Sit on top kayaks make it possible for anyone to enjoy the sport of kayaking. Here on the Sunshine Coast, the options for places to kayak are as endless as are the choices of kayaks or canoes for the job. That’s where we come in to help you as your local specialist’s store.

This article is to share our knowledge helping first-time buyers “buy right buy once”.  Our team address some common questions and share some kayak design fundamentals that you need to know when buying your first kayak.

If you find this article useful and know someone who it could benefit, we would love it if you could share it around

Stability – Are They Stable?

This is the most common fear of the first-time buyer, even before we get into which kayak “Are they stable, will I fall out?”. The short answer is yes, they are stable and no you will not just fall out due to the kayak’s design if matched with the right kayak for your needs and experience. But not all kayak designs are equal so let’s explain what gives stability.

  1. Kayak weight capacity or carry load, overload the kayak and it will become unstable
  2. Lower set seat positions are more stable due to the lower centre of gravity

All Viking kayaks have low set seat positions which not only offer greater stability but greater comfort due to feeling more connected to the kayak rather than the feeling of floating above it that the higher, less stable seat positions give.

Kayaks with a higher seat position need to be wider to compensate for the higher centre of gravity and remain stable. The pay off here is the wider the kayak the less efficient to push through the water as there is more drag in the water

Try Before You Buy

Here at Kayak and SUP Sunshine Coast have a huge test pool instore for you to try before you buy, an experience you will not get anywhere else and ensures your confident it is the right product for you. See the video at the bottom of this post of customers enjoying the pool testing experience

Where Will You Be Using It?

Calm protected waters, waters that are subject to tidal flow or open waters. Long distances or short distances. All very important things to consider so let’s cover what you need to know about the kayak shapes to help decide what’s best for where you intend to paddle.

Shorter kayaks – are more responsive, easy to turn and often have more rocker in the hull (lift in the front and sometimes rear). These kayaks are great for short distances, protected waters like canals and playing in the surf zone.

Size – Does The Length Of The Kayak Matter?

With less length come less efficient hulls, more drag (slower to paddle). They are harder to use where there is tidal flow like in the Bribie Passage, Cotton Tree or Noosa river for example, at full flow in any of these spots it can be potentially dangerous for a weaker paddler.

Shorter single kayak examples instore

Med length and longer kayaks are easier to paddle over distances, into wind and current as they generally have better glide in the hull due to a combination of length and width. The longer the kayak the harder to turn so often a foot-controlled rudder is needed to assist in turning.

Examples of med – longer kayaks instore are the

#1 Selling Single Kayak

Here on the Sunshine Coast our number one selling single person recreational kayak is without a doubt the Viking Espri due to the fact its design caters to all the waterways we have here. Long enough for any experience level to paddle it into the wind and current with ease, short enough to turn or play in the surf and enough capacity to carry an adult and a small child or dog with ease.

The Espri as the single of choice for kayak hire operators for these reasons, anyone can paddle it anywhere without compromise.

Double or single

Are you better to have a double kayak or 2 single kayaks? When there is more than one person to consider this question is certainly a common one for first-time buyers for a variety of reasons. The answer is never straight forward as every situation is different, so we designed a kayak that helps answer a lot of the needs here. Again a very popular choice by kayak hire operators

The Viking 2+1 Double, Triple or Single answers all needs in one kayak and is by far our most popular recreational kayak. Paddle it as a double, add a middle seat to the centre seat position for a smaller person or dog. The centre seat can also be used to paddle the kayak as a single so if you only have room in your life for on kayak but need to share it with many people then the 2+1 is the best choice.

Generally, the double is a great place to start with many either adding a single kayak like the Espri later on or after getting confidence on the water, trading in the double for 2 singles. We Offer Trade in services so do ask us about that.

What makes a Viking kayak better than other imported kayaks?

Viking kayaks have been made locally here on the sunshine coast for over 20 years and come with a 30-year warranty. Made to last in the harsh Australian sun using the highest grade of UV stabilized plastics which is why they can offer you a 30-year warranty…your not going to get that from an imported kayak which will be vulnerable to becoming brittle after time in the sun…like those cheap beach toys that don’t last…

Buy right, Buy once

Hire a Viking kayak for free

Most of the hire operators here on the sunshine coast from Caloundra to Noosa choose locally made Viking kayaks as their preferred brand due to the stable efficient hulls and high standard of manufacture that can withstand anything the hire environment throws at them.  Book in with one of our recommended hire operators and keep your receipt, we will give you your hire money back when you purchase. Send us a message to see who your closest hire operator is that holds the Viking kayaks in the fleet. Contact Details HERE

Next blog we talk about transport and storage of your kayak

  • Do you need roof racks
  • Can you transport more than one kayak?
  • How to store your kayak and more…

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