When choosing a kayak there is a lot to think about. What will you be using it for the most? Leisure or fishing? Here are some tips and information to make the process a little less overwhelming.
Understanding model names: FS=Fishing, T=Top-sitting, the numbers indicate the length. So for instance FS128T= Fishing model 12'8" and top-sitting. If the model is does not indicate the FS such as D10, it is a sit-in model 10' long.
This is the FS128T (top-sitting)
This is the D10 (sit-in)
Weight of your kayak can be something to consider if you will be adventuring out alone. So here is a breakdown of wt. on Bass Pro Shops Ascend series. FS128T is 84 lbs. FS12T is 56 lbs. and a great option for a semi sit in/top sitting. D10T is 52 lbs. D12 is 74 lbs. A10 and D10 are both 47 lbs. one of our easiest to carry solo. The FS12 is 79 lbs. and our FS10 model weighs in at only 51 lbs.
When choosing a paddle the width of the kayak and the height of the passenger are the two components to think about. This chart will help assist you.
|Kayak Width||Under 23"||24" to 28"||29"+|
|Paddler Height||Recommended Paddle Length|
|Under 5'5"||210-220 cm||230 cm||230-240 cm|
|5'5" - 5'11"||220 cm||230 cm||230-240 cm|
|6'+||220-230 cm||230-240 cm||240 cm|
Keep in mind all of our ascend kayaks are minimum 29" wide. So your paddle length will be at least a 230cm.
Now you think about which life jacket is best for you. Standard life vests for boating are designed with ample padding all over up to the armpit area. Due to the motion your arms make while kayaking, the extra padding can cause the issue of rubbing on the sensitive skin on your upper arm. Kayaking vests are designed to be open down the side and padding that sits lower to prevent rubbing and make the motion of paddling more fluent.
PFD or personal floatation devices are required on every boat 16 ft. or longer. They indicate on all vests the pounds of buoyancy, but what does that mean? Example, a 200 lb. person is made up of about 80% water so 200X .20%= 40lbs. Then consider about 15% body fat on average. So 200X .15%-30lbs=10lbs. So a 16 lb. buoyancy should be more than sufficient for a floatation device.
Now that you have most of the essential information you need, feel free to stop by at your local Bass Pro Shops store and have a friendly camping associate get you equipped to hit the water, or simply visit http://basspro.com to order online, shipping to store is free shipping! Also see http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BPSIFrameView?catalogId=10051&tab=2&langId=-1&storeId=10151&targeturl=http://www.basspro1source.com/&ddkey=http:BPSIFrame&tab=2 to see for on fishing from your kayak.