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How to Buy a Kayak

How to buy a kayak–sounds like a simple proposition, right?  After all, even Walmart sells kayaks.  But, before you hop in the car and drive down to the champion of cheap (yes, I’m still talking about Walmart), take a few minutes to consider some of the following questions:

Do you know what size kayak you need?

Have you considered purchasing a used kayak?

Do you know what makes some kayaks more expensive than others?

When and where can you get the best deal on a kayak?

In this article, we’ll address these questions and help you make sure the kayak you buy is a kayak you’ll use and love for years to come.

Kayak Styles and Size

There are several articles that provide in-depth information about the various kinds of kayaks (see REI’s excellent article on how to choose a kayak for details) but we’re going to give a brief summary and focus more on how, when and where to purchase.

Which flavor of kayak you want to buy depends heavily upon what activities you do most frequently when kayaking.  The following table outlines various activities and how well each type of kayak is suited to the activity.

Kayak Type Creek Fishing Touring Whitewater Saltwater Fishing Swimming/Playing
9-12′ Sit-in Good Moderate Excellent Poor Good
12-17′ Sit-in Poor Excellent Moderate Good Moderate
10-15′ Sit-on-top Good Excellent Poor Good Excellent

There are, of course, additional types of kayaks (inflatables, foldables, Old Towne even sells a kayak with a built-in trolling motor). But, the table above outlines the most common kayak styles.

When purchasing, don’t forget to consider the material used to form the Kayak’s hull.  Many inexpensive kayaks are made from a type of polyethylene.  For beginners or situations where the kayak may scrape or hit bottom, polyethylene may be the best best.

On the other end, if there is no chance of collision or scraping and you want a fast, smooth ride and a very strong, long-lasting kayak,  you may want to consider fiberglass.  Fiberglass kayaks are typically much more expensive.

New or Used

Once you’ve decided upon a basic style of kayak, the next decision will heavily impact how you go about purchasing one. If you are willing to be flexible with respect to features, color and brand, you can save up to 80% by purchasing used.  Additionally, sellers are often willing to throw in life jackets, paddles or other equipment for little or no cost.

If you want very specific features (rod-holders for fishing, anchors, rudders, significant storage, etc.) it may be more difficult to purchase used.  If you are patient you may find the perfect deal but you may want to consider purchasing new at a discount.  Most sporting goods stores heavily discount their water-sports gear (including kayaks) towards the end of the season.  Sometimes deals can be found in spring at the beginning of the season as well.

Purchasing Used

If you decide to purchase a used kayak, be certain you carefully assess the kayak’s condition before purchasing.  Luckily, accurately assessing a used kayak’s condition is not difficult nor time consuming.  Be sure to carefully investigate the bottom of the hull to ensure there are no punctures.  A few scrapes and scratches are normal wear and tear but there should not be any holes or extremely deep gouges.

Inspect the seat, any buckles, snaps, rivets or bolts used to secure the seat to the kayak.  Many models have the seat molded into the kayak.  In these kayaks, be sure to look closely around the seat for cracks as people may have stepped on the seat while getting into the boat, causing stress fractures.

When and Where to Purchase

If purchasing used, consider looking at sites like: craigslist and ebay.  Many locations also have locally specific sites similar to craigslist.  Often these are associated with the local newspaper or can be found via the local newspaper’s website.  Be careful when looking for used kayaks online as some people highly over-value their used kayak.

Frequently the best deals can be found at garage sales (especially multi-family garage sales) as people are selling numerous items and the kayaks are frequently available at steep discounts.  Garage sales can be found via many of the same sites listed above (craigslist, etc.)

Lastly, you may be able to find a government surplus kayak at govliquidation.com  The merchandise from govliquidation is hit-or-miss.  You can get some great deals but you have to check frequently as you never know what will be listed and sometimes items are in poor shape.

Conclusion

Before purchasing a kayak, make sure you consider all where and how you are most likely to use your kayak.  Consider purchasing a used kayak, especially if this is your first kayak.  And, lastly, don’t forget to find local garage sales where you can negotiate for a killer deal!

Are there any other sites you’ve found that have great deals on kayaks?  Please share in the comments.

 

 

Wake Surfing

It’s coming…WWSC – World Wake Surfing Championship!

The 2015 World Wake Surfing Championship is coming soon!  It will take place in Parker, Arizona September 24-27!

The winner gets to claim the World Wake Surfing Champion title for the current year.  Check out last year’s competition and visit the WWSC home page to register and/or find more information!

2014 Centurion World Wake Surfing Championship from Fineline Media on Vimeo. The recap of the 2014 Centurion World Wake Surfing Championship brought to you by PCM Marine Engines, Roswell Wake Air, Body Glove & Mendonesia Surf; the official wake surf board of the WWSC

Do you wake surf? Do you like it? Comment below and let us know.

Wakesurf Boats

Wakesurf Boats

Wakesurfing is becoming a popular watersport activity.  Google trends indicates wakeboarding popularity (based on google searches) has dropped by nearly 70% from its July 2006 high.  Wakesurfing, on the other hand, has doubled in google searches during that same time frame.  was virtually.  While wakeboarding still has a greater search volume, boat manufacturers have just recently begun to focus significant efforts toward wakesurfing enthusiasts.

Malibu (including Axis), Mastercraft, Skier’s Choice (Moomba and Supra), Centurion and nearly all other inboard manufacturers have incorporated surf wave making devices into the lineup.  And, up until recently, they’ve had a lock on the market.

Since wakesurfing involves riding a small surfboard directly off the stern of the boat, inboard boats seem to be the only practical boat for wakesurfing.  Stern drive boats and outboard boats have large outdrives and propellers hanging beyond the transom.  This places the wakesurfer at significant risk of serious injury or death if they fall.

Bryan Sport Porch  check out www.boattest.com
Bryan Sport Porch
www.boattest.com

Recently, Bryant has attempted to enter the wakesurf market by offering a sport porch on several of their models.  The sport porch is an extended swim platform that fully covers the boat’s out-drive.  While this helps prevent injury, it also adds significant length to the boat (a possible concern for storage), has an unusual appearance and isn’t a comfortable area for lounging.  It’s also an expensive option (a little over $4,000 on the 233X model).

Several sterndrive boat manufacturers including Regal, Cobalt,Four Winns, Monterey and Chaparral have indicated they may begin incorporating Volvo Penta’s new forward facing outdrive (also called a tractor drive) in hopes of capturing some of the wakesurf market.  Unfortunately, while they place the propeller in a more protected location, still leave a large, heavy, metal portion of the outdrive aft of the transom.  While hitting the outdrive portion is certainly better than hitting the propeller, it’s still going to put a dent in your day – not to mention your forehead.

Bryant may be acknowledging that inboards are inherently better suited for wakesurfing by announcing a new sub-brand of boats called: “Wake Tractor”.  While not much has been officially released, scuttlebut has it these will include Crusader engines which have historically been inboards.

If you’re looking to get into wakesurfing or if you’re looking to improve your gear, the next few years may be the perfect time!  For serious wakesurfing enthusiasts, check out the latest offerings from Moomba, Supra, Malibu, Nautique, Mastercraft, Centurion, MB Sports and Bryant.

What do you think?  Would you surf behind a sterndrive boat?

Water Soccer

World Soccer? How about Water Soccer?

You may have heard of water breaks, water polo, even water slides but have you ever heard of water soccer?  You have got to try this!

Water soccer follows most of the usual 5-a-side or 11-a-side game rules but your feet are immersed in ankle high water and the field is an inflatable court.  Water soccer is a version of soccer that is wild and wet. (And a great idea for a party!)  It will tests your skills, agility, balance and coordination while using your body’s core muscles.  Best of all you stay cool while having a ton of fun.

Check it out !  It’s looks like a challenge.

Get your Soccerwear to show off!

4th of July Checklist

4th of July Checklist

 

Cue the hamburgers, patriotic music and fireworks as Independence Day is right around the corner.  All the BBQ essentials might be in order, but take a look at The-House.com’s 4th of July Checklist to insure your celebrating the Stars & Stripes in style.

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What’s better then getting a new pair of sandals for $5?  How about a t shirt for $13?  All this gear and more is up to 40% off  – leaving plenty of extra cash to get those fireworks.


Let's go Kayaking!

Tips for a new kayaker!

We just headed out on a lake vacation with our kayaks!  but, before venturing out on the kayaks,  I looked up a few tips to help a beginner kayaker.  I was hoping to not have an experience like Dorothy Gale!

 

There are many other things to consider when you paddle:  getting into the kayak, stretchingpaddle strokeback support, and safety precautions.  All good things to look into before heading out on your kayaking adventure.  But here are a few additional things I learned:

 

Hold the paddle loosely.  Surprisingly you only need to hold the paddle with a grip of your index finger and thumb. There’s not a need to hold with a really tight grip and holding too tight with tire your hands.  The only exception to holding loosely is if you are kayaking in rapids or rough waters when you need to hold tightly to avoid losing your paddle.   So, just remember to hold on loosely but don’t let go!

 

Paddlers Box.  The paddlers box gives a mental image of how to paddle the kayak and move it forward or backwards without overuse of your shoulder or arms.  The imaginary box is found by holding your arms stretched out in front of you and shoulder width apart.  While holding the paddle, the arms, paddle and your body create the perimeter of the box.  The box shape moves with the paddle and your body to create a moving paddlers box.  This is the shape you want to keep continuously  so that your hand should never extend behind your shoulder and your paddling is efficient.

 

Use your core.  They say that the core body parts actually propel the kayak forward not the arms!  Hard to believe but if the paddling motion is done correctly, the core muscles are the ones that have the power and the rotation.  Using the core muscles-, abs, hips, back, makes your paddling more stable, smooth and efficient.

 

Find the right kayak.  There’s a lot of information about different kayaks to purchase. Check out this great site at REI.  They have information for the beginner kayaker about choosing a kayaking and learning the ins and outs of a kayak. Once you have narrowed down a type of kayak, (recreational, sea kayak, inflatable, sit on top, etc) you’ll be ready to head out and get the one you need.  So, get out on the kayak.  It may be just the thing you need for a good laugh!

 

In the end, if you don’t want your attempt at kayaking to feel ‘like balancing on a rubber ball’, these are a good things to look into before heading out on your kayaking adventure. For a great video presentation of these techniques check out MonkeySee.

 

Happy Paddling!

Ramp locator

Find a boat ramp near you.

Boating season is just around the corner.   Where will you launch your boat on your next fishing trip?  How about your cruising trip or your first wakeboard session of the year?

Maybe you want to try somewhere new for your next boat launch or find a more convenient ramp!  If you’re new to the  area, you’ll want to find launching ramps close by.

Here’s a great locator:   BoatUS Ramp Locator from BoatUS.com.  It’s fast and easy to find a launching ramp  and directions too!  Just put in you city, state and zip and a map will pop up with all the ramps around you.  Click on the screen shot below or click here!

BoatUS Ramp Locator

BoatUS has a list of ramps anywhere in America!  They also offer other information and all sorts of stuff for boaters!

Happy Boating from:

Piersend Logo

Water shoes

How to find long lasting, good quality water shoes.

Your choices for water shoes are limitless so deciding what your needs are should be your first criteria.

Are you going to need a water shoe that can outlast a Navy SEAL? We got them!

Or, casual, light weight water shoes that allow you to participate in your favorite sport? We have them too.

But if you want the best fit….

Water shoes for boating, surfing
Water shoes for kayaking
Water shoes for fishing
Water shoes for heavy duty jobs (Navy SEALs quality!)
And here’s how to keep them clean and dry


Water shoes for boating and surfing:

 

 


Water shoes for kayaking:

Astral Men’s Brewer Watershoe




Water shoes for Fishing:

NRS Felt Sole Kicker Wetshoe

(These are actually waterPROOF)

NRS Boundary Shoe


Hard working watershoes: (US Navy SEALs quality)

NRS Workboot Wetshoe


OTB Abyss II Boot




30% off SALE on NRS Water Shoes!! Limited supplies!! NRS.com! Click Here for Details.

Catch bigger fish, DudePerfect style

Bigger Fish – DudePerfect Style

You tell big huge fish stories – now prove them with this fish picture trick!


This hilarious video is by DudePerfect!

DudePerfect has a book: Go Big

 Buy it now!