Inflatable kayaks are pretty cool. They’re light, easy to maneuver and allow you to travel in rivers or lakes. They’re also safer for white water.
But is an inflatable kayak better than a traditional kayak? Are inflatable kayaks safer?
In this article, I’ll explain how inflatable kayaks work and what types of kayaks are best for different situations.
Here’s The Answer To Are Inflatable Kayaks Safer For White Water
Inflatable kayaks have many advantages over hardshell kayaks regarding safety in whitewater kayaking. For one, inflatable kayaks are much less likely to sink than their hardshell counterparts.
This is because they are made of multiple air chambers that keep the kayak afloat even if one of the chambers is punctured.
Hardshell kayaks, on the other hand, are made of one solid piece of plastic or other material, which means that if they are punctured, they will quickly sink.
Inflatable kayaks are also much easier to get out of if they do capsize than hardshell kayaks. Again, this is because you can roll them over to the side and get out, whereas, with a hardshell kayak, you would have to flip it over, which can be very difficult to do in the middle of a river.
Inflatable kayaks are much more comfortable to paddle in than hardshell kayaks. This is because they have more room for you to move around, and they don’t rub against your legs as much.
They Float Better Than Traditional Kayaks Do
Inflatable kayaks are designed to float on water. They are also more stable and easier to paddle, providing a more comfortable ride.
Traditional kayaks are made of fiberglass or other rigid materials, which can be very dangerous if they capsize or leak. Inflatable kayaks are softer materials, much less likely to cause severe injuries if they leak or capsize.
Inflatable kayaks are also much easier to maneuver than traditional kayaks. In addition, they are more stable in rough water and can be paddled in tandem with another kayaker.
They Don’t Tip Over As Easily As Traditional Kayaks Do
One of the most cited features of inflatable kayaks is their stability. Traditional kayaks have a long and narrow shape, which means that if you are too heavy or don’t paddle correctly, it’s easy to tip over due to the thin side walls.
However, inflatable kayaks are broader and more stable because they have multiple layers of material and a broader base. Therefore, they are less likely to topple over or capsize in unfamiliar environments like rivers or lakes where there may be currents and waves.
Traditional Kayaks Are More Durable Than Inflatable Kayaks
So you’ve decided to take kayaking but don’t want to spend a fortune on a traditional kayak. That’s understandable: after all, chances are good that this will be a hobby for you and not something you do every day.
Unlike traditional kayaks, inflatable kayaks are more readily damaged or punctured. Here are some tips for kayaking safely in an inflatable kayak:
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and paddle in calm water.
- If you tip over, stay with your kayak and swim to the shore.
- Use a high-quality electric or hand pump to inflate your kayak.
- Check for air leaks before each use.
- Repair any leaks immediately with a repair kit.
- Do not overinflate your kayak.
- Use caution in rough water conditions.
It Can Get Damaged By Sharp Rocks In Water Rivers
You might wonder if an inflatable kayak can withstand the sharp rocks in a river. While PVC, which is the material used to make inflatable kayaks, has proven itself to be durable in many applications.
It’s not as strong as the composite materials used in traditional kayaks. Sharp rocks can puncture even the best inflatable kayaks and can cause them to sink within seconds.
The good news is that if you are aware of these risks and how to avoid them, there are ways you can avoid them. For example, one way to prevent damage from sharp objects in your path should be obvious: don’t take your boat over them.
It may seem common sense, but there have been instances where people had had their boats punctured simply by riding over rocks at high speeds on flat water (when there was no current).
If you see a rock ahead that could puncture your boat or tear through its floor material, steer around it instead of trying to run over it with full force (unless there isn’t another option).
Inflatable Kayaks Don’t Require Large Space To Store
You’ll need to store your inflatable kayak, but you’ll be able to do so in various places.
- Can be stored in car trunks
- Can be stored in closets
- It can be stored in a boat trailer
- Can be stored in tents (yours or someone else’s)
- They can even fit on boats and take up the same amount of space as an adult human would
Inflatable kayaks are more accessible to store than their hard-shelled cousins since they can be deflated and rolled up into a small package. They also cost less than traditional ones, meaning more people can afford them.
In addition, inflatable kayaks are generally much lighter than their hard-shelled counterparts, making them easier to transport and transport across the water.
Inflatable Kayak Can Also Be Used On Other Water Types (Lake, River, Sea)
Inflatable kayaks are versatile and can be used in different types of water. This means you don’t have to restrict yourself to white water only! You can take your inflatable kayak out on the lake or river; even sailing is possible.
Inflatable kayaks are also suitable for beginners. An inflatable model can be ideal if you’re a beginner and want to experience white water before making a hard shell kayak purchase.
They Don’t Require A Lot Of Skill To Use Hence Suitable For Beginners
Inflatable kayaks are easy to use and require minimal skill. For this reason, they’re a great option for beginners or those who want to learn how to paddle in white water.
Traditional kayaks are faster and more maneuverable, but the added control makes them difficult for beginners or even intermediate paddlers.
Inflatable kayaks are stable enough that you won’t tip over even if you don’t know what you’re doing out on the water, but they can still be knocked around by strong currents and wind gusts.
Do Inflatable Kayaks Work Better For White Water?
The answer is yes, and inflatable kayaks are better for white water. This is because they are more stable than hardshell kayaks and sit higher in the water.
Inflatable kayaks have a broader base, so they aren’t as likely to turn over in the rapids due to their larger surface area.
If you’re considering an inflatable kayak for whitewater kayaking, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Ensure the kayak is made specifically for whitewater use; some inflatable kayaks are designed for calm waters only.
- Pay attention to the weight limit; whitewater can be pretty strenuous, so you’ll want a kayak that can accommodate your weight.
- Consider investing in some accessories, such as a pump and a spray skirt, to help keep you dry and comfortable while paddling.
Do Older Inflatable Kayaks Still Work In White Water Rivers?
Older inflatable kayaks may have lost some buoyancy, stability, and durability. Consequently, you will likely find that the older models are slower than, the newer ones.
The good news is that most of these problems can be resolved by simply replacing the airbags in your boat with new ones. This will increase your overall level of safety and improve performance at the same time.
How Durable Are The Material And The Construction Of An Inflatable Kayak?
An inflatable kayak is made of PVC, a material that’s generally considered to be lightweight, flexible, and strong. As a result, it won’t puncture easily when you hit obstacles like rocks or branches while paddling through rapids.
But it’s not indestructible. For example, if you’re not careful with your inflatable kayak, you’ll get holes in the floor or bottom of your boat, making it leaky and unstable even before hitting any rocks. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this damage. First, simply take proper care of your equipment.
Take Care Of Your Equipment Properly. You may do several things to keep an inflatable kayak in good condition for a long period, including the following:
- Avoid dragging it across sharp-edged surfaces like gravel roads or concrete sidewalks; if possible, store it indoors on thick carpeting instead
- Never leave an inflated or partially inflated unit unattended outdoors; if possible, store them indoors on thick carpets instead
- Never allow children under age 14 near an inflated unit without adult supervision due to their propensity toward careless behavior
Is Inflatable Kayak Useful For Kayaking Long Distances?
An inflatable kayak is an excellent choice for kayaking long distances. They are easy to transport and store and provide a comfortable ride. When choosing an inflatable kayak for long-distance paddling, keep the following factors in mind:
- Durability: An inflatable kayak must be durable enough to withstand the rigors of long-distance kayaking. Look for a kayak made of high-quality materials that can withstand bumps and scrapes.
- Stability: A kayak must be stable enough to provide a comfortable ride. Look for a kayak with a wide bottom and a low center of gravity.
- Maneuverability: A kayak must be easy to maneuver. Look for a kayak with a sleek design that allows you to move quickly through the water.
- Comfort: A kayak must be comfortable to sit in for long periods. Look for a kayak with a padded seat and a backrest.
This blog post explored the advantages and disadvantages of using an inflatable kayak when paddling in dangerous, fast-moving waters. Also, we looked at the benefits and drawbacks of using inflatable kayaks and discussed how they are more likely to be safer in white water.
The answer is yes if you are looking for a white water inflatable kayak. For those looking to start participating in this sport, inflatable kayaks have been available for a while and will continue to be among the top options.
They are easy to use and simple to store and carry around, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy one today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if my inflatable kayak sustains damage while traveling?
If your kayak becomes damaged during a trip, the best thing to do is to bring it back to your car and inflate it again. Please contact the manufacturer. Many kayaks have a warranty covering damage caused by water or accidents.
Are inflatable kayaks any safer than regular kayaks when it comes to white water (rapids)?
There is no scientific proof that inflatable kayaks are safer than regular kayaks in white water rapids. There are a few reasons, though, why they might be more stable and simpler to control in these circumstances. Inflatable kayaks typically have a sleek design that makes them easy to move through the water. They also tend to have a wider bottom and low center of gravity, making them much less likely to flip over or fall out of the boat during whitewater activities.
Can inflating and deflating inflatable kayak damage it?
Inflation and deflating an inflatable kayak will not likely damage it. However, if the kayak becomes water-logged or damaged in any other way, you should inflate it and restore its original condition before using it again.
What features should be included in an inflatable kayak?
Your inflatable kayak must have several qualities to be both safe and simple to operate. These include a comfortable seat and footrests, adjustable straps for securing the kayak, and watertight storage containers to keep your gear dry.