I am asked quite a bit on the difference between the kayaks we choose to sale v the ones at big box retailers and why someone should think of spending a bit more money for a kayak from us. And in a word its all about quality.
I think a strong argument can be made that by looking at 3 factors that the over all quality of a kayak can be determined.
The first factor is the weight of the kayak. The weight of the kayak tells you right out the gate how much or how little plastic the maker used to make the kayak. Take the Wilderness Tarpon 100, it weighs 55 lbs and is a bit on the heavy side of kayaks in the 9, 10 and even 11 foot range, but that 55 lbs is telling you this is a durable boat. There are boats out there that weigh in at 30, 35 and 40 pounds and compared to the T100 that could be roughly 20 pounds of plastic you are not getting. Lets be honest, our south Texas rivers are rough and whether you are looking for a paddling kayak or an angler, durability is a major consideration.
The second factor to look at is the capacity that the kayak can hold. If the kayak you are looking at can’t hold at least 300 -325 pounds, move along. Capacity speaks volumes about the quality of the kayak being made. The cheaper made kayaks typically will have lower weight limits. Something to look at for sure.
And thirdly look at the seating option of the kayak. The seat is the second most important part of your purchase. If you aren’t comfortable, you won’t enjoy your kayak. The kayak industry has seen great improvements in the seating of kayaks over the last few years. The top makers have custom seats just for their models and they allow for adjusting the backrest part as well as sections under the legs so the paddler can really fine tune their seat to them. Some seats also move either up or down and some move back and forth to better center the paddler. If you are looking at a kayak and it has the snap or clip on style seat, thats 5 year old tech and is not a good thing. It proves to me that the maker isn’t changing with the times and just keeps rehashing the old.
Hope this helps you as you look for your next kayak and if Kerrville Kayak and Canoe can help in any way, please hollar.