In this video, Paddle Tales’ Ken Whiting explains the differences between a very basic sit-on-top kayak and a higher-end sit-on-top kayak.
Take a look…
Ken shows the differences between two extremes so you can see what you would get in a $1,600 sit-on-top kayak model compared to the very basic sit-on-top at $300.
“There are lots of kayaks in-between that work their way up to what the $1,600 kayak has, and you just have to decide what’s most important to you,” says Ken.
What You Get with a $300 Sit-on-Top Kayak
The basic model we see in this video is the Pelican Boost 100. What do get you with a kayak like this?
Well, this boat is not designed for comfort! These basic kayaks are designed for people who simply want to get out on the water and enjoy themselves for a short period of time without a lot of investment.
If you’re not worried about covering lots of distance or hauling gear, but just getting on the water with friends and family once in awhile, a $300 kayak like the Boost 100 might be just right for you.
Kayaks like these are manufactured with a process called blow molding, which doesn’t allow for much detail. Their features are basic, not made for durability necessarily, and intended to fit a variety of people of a variety of sizes and weights. The seat isn’t going to be comfortable, but again, very basic.
But if you’ll only use a kayak once or twice a season, or want a couple of them for the grandkids at the cabin, “It’ll float and you can paddle it!”
What You Get with a $1,600 Sit-on-Top Kayak
The higher-end model Ken shows us in this video is the Jackson Coosa HD. This particular model is designed for kayak fishing.
There are upgrades in design and durability you’ll notice right away. From the handles at the bow and stern to the rod tip protectors to water-resistant hatches to paddle stows, kayaks like this are designed with storage, comfort and efficiency in mind.
You’ll notice an especially huge difference in the seat. Quick-dry fabric, lumbar support, adjustability and comfort over many hours all contribute to make the extra cost well worth it if you plan to use your sit-on-top kayak many times a season for many years.
If you want to fish in your kayak, it’s worth it to buy one, like the Coosa HD, that’s designed for anglers. The multiple extra features will help you keep all your gear either at-hand or out of the way, whichever you prefer.
Neither of these sit-on-top models—really, any sit-on-top—is designed for speed, but for stability.
Again, there are many options in-between these two examples. Start thinking about what options are important to you, what type of paddling you’ll do and how often. Then head to your local paddlesports retailer for advice on narrowing down the right kayak for you!
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