The best material for a kayak is GRP. The next best is rubber, aluminum, wood, and pvc. Each type of material has its advantages and disadvantages that will help you decide which kayak design will best suit your preference and needs.
- Folding boats
The folding kayaks consist of a collapsible scaffold and soft outer skin made of rubber or PVC. The frame of the kayak gets made of wood or aluminum. You can dismantle the boat during transportation into the outer hull and scaffolding.
The aluminum frames make the kayak lightweight and robust, and they have a small packing size that remarkably makes transport and storage easy. The folding boats are more popular than the inflatables due to their fixed better performance as a kayak.
Folding kayaks are a bit costly than other fixed kayaks. Their robustness tends to be prone to sharp objects, and it’s as well expensive to maintain the free moving parts of the boat.
- Inflatable kayaks
Inflatable kayaks are made through a drop-stitch process using PVC or polyurethane to have additional stability. During transportation, the inflatable boat’s empty shell is put at the backpack, and an air pump inflates it when it’s in water. The set of this kayak comes with its paddle.
The empty shell of the inflatable kayak can get stored in a backpack and rolled up. With its weight that ranges from 7.5-15 kilograms, the boat is considered lightweight, which makes it among the popular types of kayaks preferred. The low priced kayak has an advantage of storage and transport.
With the several advancements in the market, manufacturers have made the inflatables more durable and robust, which has increasingly gotten them to catch up with the stable kayaks. Their driving characteristics are somewhat limited, and they aren’t designed for top speeds.
- Wooden kayaks
Any kayaker’s commonly built wooden kayaks involve the Stitch and Glue process by anyone, including inexperienced kayakers. As simple as that, the boat is ready for sale. A glass fiber, varnish or resin gets used to coat typical wooden boats to offer protection on the wood. They become more durable, stable, and are light like those made of synthetic materials.
They have different designs that are beautiful and have several options in their designed DIY approach. The fiberglass and lacquer offer coating reinforcement to the wood; hence, it is more durable than other kayaks. They are also affordable and lightweight unlike some of the other kayaks in the
Building wooden kayaks need skill, patience, and time. A kayaker can hire a company or craftsman to build or get to buy one that is a finished model, which will be costly. The type of boat isn’t challenging to make, but it’s not considered the best option for turbulent water and seas.
- Kayaks made of GRP and similar materials
Compared to graphite and aramid made kayaks, the GRP kayaks (GRP = glass fiber reinforced plastic) apply fibers from layer to layer while getting joined together. The texture doesn’t blend with all materials used in making kayaks. The outer layer of the boat gets coated with a colored gel, and for some, reinforcement gets done through the use of foam panels.
GRP is famous for its excellent driving characteristics. They are maneuverable, fast, and durable. The robustness of the kayak due to the composites that make it offers the most significant advantage. It can withstand any scratches and collisions with its design of several fibers. Additionally, it’s stable and lightweight than any other types of kayaks.
GPR kayaks are more costly due to the different materials that design it, and its robustness is vulnerable to any sharp objects.
Keep in mind the different types of kayak materials and the various manufacturing processes used in their design by manufacturers. Some show relative strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to weigh on the need you want before selecting the boats’ material. Also, you should ensure that there is the ease of repair for the chosen content, you don’t want to have something that cannot get easily repaired, and when it gets done, you are required to dig deeper into your pocket.