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How to Strap a Kayak to a Roof Rack

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Want to learn how to strap a kayak to a roof rack? You've come to the right place. In this complete guide, you're going to learn all the different ways...

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It sounds so simple - but learning how to paddle a kayak the right way is one of the most important first steps in your kayaking journey. Maybe you've been...

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As you start shopping around for your first kayak, or even to upgrade from your current boat, you'll have more options than ever before. There are so many different types...


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What Are The Five Essential Pieces Of Kayak Gear Necessary To Get Started?

Okay, so you've found the kayak of your dreams. Now it's time to get the necessary kayak gear. Kayaking gear comes in a dizzying array of brands, styles, and price ranges. A good rule of thumb is to buy the best quality kayak gear you can afford, especially when it's your safety of the line. Below are the top five things you will need to get started in paddling.

  1. Kayak Lifejacket (or kayaking PFD) - Don’t even get in a boat if you don’t have one of these. Your lifejacket is one piece of kayaking equipment you never want to hit the water without. Just make sure your kayak PFD has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and that it is designed for paddling. A kayak specific lifejacket is designed to give you a wide range of motion when paddling. This will make a big difference in comfort when you're sitting in your kayak all day long. We sell all of the top kayak PFD brands including Stohlquist, Astral, NRS, and Kokatat!
  2. Kayak Paddle - Sure, you can use your hands - but you won’t get very far! Next to your kayak and PFD, this is the most important piece of kayak gear you'll need. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a kayak paddle. Blade length and shape, feathered or unfeathered, and material are all important. You'll be holding your kayak paddle all day long, so weight is also a very important consideration. We sell a very wide range of virtually every type of kayak paddle from all the major kayaking companies, including Werner, Bending Branches, and Aqua Bound!
  3. Kayak Spayskirt - These are mostly needed for whitewater and more active sea kayaking. This key piece of kayaking gear fits around the opening of the cockpit and keeps water out of the boat. Most are custom fitted to the cockpit opening of the  boat. Finding the right size is easy after you know the make and model of your kayak, and we sell the top brands including Seals Sprayskirts. Note that a kayak sprayskirt is intended for use with a sit-inside boat and will not work with sit-on-top kayaks or inflatable kayaks. Since you are on top of the boat, there is no need to have a kayak skirt blocking the water. You may also want to consider buying a cockpit cover to keep bugs out of your boat when not in use.
  4. Kayak Helmet - A helmet is a must-have piece of kayak gear for whitewater kayaking - after all, this is where your brain is and you can’t paddle without that! So, it goes without saying you’ll want to buy the best one you can afford. This is no place to cut corners on the budget! Our most popular brand for kayak helmets is Sweet Protection, but we also have great options from WRSI, Pro-Tec, and NRS. If you plan to go sea kayaking in rough water, or if you will be exposed to surf, then it is also a good idea to wear a kayaking helmet.
  5. Kayak Clothing - Let's face it, you can't go kayaking NAKED! Dressing for kayaking can be tricky. The day may be warm and sunny, but that water beneath your kayak could be only a few degrees above freezing. Safety rule #1 is wherever you go kayaking, make sure you're dressed for immersion. There are many different options for dressing, and all can be broken into two groups, either kayak layering or kayak outerwear. Layering consists of fleece and other undergarments, while outerwear includes kayak wetsuits, dry suits, dry tops, paddling pants, and paddling jackets. You’ll also need a good pair of kayak footwear, and some paddling gloves if it’s cold.

What Makes Outdoorplay The Premier Choice For Kayak Gear & Supplies?

If you want to buy kayak gear, there’s really only one place worth shopping - that’s right here at Outdoorplay. As kayakers ourselves, we know what separates the best kayak gear from the rest, and we know which brands reign supreme.

That’s why we’re here to help you get everything you need today - here are a few more reasons we’re your one-stop-shop for all things paddling!

Enjoy Free Shipping over $49 & Price Matching On All Our Kayak Supplies

When you buy kayak accessories through Outdoorplay, we help you stretch your budget even further with free shipping on orders over $49 in the contiguous United States and great prices on international shipping. Plus enjoy price matching across our catalog. You can also feel safe with easy returns.

We’re so excited to be the company you turn to for all your kayak gear needs that if you find a better price, we’ll match it! And, we’ll ship your product free of charge.

Shop In Confidence

You have the option to buy now and pay later with Affirm or Klarna! On certain products and brands, feel free to use an Outdoorplay coupon to save even more. Looking for a perfect gift? Buy a gift card!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make your next adventure your most exciting one yet with our diverse collection of kayak gear!