Over 60 million Americans participated in at least one outdoor activity in 2021. If you are looking at trying new outdoor activities, you should consider kayaking. Kayaking offers many benefits, including increasing your muscle strength and flexibility.
It is also a great alternative way to explore the outdoors and have a lake or river adventure. But what is the best beginner kayak?
If you are a beginner, you should consider an inflatable kayak. Read on to learn more about inflatable kayaks and five reasons why they are a great first kayak.
What Is an Inflatable Kayak?
An inflatable kayak is a portable kayak made out of PVC and other materials, and has to be inflated before use. But it is not like any old swimming inflatable or float. Nowadays, an inflatable kayak can rival its hard-shell relatives for being robust and durable.
There are many different inflatable kayaks on the market to suit different levels and activities. And they offer great benefits for first-time kayakers.
1. Portable Kayak
An inflatable kayak offers a portable solution for your outdoor adventures. It is easily compressed and light to carry deflated. Usually, it comes with a bag to help flatten it into a manageable shape, which you can also try to fit your kayaking clothes in.
It is easy to throw it in your car and go without worrying about it taking up space or needing to secure it. If you do not have a car, it is also easier on other modes of transport.
You also do not need to worry about storage space in your home or garage. So, even if your kayaking is initially limited to a yearly summer adventure, it will not take up space gathering dust between trips. Be sure to rinse it and fully dry it out before you store it.
Like any camping gear, it is best to practice setting it up before you start your adventure. Find a space to practice inflating, setting up, deflating, and packing your inflatable kayak. It will give you more confidence and means you will get to start kayaking a lot faster!
2. Accessibility and Versatility
Another benefit of an inflatable kayak for beginners is its accessibility. It is usually cheaper than other kayaking options, which makes kayaking available to more people. It can be hard to know whether to commit to buying a kayak, which makes an inflatable kayak with an affordable price tag a great choice.
An inflatable kayak is also versatile, as you can use it in different settings. You can try your beginner kayak out on lakes, rivers, and maybe a calm ocean day! So you can learn what type of kayaking you enjoy most.
You can also try it for different activities. You can take it camping or join around 50 million Americans who go fishing every year. It makes an inflatable kayak a great investment, whether you fall in love with kayaking or prefer to use it for other activities.
A kayak’s versatility also opens up more options for a river adventure or three. An inflatable kayak is so portable that you can access hard-to-reach launch points or take an extended adventure. All you need is to pack it down and hike to the start point with your other adventure essentials!
It is the perfect beginner kayak to try kayaking in all its forms to discover what floats your boat.
3. Durable Materials
As a beginner, you do not want to break your new investment. But an inflatable kayak is made out of durable materials, so you can have peace of mind while on your lake or river adventure. PVC and other materials, such as Hypalon, are tear-resistant.
A high-quality inflatable kayak is resistant to branches and over hazards you might come across while kayaking. It is natural to need some practice kayaking as a beginner, so it means it remains fun, even if you accidentally go over a branch or other object.
Inflatable kayaks often come with repair kits too, so in most cases, you can fix it quickly without stopping your adventure. When you purchase your beginner kayak, confirm what the main material is and how lightweight it is. You have time to find the balance between durability and weight.
4. Beginner Kayak Performance
You want a beginner kayak to be stable. Usually, an inflatable kayak has a wide and flat base. So if the air chambers remain equally inflated, you will have a stable adventure. You can even opt for an inflatable sit-on-top kayak if you want maximum stability.
Most inflatable kayaks are easy to maneuver and turn, whether you want a beginner kayak for calm waters or even rapids.
Also, if you happen to puncture your inflatable kayak, it will continue to float if there are multiple air chambers. So, you can rest assured that you are safe and can focus on getting to know kayaking.
5. Comfortable Kayaking
When you first start kayaking, it can take time to adjust to the positioning and repetitive movement. Over time it subsides, but initially, you will want to change your positioning, and breaks can be beneficial.
An inflatable kayak is a comfortable choice for beginners. The kayaks generally mold to your weight and are pleasant to lean against. You can adjust your position without issue, as the boat is stable and there is space.
The result? You will spend a long time kayaking and resting because there is no discomfort!
However, the amount of space depends on your supplies and what type of inflatable kayak you choose. For example, a sit-on-top kayak has less space.
Invest in an Inflatable Kayak
An inflatable kayak is an excellent introduction to kayaking, thanks to its comfort and stability. However, it is also suitable for any kayaker who values portability, versatility, and durability. With so many incredible lakes and rivers to explore, why not do it on an inflatable kayak?
Did you like this article? Camping Buffs has a range of articles to help prepare you for your next adventure. Check them out!