Are you in a dilemma when it comes to choosing between an inflatable kayak and a hard shell one? While hard shell kayaks offer a plethora of options, inflatable kayaks have come a long way and are rapidly gaining popularity. Let’s delve into the world of inflatable kayaks and discover why they might be the perfect fit for you!
The Weight Advantage
One of the challenges with hard shell kayaks is their weight, especially when it comes to transportation. Struggling to load and unload them from your vehicle’s roof racks can become a hassle, especially as you age. In contrast, inflatable kayaks come to the rescue. Weighing between 30-40lbs, most inflatables are incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. These kayaks have become the go-to option for individuals lacking physical strength who still want to enjoy paddling on the water.
The Compact Size
Another reason why inflatable kayaks are soaring in popularity is their compact size. Unlike hard shell kayaks that range from 8-16ft long, inflatable kayaks can fold up into a manageable size and fit into a backpack. If you live in a city apartment with limited storage space or own a small vehicle, these kayaks are the perfect solution. You can quickly store them, transport them, and even toss them into your car without the need for additional crossbars or roof racks!
Some may fear that inflatable kayaks are susceptible to punctures and damage due to their air-filled construction. But don’t be fooled by appearances. The combination of thick, durable rubber and rugged PVC materials, coupled with advanced technology, ensures that inflatable kayaks are remarkably resilient and strong.
Stability and Control
Contrary to popular belief, inflatable kayaks are far from flimsy pool floats that fold under pressure. As long as you inflate them adequately, filling them with enough air measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), these kayaks become incredibly rigid and stable. While hard shell kayaks offer more control in rough waters, sturdy currents, and strong winds, higher-end inflatable kayaks are quickly catching up in terms of performance.
Inflating and Deflating Made Easy
Compared to hard shell kayaks, inflatables require a bit more effort in terms of inflating and deflating them before and after each use. However, with the right pump capable of reaching the desired PSI, you can swiftly inflate your kayak in about 10 minutes. Cleaning and drying your kayak before deflating it for storage ensures that you’ll have a pleasant and odor-free experience on your next adventure.
The Price Point
As with any purchase, the cost of inflatable kayaks varies based on quality and features. Prices can range from $60 to $2000. Of course, you get what you pay for. While a budget-friendly inflatable may suffice for occasional paddling trips, investing a little more in a higher-end model can provide a kayaking experience closer to that of a hard shell kayak. The choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and frequency of kayaking.
If you find yourself still undecided, consider visiting a local kayak rental company to test out both hard shell and inflatable kayaks. Experiencing the difference for yourself while out on the water is the best way to determine which type of kayak suits you best.
In conclusion, inflatable kayaks offer a lightweight and convenient alternative to hard shell kayaks. With their compact size, impressive durability, stability, and ease of inflation and deflation, these kayaks are changing the game. So why not embark on your next adventure with an inflatable kayak from East Coast Paddle Sports?
Spread the word and happy paddling!