As a beginner you probably don’t know what accessories need to be taken along with you while going into the water. Unless, you find a knowledgeable sales person who is a kayaker himself, it is highly likely that you would get incomplete accessories, even from a shop. This is because:
- Many salespeople don’t understand kayaking
- As a beginner, many kayaking accessories don’t seem necessary
- A salesperson that thinks many kayaking accessories aren’t necessary
The solution to the first problem is quite simple: just go to a different store where they know a little bit more about kayaking.
To fix the second one, one needs to take a kayaking class or you can take it in faith on the need of these items and their usage. Accessories for kayaking can get quite expensive, so here’s a list of accessories to help you out.
A Kayaking-Specific life vest
They differs from other lifevests in several ways. They feature a higher back which won’t interfere with the kayak’s seat, a snug fit so you don’t get chafed, and comfort for movement. Some of the vests come with advanced features such as multiple pockets for carrying stuff such as snacks, a camera, VHF radio, etc. They also include tabs which allows you to leash on a knife or a strobe light.
A Nice Paddle
A better paddle can make your kayak outings more enjoyable as they are lighter and easier to swing back and forth. Make sure to try out a high end carbon fiber paddle, you will feel the difference. Don’t buy a paddle that is too long because it will be hard to control. Many salespeople might end up providing you with a paddle that is too long. But, you have to be wise enough to choose the one which suits you better. The right paddle size is the one in which you can reach up and wrap your fingers comfortably around the paddle ends provided by placing the paddle vertically. Avoid stretching when doing this.
You need to get water out after capsizing. Or maybe you take in water from splashes or boat wakes or waves. Buckets don’t work well in a kayak as they are hard to fill in a small area. Secondly, it is hard to get shallow water out of a kayak. That little bit of water might feel annoying because it splashes against the back of your legs. It also makes the boat less stable. A pump is required to remove water quickly from the boat. A boat foam float would be needed as well.
You will need a kayak anchor if you find something worth seeing stopping for, such such as a high mountain view or an island which forces you to stick around for a while. A perfect fishing spot can catch your attention as well and sometimes you need a little break from paddling. In these cases you need an anchor to prevent your kayak from drifting away.
It is easy to forget about kayak trailers if you live by the water, have a kayak roof system installed on your vehicle, or a have a pick up truck available to use. But if you don’t have any of them, you will need a kayak trailer as a kayak cannot be transported on top of some cars. While choosing a kayak trailer, make sure it has the right capacity to accommodate the size, weight, and the number of kayaks you’ll be hauling.
After reaching the waterside, you will need a kayak cart to transport your kayak from your vehicle to the water. The bigger the kayak, the harder it will be to get it to the water otherwise. A two wheel kayak cart is ideal for this purpose. Although it is not a part of kayaking gear, it is absolutely vital for moving your kayak from land into water.
Kayak Storage Rack
A storage rack is necessary for saving your kayak from hull deformation, fading, mold, theft, temperature changes, UV rays, and moisture. It is not possible to slide it under your bed or keep it in a closet. A well mounted kayak storage rack or one that hangs from the ceiling is the solution.
A specialized full skin tight suit usually made of thick neoprene is your first line of defense while kayaking in cold weather. It will serve as an insulator to slow down the loss of heat from your body. Contrary to this, you will need a dry suit if the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It forms a water tight seal, with a layer of air trapped inside, to keep you dry and, in turn, warm.
If you are going kayaking in cold, windy weather, you need to add a paddling jacket to your kayak gear. The kayak equipment comes under many names such as a paddling jacket, spray top, or splash jacket. But the purpose remains same in all of the above mentioned conditions.
Paddling in regular shoes is one of the worst choices to be made. It puts you at the risk of slipping and injuring yourself when getting in or out of your kayak. Neoprene boots are termed as kayak shoes. They are made of neoprene which is thick enough to keep your feet warm and comfy, and are designed for all-terrain traction.
A helmet is considered an essential in many sporting activities. A kayak helmet is absolutely necessary for the rider as there are chances of encounters with logs and rocks. It saves you from severe head injuries by lessening the force of impact in case you fall on a rock or collide with a sharp edge.
Used to protect your cell phone, batteries or other items when your kayak gets filled up with water. It is the place to keep edibles such as meals and snacks. A dry box will give you a more organized storage space for clean, dry clothes as well.
Kayak Float Bags
They are pretty much big sacks of air which add to the buoyancy of kayak. They fit into the kayak’s bow and stern compartments where the bulkheads are. It leaves less space for water, adds buoyancy and makes your adventure safer.
The scupper holes serve as drains to get rid of excess water that may pool at the bottom of a kayak. The feature of self bailing is exclusive to sit on top kayaks. If too much of water is moving into the kayak, that’s where scupper plugs have a role to play by filling the holes.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is generally required when going for an outing. Like wise, kayaking also demands a first aid kit to be taken along. It can be of great help if you suffer a sudden injury while kayaking.
There are some accessories which are must-haves for kayaking such as gear, safety vest, helmet etc. Others such as gloves or a kayak cart are there to make your journey comfortable.