Kayak Gear - Further Information
Dry Bags and Air Bags
Apart from your kayak and paddle there are some other pieces of essential kayak gear that you’ll need to help keep you safe, warm and dry out on the water whether you’re planning a slow fishing trip by kayak or an adventure run on some rapids.
A personal flotation device (PFD) is essential for any kind of kayaking whether you’re planning a fun afternoon paddling calm water or a serious whitewater run, and it’s the first piece of kayak gear you should go looking for after you get yourself a boat. There’s a huge choice of PFDs out there and you really need to chat to the people in kayak stores and do some research online in order to make the best choice for your type of paddling. Prices range from about $40 for a bottom-of-the-range model to $130 for a whitewater, sea or expedition kayaking model.
Most kayakers will want to have a spray deck or spray skirt to keep water out of the hull and their legs dry. Again there’s a huge choice of spray skirts available, and paddling plans, personal preferences, and experience should dictate what model you go for. The biggest difference is between whitewater skirts and touring skirts. Whitewater skirts are made from neoprene and can withstand large waves while touring skirts are often made from nylon which is lighter and more breathable. Spray skirts are made to fit your kayak so make sure you buy one to fit your boat. Expect to pay between $100 and $160 for a good spray skirt.
Air bags & buoyancy bags
Inflatable air bags and buoyancy bags are another piece of kayak gear that you should consider. These specially shaped bags can be added to the stern and bow of your kayak to add extra buoyancy and to prevent the whole hull from flooding. The air bags also keep the kayak afloat during a capsize. Air bags cost between $25 and $70.
Gloves & bootees
If you’re going to be kayaking in anything other than tropical conditions you’ll probably need neoprene gloves and bootees to keep your hands and feet warm. And if you’re paddling in cold conditions a neoprene skull cap worn under your helmet can make a huge difference to your day. You’ll pay about $25-30 for a skull cap, $20-40 for gloves and between $30 and $70 for bootees.
Dry bags are essential if you’re bringing any kind of kit with you on a trip. You can get tiny dry bags to fit your mobile phone or keys and large bags (up to 55 liters) to carry all your supplies. Dry bags can cost anything between $18 and $180.