The kayak scene has experienced an epic past few years. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, an unstable economy, and tumultuous cultural and political environment, the industry has seen its highs and lows across the board. But one thing is very clear amidst it all: the outdoors is where people want to be. And not only do people want to be outdoors, they want to be participating in a hobby that keeps them moving, all while enjoying life with friends and loved ones. There’s been many gadgets and general trends over the years when it comes to kayaking, but it can feel a bit overwhelming to know which ones to try out. Here’s our unofficial opinion on which kayak trends to keep up with, and which ones to ditch.
Trends to Try Out:
Okay, okay. This hardly feels like a “trend” at this point but it goes without saying, inflatable paddleboards and kayaks are here to stay. There’s a long-running list of why inflatables are really that good, so let’s just get into the most obvious. The ease of portability is off-the-charts, which allows users to pack their inflatable kayak and go just about anywhere, whether it be for an overnight camp trip, on a plane, or just out for the day. No pesky roof racks needed, just simply store your kayak in a handy storage bag, and inflate once you’re ready to hit the water. Beyond the simple storage and transporting, inflatable kayaks are now made sturdier than ever, with companies like Aquaglide specializing in drop-stitch technology which allows for a smoother, tougher ride. If you invest in an inflatable, you can have it all: quality, dependability, and an overall great product to have fun in on the water.
Kayak Angling has been a big hit for awhile now, and we don’t see it slowing anytime soon. Kayaks made specifically for sports like angling allow customers to really hone in on the sport and not compromise their love for the sport of fishing with a kayak that doesn’t serve their needs well.
Motor-powered kayaks are on the rise, and we’re really digging this trend. E-drive essentially gives kayakers (specifically anglers) an edge in making the overall kayak experience more productive, suiting anglers of all skill levels. Arrive at your destination sooner, save some energy, and enjoy the ride. The maneuverability and power of an e-drive will surely appeal to any kayaker, novice or advanced.
Inflatable SUP CO2 PFD Belts
Don’t get us wrong, PFDs are always in style. But the next best thing to a traditional PFD? A SUP CO2 PFD Belt. Don’t compromise or limit movement while on a SUP with a PFD belt, which can inflate in seconds and provide plenty of buoyancy to keep you afloat should you need it.
People will continue to shop for kayaks for years to come. But one thing that is drastically changing is how those kayaks are purchased. For this reason, many retailers have come up with unique ways for customers to experience their products without actually seeing them in person. Think video demos, 3D photography, unique customer service help, and tailored questionnaires helping customers find the best option specific to their needs.
Now that we’ve gone over our favorite kayak “trends”, here’s a few that we’re a little unsure of…
Trends to Ditch:
Save the clear kayaks for vacation days on white sandy beaches. Sure, they make for classic Instagram content, but they’re far from high quality when it comes to maneuverability and ease of transport. Invest in another solid product, and save the clear boats for the rental companies.
Paddle Above Your Means
Bigger, better, faster, stronger… is not the way it should always be. There’s pushing yourself to achieve that goal, to be a better [insert xyz], or to chase after those dreams. And then there’s pushing beyond your means. Don’t commit to a lengthy paddle you are not ready for and don’t try that intimidating line just because you want to show off to your friends. Because what’s cooler than going big? Being safe, and being able to go home.
There’s a lot of trends that come and go over the years. Stick with the ones that make sense for you and your lifestyle. But most of all, paddle your heart out and enjoy every minute of it. For more Aquaglide blog posts, check out Common Waters.