The second part of the “F.I.T.” method is “intended use”.
This is an opportunity for us to really think about the type of uses that enticed us to get into the sport. If we were to send a picture of ourselves out on the water for the first time to family and friends, what would it look like? Do we have a paddling dream that we intend to reach? Sharing this vision with sales staff can help them properly suggest best choices for you. Your first kayak might not be your last kayak so staying focused on your immediate goals first with an eye toward short term dreams and even long term goals will help you make sure to be equipped to safely and enjoyably achieve your aspirations out on the water.
Perhaps we have a friend, group of friends or club that we want to join on the water. We mention this first because we find it is often easy to overlook this element when shopping for a kayak for yourself. It is easy to steer oneself toward something small and lightweight for convenience. However, once we factor in your fellow paddlers you may find yourself better suited with a longer kayak that will help you stay with the pack a little better.
Added primary and secondary stability along with extra space for storage should be considered. Carbonlite is easy to aftermarket install various camera mounts. The smooth and non-porous surface (unlike polyethylene) works great on suction mounts too!
For fishing out of your kayak, some of the main considerations should be comfort for long days on the water and mobility around the cockpit region. You’ll be looking for added primary and secondary stability so that you can move around your kayak a bit more for landing fish for reaching tools, nets and accessories.
You may also want to look at the many add-on features either available on our angler models or available in our store for customized installation.
The Carbonlite material is easy to drill mounting holes and add backing brackets for a host of fishing accessories. We are finding more and more that fishing enthusiasts might have a couple kayaks. One that is loaded to the hilt with all sorts of accessories, fishfinders, etc but might not prioritize light weight and paddling efficiency. When easy hauling and stronger paddling performance are needed, Eddylines are the perfect catch!
There is a reason why pet photos in a kayak are so popular! It’s just so much fun to take our companions out of the water with us!
Some of the considerations you want to factor in is the overall hauling capacity of your kayak and the added space needed for your pet to have a comfortable outing. The back tank well of the Caribbean‘s can be lined with a non-slide pad for small and medium sized pets. This frees up the space in front of you for easy stroking. The larger opening of the Sandpiper 12 and Sandpiper 130 is also a great option that allows your pet to feel secure down in the cockpit. Models with a bit more primary and secondary stability will be beneficial when your pet moves around the kayak or you need to help them re-enter.
Some of our fondest memories in our kayaks start with paddling into hard-to-reach areas for the splendor of camping with family and friends.
If you come from the backpacking philosophy then you’ll find most kayaks offer an overwhelming amount of space. You can load your hatches in the same way you would a backpack with small dry bags filled with various components of your camp. These small bags will make shifting the weight around the kayak easier for various conditions and ensure all of your gear stays safe and easy to find. The smaller packs fit quite easily in most all of our hatches but you’ll want to make sure that your camping personality matches your kayak. Models like the Sitka XT, Fathom and Sandpiper 130 can really be loaded up but even smaller models like the Skylark, when packed efficiently, can get you out under the stars for an evening.
While many of us might not be entering a race, when it comes to fitness and distance paddling there are a few attributes that should be considered. You will want to be sure that your kayak fits in a way that promotes an efficient and smooth stroke. Your local Paddlesports dealer will be able to quickly help recommend this past match once they start putting you in a few kayaks.
When you paddle a bit harder, it is nice to know that the model you are paddling will reward you with additional speed and glide. You might often read that “longer is faster”. We’d like to add ”as long as the appropriate sized motor is in the kayak”. As the motor, you might find that the ultimate efficiency is not necessarily the longest kayak on the market but a perfect blend of hull length and low wetted surface area. If that all seems a little bit complicated, just try giving our Sitka series a paddle and you might feel just what we are talking about!
This is another kayak use which is not always made clear when one member of the family is doing the shopping. If you’re looking for a model that can work for a variety of members of your family or guests you might have to search out a more general fit cockpit. Models like the Skylark, Equinox, Sandpiper and Caribbeans are great for this application where many body types might all be paddling the same kayak.
The other consideration to think about is that some family members or guests might not have the same skill set and will need to stay safe in the conditions where your shared kayak is used.
All Eddyline sit insides offer double bulkheads for built in floatation but if your family members are not familiar with water reentry techniques you might find the Caribbeans a better choice since most can just climb back on board if they find themselves in the water. Younger members of our family love to swim and snorkel off the Caribbeans as well.
There are of course many other uses for our kayaks but these are a few examples to encourage you to think about your “intended use” as one of the main factors to inform your purchasing decision. It seems common sense but with so much information out there it is easy to get lost in the numbers and not spend time painting the picture of what you are asking of your kayak.
Ethan Ebersold is with Happy Paddlin’, and represents Eddyline and other premium paddlesport brands in the Western US. https://happypaddlin.com/