Learning how to use folding kayaks makes it possible for the dedicated paddlers to bring along more gear and even hike to out-of-the-way locales with their boats on their backs. These water conveyances are not cheap, and it pays to understand how to use one of them before actually putting it together on-site. Getting started using folding kayaks is easy.
To use a folding kayak, you will need:
- The manufacturer's instructions
- Silicone spray
- Fresh water (for rinsing)
- Familiarize yourself with the instructions. Learning how to use folding kayaks—especially if you have never before owned such a boat—demands at least some written instruction. One thing that stands out in this process is the admonition to never attempt forcing any of the parts. Not only does this prevent erroneous couplings, but it also protects the durability of threaded connectors.
- Carry the boat to the water. It is possible to drag your kayak, but this endangers the hull fabric.
- Pull capsized kayaks to land. Bail out the water until it is possible to carefully tip the boat onto its side and void the remaining water in this manner.
- Rinse the parts of your folding kayak after use. Standard freshwater use requires a rinse for simple cleaning from sand, but saltwater use demands a rinse to remove potentially corrosive substances. Following this protocol protects folding kayaks against oxidation and also eliminates the possibility of parts beginning to stick.
- Spray shock-cords with silicone. This is less important for learning to use folding kayaks in freshwater, but it is crucial when using one in a saltwater environment.
- Dry all components before storing the boat. Using a folding kayak also requires an appreciation of the havoc that mold can wreak on the hull’s fabrics. Since this is generally not associated with static kayaks, first-timers must be clear on this point.
Newbies to the sport should remember that examining the instructions that detail the use of your folding kayak is not an exhaustive process. In fact, the uses of air bladders, foam pads and the judicious application of seam sealant are procedures that owners discover as their expertise in usage of these conveyances grows.