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Finding the Right Kayak

Mar 15, 2024 | Kayak

If you’ve ever dreamed of gliding through serene lakes or tackling exhilarating rapids, then you’re going to love the experience of kayaking. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or dipping your toes into the world of kayaking for the first time, finding the right kayak can make all the difference in your aquatic adventures.

Know Your Goals
First things first, let’s take a moment for some self-reflection. What kind of kayaking experience are you looking for? Are you all about the adrenaline rush of whitewater rapids, or do you prefer the tranquility of leisurely paddling on calm waters? Understanding your preferences and skill level will help narrow down your options and steer you in the right direction.

Choosing the Right Type of Kayak
Kayaks come in various shapes and sizes, each designed with specific activities and conditions in mind. Here’s a quick rundown of some common types:

  • Recreational Kayaks: Perfect for beginners and casual paddlers, recreational kayaks are stable, easy to maneuver, and ideal for calm waters like lakes and slow-moving rivers.
  • Touring Kayaks: If you’re planning on covering long distances or exploring open waters, touring kayaks offer speed, efficiency, and ample storage space for your gear.
  • Whitewater Kayaks: For the adrenaline seekers out there, whitewater kayaks are built to navigate fast-moving rivers and tackle turbulent rapids with precision and agility.
  • Fishing Kayaks: Anglers rejoice! Fishing kayaks are equipped with features like rod holders, storage compartments, and stable platforms, making them perfect for casting lines in your favorite fishing spots.
  • Stand-Up Kayaks: Great for warm weather paddling and easy re-entry if you take an unexpected dip, stand-up kayaks offer a more relaxed and open paddling experience.

Choosing the Right Size Kayak
Just like Goldilocks searching for the perfect bowl of porridge, finding the right size kayak is all about finding the one that’s just right for you. Consider factors like your height, weight, and leg length when choosing the size of your kayak. You’ll want a kayak that offers a comfortable fit and allows for easy entry and exit. Typically, recreational kayaks ranging from 8 to 12 feet or touring kayaks from 12 to 14 feet will suit a person standing at about six feet tall just fine, and those who fall near this height. However, for beginners, the shorter the kayak the easier it is to paddle. For activities such as fishing or whitewater rafting, your kayak should be 9 to 10 feet for fishing and 8 to 10 feet for whitewater river runs.
Our Favorite Kayaks

Stand-Up Kayaks

2023 Hobie Mirage iTrek Fiest Kayak
At Benson Ski & Sport we offer a range of kayaks to ensure there’s something for everyone! Our favorite kayak brands are Hobie Kayaks and Jackson Kayaks. If you’re looking for a kayak option that doesn’t require paddling, look no further than the 2023 Hobie Mirage iTrek Fiesta. This stand-up kayak is inflatable and pedal-powered, making it ideal for those who do not want to or cannot paddle their vessel. The iTrek Fiesta boasts an expanded standing platform that offers exceptional stability in windy conditions, choppy waters, and wake. Enhanced with EVA standing pads, it ensures a firm and secure footing. Additionally, its updated hull design enhances durability while simultaneously reducing overall weight.

Sit-Down Kayak

2023 Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak
As for sit-down kayaks, we recommend the 2023 Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 with 360 Drive Technology. Experience unparalleled freedom on the water with the groundbreaking MirageDrive 360 and Kick-Up fins, allowing you to navigate without limitations, precisely control your direction, and effortlessly pivot and maneuver with ease. Hobie’s innovative Kick-Up Fins retract instantly upon impact, ensuring that even shallow areas are easily traversable. From logs to kelp to rocky shallows, obstacles are no match. The PA 12 is loaded with features, including six rod holders, a fully adjustable and exceptionally comfortable elevated Vantage ST seat with BOA lumbar support, a Guardian retractable transducer shield, H-Rail for effortless accessory integration, a front and center hatch with stain-resistant EVA grip pads, dual steering, and an extra-wide hull for unparalleled stability.
Universal Kayak

2023 Hobie Mirage Kayak
For a more universal kayak, choose the 2023 Hobie Mirage Outback. Intended for fishing but can be used for any water sport, the Mirage Outback can handle lakes, rivers, or the ocean! The generously sized standing deck provides an enhanced casting platform and a convenient viewpoint for sight fishing, offering superior visibility from above. Plus, the innovative Guardian Transducer Shield grants multidimensional vision below the surface. The adjustable Vantage CTW seat offers an extra 1.5 inches of width and lumbar support for unparalleled comfort during extended days on the water. With the Hobie H-Rail equipped with the patented RAM® Hand-Track™ and multiple high-capacity storage compartments, customization, and organization in accessory mounting reach new heights, ensuring easy access to all your gear. Powered by the MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Turbo Fins, this finely tuned fishing vessel is incredibly versatile, silent, and remarkably agile. And with its Kick-Up Rudder system featuring dual steering capabilities, tackling drift and navigating narrow waterways has never been smoother.

Paddle on in Confidence
Before making a final decision, it’s essential to test out a few kayaks to see how they feel on the water. Benson Ski & Sport offers rental options, allowing you to try out different models and get a feel for what works best for you. Whether you’re embarking on a solo expedition, exploring hidden coves with friends, or casting lines in search of the catch of the day, finding the right kayak is the first step to a lifetime of beautiful days on the water. So, grab your gear, hop in your kayak, and let the water be your guide as you paddle your way to perfect waters! Need to upgrade your rig? Check out our full range of kayaks at our Derry store!

About Benson Ski & Sport  

Benson Ski & Sport is committed to embracing an active lifestyle. Seller of winter and summer sports equipment including skis, snowboards, boots, helmets, kayaks, paddleboards, and more. In an effort to be your one-stop-shop for all things ski and sport, we also offer boots fitting services to ensure you have your perfect fit on the slopes. Don’t want to make the investment in equipment yet? Check out our rental and lease programs – there’s something for everyone. Visit our website at bensonskiandsport.com or check out our full stock at our store in Derry, New Hampshire.