HOW TO CHOOSE AN INFLATABLE CANOE OR KAYAK
When it comes to canoes and kayaks, there are plenty to choose from. It's not always easy to find your way when trying to make your first purchase. The ITIWIT brand, Decathlon’s own brand for water sports has everything you need. And we’re here to help you ask yourself the right questions so that you can make the right choice.
HOW MANY PEOPLE?
You might want to go canoeing or kayaking on your own or with others, with friends or family. You can get canoes/kayaks for 1 to 3 people (2 adults + 1 child). These kayaks can also be paddled solo by taking the extra seats out.
WHY SHOULD I OPT FOR AN INFLATABLE KAYAK?
Several years ago, Itiwit decided to only develop inflatable canoes and kayaks. The benefit of an inflatable kayak is that it is easy to transport due to its compact design, allowing it to be packed down into a backpack and can therefore fit inside the boot of a car and then carried easily to the beach, river bank or lake side to inflate and jump aboard.
WHY SHOULD I BUY MY INFLATABLE KAYAK FROM DECATHLON?
WE REPLACE PARTS
Itiwit inflatable kayaks have been designed so that you can easily replace worn parts and make them last well beyond their two-year guarantee. You can easily order these parts from decathlon.ie or in your local Decathlon Ireland store:
REPAIRABILITY OF YOUR KAYAK
Inflatable kayaks have the enormous advantage of being very easy to transport thanks to their compact size. However, they do carry the risk of one of the bladders bursting if punctured by a sharp object (the kayak is designed to allow you to get back to shore even if one of the three bladders is flat, ensuring you will still be safe in the case of any such incidents) or of the skeg becoming bent after hitting a rock. This is quick and easy to repair, so much so that you can do it yourself without having to bring your kayak back to your local Decathlon Ireland store.
If you are having any issues or don’t think you are capable of a guided or self repair, we can repair it for you in our dedicated workshop in store.
WHAT DO I NEED FOR KAYAKING?
So now that you might be thinking about purchasing an inflatable kayak from Decathlon, let’s look at everything you need to get on the water and Kayak in Ireland.
It goes without saying that you couldn’t kayak without a kayak itself, when you buy one at Decathlon this will be the first and main product needed to take to the water for kayaking in Ireland. As previously mentioned we have a variety of kayaks to choose from, our most popular being our 2/3person inflatable touring kayak in orange. (include image)
PADDLE FOR KAYAKING
Now that you have your kayak, you need to be able to paddle to get from A to B. Choosing your paddle is something that can be confusing for anyone new to the activity, so one of our watersports experts in store Fionn has shared a quick and easy tip on choosing the correct paddle for kayaking in the video below.
To measure the kayak to the right size for you, you want to firstly have a double sided paddle, so that you can row on both sides of the kayak with ease. Then, you need to stand the paddle upright (vertically) against your body with your arm reaching upwards. The rule of thumb is that your paddle should reach as far, but no further than your wrist for a standard kayak, adding approximately 10cm in addition to this measurement in the case of an inflatable kayak.
PUMP FOR INFLATABLE KAYAK
If you have opted for an inflatable kayak, you will also need a pump as it is not included with your kayak upon purchase. We have a range of pumps available suitable for inflating your kayak.
Here are some of the types of pumps available at Decathlon
FOOT PUMP FOR KAYAK
This pump is the most compact and is very easy to carry, but takes time to inflate each bladder, which will quickly tire out your leg. It is mainly used to inflate mattresses and small beach boats. But if you have back problems, this pump will nevertheless be useful.
Please note: using a foot pump can lead to under- or over-inflation of your kayak, as it does not have a pressure gauge.
DOUBLE ACTION HAND PUMP FOR KAYAK
This pump allows rapid inflation because it pumps air out when you lower the handle, but also when you pull it towards you (double action).
There are different pump sizes. Small pumps are more compact but take time to inflate each bladder, because they pump out less air. They are also harder work for your back, because you need to bend down low to operate the pump. If you choose a double action pump that is higher, you will inflate your kayak faster and it will be easier on your back.
Please note: if your manual pump does not have a pressure gauge, you risk over- or under-inflating your kayak. A pressure gauge can be added (sold separately), however you should verify compatibility with your pump.
ELECTRIC PUMP FOR KAYAK
If you don't consider manual inflation to be a good warm-up for kayaking, or if you simply find it too hard, choose an electric pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter in your car. Set the desired pressure on the dial, press "on" and in a few minutes, the bladder is automatically inflated. It is usually necessary to leave the engine of your car running during inflation so as not to drain the battery. Some electric pumps can also operate on rechargeable batteries.
Note: Good news, if you already have a pump for a SUP from Decathlon, this should also work for your kayak!
LIFE JACKET FOR KAYAKING IN IRELAND
Let’s talk about water safety, it’s crucial for all watersports but particularly if you are a beginner and new to kayaking (in this case). It is absolutely essential to have a suitable Life Jacket when kayaking in Ireland, in any body of water no matter your level of experience kayaking or as a swimmer. We encourage you to actively check that your buoyancy aid or life jacket is suitable for your weight and similarly for any others kayaking with you. You should be able to find this information on the instructions that come with or printed on the life vest.
Other water safety tips would include checking tide times and ensuring a means of contact when out on the water. A waterproof phone pouch will work well and most importantly, ensure that you let friends and family know when you are going and when you hope to return home.