and speed. To customize the rigging, you can use the 4 integrated gear tracks. Love fishing? Well, Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak has got your back! It has got two flush-mount rod holders for your convenience. Rudder system is integrated into this kayak and this allows you to save precious energy while paddling for long hours. This rudder system can be controlled by your toe and that means, it would no way interfere with your paddling skills.
The seat is extremely comfortable and that means, you will not feel tired after spending the entire day on the water. If you are looking for a kayak that offers a perfect combination of speed, agility, and stability, look no farther than Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak.
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Sit on Top Fishing Kayak has a hauling capacity of 425 pounds. This kayak is extremely stable and its deck slip-resistant as well. You can even stand on it without impacting the stability of the kayak in one way or the other.
Lifetime Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak is a beast when it comes to performance. If you are looking for a kayak that scores high on the safety front, you have to get your hands on this Lifetime Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak. The company has spent a considerable amount of time and energy on making this kayak a dandy.
Its flat bottom adds to its already impressive stability. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used in the making of Lifetime Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak. It can take a lot of abuse. It is impact resistant and can offer protection from the UV rays of the sun. Lifetime Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak is extremely lightweight, weighs just around 50 pounds. It has got enough rooms to stretch your leg and has got multiple footrest positions.
The seat is extremely comfortable and highly adjustable. Paddlekeeper is included in it and it helps to secure your paddle while you are not paddling. For safe and easy transport, front and rear T-handles are included in the design.
Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak punches above its weight. However, to make the most of this kayak, you will have to learn to use your knees properly to balance out your weight. It has got ample room to store all your fancy gears in the cockpit and it is lightweight too which is a big plus. The seat is adjustable and has got the right amount of padding which is nice. Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene has been used in the manufacturing process of this kayak and it has got a rugged design. It is UV protected and that means, it can easily withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is ideal for rivers and large lakes. Carrying around this kayak should not be an issue as this is extremely lightweight and carry handles are included for the same. The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is around 250 pounds which is more than enough for most average American paddlers.
Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak is a highly reliable and versatile kayak that promises great performance irrespective of the weather conditions. Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak is both kids friendly and dog friendly. You can take your furry friend while kayaking in a river as Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak is extremely specious. The best thing about Perception kayaks is that they are made in the USA and that means, you wouldn’t have to worry about its quality.
You take a plunge into the water from this Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak and then swim back on without facing any problem whatsoever since this kayak is extremely stable at all conditions. However, Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak is designed mainly for slow-moving water and therefore, it would not be a good idea to take this kayak on rapid IV or V.
The backrest can be folded down when not in use and Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak has got thick padding to keep your legs protected from impacts. You will find a built-in cooler under the seat where you can store all your food and drinks. To mount your camera, phone or fishing gear, the Built-in gear track is included.
Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak allows you to have greater control over its movement. Double chined hull allows paddlers to move or turn the kayak the way they like. Made from high-density polyethylene, Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak is extremely durable and it is UV resistant as well.
Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak flaunts modular design and it can be assembled in less than 3 minutes and the best part; you would not even need the assistance of anyone to get this thing assembled. Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak is extremely stable and is very fast on the water. It can be carried around easily and effortlessly. It can be stored in the closet.
Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit on Top Kayak is designed for both beginners and seasoned paddlers. It is ultra-stable yet offers spectacular performance on the water. Replaceable skid plate is included that will keep the bottom of your kayak protected while dragging it along the shore. Ideal for flat water, Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit on Top Kayak does not need much maintenance and it is resistant to abrasion as well.
The seat is extremely comfortable and comfy. The seatback can be reclined backward or forward without putting too much effort. Ventilated padding ensures comfort and the seat is highly customizable as well. Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit on Top Kayak allows you to move your feet freely as it has got multiple footrest positions.
Stability and speed are the two hallmark qualities of this Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit on Top Kayak. It can be maneuvered easily and effortlessly on the water and it tracks straight which is a big plus. Perception Tribe 9.5 Sit on Top Kayak is probably the safest kayak available in the market. It has got built-in buoyancy that will keep you safe most of the time.
Affordable Kayak Buying Factors
Here are few factors that need to consider while you are trying to purchase the best Kayak for your next outdoor adventure –
You simply can’t ignore this obvious factor. The price of a Kayak plays a pivotal role here. Don’t just settle for the cheapest Kayak available in the market because chances are quite high that it could be made from low quality materials. Cheap Kayaks usually don’t last long and they tend to have lots of issues that even pro Kayakers struggle to deal with. So, you need to have a decent amount of budget before you can even start your quest for the perfect Kayak within your budget.
Weight of the Kayak should not be ignored. Of course, lightweight Kayaks are easy to move around but there is a catch to it. It can get tilted easily when you will be paddling with it in rough current. So, choose a Kayak that is not too light or too heavy because that would make it tough for you to maneuver it on water. Try to hit the sweet spot in between.
3. Sit-on-Top or Sit-In
This is probably one of the oldest dilemmas that all beginners face when they decide to purchase their first Kayaks. If you are an adrenaline junkie and like to face the brave new world, we would suggest you to opt for the Sit-On-Top Kayak. But if you want some semblance of safety, you should settle with Sit-In Kayak.
To narrow down your requirement, you need to first figure out where you are planning to paddle. A Kayak that performs precisely and perfectly in a lake may not be the best choice when it comes to paddling in an open sea. So, you need to first decide where you want to start peddling and then start looking for a Kayak which is developed for that particular environment.
5. Where You are Planning to Paddle
As you can understand, choosing a Kayak has a lot to do with its environment. A Kayak that sails smoothly on a river may not sail that smoothly on local water bodies like lakes or ponds. This is the reason why most Kayak Experts tend to give due attention to the water type while purchasing a Kayak.
- Coast – Unlike Lakes or ponds where the wind and waves don’t bother you that much, Coasts throw a gauntlet of challenges to both beginner Kayakers and veteran Kayakers. There are way too many factors like – current, waves, tides, wind etc are in play and that means, you will have to be extra careful while purchasing a Kayak for this particular unpredictable environment. Sit-In Kayaks are best for such condition and make sure that the boat has skeg or rudder associated with otherwise you will have to struggle a lot while kayaking in the coastlines.
- Rivers – Unlike open sea where there are no sharp turns or underwater objects that can damage the Kayak, Rivers are notorious for throwing up challenges to the Kayakers in the form of strong current or sharp turns. So, you need to select a Kayak that can be maneuvered easily and effortlessly. It should be lightweight and stable otherwise you will find it to keep the kayak stable in rough weather. Sit-on-top kayak should be in your mind if you are planning to kayak on a river nearby.
- Lakes – Okay first thing first. We are not talking about giant lakes like Lake Michigan or Lake Victoria. Nope we are talking about small lakes that we come across in countryside every now and then. Recreational sit-in boats are perfect to paddle in local lakes. If you are looking for some level of comfort as well, just opt for a sit-on-top Kayak and you will be just fine.
- Both Lakes and Rivers – We understand that some of you might want to take your boat to both river and lakes and that should not be a problem. Actually, we need to understand that the River and Lakes have different kinds of water. Yeah, you heard that right! Rivers have flowing water whereas Lakes have still water. So, paddling in river and paddling in a lake is not the same. Sit-on-top kayaks should top your list here because these types of Kayaks are known for their versatility and flexibility. Make sure that the Sit-on-top kayak has a skeg attached to with it otherwise you are going to have a rough time while paddling.
6. Kayak Materials
Kayaks are now made from wide range of materials and depending on the material, the speed and the performance of the Kayak can vary significantly. Here are the three different types of materials that are widely being used while making Kayaks –
- ABS Plastic – It is an expensive variant of the otherwise commonly used material – polyethylene. It is expensive compared to the traditional polyethylene but it weighs less and thus making it easier for Kayakers to carry it around easily. It also offers some level of UV resistance which is a plus.
- Polyethylene Plastic – Kayaks made from polyethylene plastic go easy on the pocket because this material can be procured on the cheap. Polyethylene plastic is also abrasion-resistant. There are some serious downsides of polyethylene plastics and that is – it makes the Kayaks heavy and it does not offer any kind of protection from the Sun’s UR rays. So, after certain time, the Kayaks made from polyethylene plastics will start degrading gracefully. To extend its life, you need to keep in a shade away from the sunlight. Polyethylene plastic is mainly used for making recreational kayaks targeting groups like – kids and noobs.
- Composites Materials – Carbon-Fiber and Fiberglass are mixed together to create a unique composite material to manufacture Kayaks that offers both stability without making them heavier. Let’s dissect individual materials to get a proper understanding. Fiberglass is extremely lightweight and thus helps keep the weight of the Kayak in check whereas carbon-fiber offers protection from the impacts as this material gives strength to the Kayak.
7. Length Of the Kayak
The speed and the stability of a Kayak are invariably associated with its length. Ignore this and you are sure to make a wrong decision at the end. Of course, longer Kayaks offer great performance offshore but they also need additional accessories like a rudder otherwise, you will have a hard time to control this beast in open water. Shorter Kayaks are easy to control and move around and thus making it perfect for white water kayaking.
8. Width of the Kayak
Wide Kayak offers greater stability and thus making it perfect for fishing or hunting trip but we should ignore the obvious fact that these wide Kayaks will be hard to turn or move. It will be a real struggle to control them on choppy water and they are comparatively slower than their slimmer counterparts. Narrower kayaks offer more stability when paddling in sea.
9. Weight of the Kayak
Transporting a Kayak to and from the water is a tough job especially if you are a skinny guy like me. So, it makes sense to opt for a lighter version. Lightweight Kayaks are easy to transport and they are also easy to control on patchy water. But heavyweight kayaks offer some level of stability on erratic water that you simply can’t expect from a lightweight Kayak.