Is an Inflatable, Rigid or Folding Kayak the Best Choice For You?

When you are selecting your first kayak you will need to first think about the different types available. Would an folding, rigid or inflatable kayak be your best choice? You will have lots of questions and will need some information to help you make a good decision. There are a confusing number of different types so let’s consider the different types of kayaks in the shops.

Types of Kayaks Available

* Rigid – made of carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, wood plastic
* Inflatable kayaks
* Folding kayaks

Materials Used in Rigid Kayaks

These are the types of kayaks most people associate with the name 'kayak'. The cheapest choice here is to buy a plastic model which, however, is the heaviest. They are reasonably strong and durable but are virtually unrepairable if they are severely damaged. A little more expensive is a fiberglass material which will be lighter, easier to repair but also is damaged more easily. Further construction materials include carbon fiber, graphite composites and Kevlar which are lighter but often much more expensive. Though less popular, wooden boats can be bought, especially in kit form to assemble yourself. Though wooden boats are very easy to mend they require much more looking after than the other types of construction material.

Inflatable Kayaks

Kayaks of this type are of course easy to transport and store. They are among the least expensive kayaks to buy, easy-to-use and the performance is up to that of the rigid kayak. Inflatable kayaks are also extremely buoyant and stable so they stay upright easily, which makes them ideal for a beginner. They can be used in calm and whitewater as well as in the surf so they are very versatile.
You might be unsure about their toughness but if you don’t go for the cheapest but select a decent quality inflatable it should be as tough as a rigid kayak. For most people, unless you are going in for serious competitions, an inflatable kayak will probably be the best option.

Folding Kayaks

Folding kayaks tend to be much pricier than the rigid type but they are very long-lasting, strong, flexible and stable. They typically have a wood or aluminum frame enclosed with fabric. While they cost more they frequently have a higher secondhand value and are much more long-lasting than the other types of kayaks. However they do suffer a bit from lack of speed and performance is usually inferior to a rigid kayak.

Most folding kayaks use a different material for the hull and the deck. Decks are frequently made from a cotton blend or a synthetic material. Material used in the hulls is a synthetic material such as polyurethane, PVC or Hypalon which covers a synthetic cloth like Dacron. Folding kayaks typically have air chambers in the hull to increase buoyancy.


Once you have decided between a rigid, inflatable or folding kayak you can now think about where you will be using it. Again there are several choices such as recreational, fishing, whitewater,ocean and more. The type you purchase will depend on how and where you will be using it. For more help in choosing the right kayak and some good deals visit Cheap Kayaks for Sale

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