How Not To Choose A Kayak

By Kevin Banks

My wife made the fatal mistake of leaving me alone one week end. Being somewhat restless and considering the heat outside, I decided to make an impulse buy and went down to our local Dick's Sporting goods store and picked out a Kayak that seemed to fit my needs. That need was primarily to buy a boat for under $200. The other criteria was that it match the color scheme of my swimsuit.

One great thing about kayaking is that one man can easily handle strapping it to an automobile and launching it to the water without any assistance. I strapped the boat to my truck and rushed home to change into my swim suit and get my fishing gear. I saw the instruction and warranty manual and a couple of tags hanging off the kayak, but I was ready for water and cast them aside like yesterdays newspaper. The lake was calling my name and the time was right.

I arrived at the lake and launched the kayak next to a pier. Now it was time for me to get in. Weighing in nearly 250 pounds I was considering the best way to enter the boat. I chose the simple "just get in" approach. As I planted my foot in the seat the boat shot across the water about 20 feet from the pier. I went air born and landed square on my back in the water. Actually part of the reason I came to the lake was to cool off, so the fact that I got wet was not necessarily a bad thing.

As the kayak skirted across the water from the pier I lay flat on back in the water for a few seconds to consider my dilemma. It so happened there was a fairly stiff wind that day and the kayak aided by the wind was being blown out to open water.

Fortunately I am a better than average swimmer and was able to grab the lead line and pull the boat back to shore. But realize I have not even begun to kayak and I am already starting to get exhausted. Since I was already wet though I deducted that my best approach for getting in the boat would be to launch from the lake bank shallow water. I held both sides as the kayak rocked back and forth a little as I finally slid my legs through the hole and found the seat. It fit a bit snug but at least I was in.

But I wasn't afloat. I was grounded. I pushed hard against the gravel bottom and made very little progress toward the water. The closer I came to actually being afloat the higher the front of the boat stuck out of the water. After much effort and consternation I made it to water. I was underway.

I was an odd sight though. The front end of my little boat was sticking straight out of the water. The back end was covered in water and it lapped at the edge of the top hole as I paddled. That same stiff wind was blowing me out to open lake. Every time I paddled the front end of the kayak would redirect about forty five degrees. Aside from already being exhausted I saw from the corner of my eye that I had become a significant source of entertainment for a young family who was relaxing in the picnic area.

It was pretty much at that precise moment that I realized there was no way to actually fish in these conditions and besides that, there was nothing really fun going on here. However by the time I made that decision I found myself about 100 yards from shore. I would have to paddle against the wind to get back. It took me nearly an hour to paddle those 100 yards.

It was getting dark as I loaded the kayak on my truck and drove home. I collapsed on the couch with exhaustion. I turned my head to find the kayak specification manual on the coffee table there. I started to read and I learned that my particular vessel had a weight limit of 210 pounds. I learned that it was not designed for open water. My particular kayak was designed for swimming pools or small ponds. I also learned that if any vessel (even a kayak) does go on open water it should be registered and licensed with the state.

So I guess the point here is that kayaking is not as simple as it looks and there are actual real criteria for selecting one. So now you know. Check out my website to learn more about how to select a kayak.

Here is a tip, you will find nothing there requiring the color of the boat to match your swimsuit.

About the Author:

Grab The Post URL

HTML link code:
BB (forum) link code:

Leave a comment

  • Google+
  • 0Blogger
  • Facebook
  • Disqus

0 Response to "How Not To Choose A Kayak"

Post a Comment

comments powered by Disqus