Frequently asked questions about Kayaking

FAQ’s about Kayaking

How Reliable are inflatable kayaks?

The first thought that comes to mind when we think about inflatable kayaks is: Is it safe enough to ride in an ocean? Or how reliable is an inflatable kayak? Despite what most beginners believe, a best inflatable kayak is constructed very strongly, using quality technology materials to make them durable.

Although they are not suitable for all water types, most inflatable kayaks are safe to take on flat water such as lakes, ponds, and nearby water parks. Although riding a kayak would initially feel less stable than a traditional kayak, they tend to become comfortable, stable, and supportive over time.

How durable are inflatable kayaks?

Inflatable kayaks are constructed from multiple layers of thickly coated materials such as vinyl and polyester that are durable and tough as a nail. They are designed for optimal puncture and abrasion resistance. The inflatable kayak’s durability depends on the price and for what purpose it is bought, which is usually whitewater kayaking.

Most inflatable kayaks can handle rocks or any normal wear and tear without puncturing. Due to the strong exteriors of these kayaks, punctures are rarely an issue for swimmers. The most common cause of damaged inflatable kayaks is the degradation of the plastic materials used or the glue used at the seams to hold them together depreciate over time.

Kayaks built from low-quality PVC (polyvinyl chloride) deteriorate faster than good quality materials such as Hypalon, which is expensive and adds to the price. Expensive inflatable kayaks are more durable as they can afford to use better material and more material to construct multiple layers.

Are inflatable kayaks stable enough?

You are mistaken if you think that if you stand in an inflatable kayak, it will fold, and you would go under the water. When the inflatable kayaks are pumped up, instead of being lumpy, it becomes pretty stiff and rigid just like your conventional hard-shell kayak. One key feature that you should keep in mind is the level of inflation.

Under inflation would make it extremely hard for you to paddle the kayak, while over-inflation of the kayak would make it more prone to explosive decompression. Over inflation can also cause the seam to strain and thus can reduce the shelf life of the kayak. If an overinflated kayak gets hit by a sharp rock, it would be a great chance to puncture the exterior of the kayak, causing the tube to explode.

How to increase the rigidity of the kayak?

There are two ways of making an inflatable kayak rigid. Some inflatable kayaks have small sections that are inflatable and work as rods, while others have metal frameworks to help make the inflatable kayak rigid. These are the rigidity stabilizers of the kayaks. Keep them stable and prevent them from crooking when you paddle.

The latest kayaks have multiple small air chambers that act like support rods, while some have a partial metal framework, as mentioned earlier. A few kayaks have high-pressure air floors that make the kayak rigid and allow the swimmers to stand in their kayak while paddling. The main reason behind multiple chambers is that if even one of the sections gets damaged and punctured, the rest of the sections remain inflated, which allows you enough time to paddle and make your way back to the shore without sinking.

What is the shelf life of an inflatable kayak?

How long inflatable kayaks last depend on which technology materials they are made of? Some inflatable kayaks are made of expensive materials such as Hypalon have a longer shelf life, which is around 5 to 10 years, while cheaper PVC materials last for fewer years. All plastics are prone to get degraded over time, but the amount of care you take of the kayaks during these years can make it last longer than expected.

It would be best if you always washed your kayaks and gently dried them before storage, and they should be stored in a place that is not subjected to extreme temperatures. The inflatable kayaks have glue-held seams that start to degrade around ten years from the date of production. Placing the kayaks in extreme temperatures for a long period will make that glue unbind quicker than that.

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