Inflatable Kayaks for just about Everything
Choices and Prices
One of the most appealing aspects of inflatable kayaks is that they are easy to store and transport. They’re also easy to launch or pull out and for recreational kayakers just looking for some family fun they are a great option.
Of course inflatable kayaks are not as durable or as responsive as rigid kayaks but their design has improved immensely in recent years.
Choosing an inflatable kayak
Inflatable kayaks are designed for different applications and it’s a good idea to decide what type of kayaking you plan to do before making a purchase. Advances in the design of inflatable boats means that there are now inflatable kayaks specially made for sea kayaking, touring, whitewater, surfing and general recreation. Buying the right boat for your needs will greatly improve your experience.
Look for a design that has multi chambers as this means if your kayak does spring a leak that only one chamber will deflate and your boat will stay afloat. If you’re planning to fish or take long trips look for designs with enough storage space for your trips. It’s a good idea to speak to owners of inflatable kayaks as they can give you advice on brands, designs and performance that a manufacturer’s website may not tell you.
Looking after your inflatable kayak
Although inflatable kayaks are incredibly robust and durable they do need some maintenance to prolong their lifespan. Most inflatables are made out of PVC or Hypalon and require regular cleaning. Never use strong detergents on your inflatable kayak though and always clean the valves, gaskets and self bailer unit when deflating.
What will an inflatable kayak cost me?
Inflatable kayaks have come down a lot in price in recent years and you can get your hands on an entry level kayak for about $250, however, you generally get what you pay for and top end models can reach about $1500.
If you’re looking for a better design but don’t have that kind of budget consider looking for used kayaks for sale. In general if there aren’t any obvious flaws there aren’t too many hidden problems to look for in used inflatable kayaks. However, always check the boat for any repairs that may have been done, check that the baffles between air chambers have not blown, and check that all seams are secure.