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There are a lot of water sports that can be great to try out during the summer months. Some of them are more complex to get into, or require some specialized skills or equipment. If you want to take up water skiing or surfboarding, then you probably need to take up some courses, or at least go with a trainer. But there are some activities that are easy to do, cheap, and can be done in almost any location. Kayaking, especially suing an inflatable kayak, is one of those sports, and is a great way to start up some water activities. But before you go out and buy yourself one of those, here are 4 simple buying tips on inflatable kayaks.
The first thing you need to be aware of is the different models available to you. The whitewater kayaks are made for running water such as rivers, and can even be used on waterfalls and rapids. Touring kayaks however are made for calmer waters such as lakes or even the open ocean. Sometimes you will find inflatable kayaks being sold as recreational kayaks, and those can go in either type, but usually if you want the best performance in a particular type of river or lake, you should get the model that suits you best. Then there are also kayaks made for one or two persons. The single person model is cheaper and easier to navigate. Even if you are two people, you may want to consider getting two single person kayaks. But if you tend to do activities in pair, then learning how to use a two persons model can work also.
Quality is also a big deal in inflatable kayaks. The price from various brands and models will vary a lot, and so will quality. Many of the cheaper models won't last you very long, so if you think you will want to practice this sport for more than a single summer, you may want to get a model that's made of quality material, even if you end up paying a bit more. Finally, don't think that because you can get an inflatable kayak for cheap that automatically makes you qualify to use it. You should really get a class to start out, or at least do this activity with a friend who has done it before. Kayaking in a calm river is one thing, but as soon as you add some current then there are risks, and you should always make sure you're safe by paddling with experienced people, and wearing a vest.
So as you can see, getting yourself a good inflatable kayak isn't hard, all you need is to remember some easy tips in order to get the best model for you, and spend the money that will bring you a quality product. Make sure you shop around and you may even find deals that can help you make that decision easier.
Kayaking is quickly becoming a popular activity, especially for people who are new to water sports and see inflatable kayaks as a good way to get started. Maybe you have your kayak already, or perhaps you're still checking out the various models. But the kayak itself is just the main part of the puzzle. You also need to take care of getting paddles, and those can be tricky to select. Just like there are many different types of kayaks, there are also many types of paddles, all of which provides various benefits to certain types of users. And in order to get the right paddles for your own use, then you need to make sure you know a few basic rules as to how these paddles are made, and what the terminology means. This is what you need to know when it comes to kayak paddles.
Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of a paddle is its length. Of course, you want your paddles to be the right length for your use of them. This means they need to fit your kayak and your own body size. Typically, it's fairly simple to pick the right length, simply ask the vendor what length you need for your own height, and they will be able to get a precise number for you. The weight however is a different matter. Each model can weight a different amount, and depending on how strong you are, you may want to get a weight that you can handle, but then there's also what's called the swing weight, which is how heavy your paddle feels like when you use it. This will vary based on how the weight is spread out along the whole length of the paddle. The way to see how different each model is involves simply picking one up and holding it away from your body, then swinging to the side. Since you will likely use those paddles a lot, it's important that the weight feels good for you.
The quality of the kayak paddles is also obviously an important factor to think about. Usually, the more expensive they are, the more durable they will be. Cheap paddles are usually made of aluminum with plastic blades, which will increase the weight of the paddle. If you want better quality, you can go with fiberglass, which can be found in more expensive models. Here you gain several advantages, including more durability, and a lesser weight for the same size. Then there's also carbon fiber, which is even more expensive but of higher quality still. Finally, one last thing to look for is the design of the kayak paddles you're interested in. Some models have feathering for example which helps when you bring your paddle down into the water, and some higher cost models even have an adjustable ferrel system.
Regardless of the types of kayak paddles you get, of course you want to spend enough time checking out the kayak itself. There's no point in getting state of the art paddles if you get the cheapest kayak you can find. But similarly, you can't forget about getting some decent paddles if you go out and spend a lot on your kayak. Hopefully, now you know some of the things to look out for.
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"One-half of all recreational boating fatalities happen in calm water. These fatalities occur close to shore and are caused by drowning. In most cases, life jackets are stowed on board but not worn. Wear your life jacket, don't just carry it."
~ U.S. Coast Guard.
Have questions about life jackets? Here's an excellent resource from PFDMA (Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association). This is a downloadable PDF file that provides "Facts About Life Jackets". Some of the topics covered include life jacket classes (Type I, II, III, IV and V), how many life jackets do you need, how to care for your life jacket, and how to correctly fit your life jacket.