The first time you buy a kayak, it’s very easy to feel confused. This is especially true if you listen to too many tips. At Kajaktiv we often say ‘different strokes for different people’, meaning that a certain kayak might suit a person perfectly but for various reasons it is not the best choice for another person. Below we leave some advice that we hope may be helpful in choosing a suitable kayak.
Area of use
Where and how will you use your kayak? Keep in mind that there is a big difference between a sea kayak for long kayaking trips across the open sea and a kayak to be used by the whole family for shorter trips around the sheltered lake at the summer cottage.
Your weight and the expected packing weight. All three can have a big impact on how to maneuver and handle the kayak. A kayak that is too small for you will be experienced as unstable. A kayak that is too big for you will instead feel like a barge. In both cases, the kayak becomes more difficult to handle under tougher conditions.
Typically, a longer kayak usually means that it is easier to achieve a higher speed and you get more load capacity. A longer kayak, on the other hand, is more difficult to swing in confined spaces, maneuvering in tougher conditions, keeping a steady course with when the ocean waves come from 45 degrees as well as surfing when the waves come from behind.
Rudder or skeg ?
A question that many ask themselves. Rudder is a system with a fencing leaf in the stern that you control with the help of your feet. Skeg can be described as a center table that influences course stability and makes the kayak less legitimate while maneuvering the kayak through slope, weight shift and various paddle traits. Rudder has its advantages in the case of long paddles, workouts and the use of a wing paddle while enjoying its advantages, especially in paddling with a lot of maneuvering and surfing.
The weight of the kayak
A lighter kayak certainly has its advantages and this applies mainly when the kayak is to be used for competitive use. Once you have achieved an even pace during the paddling, it does not matter if it weighs 21 kg or 26 kg – usually the weight and construction of the paddle are of greater importance.
If you plan for a longer trip and especially if this happens during the winter, you are in need of greater packing space. If you overload the kayak’s optimal load capacity, stability will turn out to deteriorate. Examine the size of the packing hatches. Large gaps are required for bulky packing.
If you are a skilled paddle, you can keep the balance in a fast and more challenging competition kayak while focusing on strong and effective paddle takers. If you are a beginner and choose a more advanced model, all your energy will be used to keep the balance and there is a risk that you will not find the pleasure of the paddling. For many paddlers, it is usually better to choose a kayak based on the skill they currently have but there are even those who for a variety of reasons want a more advanced kayak at an early stage. Think calmly about your skill and your potential goals with the paddling as well as how and where you will use the kayak.
Manufacturing techniques and materials are what distinguishes many models and kayaking brands.
A kayak with good seating comfort can be the difference between a pleasurable and painful sitting position. Seat and backrests that are padded are appreciated by many paddlers. If you have problems with your back, it may be useful with a backrest that can be adjusted from sitting position. Thigh and knee tips should feel comfortable and contribute to a good contact with the kayak. The footrests should be strong and durable to really serve as a support when paddling.
Trade in value
If it’s your first kayak purchase, you should also check the kayak’s second hand value because you may want to change kayak after two to three years of use.
Cooperation is something we wish to last for a long time. When we now choose our partners, we place more emphasis on certain aspects that have proven to be crucial for continued good cooperation. The biggest importance is to work with products that work well in the Swedish market and are of the best quality. Another important part is where the products are manufactured and ideally we see that they are produced in Europe. An additional important part is whether the company is family owned. Over the years, we have found that the best contact and service we get through cooperation with family-owned companies. It is also these companies we are working closely with after many years in the industry.
Prijon is a family business that has been around since 1960 and is run by two generations of active paddlers. James got to know the Prijon family very well when he worked at their factory just over twenty years ago. Prijon is also the company we have worked the longest with. The company has become famous throughout the world for its qualitative and functional kayaks.
By the technique of blue modulation, they produce kayaks that are rigid and extremely durable. The kayaks are manufactured in Germany and Slovenia in factories with efficient computer systems and focusing on recycling and energy from solar cells. Kajaktiv and Prijon often work together on product development and most recently with the Prijon Prilite Marlin, Seayak 520 and Seayak 500 models.
Pyranha Moldings is a company based in Manchester, United Kingdom, which owns the kayak brands Venture Kayaks, Pyranha and P & H. The company is family owned and known to listen to customers’ wishes – often we may be part of product development in a variety of ways. In addition, the company maintains good service and consistent quality.
The kayaks are manufactured in a specially developed plastic material which results in recognized very durable kayaks. In recent years, the company has intensified its recycling efforts and also invested in new factory premises for environmentally friendly and energy efficient ovens in the production of their rotational cast kayaks. Pyranha Moldings generally have a great deal of commitment to environmental issues.
The company is based in Devon, southwest of England. The company is owned and operated by a group of enthusiastic SUP paddlers. One of these is John Hubbard who won the World Championship in Stand Up Paddling in 2009. These paddlers saw at an early stage the need for a board that was easy to transport and store. The idea of an inflatable board is now a successful business idea.
Jackson Kayak is a family company that started in 2003 and has taken the market by storm. Erik Jackson is four-time world champion in freestyle and Olympic champion in canoe slalom. When he started the company, he had the goal of producing kayaks that would suit all paddlers regardless of age and level. He has definitely succeeded in saying about a variety of models in different sizes for paddlers between 25-125 kg and for beginners as well as world champion.
Hiko is one of our oldest and closest suppliers of life vests, paddle clothing and accessories. It is a family-run company run by Ivan and Marcella Hilgert, who derives from a long line of Czech ski sledders. Because they paddle daily, they know the importance of life jackets and equipment are good on the body and are functional. Popular life vest models such as the famous Aquatic best suited for expedition and sea paddling have been developed in collaboration with James Venimore and Barbro Lindman
The company TNP is based outside of Prague in the Czech Republic and is another family company. TNP delivers paddles and is famous for its well thought-out products and high quality at a good price. In addition, the paddles are very nice to paddle with. The latest models, Wolverine and Rapa, have become very popular. Made in a material that makes them both lightweight and durable. The company provides three years of factory warranty, which says a lot about their good quality.
It started with the fact that one of the co-owners thought the mate had an incredibly ugly helmet and instead made a cowhelm in carbon fiber. Now the Norwegian company is a well-known company that dominates the supply of helmets for predators and skiers of all levels. Sweet started by a group of friends 15 years ago and is based in Norwegian Trysil. The company strives for quality, functionality and innovative thinking. Nowadays they also make clothes for skiing, kayaking and leisure that are becoming as popular as their helmets.
Transport systems for kayaks in the form of wagons and roof rails of very high quality. Manufactured in Germany at a factory with very high standards of good working environment. In addition, the company is appreciated for its good service and deliveries are always fast and reliable. The company has been around for twenty years and has become famous for working with good materials and coming up with new and thoughtful solutions.
From Source, they are very well thought-out water systems that are well-known for storing water that does not contain bacteria and which also tastes good. This is possible by using a special technique with a plastic surface that prevents the bacteria from sticking to the surface and makes it easier to clean the fluid bag. The company is based in Israel and devotes a lot of energy to environmental issues. In addition, the company seems to have a calmer living in its home country. At their factory, all kinds of people work with different backgrounds and different beliefs.
A few years ago, we absolutely had no thought of offering technical products to our customers. However, when we learned about and experienced the SPOT product, we changed our minds. Of course, we want to market a product that has saved and will save lives.
Navisafe I is a Norwegian lighting company that has developed a completely new way of combining safety lights with effective and practical light in LED technology with dual magnet system for safe mounting. These light-duty safety lights make them very useful for paddlers, boaters, and anyone else who is active in outdoor life. Navisafe can now offer 16 user-friendly