Before buying your first kayak

So many boats. So many rivers.

Take your time, and think carefully, before buying your first kayak.

So many factors to be considered in a truly worthwhile, somewhat long-term purchase of a kayak. Oh sure, you could take eighty bucks and buy the first longish, pointed piece of hot-pink plastic to catch your eye.


You could delay the purchase decision a bit. You could anticipate potential uses for your new boat. You could think about the sort of paddling water anywhere remotely close to you. And you might spend a bit more time at the outset here, but you’ll achieve thereby some economies and efficiencies that might very well carry through quite some years of happy yakking.

The overwhelming question: what will I be doing on the water in my brand-new boat?

Unless you’re an experienced angler, with lots of time in a boat – albeit a flat-bottomed boat infinitely less likely to wobble or tip than a kayak – you should probably steer directly to a recreational kayak. As opposed to what is known as a touring kayak.

The principal uses of a recreational kayak:

Right here, right now.

Here’s great usage, great potential enjoyment for a recreational kayak.

· To be used on small lakes, calm bays, or slow-moving streams

· To be used for trips of less than a day, fewer than ten miles.

· To be used by a paddler of beginning or intermediate skills

· To be used for trip storage of loads from light to no more than moderate

The principal characteristics of a recreational kayak:

Right here, right now.

In no particular order, here are some of the traits you should expect in the right recreational kayak. Bear in mind, not any old yak calling itself the best boat for a beginning paddler necessarily comes across as advertised. In this regard, the Hughes Brothers cordially invite you to spend some time among the splendid kayaks we’ve reviewed at the core of our website. As a family, we know whereof we speak. As individual old boys who have spent a lifetime on the water, we ask that you kindly trust our thinking. We want only to help.


As you start your research, learn all you can about any kayak under consideration, most especially in these specific recreational yak virtues.

· Kayak Performance

in ideal types of water: pay close heed here, no need to be worrying about the boat’s performance in Class IV rapids; you will not be paddling there. Rather, look for a kayak that will paddle easily on your favorite small lake, that lazy nearby stream you’ve been wanting to float for a long, long time now.

· Kayak Manageability:

determine from any source a boat’s overall performance, its willingness to be guided by a beginner. Consult a Hughes Brothers’ review, an old bud who’s been paddling for a while, reviews on the manufacturer’s website, right here first-hand experience of yakkers who, until very recently, stood right there in your wet running shoes.

· Kayak Stability:

King Stability, King Stability the First and the Last. The degree to which your new recreational boat resists tipping over under those ideal water conditions described above should be at the very top of your impending judgments. Safety, safety, safety first and last.

· Kayak Speed:

Also known as Your Friend, Glide. The more efficient your new kayak’s movement through the water, its waterborne straight-ahead slice, its easy translation to acceleration of each of your increasingly economical, your stronger and stronger strokes . . . well . . . a little zoom-zoom is why you’re buying a kayak as opposed to a jon-boat, now isn’t it?

· Kayak Tracking:

you will soon discover that not every one of your early paddle-down, paddle-back movements will result in propulsion at twelve o’clock high. There will be some wandering. Pals, waywardness is inevitable at first. Just inevitable. So look for a boat with advertised, with claimed good tracking. You two should be working together. At purchase, do all you can to make sure the boat is your brother in all this initial huffing and puffing.

· Kayak Maneuverability:

There will come a time minutes into your first ride in your new boat when a change of direction is in order – an oncoming guided-missile cruiser, a mud-bar the size of Stillwater, a drunker water-skier screaming obscenities at your interference in her really, really good times. Whatever. Learn what you can about manufacturers’ discussion of turnability for any boats you might be shopping.

Thanks for dropping by.

Next time, the Brothers Hughes will be dropping some names, as we talk about the terminology you should know regarding the key construction features of a kayak. And the impossibly neat stuff you can attach thereto.

Let’s roll.

Now let’s take a look at some Kayaks