Getting good advice when buying a kayak

Spring has sprung, the weather is warming up, and you may well have decided that now is the right time to start looking for a new kayak. Before heading out to the shops it is worth considering how you will know if the salesperson is giving you sound advice based on practical experience.

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Kayak sales have grown exponentially in recent years as everyone comes to realise that paddling is a fun low-impact sport that is excellent for your physical, mental, and spiritual health. This has encouraged everyone with a little bit of spare room in their retail space to start selling kayaks. You may have seen them at your local service station or automotive spare parts shop. The problem with this is a lot of these people are not experienced paddlers and cannot give you good advice. The sad result is you may end up with a kayak that is totally inappropriate for your needs. You might never know how great kayaking can actually be or worse still you may give up the sport altogether.

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Global Paddler members can access the Expert Advice pages on the Global Paddler website and are welcome to send questions to our team via email but we appreciate that it is often easier to speak to someone face to face. Therefore we have come up with three simple questions that you can ask a kayak retailer to see if they know what they are talking about. If you are not comfortable that the answers to these questions can be delivered with clarity and confidence then you really should be buying your kayak from someone else.

Question 1: How does the length of a kayak affect its performance?

Question 2: What is rocker and how does it relate to the manoeuvrability of a kayak?

Question 3: What are chines and how do these affect the stability of a kayak?

These questions are just as relevant to canoes and stand up paddleboards and can also be asked when purchasing crafts of those types. Global Paddler members that are in any doubt as to the validity of advice they have received from a retailer are more than welcome to ask Global Paddler for verification.

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