The Test Drive
Page 8 of 8
There is no substitute for actually paddling any boat you are considering. You can eliminate some choices quickly, but beware of buying a boat you haven't paddled over the course of hours in a range of conditions. A fifteen-minute test drive can tell you a lot about a car but very little about a sea kayak. A road is a road. But the same body of water can change drastically depending on wind direction and strength, wave formation and currents. Different conditions will bring out different facets of a boat's paddling characteristics. Most outfitters keep a variety of boats in their fleets and some retailers offer day and half-day rentals. Spending a half day each in different types of kayaks is a wise investment.
Once you find a type of boat you like, ask experienced paddlers what other makes and models are similar, and paddle those. Relatively small differences - including price - may make the difference between a good choice and the perfect sea kayak for you.
Atlantic Kayak Tours, Expert Center
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