If you’re new to kayaking and looking for your perfect DW boat the choices can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re setting out to scrounge a second-hand bargain. I thought I’d share a few tips on models and brands to look out for if you’re struggling to know where to start.
First tip – don’t think it’s a good boat just because it’s a pretty colour.
Characteristics of the ideal DW boat:
- A K2 (a flat-water racing kayak specifically, rather than a sea kayak),
- Relatively stable (if you’re a newbie then aim for a wobble factor of 8 – 10),
- Handles for portages (although these can be added later),
- Lightweight construction (under 20kg is good).
In terms of brands, there are a few to look out for which would guarentee you a well-built boat. The Big Dogs of the K2-making world are:
- Marsport (based in Reading, full of DW nerds)
- Kirton Kayaks (claim to hold all the DW speed records)
- Nelo (the name I see on the boats owned by all the super speedy racers)
- Elio (less popular, but a good reliable brand)
If you have look on the websites of those brands they will generally reference their most stable racing K2s as ‘perfect for DW’, and if you can find one second hand then you’re probably onto a winner. Good luck!