Did you know that nearly 16 million Americans went kayaking in 2016?
That number is especially impressive considering that only a decade earlier, in 2006, there were only 6.1 million kayakers.
Why are so many people jumping on the kayak bandwagon? What accounts for the astounding 21% increase in kayak sales in recent years?
The advent of inflatable kayaks has certainly helped. It’s made kayaking easier, more affordable, and more accessible than ever before.
If you’ve never given kayaking a try–or if you’ve never considered owning one–here are nine compelling reasons to buy an inflatable kayak.
1. Convenience of Inflatibility
Brace yourself for a shock: Inflatable kayaks are inflatable. What does this mean in practical terms?
For starters, it won’t take up an entire wall in your garage or storage unit. When you’re not using it, you simply deflate it and store it away. What could be easier than that?
When you’re ready to get out on the water, preparing your inflatable kayak is also a cinch. Most inflatables come with a hand or foot pump, or you can upgrade to an electric pump.
Just plug it in and let it fill. In a few minutes, you’re ready to start paddling!
2. Easily Portable
Have you ever struggled to haul a traditional kayak or canoe across rough terrain? Even securing it on top of your car or checking it in at the airport can be a hassle.
With an inflatable kayak, those hassles are gone. Some lightweight models weigh as little as 10 pounds! This means you can carry it up to that beautiful mountain lake without difficulty, inflate it, and be on your way.
Even standard inflatable models generally weigh less than a traditional kayak. Most come in a backpack or with a rolling duffel bag, letting you transport it wherever you desire to go.
3. Incredible Performance
If you have any doubts about the performance of an inflatable kayak, let’s debunk them right now.
Just because your kayak is inflatable doesn’t mean you won’t get outstanding performance from it. In many cases, performance levels match or exceed that of traditional kayaks.
There are inflatable kayaks designed for all types of water. Whether you’re cruising around a tranquil lake, paddling down a river, or tackling the open ocean, there’s a kayak designed for your exact needs.
4. Improved Stability
Along the same line of thought, let’s discuss stability.
In rough waters or windy conditions, you may struggle to keep a standard kayak steady. Because they’re so rigid, they’re also more prone to capsize–a safety risk you don’t want to take!
On the other hand, inflatable kayaks are known for being very stable, even in less than ideal conditions. Wider beams, multiple air chambers, and a lower sitting position all increase the craft’s stability.
5. Surprisingly Durable
What happens if you hit a rock or snag a fishing hook in your inflatable kayak? You’ll be relieved to know that, more than likely, absolutely nothing will happen.
In fact, most kayaks are so durable that it takes several hundred pounds of pressure to create even a tiny puncture. That little fishing hook doesn’t stand a chance.
Even if you’re tackling some river rapids or a rocky coastline, your inflatable kayak can handle it. Areas that receive the most impact are purposely reinforced with extra layers of material. This gives you peace of mind knowing you’ll stay afloat–no matter what!
6. Perfect for Fishing Trips
If you love to fish, you know you already have enough to pack and carry. Rods, lines, bait, hooks–the last thing you need is to haul a gigantic kayak too.
An inflatable version removes the hassle for you. You can carry it right along with your bait and tackle without breaking a sweat!
There are even inflatable kayaks designed especially for stand-up fishermen. Some models have a hard, rigid floor that’s safe and easy to stand on. Others include anchors, electronics, or a frame to mount your fishing accessories.
7. Keeps You Active & Healthy
How many times have you heard the importance of staying active? Rather than jog on a treadmill in a boring old gym, wouldn’t you rather get your exercise out on the water?
The act of paddling is a terrific workout for your arms, back, and core muscles. It raises your heart rate and helps to burn those extra calories.
By kayaking regularly, you’ll notice an increase in muscle tone and lung capacity. You might also lose some unwanted pounds in the process!
8. Connects You with Nature
Do you spend eight hours a day staring at a computer screen at work? Do you spend the rest of the day either glued to your phone or vegging in front of the television?
The truth is, we’ve become a sedentary society. We spend most of our time indoors and, in many cases, have completely lost touch with nature.
Kayaking provides the perfect excuse for a digital detox session. Leave the electronics at home and enjoy the feel of the sunshine, the water, and the wind on your face. Listen to the birds chirping or watch for wildlife along the shore.
This is sure to do wonders for your mental and emotional health.
9. Travel and Do What You Love
If these aren’t already enough benefits of kayaking for you, here’s one more: You can do it almost anywhere!
Once you get hooked on kayaking (and we know you will), the world is yours to explore! From mountain lakes and peaceful rivers to unexplored sea coves or rocky coastlines, there’s no shortage of beautiful places to paddle.
Check out our guide on the world’s 10 best places to kayak and discover your next dream destination!
Ready to Buy an Inflatable Kayak?
As you can see, there are so many reasons to buy an inflatable kayak.
It’s a sport that will keep you healthy, active, and connected with nature. What more could you want from an outdoor activity?
If you’re ready to start shopping for an inflatable kayak, check out our 2018 guide. You’re sure to find a kayak that’s perfect for you!