You may have heard of inflatable kayaking and may be wondering what all the fuss is about. While the level of durability varies tremendously with different purposes and prices, inflatable kayaks can truly be resilient enough to deal with almost anything (and everything) in the water while giving you great fun in the process. While the reality is that there’s a fair amount of variability in the overall durability of inflatable kayaks, you still can be confident that you will be getting a glorified inflated pool toy once you purchase an inflatable kayak off of a reputable online brand. If you aren’t sure where to begin shopping, the Internet makes it easy to find great deals on the best brands at prices you can afford.
two types are called soft-shell and hard-shell
Most people think that an inflatable kayak is made from hard-shell kayaks that have air chambers to provide buoyancy. While this is true for many brands, there are two main categories of kayaks (and types of inflatables). These two types are called soft-shell and hard-shell. In the case of soft-shell kayaks, the material is vinyl-coated plastic and in the hard-shell category, we have kayaks made from fiberglass, metal, laminated wood, vinyl, and other materials.
a soft-shell kayak typically floats on the surface of the water
Softshell kayaks are much more affordable and versatile than their hard-shell cousins, but they do require a bit more maintenance. For example, a soft-shell kayak typically floats on the surface of the water, so you need to make sure that your vessel isn’t leaving the boat because it’s listing. The same goes for taking a recreational vehicle or a motorboat out onto the water. If you want to keep your recreational craft floating or stay afloat through a storm, these kayaks are the way to go!
a good quality pump is essential if you want to use your inflatable kayak in a variety of conditions
Hardshell kayaks, like the Inflatable Kayak above, have air chambers that keep them inflated and deflate. Because there are no moving parts inside of a hard-shell kayak, this makes them much quieter as well. However, they do require some maintenance if you want to avoid punctures and leaks – and a good quality pump is essential if you want to use your inflatable kayak in a variety of conditions.
Kayakers that row can find themselves spending a great deal of time
For those who enjoy the feel of floating, kayaks with an inboard motor are an option. Some of these kayaks come with two seats and three paddling positions while others come with only one seat and two paddling positions. Paddlers are often rowers that either stand or sit in a kayak as they work their way across the lake. Kayakers that row can find themselves spending a great deal of time on their inflatable kayaking craft as they work their way to the end of the lake. Again, this is not something you would want to do if you were going to use a traditional paddleboard.
kayaks are available in a wide range of sizes and can even be set upright on your boat
Finally, for those who love the feel of open water but still want to explore a variety of lakes, rivers, and oceans, inflatable kayaks are a good choice. These kayaks are available in a wide range of sizes and can even be set upright on your boat! Small sport kayaks are good for small river systems and lakes, medium-sized sport kayaks are good for larger rivers and lakes, and large sport kayaks are ideal for ocean waves. If you go to the beach, you might consider taking a class III whitewater kayak out instead of an inflatable kayak. Class III and IV whitewater are very powerful, so you might be able to go several miles with a single kayak without getting tired.