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If you're buying a kayak for the first time, it's important to research everything you can about the available differences to ensure you find the perfect fit for your needs. While you don't want to pay for features you won't need, you also don't want to waste your money by getting something that just won't cut the mustard.
Considering Your Choices
One of the key differences in quality when choosing a kayak has to do with the materials used in its crafting. While the most common of these differences regards choosing a kayak made from either plastic or composite materials, this difference can look perplexing to those who do not work in a manufacturing industry.
What are Composite Materials?
For the average consumer, the initial response to whether they should decide on buying a plastic kayak or one made with composite materials is to ask what the latter term means. While most people are familiar with the idea of plastics, composite materials are less well-known.
The strange thing about this circumstance is that even if you aren't familiar with the term composite materials, you are almost certainly used to interacting with composite materials daily. That's because companies that make composites contribute to thousands of everyday applications that you're already familiar with. That's because composite materials are used in a variety of industries, including:
- Marine Craft
- Consumer Vehicles
- Military Vehicles
- Medical Equipment
Specifically, composite materials combine two or more distinct components without blending them into a whole. The process yields a new building material that offers exceptional new properties, such a being strong and durable while also lightweight.
Key Differences Between Plastic and Composite Materials
Given that composite materials are developed specifically to bring new capabilities to a manufactured product, it should be evident that they are almost always utilized in higher quality and more expensive kayaks. Plastic is an inexpensive material for companies to produce, so it has the advantage of being more affordable. Still, when compared to a composite kayak, it falls short in almost every other way.
For example, composite kayaks tend to be more flexible, allowing more control of the craft on water surfaces. As is typical with many composites, they tend to be lighter to transport while offering more durability than most plastic models.
Style of Activity
Kayak manufacturers offer a surprisingly extensive range of options when it comes to quality and price, but most of these have to do with the kind of activity you plan to enjoy and where you plan to enjoy them.
If you're a beginner and only interested in the casual use of a kayak on a lake or relaxed river run, then you will likely be fine choosing a cheaper option that's made of plastic. If you're interested in more advanced activities such as ocean travel or white-water, then you will almost certainly stand to benefit from a composite option.
Composite materials are created specifically to allow you to achieve more in whatever purpose you're using them. If you're a kayak enthusiast, then you'll appreciate the upgrade that a composite model will provide.