A look at kayaks, their special features and best ways of using them

kayaks-1Kayaks come in two basic styles, sit-in and the sit on top kayak models. For sit-in kayaks, a paddler stays enclosed in a cockpit while sit-on-top kayaks resemble a surf board where the paddler can either sit or stand while paddling. Both the sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks have features that enhance paddlers comfort throughout a paddling session.

Manufactures invest heavily on kayak’s stability and comfort. Most of the kayaks are accessorized with features such as back rests, foot braces and hip pads that ensure paddlers safety and comfort. For instance, there are hip pads on each side of a kayak’s seat. These hip pads support and keep the paddler’s hips in position.

Additionally, kayaks have back rests that can be adjusted to be either tighter or relaxed so as to ensure that the paddler is seated in the most comfortable position. Sitting while your back is bent for a long time may result to back pain and numbness.

Many kayak types also have adjustable foot braces. These foot braces can be adjusted forward or back depending on the length of the paddler’s legs. Foot braces enables the paddler’s legs to remain intact in a sit-in kayak. Back rests, hip pads and foot braces help a kayaker to assume the L curvature which is considered the best sitting position in a sit-in-kayak.

Tandem kayaks on the other hand are paddled by two people. These kayaks are typically wider than the sit in kayaks and provide enough space for two paddlers and their personal effects. They are considered relatively stable which makes them ideal for introducing kayaking to those who may be a little nervous to go solo kayaking.

During instances where an experienced kayaker goes kayaking with a beginner, it is advisable to have the skilled kayakers sitting in the rear of the tandem kayak, especially when paddling in rough conditions. The rear seat is considered the best position to steer a kayak from. When the waters calm down, the new kayaker can steer from the rear position so as to gain experience.

Tandem kayaks are suitable for kayaking with friends and family or even with pets. The great thing with tandem kayaks is that they can also allow for solo paddling.

Most of the tandem kayaks have the ability to rearrange their seating positions. A paddler can remove one of the seats to allow for solo paddling. However, the paddler must ensure that the remaining seat is situated at the center of the kayak to ensure maximum stability.

For tandem kayaks to maneuver comfortably, the weight must be evenly distributed. Tandem kayaks tend to have one side rising off the water if one side is loaded with more weight than the other. Such a kayak is hard to paddle and control on the water.

When paddling with children or pets, they are better positioned on the bow of the kayak. The adult paddler should position themselves at the back so that they can have a glimpse of what the kids or their pets are up to.