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Consider Buying a Used Kayak

May 19, 2008
Kayaking has increased in reputation as an adventure sport. The chance to get outside and enjoy the outdoors while experiencing some great exercise is hard to ignore. The sports that give you a good workout of the upper body while still being recreational are few and far between. Hence, the uniqueness of kayaking.

Of all the recreational water sports, kayaking is really the most intimate. Just the water and you forming a relationship that can be spiritual or adversarial. Whichever the case, kayaking is undeniably more popular.

If you are already smitten with the sport of kayaking then it might be time to purchase a boat. A kayak can be an expensive investment and a new boat is the most expensive alternative. Just like a good used car, a good used kayak can be purchased at an reasonable price giving you high quality at entry level pricing.

First, you must decide what style of kayak you want. There are five classifications of kayak: general recreation, day touring, expedition, whitewater and surf. In each classification you may find rigid models, folding and inflatable versions.

Rigid model kayaks are usually made of wood, plastic or fiberglass, even Kevlar. A wood kayak can be made from a kit and can have a warm, old-world feel but they do require routine maintenance. Plastic kayaks are the heaviest but most durable. If they should become damaged, the are the most difficult to repair. A fiberglass kayak is the most expensive alternative but is the lightest of the rigid models. It is also the easiest to repair.

You need to decide which classification of kayak you need. The class will determine some important features like storage capacity for longer excursions. The weight of the boat may be an issue if you will always be handling it alone. Storage of the kayak when not in the water might lead you toward the folding canvas or inflatable style.

When purchasing a used kayak make sure to inspect it thoroughly. Check for any damage that would make it unsuitable for purchase. Plastic boats are the toughest but are difficult to repair. Look for patches and/or repairs already made. This is especially critical in the inflatable style of kayak. You should look for touched up paint, uneven areas or divots in the surface. Careful inspection is important for your safety.

Don't avoid the high quality, big name boats, especially on the secondary market. You could find a bargain in a high end used kayak that would be a better investment than a new boat. If you are not planning on racing or practicing special tricks, a used kayak can really be the way to go.
About the Author
When going out on the water, you've got to wear original kayaking art while paddling. See Puple Arts for great kayaking t-shirts and "Get your Art On!" K.L. Amadio is a freelance writer and webmaster of Taekwondo-Network, your source for all things tae kwon do.
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