You’ve just found your new kayak and are ready to take it home. You load up the car, strap it down, and head for the water. But wait: how heavy is a kayak? The answer will vary depending on model, size or design. This article takes you through some of the most popular models in order to help you make an informed decision when purchasing your next boat!
How Heavy Is A Kayak?
A light weight one might only go up to 50 lbs., but the heavier ones could end up weighing in excess of 90 lbs. Your average kayaker would probably want something in the range of 60-90lbs though so that they can easily carry it by themselves if need be without straining too much when loading it into their vehicle for transport home.
Factors that Influence The Weight of a Kayak
The weight of a kayak is influenced by the following factors.
Fiberglass and plastic are lighter than composite or aluminum models, but may be more fragile in cold weather. Composite material can be heavier than fiberglass, but will not break down as quickly in the sun, making it an economical choice for long-term use.
Longer kayaks tend to weigh more because they have added volume (which requires additional materials). Short boats require less wood which means that even though their length doesn’t change much from one model to another, they might actually end up being lighter! Hence why many people choose shorter kayaks for fishing purposes while others prefer longer ones so that there’s room for camping gear.
Weight of the kayaker
If you are tall and heavy person, you’ll need a heavier boat. It is as simple as that. To be specific, if you weigh 140 pounds and your boat weighs 50lbs. then the kayak will have a displacement of 70% (140/(50+140)). Inflatable kayaks are a good option as they are very lightweight.
A kayak with a high bow will be heavier as it is made of more material than one with a low or moderate bow.
What type of paddling do you need to do?
If your needs demand speed then you’ll want an ultralight inflatable that can slice through water easily without being too bulky (however this means they might not be buoyant enough if things go wrong). Fishing boats don’t require such specifics so take into account what you’re going to use the boat for before purchasing!
When it comes to weight, there are many factors that come into play such as length, width, material type or shape of the boat. Generally speaking though, fiberglass tends to be lighter than composite because less materials are needed for construction with fiberglass.
How Heavy is An Inflatable Kayak?
In general, inflatable kayaks are much lighter than rigid ones. While a typical weight for a hardshell is between 60 and 100 pounds, the same size inflatable will only weigh around 30 to 40 pounds – a significant difference! However, as you’ve probably already guessed this means that they might not be quite as durable or puncture resistant in comparison. Therefore it’s important to make sure your needs align with what type of material you’re looking for before purchasing one. For example if speed is essential then go with an ultralight option but keep in mind that it may not provide enough buoyancy should things take a turn for the worst.
How Heavy is A Rotomolded Kayak?
Made from molded plastics, rotomolded kayaks are not that lightweight rather they are on the heavier side. But the main advantage of using this rotomolded kayak is that it is available for the cheap. The weight of this kayak is around 40 to 50 pounds.
How Heavy is A Thermoform Kayak?
Thermoform kayaks are made from premium quality plastics. They are lighter than rotomolded ones, but still not as lightweight as the fiberglass options. Depending on your budget, thermoform kayaks can weigh anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds.
How Heavy is A Fiberglass Kayak?
As the name suggests, fiberglass kayaks are made from fiberglass . However, a composite kayak is made from both fibreglass and carbon. While these are not heavy at all, they do cost more than rotomolded or thermoform models.
While fiberglass can weigh as little as 30 pounds, composites will be even lighter – around 20 to 25 pounds. However, the biggest disadvantage of fiberglass kayaks is that they are that not that durable.
How Heavy is A Wooden Kayak?
Wooden kayaks are the heaviest option on this list, but they are also by far the most durable. Depending on its size, a wooden kayak can weigh anything from 80 to 200 pounds. There is no real way of reducing the weight without changing material and that would defeat their purpose for durability – which is where this type shines!
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.