When thinking of purchasing a kayak, it is important
You should always try to do some research into which types of kayaks suit your needs. You can research online via retailers and manufacturers sites. It is also a good idea to seek advice through the many forums online, usually you can get advice on purchasing a kayak from people with years of experience. You may even decide to go into local stockists to try out many different kayaks to ensure you choose the right one.
Here are some things to think about:
Will you be kayaking mainly on fresh water or sea water?
If you are going to be mostly in salt water, then ensure you find a touring kayak which can withstand sea water, and dependant on experience, ensure the kayak has high manoeuvrability (newbies should nearly always opt for a good manoeuvrability kayak)
Or will you be paddling in white water? If so you will need to buy a fresh water kayak, these are usually shorter than touring kayaks, which translates into more controlled manoeuvrability should you decide to head for rapids.
Will you be using it for short trips? Or for long periods of time?
Something to think about if you are using it for just a few hours at a time, one of the smaller kayaks may suit you best, as these tend to feature high manoeuvrability. If you plan on going on long trips, you may wish to consider consider a large kayak to store all of your equipment, though this extra weight will effect manoeuvrability.
Will you be using the kayak for a spot of fishing?
Though most kayaks can be fitted with fishing equipment, it is generally considered best to purchase one which is meant for angling. It will usually work out a lot less expensive than buying all the separate equipment, and you can be sure that everything is fitted to it correctly in the factory. Some fishing kayaks offer features that can not be added to a sport kayak. Here is an example: the Freedom Hawk kayaks are designed in a way which allows the paddler to stand up inside the kayak as thewhole back end of the kayak opens up to allow for better stability, this kind of feature would be unavailable to fit to a standard kayak at a later time.
What is your budget, and how often do you plan on using it?
When considering a large purchase, it is always important to know how much money you are looking to spend on what is probably going to be an expensive purchase. You need to also factor in how often you would like to use the kayak. This is important as you will usually find that the cheaper kayaks on the market are made for occasional use, and are perfectly fine for this purpose. However if you are considering using it a lot, it is usually best to pay a little more for it, as it will usually provide you with a better kayak that is more durable and are better designed than the cheaper models. The more expensive kayaks will usually last a lot longer and provide you with many years of paddling with frequent use.
Consider all of these things when purchasing a kayak. Another good idea is for you to join your local kayak club and shoot some questions at people who are passionate about kayaks who can offer you completely impartial advice on purchasing your first kayak. And remember the key to purchasing the correct Kayak for you is research, research, research.