A couple of decades ago there were two to three models of Kayaks available. Don’t be surprised if today you go in the market to find 50 different ultra specialized Kayaks.
The obvious first question is what type of kayaking will you do? Basically there is river, lake, and sea kayaking. River kayaks are very short and tough boats meant for maneuverability and the abuse of whitewater rapids. Sea kayaks are sleek and light and are designed for cruising. Then there are general kayaks that can be used on sea lakes.
There are three basic types of kayaks as far as structure and materials are concerned.
Rigid kayaks are made of plastic, wood or carbon fiber. These are usually the most affordable and are they are the most popular too. Plastic boats are tough and reliable but once damaged can be very difficult to repair. Fiberglass boats are more expensive than plastic but damage is easily repaired, they are also quite light.
For kayak enthusiasts who appreciate aesthetics and beauty, you might want to look at some wooden boats; they are carefully crafted and very beautiful kayaks. There are kits available for folks who are prepared to build their own.
A folding kayak is usually made of wood or aluminum. Their prices are usually high, but they tend to last longer, and are also quite easy to store.
Inflatable boats provide good portability and storage space. They are generally the least expensive kayaks you can buy. Kayak enthusiasts for whom storage and transportation is a major issue will find a good option in these boats.
Another choice to ponder is whether to choose a single-passenger or double-passenger kayak. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. For a fun family adventure, the double kayak is perfect. It is fast and stable but lacks the maneuverability of a single Kayak.
After deciding on the style of kayak you want to purchase, price becomes a big factor in determining exactly which model to buy. A basic entry-level plastic kayak can be found for as low as $250. Fiberglass boats can cost from anywhere around $900 to $2500. Other plastic models can run as high as $1700. If you want to go for the more exotic kayaks they would cost you a little more. Inflatable boats start at about $125 and go up to about $2000. Folding boats have a huge Price variation, in them and they can cost anywhere between $1500 to $5000.