Kayaks can weigh anywhere from 36 to 40 pounds. While it is essential to know how much your kayak weighs for logistics purposes, another thing to know is the maximum weight your kayak can support.
Even if you are just two pounds over the weight limit of a certain kayak, you can experience instability, which makes for a scary kayaking experience. For example, if you get into your kayak and your legs are dangling off the front, this can cause the boat to tilt forward and allow water to enter from the drain holes.
Reaching for your paddle can cause the kayak to tip. The simplest solution is to get a bigger boat. If a kayak has a weight limit of 250 pounds and you weigh 260 pounds, your kayak might float when you are stationary, but the stability and the balance points of the kayak will most likely be unstable.
The boat will ride lower in the water, which will require you to paddle with more force. This can lead to imbalance issues. Some things that can help improve balance issues are: learning good hip separation and leg straps.
How Much Does A Kayak Weigh
Try to keep in mind the gear that you will have, such as a lifejacket and any fishing gear. You want to make sure that the weight of these items is also accounted for when you are looking for kayaks.
If you are new to kayaking, there is a possibility that you just need to get more comfortable with kayaking, and with experience, you will be able to get the hang of things, but ultimately go with your instincts.
If your kayak feels unsafe, then it’s highly likely that it is. Having a properly sized boat means that you will enjoy your experience out on the water and will want to return more often, which means your investment in purchasing the kayak will be worth it.
When you are choosing a kayak, some things to think about are length, weight, and the time you plan on spending on the water on average. If you are experiencing something such as your legs hanging over the boat, then you need a longer boat.
The Perfect Seating Fit
Some kayaks might seem like the perfect fit for you, except for something such as the comfort of the seat.
If this is the case, you can purchase foam stadium pads, which should make the seat more comfortable.
You might also want to buy scupper plugs to help keep water out of your boat when you are in choppy water.
If you do not wish to purchase scupper plugs, you can make some at home with paracord and foam golf balls. If you have chronic knee pain, you might want to look into purchasing a sit-on kayak, which will allow you to get into and out of the kayak easily.
When choosing a kayak, you need to know your preferences. For example, would you prefer a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak? Do you want to have extra things, such as the ability to attach your fishing gear to the kayak? Knowing your preferences will make the search for a new kayak easier and less stressful.
Other things to note are any type of joint issues you have or if you have back pain. If you suffer from knee issues or have pain in other areas of your body, then the kayak you have must have ample cushioning for days you choose to stay out on the water longer.
A sit-on-top kayak might make it easier for you to get in and out of the kayak and minimize pain from paddling. Just because others review a kayak as being stable or reliable does not mean that you will feel the same way once you are out on the water.
Mind the Weather
Another thing to keep in mind is the weather. If you are going to be kayaking in cold water will require you to wear appropriate clothing in addition to your lifejacket.
If you fall in cold water, you want to try to get your breathing controlled in less than a minute and get back into your kayak in less than ten minutes. If you are in the water for longer than an hour, you are in danger of becoming hypothermic.
Depending on how cold the water is and as a result of the involuntary gasp reflex, there is a chance that you will inhale the cold water, which can make it even more of a challenge to get your breathing under control.
When you buy a kayak, it is essential to take it out for a test run in waters that you are comfortable in. If possible, try to practice flipping over and getting back into your kayak. This will help you decide whether or not you want to keep your kayak.
Prior to purchasing a kayak, make sure to ask the sales associate about returns on used kayaks. While having to return a kayak might seem like a hassle, it is worth it in the long run to find a kayak that works for you.
Apparel and Personal Items
If you are kayaking in cold water, make sure you dress for immersion in water and not for air temperature.
It might mean that you have a lot of things that you consider extra clothing on your person, but you will have better heat retention and significantly reduce your cold water risk.
Another thing that aids in heat retention is a lifejacket.
A lifejacket should be worn regardless of temperature, but especially in cold water, the lifejacket can aid in keeping you afloat after you are exhausted. If you plan on frequently kayaking in cold water, you should invest in a drysuit.
These indeed are an investment with prices ranging from $300 to $900 but are worth every penny. These are handy when the water is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These can also be worn in the spring and fall and can aid in making you more comfortable.
If you pair a drysuit with thermal undergarments, you are protecting yourself well. If you do not want to invest in a drysuit, you can use a wetsuit with a waterproof outer layer.
For example, you could wear a wetsuit with a rain jacket over it. This would be adequate to protect you from heat loss due to windy conditions and evaporation. Another option is to wear a rain jacket and wain pants with wool or synthetic layers underneath.
Stay away from materials such as cotton because cotton does not hold heat. A benefit of wool and synthetic material is that they tend to stay warm when they are in the water. You might not want to take your cell phone out on the kayak, so make sure you let someone know where you are and how long you plan on being out on the water.
This way, if something does happen and the person you notified does not hear from you, they can send help. Try to keep an extra bag with you that has a change of clothes and a hat.