Weathering the Watery Storm
Everyone knows that kayaks take a lot of beating on the water, even in the best of circumstances when taking it for a glide –– and it’s even worse in turbulent waters. Some occasional maintenance is necessary. Storing and protecting your kayak the right way can add a lot of years to its shelf life. Here are some simple tips to increase your kayak’s durability.
Protecting your Kayak to Improve its Lifespan
- Regular Cleaning:
Nowadays, due to urbanization, most rivers, lakes, and bays are polluted. Your kayak floats through this, keeping you scot-free. It is only fair that you clean your kayak. As a general rule, clean your kayak before and after each session. Use a mild soap and water solution to clean. A biodegradable wash made for boats is preferred. Steer clear of abrasives or solvents that can damage the hull. Use a little grease to get the tough stains out. Cleaning your kayak makes it safer by eliminating all the microbes and bacteria that has accumulated on it. It also saves the rubber and metal parts from damaging salt corrosion.
- Check for leaks:
Pay close attention to every nut, bolt, pad eye, rivet and screw, as all these parts face the wrath of the water during the process of kayaking.This can cause them to break, or even become loose enough to leak. Check for cracks and gouges, as well. As you wash your kayak, use high water pressure. This way, there is a chance that you will find leaks on your kayak. Get hold of a hair dryer if you notice a hole. Remove the drain plug. Use a q-tip to apply some soap water (any bubble generating liquid) on the rivet heads or any place where a hole has formed. Get the hair dryer and blow in the open drain. You probably have a leak if you get bubbles. The bigger the bubble, bigger the leak. Fix this leak before taking out your kayak once again.
- Ultraviolet Radiation:
The sun can seriously damage the kayak hull. This is because of ultraviolet radiation. Prolonged exposure to the sun will cause your kayak to suffer serious structural damage, since the plastic may go brittle. Take special precaution to protect your kayak from the sun, if it is made of Polyethelene, or even strong fiberglass composite. Follow these three simple steps to ensure that your kayak’s hull is safe from the big fiery ball of light.
- Don’t store the kayak outside in the sun when not in use.
- Use 303 Aerospace Protectant. It is like a sunscreen for kayaks.
- Always keep your kayak covered. If sunshine storage is your only option, coverage is very important. Covering your kayak during transportation also helps prevent most of the wear and tear it endures. Using full kayak covers and cockpit covers are good for optimum coverage and protection.
- Prevent Hull Damage:
Most hulls will deform over time if exposed to uneven weight distribution. To avoid this, spread out the weight of the kayak over its length when you store it. Always support your kayak from its ends, or hang it from its grab loops. Avoid storing your kayak near a heat source like a heater or a fireplace.
Make your Kayak Work Hard
You’ll want your kayak to work as hard as possible for as long as it possibly can –– with the least amount of damage. That’s why these protection tips are important. To make the most of your kayak’s life, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions stringently.
The Need for Thrill
There are few things more exciting than the jolt of adrenaline you get when you slide through a whitewater rapid with nothing more than a bit of plastic and some serious courage between you and a good dredging. White water kayaking is not a sport for the faint of heart or the careless. It requires the right amount of experience and the right equipment to keep you as safe as possible. There are a lot of kayaks to choose from but there are a few that are better for whitewater kayaking than others.
The Good, The Better, The Best
For an absolute beginner who will probably only be doing some easy river or lake paddling and at most category II or easy category III rapids, a hybrid rec/whitewater kayak will probably be your best bet. Hybrid rec/whitewater kayaks tend to have speed and stability of the flatwater kayaks while also having the whitewater kayak’s hull to increase its maneuverability for going through rapids.
Hybrids (also known as crossover boats) tend to have a larger cockpit. This makes it easier to get in and out especially in case you tip your kayak over, which beginners are prone to doing.
Two Suggestions Of Models to Try:
- Dagger Approach
- Liquid Logic XP
If this isn’t your first whitewater kayak or you’ve had a lot of time with kayaks and would consider yourself at an intermediate skill level a river runner kayak is probably more your speed. These kayaks are good for paddling downstream and maneuvering category III and IV river rapids. They are longer than other kayak models which are enough to keep from beginners to intermediate kayakers safe, stable in the water and having a great time.
River runner kayaks also have a hybrid version called play/river runner hybrids. These are like the rec/whitewater hybrids in that it will allow you to expand your boating skills into other areas like playboating moves in addition to getting you safely in and out of rapids.
Two Suggestions of Models to Try:
- Dagger Axiom
- Dagger RX
Creekboats are kayaks for those looking to take on some seriously difficult category IV and V level rapids regularly. Obviously these kayaks are meant for more advanced paddlers and must have the ability to resurface quickly. These boats are not meant for doing any kind of playboating it’s not what they’re made for. Instead these boats focus on speed, maneuverability and how quickly they can resurface. These are strictly rapids kayaks only.
Two Suggestions of Models to Try:
- Jackson Kayak Hero Series
- Dagger Mamba
Ready for Some Excitement!
One of the most important bits of information to take-away from this article should be that there is no perfect blend kayak. Each kayaks have certain, strengths, designs and features based on its intended use or purpose. The second most important bit of information to take away is to take a long hard look at yourself and assess your skill level and paddling style. This will help connect you with a kayak that’s the right side for your build, and a perfect fit for your paddling needs.
Sea kayaking is an exciting, challenging and invigorating sport. However, it can also be a relaxing pastime that provides the opportunity to admire the views and get up close and personal with the wildlife. If you live in the Northeast United States or are visiting this area, then you might wonder where the best spots for sea kayaking are. Here are some of the best destinations in this part of America for enjoying this fun watersport.
Top Spots for Sea Kayaking
Massachusetts has some fantastic spots for sea kayaking enthusiasts. In fact, some locations here are ranked as the best in the whole of the United States. Boston Harbor Islands are one such place. Beginners can take guided tours around the island to see Boston from a different perspective. Experienced kayakers can paddle across to the islands themselves. Newburyport is another great spot for people of all abilities. The marshes and waterways here offer a varied experience.
Nature lovers will love paddling in their kayak around the San Juan Islands, Washington BC. These waters are filled with orca that are fascinating to watch. You can also explore the quaint harbors and enjoy some fantastic views. If you do not have your own kayak, there are rental options or you can join a group for a guided tour.
If you are a novice to kayaking, then one of the many kayak tours may be your preferred option. The ideal destination for this is Maine as you will have the opportunity to kayak around the cove of arcadia National Park. You will see some fantastic sights during the tour. Not only will you get to spot wildlife, such as seals, you can also camp along the coast to get a true experience of the outdoors.
One excellent sea kayaking spot that may surprise you is New York. This is ideal for kayakers who prefer urban life to rural locations. When you kayak off the coast of New York, you can expect a thrilling experience seeing the city sights from a different viewpoint. These include the fabulous Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Even the city harbor looks spectacular from this vantage point.
The Saint John River in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine is a chance to experience the wilderness at its best. Although there are some gentle runs towards the head of the river, the majority of the waterway is best-suited to more experienced paddlers who are willing to take on a challenge. The clear blue waters are sight to behold and the views along the river are stunning. If you try none of the other great sea kayaking destinations, this is one you should definitely not miss.
Sea Kayaking in North East America
Regardless of which of these spots in the Northeast United States you choose, you will have a fantastic sea kayaking experience. Each location poses its own challenges and also its own delights. Everyone has their own personal favorite, so it is worth trying each of them to enjoy each and to find your own favorite kayaking destination.