SHOULD I BUY A CHEAP KAYAK????
Here are a few reasons why that might not be a good idea.
SEATING: Cheap kayaks have poor seating, if any type of seating. It could be just a molded place to put your butt on. Yes, you could put a pad on it and make it tolerable but the pad will slide out of adjustment and so will your attitude. Also, bargain boats are lacking quality back rests. I’m not sure I would call a half inch thick piece of foam a back rest but not a big deal if you are young or don’t have any back issues. Quality kayaks have quality, comfortable seating with good back rests. Most have removable stadium type sets that are adjustable to fit your rump and your back. This has been the best improvement the kayak industry has made.
FOOT PEGS: Foot pegs??? Who needs foot pegs?? Inexpensive kayaks have no foot pegs or just molded cut outs to rest your feet on. Adjustable foot pegs allow you to customize the cock pit of your boat. They not only help with comfort but also aid in stability and balance.
Due to a more rounded hull deign, cheap kayaks are more unstable and typically do not handle any type of rough water. Rounded hulls force you to keep your body straight and no leaning allowed. Tunnel and cathedral or tri hulls offer much more stability allowing you to relax and enjoy yourself more.Hull deign also plays an important role in tracking, the ability to go straight. Rounded hulls, especially on shorter kayaks have a tendency to zig zag from side to side. Who wants to paddle 12 miles when it is only a 5 mile trip??
MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
Most big box kayaks have very thin hulls which are very susceptible to tears and punctures. Higher quality kayaks have a thicker more durable hull that will withstand the gravel, rocks and submerged tree limbs you are most likely to run into. Roto-molded kayaks are one piece, just like the upper end coolers. There are no weak spots, seams, or welds to separate or fail. A majority of the low end kayaks are 2 piece, held together with rivets or adhesive.
I’m sure there are a few more reasons why bargain boats are not a good investment but these are just a few. You bought the kayak to get out and enjoy the water, friends, family, or go fishing, but if your rear end goes numb, your back is killing you, tired of paddling in circles or worried about flipping over, you are more likely to just stay home in your recliner. Is that really worth saving a few hundred bucks??
If you are unsure about selecting the right kayak for you, find a local kayak store that lets you take them out for a test drive. You can experience the different lengths, options, and models so you can find the right kayak for YOU!