How Good are Inflatable Kayaks- Find out Here

Nowadays, a lot of people prefer solid kayaks over inflatable kayaks simply because they have no idea how good are inflatable kayaks. While it is true that older models of inflatable kayaks were not able to endure tough conditions, inflatable kayaks these days are made much stronger, lightweight, and comfortable to use.

If you are reading this article, then you are most likely having doubts on buying inflatable kayaks. Do not worry, we will provide you with the information you need if you want to know how good are inflatable kayaks. Keep on reading to find out more.

Understanding Inflatable Kayaks

how good are inflatable kayaks

If you want to know how good are inflatable kayaks, it is important to understand what it is and what it does. Inflatable kayaks are portable and lightweight kayaks that you can inflate for use and at the same time deflate for easy storage and transport. Several inflatable kayaks are consist of three air chambers, such as the floor chambers and other two chambers. In addition to that, you can use inflatable kayaks with an electric pump, hand or foot pump. For fast and easy process of inflating the kayak, we recommend using an electric pump.

Another thing you need to know about inflatable kayaks is that they are not limited to a certain type of kayaking or skill level. There are types of kayak that are suitable for almost all types of kayaking and all skill levels. The truth about this type of kayak is that it is beneficial for people who value compactness. For instance, if you are the type of person who want to go to hard reach areas, you will surely enjoy blow up kayaks because with its deflated size, you can easily bring it anywhere. Likewise, a person who lives in an apartment would prefer to have a blow up kayak in the house.

If these kinds of things matter to you, keep on reading to understand more about this certain type of kayak.

The Primary Uses of Inflatable Kayaks

There are various kinds of kayak and each type has its certain areas of use. Generally, kayaks are divided in to four categories:

*Recreational Kayak

how good are inflatable kayaks

If you are looking for a kayak to have on the water with your friends or family, what you need is a recreational kayak. Beginners usually choose this type of kayak because you do not have to be an expert paddler. The method is really simple and almost everyone knows how to paddle. You just have to make sure that the kayak is moving.

Recreational kayaks are normally wide which makes them stable compared to other kayaks. Furthermore, the possibility of capsizing is very small compared to other types of kayak. This is also the type of kayak that is commonly found on rental stations. On the other hand, if you are on the coastal areas, you will most likely find sit on a top kayak where you do not sit inside the boat, but on top of it.

Another thing to know about this type of kayak is that they are one of the most of the cheapest type of kayak in the market. They are also perfect for calm waters and short tours in the ocean. That being said, they are not suitable for long distances or sports activities. They are just for beginners who choose to go paddling from time to time.

*White water kayak

Standard white water kayaks can be easily determined with their certain type. Compared to other types of kayak, white water kayaks are wider and slightly short. This is so that they will have the best stability and maneuverability in the water.

This type of kayak are slow to paddle which is why they are only used in white water rivers. If you are a white water paddler, speed must not be your major concern, but the navigation. That being said, a really good paddle technique is needed.

If you are a beginner, you should not but this type of kayak because the paddle skills must be learned. Aside from that, it is not safe to use cheap kayaks or entry level kayaks on white water because they are mostly made with thin PVC materials. There are obstacles and sharp rockets that can easily ruin the skin of the boat. Nevertheless, we are not saying that you should not use inflatable for white water kayaking, but it would be safer to use high-quality kayaks because of their stability.

*Touring Kayak

how good are inflatable kayaks

This third kind of kayak is preferred by idealistic beginners who instantly want to advance their skills. Unlike recreational kayaks, this type of kayak is made to endure long distances, hence the name touring kayak. It can be used on lakes, rives, and even coastal areas. In addition to that, touring kayak are also quite long which makes them fast on water.

One of the sub categories of this kayak is the sea kayak. With their longers and slim shape, they are suitable of sea conditions such as strong waves and winds that are strong. In the even that you are considering to buy sea kayak, you must also take a look at folding kayaks.

Another sub-category of touring kayak spring kayaking. Kayakers in this type of activity are more competitive and demanding. Compared to other types of touring kayaks, this one is much longer and slimmer in order to achieve the best performance. For this field, hard shells kayak are recommended.

*Fishing kayak

For this type of kayak, long distances is not crucial. People who use fishing kayak do not travel long distances. They search for areas in short distances and they will rest there for a while until they catch a fish. But of course, fishing kayak is not comparable to real fishing boat. But for flat waters where a motor is not required, a fishing kayak is much better. Furthermore, a fishing kayak is a perfect choice for anglers who are in a tight budget.

Advantages of Inflatable Kayaks

✔ Lightweight

Generally, blow up kayaks are more lightweight compared to solid kayaks. However, the weight of blow-up kayak still varies from one model to another. If you end up buying a large blow up kayak that can carry 2-3 persons, it can be bulky especially if it is deflated. On the other hand, solo inflatable kayaks are less heavy. The lighter the kayak is, the simpler it is from one person to bring it anywhere.

✔ Compact

Because it can be deflated, it is easy store and transport. In addition to that, it is suitable for small, indoor space in case you lack space in the garage. Aside from that, transportation is also made simpler since you do not need a roof rack and can easily stored inside a vehicle.

Not only that, you can also buy storage bags with backpack straps for easy transport from your house to the car and vice versa. People who want to access hard to reach areas must buy blow up kayaks since solid kayaks are harder to navigate.

✔ Practically unsinkable

Simply saying that it floats is the main selling feature of a blow up kayak. But in this case, what we meant by that is that it really floats even if you try putting some water inside it you allow it to get swamped. Kayaks that are made from high quality materials are impossible to sink as long as there are enough air chambers.

In the event that you puncture one air chamber, no need to panic as the remaining chambers will keep inflated and allow the vessel to keep afloat. On the other hand, until the chamber is repaired, you will find it hard to paddle and navigate.

✔ Less expensive than solid kayak

While there are now plenty of solid kayaks that come in low prices, you will be surprised how inflatable kayaks are much cheaper. You can find as low as $150. But of course, you get what you pay for. If you want to have a kayak that will last for a long time and can endure tough conditions, you should opt for higher-priced kayaks.

✔ Stability

A lot of people do not know that the stability of a blow up kayak is the same with that of a solid one. Surprisingly in some cases, it seems like a blow up kayak has superior stability. This is due to the fact that a blow up kayak has wider and flatter base. But if the paddler fails to take care of the chamber, it is hard to navigate. Also, it may affect its stability.

When buying a blow up kayak, most of them come with a pump – foot or hand pump. We recommend buying an electric pump in case you do not have one because it makes the process of inflating much faster.

Disadvantages of Inflatable Kayaks

Now that you know how good inflatable kayaks are, it is important to know its cons. In this way, you will know if it really is the right one for you.

✘ Performance

Inflatable kayak has come a long way. Units these days ares stronger and faster. On the other hand, an average blow up kayak’s performance is not comparable to that of a regular hard-shell kayaks. For instance, a hard-shell kayak is faster. This is primarily because of the flex in a blow up kayak. But for an average paddler, this is not going to be an issue.

✘ Launch time

While inflatable kayak is lightweight and much easier to transport compared to a hard-shell one, you still need to to a lot of preparation. One obvious reason is that they have to be inflated. Depending on the size of kayak, the average-size usually takes 10 minutes to blow up using a foot pump. If you want to make your job easier, you must use electric pump instead. This is important especially if you have bigger inflatable kayak.

✘ Susceptibility to waves and wind

how good are inflatable kayaks

An inflatable kayak is more lightweight than the lightest hard-shell kayak. That being said, it will easily get pushed around by waves and winds. It is important not to keep your attention away from especially if it is inflated and not in use. Even so, thanks to the advancement of technology, inflatable kayak these days are more susceptible to wind and air.

✘ Drying time

This is one of the reasons why some people do not like to use inflatable kayak. You still have to wait for it dry before storing it on your carrying bag. On the other hand, a solid will instantly dry up on your way hope especially if it is placed on top of your vehicle. Before you fold your inflatable kayak, you still have to lay it down and allow to dry fully

Where to buy Blow Up Kayak

✰ Amazon

This is the go-to website for online shopping because of the wide range of choices. This is because the reviews make comparing products easier. On the other hand, when you type “inflatable kayak” on the search bar, the results are not always accurate, which is why you still have to look each product on the search results.

Amazon will show low-quality products that are tempting to buy because of the cheap price. Always choose products that will last longer. Amazon has loads of quality brands like Intext.

✰ Local retail stores

If you are not fond of online shopping and you prefer to see the product in person before buying, you can also check out the local retailer near you. Also, while online shopping is more convenient, it would still be best to have an expert assisting you in finding the perfect inflatable kayak for you.

Final Words

We hope that in this article we are able to help you know how good are inflatable kayaks. They have many advantages compared to a hard-shell kayak and the other way around. But of course inflatable kayak is not always better than a solid kayak. It still depends on your needs and preferences.

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