This article helps those who want to start a spectacular, beautiful sport, namely, kayaking. But before spending a lot of money on the equipment, my advice is to try the sport first. It’s not as easy as it seems from the thousands of movies on youtube. To try it out, you can rent specialized equipment and take part in a tour or training course. Among the many advantages of a training course, the important thing is that you can try several types of kayak and you can talk to an experienced instructor.
What do you want to use the kayak for?
If you want to go a long distance without many stops and you will not get on challenging rivers, then a river runner would be ideal. If you’re looking for adrenaline to the fullest and you have plans to go on rivers and cliffs, then choose a playboat or rodeo kayak. More information about kayak types can be found here.
The shape of the kayak
Length and width. Usually, longer kayaks are faster, but at the same time because of their length, they are not so maneuverable. Freestyle or playboat kayaks have a diameter of about 2 m.
We can distinguish flat, curved and semi-rigid kayaks. Flat bottom kayaks are more stable but are more sensitive to side streams. The curved ones are more forgiving in side streams, but they are not so stable. Padded bottom kayaks are ideal for beginners.
Nowadays, almost all the fast water kayaks are made of the same high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material. The advantage of the material is that it is very resistant and almost indestructible. Some of the rodeo and slalom kayaks are made of various composite materials; they are very light but are not so resilient.
The dimensions of the kayak
It’s best if you can try the kayak. Apart from the parameters of length and width, significant in the kayak feature is the volume. A high volume kayak has a lot of air and therefore has higher buoyancy power and can be used on high-flow rivers. The rodeo or play kayaks have a small volume, just to ease the kayak movements. Many manufacturers have the same model in three variants of different sizes.
The interior of the kayak and the accessories
The more handles it has, the better because they can help us in the event of overturning or if the overturned hook locks and we have to pull it out with strings. If we have a safe exit, it can save our crush foot or save our life even if we get stuck somewhere in the kayak.
Not always the most expensive kayak is the best. Even more, if a kayak is cheaper, it does not mean it’s terrible. If you buy a kayak from a company with an excellent reputation, you will have to pay for the brand. Moreover, second-hand kayaks can be perfect; you do not have to buy a new kayak.
The electric motor
An electric boat engine is a device that acts as a traction force driving the floating craft. The trolling motors for kayaks consist of the following elements:
- A motor with a screw attached to it, due to the rotation of which the boat is moving;
- The battery that the engine is running on;
- Speed control system – this device is equipped with many modern models of electric boat engines. The wheel control system promotes an uninterrupted shift of gear, eliminating shocks when starting the engine;
- The rod to which the engine is attached. It is made of a special flexible material that helps to avoid serious damage when the device encounters any obstacles under water. This feature of the boom contributes to the displacement of the motorboat under shallow water conditions;
- Clamps – individual devices that attach the engine to the boat transom;
- Tiller – mobile element, which determines the direction of the boat’s displacement;
- Control panel that can activate the desired speed or change the direction by setting the forward or reverse movement. Unlike a noisy gasoline engine, an electric motor almost no sound and does not pollute the tank with harmful substances. This device allows you to maneuver skillfully in hard-to-reach places, in shallow waters and large rivers without damaging the reservoir ecosystem.
The electric engine can be equipped with an inflatable rubber boat and a PVC boat to move around lakes and rivers for fishing or walking. You can install the motor on large ships or boats as additional means. What do different models do?
Electric motors differ in the following parameters: weight, size and shape. There are large, bulky and heavy models and there are engines with much smaller dimensions and weight.
In the case of large motors, as a rule, they should have higher battery power — the control methods – remote control, coil or pedal.
Typically, there are five switching speeds. Turn the screw rotation. They are used to drive the reverse gear. Rivers do not have all the models of electric boats, and to start in the back; you often have to start the engine. On the axle, there is a special speed switch – the accelerator button, which is rotated by a change or a variation for easy switching. Foot control is performed using a special pedal connected to the rack mechanism via a power cable. The foot control allows you to change gears and set the direction of the boat. It also improves maneuverability, as hands remain free through this control method.