Most people don’t know what they’re looking for when they are buying a kayak sail and end up buying something they hate and have to return. We’re here to help after compiling hours upon hours of data on different types of kayak sails we think we have some of the best expertise in the sector and were willing to share it all with you in this kayak sail buyers guide.
Our top pick
Wind Paddle Scout Kayak Sail Kit
Coming in at a perfect budget-friendly price this sail is precisely what you want if you’re looking to save money and still take up the sport.
The wind paddle scout sail has been around for a while, and it’s always excelled as one of the most convenient options when looking for a kayaks sail. It is by no means advanced it’s very similar to a parachute merely pulling you and doesn’t let you have too much maneuverability, but it is a perfect sail to get you started. If you’re thinking about getting started with the sport, this is the recommended model for beginners that don’t want to deal with too much installation and hassle/learning.
The Pacific Action Kayak Sail Kit
This is where things get interesting the upwind kayak sail is 14 feet long and has patented wind technology that makes the sail something that is very safe, maneuverable, and versatile in different waters. The sail comes with UV resistant PVC as well as a great forward view and is an easy to store option for deployment making this one of the handiest for fishers and paddlers who want to take advantage of the wind. This sail also comes with two different masts made out of composite material that can be trimmed down for customized use.
Serenity Upwind Kayak Sail Kit
Here is one for the diehard kayak sailors. The serenity upwind kayaks sail is compact and portable even though it’s relatively large. One of the significant benefits of this sail is that its compatible with most canoes and kayaks and you don’t need any tools to set it up. The sail comes with different types of rigging and instructions that are relatively easy to use and help maintain its stability on the boat. The final point that’s interesting that he is even though its size is large it weighs less than 22 pounds and can be folded to fit inside your car. It additionally comes with a telescoping mast.
Choosing a Kayak Sail.
So you decided to go ahead and buy a kayak sail now you need to choose between the different types of kayak sails and a couple of considerations before buying.
This is where a lot of people get confused and overwhelmed there are a lot of different types of kayak sails there are circular shape sails there are V-shaped sails, and there are full-length sails.
Some brand products that are made especially for a brands kayak will usually not fit on other types of kayaks for example if one is made for the Hobie product it may not necessarily fit on the ocean product and will require some do-it-yourself drilling and customization before it will fit. An example of this is the SeaEagle products since they are customized for the Sea Eagle inflatable boats they can only be put on Sea Eagle models as they are made directly to go on that model. This is so you don’t have to do any additional customizations however it acts as a double-edged sword because if you accidentally buy the product, you can never use it on a different product or brand unless you do some heavy customization work.
The differences in these products have come from customization since the kayak sail is not one of the most well-known and the sport is still growing many vendors have taken to creating their own models without one genuinely standing out. We can, however, make some underlying assumptions of each model and go through what each is best for.
The Main Types of Sails
Circle Shape Sails
These are the most popular types of sails because they target the beginner market of people just trying to get into the sport. These are the best for beginners because they are very easy to install usually coming with three clamps that can be attached to the front of the kayak and any bungee’s you may have at the back. These typically go in only one direction, and they cannot be adjusted to move in other directions because they are usually quite stationary they come with an area in the middle that you use to see through.
The main disadvantage with these sails is apparent the large surface area near the top makes it easy for smaller kayaks to tip over if the wind gets too heavy. These kayak sails are for going downwind and like their circular counterparts they can usually only go in one direction.
Tall L-shaped Sails
These sails are for professional kayak sailing once you have already tried the circular sail and you feel comfortable with the sport you can go ahead and upgrade from your Ford focus to your Lamborghini of sails. These are great because they can usually be pivoted and moved to different directions depending on where you want the wind to blow you allowing you to take advantage of various gusts of wind. The main disadvantage of this type of sail is that it is not for beginners and requires a lot of installation and upkeep. A product of this kind will usually need you to make additional holes in your kayak and have a way of quickly taking it down when you’re done with it. We don’t recommend beginners try this because it could lead to a lot of damage to your kayak if you don’t know what you’re doing.
The type of material that your product comes with can mean the difference between it lasting a week or a couple of years. Many companies use different materials, such as cloth while most will use plastic the main difference between these two is that the fabric will usually be a much heavier substance however it will last for a more extended period than the plastic would.
This is the most common type of material for sails, and most of the circular sails are built out of this. It’s a durable material; however, it is cheap, and the result is a chance of some damage. If you are more budget conscious, this is the best material for you.
Similar to plastic cloth is a favorite material; however, the downsides are apparent for example if the fabric becomes wet it will lose its efficiency and become much heavier, and the material itself is heavy.
Carbon Fiber –
This is one of the better materials; carbon fiber is a super durable material which is lightweight and very strong you won’t have to worry about getting this one damaged, one of the favorite vendors of carbon fiber sails are falcon sails.
Choosing Your Kayak Sail Based On Experience
This method is one of our favorite and most recommended methods. We recommend that you start with a good circle sail and learn the basics of installing and sailing around with wind currents first. When you are efficient enough and comfortable enough on the water, you can then go ahead and move up to a more premium sail type such as an L-shaped sail. This is essential because going with an L-shaped product first without experience could be extremely dangerous if you don’t know how to use the different wind currents and how to keep yourself safe this may lead to many problems like your kayak flipping over or you getting lost with no way to get back to shore.
We recommend you start by progressing through the following difficulties – beginner, start with the circle sail – intermediate, progress to an L-shaped sail
What Are the Benefits of Kayak Sailing?
Speed, harnessing the power of the wind allows you to pick up speed without the need of using any of your muscles this increasing speed makes you less prone to burnout and can extend a kayaking trip from 30 minutes into hours.
Convenience, building on the last point the fact that you are not using your muscles but are using the power of the wind allowing you to relax within the kayak and turning an exerting trip into a smooth fun ride. It might also be helpful for those older kayakers who no longer have the strength to continue paddling for long distances.
Fishing, one of the most considerable advantages by far is trolling while fishing. A kayak sail allows you to get to and from your fishing area and for those that may not know what trolling is this is the art of leaving your line within the water and slowly dragging it to catch fish it is an advantageous technique and used by most fishermen.
Fun , this is one of the most obvious pros sailing on a kayak is just plain fun and exciting thing to do after you become tired of using your kayak the same old way.
Tips for kayaks sailing
Know The Area
This is essential knowledge know where your kayaking and the different possible currents and how far you can risk going. Also, some critical information is knowing how many swimmers are around and how many boats are about, you don’t want to get caught in a heavily trafficked area and have jet skis and yachts scaring all your fish away.
Know The Weather
This is huge, and most of it is self-explanatory because you obviously don’t want to be stuck in the heavy rain or a lightning storm or have extreme wind pop up that may overload your sail. There are many different meteorological guides out there, and the coast control sends out warnings with these guides. By learning to read a weather map and carrying a radio with you or a guide you can pinpoint what the weather will be like and make sure you can get back home safely before storm crops up.
Know Your Equipment
This is important and assumes that you know the basics of what you should have. Some of the necessary things can be a whistle or foghorn, a GPS, radio, Band-Aids, your life jacket, and a waterproof phone. All of these are essential safety equipment items. The GPS can help you navigate and keep you from getting lost if you go too far from shore. The foghorn can help you signal for help if something is wrong and for some reason, you cannot make it back to shore. The lifejacket is a given, and the first-aid kit can be useful if you somehow hurt yourself out at sea.
Know Your Limitations
The importance of this point is significant because some people may get too excited and go too far away from shore especially if they are sea kayaking, then for example if they have a circular sail and the wind changes they will have a hard time getting back to shore just on the strength of their paddling. You need to know your limits and know at what point it’s going to be difficult for you to get back home. Make sure always to be aware of what’s around you, and what’s behind you, so you do not sail too far off course.
As you have probably deduced from reading this guide, kayaking saling is one of the most exciting sports out there, but kayak sailing takes kayaking to a whole new level. You may have been an avid kayaker and are just trying to take your kayaking to the next level, or you may have bought a kayak for the express purpose of kayak sailing. It matters not, this sport is for everyone, and we welcome you into its ranks. I hope this guide has been informative and you have learned a little bit from it please feel free to comment and give us any tips or any recommendations on extras we can add to this guide, and we will continue evolving.