There are plenty of different factors to consider when you're buying a kayak. However, none are more important than the material, and few choices differ so markedly in their attributes as plastic and fibreglass. Your decision will make a big difference to the way your craft performs, so make sure you read through this list of the advantages and disadvantages that come with each choice before you buy.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic Kayaks
Plastic is probably the most common kayak material, and it isn't hard to see why. To start with, plastic kayaks are inexpensive, especially when compared to a material such as fibreglass. When people go to rent a kayak for a day on the lake, the selection will probably be composed entirely of plastic models.
Plastic is also very durable. Any knocks or bumps aren't likely to create any damage more serious than a small scratch or dent, and any repairs can be carried out easily and economically. This makes plastic a good bet if you'll be going through rougher water or heaving your craft across rocks.
Of course, plastic is not without its drawbacks. For a start, it doesn't look very nice, and it can be damaged by UV radiation, which both fades the colour and makes the plastic more brittle. Plastic kayaks are also quite heavy.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Fibreglass kayaks
Fibreglass kayaks aren't as common as plastic models, and that's because they tend to be used in more specialised situations. The central advantage that comes with fibreglass is that it is a much lighter material than plastic. You're going to find yourself expending far less energy while paddling, which will become a real boon during longer journeys, and you'll be able to pick up speed much faster. You'll also find it easier to porter your craft over obstructions. Fibreglass kayaks are therefore great if you'll be travelling long distances through calmer waters. As an added plus, they also look great.
On the other hands, fibreglass kayaks aren't as tough as plastic ones, and it's much harder to carry out repairs. You'll also be faced with a much higher initial price when you go for fibreglass, and these kayaks need to be cleaned more thoroughly after being used to prevent the growth of mould.
There really is no right decision when it comes to comparing plastic kayaks to fibreglass ones — you simply need to take your own needs into consideration. In general, plastic kayaks are better when you're facing rougher waters or rocky shores; they also cost a little less. In contrast, fibreglass kayaks are ideal for travelling faster when speed is a factor.
Check out kayaks for sale at a business like Wetspot Water Sports to learn more about your options.