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What is a kayak outrigger?
What is this type of item generally used for?
Why would you need to consider buying outriggers for your kayak, anyway?
A kayak outrigger is a float that is attached to the side of your kayak. Outriggers usually come in pairs and are fitted with one on each side of the watercraft. They are designed to keep your kayak more stable than it would be without one, by adding more space to the width of the boat.
Outriggers can be used on other watercraft, too, including canoes. However, if you’re planning to use them on kayaks, you may need to purchase a different size than you would need for other types of boats.
Making the decision to use outriggers on your kayak can be a tough call. Here are a few reasons to keep in mind when deciding whether or not outriggers are right for you and your kayak:
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- If you do a lot of fishing from the kayak, outriggers can make it a lot easier to cast, reel, and otherwise practice your favorite hobby.
- If you’re a beginning kayaker who is still nervous about the kayak tipping, outriggers may give you some additional confidence in knowing that the boat is much less likely to flip with them in place.
- If you take kids out on your kayak, adding outriggers can keep the boat more stable when your children choose to stand up and climb off the sides of the kayak to go swimming.
Check out our list of top kayak outriggers below to learn more.
Option #1. Meter Star Kayak Inflatable Outrigger Stabilizer
Consider the Meter Star Kayak Inflatable Outrigger Stabilizer when you need an affordable, lightweight, inflatable option for your kayak. This set of stylish black and white outriggers weigh only 2.6 pounds and can be inflated and deflated quickly when you need them. They feature a secure knob that prevents air from escaping easily.
- The outriggers include oar handles on top of the floats.
- This choice is easy to clean by just rinsing it off as needed.
- There is no mounting hardware included, so you must purchase this separately.
- The outriggers have been known to arrive with damage including split seams in the plastic.
Option #2. Brocraft Kayak Stabilizers System
With the No products found., you’ll enjoy a simple but effective outrigger system that works on many kayak styles. This option is 32 inches in length and does not require gunwales in order to be mounted properly. This offer comes with stainless steel mounts and durable PVC floats that work together to stabilize your kayak.
- This choice features bright colors that bring some additional visibility to your kayak.
- The outriggers are available in a side mount option as well as a kayak track option.
- This option may become loose easily over time and need to be tightened regularly.
- The connector pins may snap in some instances.
Option #3. Pactrade Marine Kayak PVC Outrigger
Try out the Pactrade Marine Kayak PVC Outrigger for an easy-to-use outrigger system that works on many styles of kayak. The set includes both outriggers with stainless steel arms and two PVC float attachments. The floats come in red and white for a timeless nautical style, and the outrigger comes in at around 32 inches in length.
- The outriggers only add about five pounds of weight to the kayak, so they won’t likely put you over capacity.
- It’s quick and easy to adjust these outriggers while you’re on the go.
- Depending on the style of your kayak, it may be difficult to fit these outriggers onto the boat without some adapting.
- This offer may slow down your kayak significantly.
Option #4. YakGear Kayak and Canoe Outriggers
Choose the YakGear Kayak and Canoe Outriggers to give yourself several position options when adjusting the outrigger to your needs. The mount for the outrigger comes in this kit and is easy to install on many different styles and models of kayak. Both included arms are 30 inches in length and can be moved out of the way as needed.
- It’s easy to remove the outriggers when needed, without having to remove the whole mount.
- This choice is made of durable materials that hold up well to use.
- It can be difficult to adjust the outriggers while you’re seated in the kayak.
- The connectors are made of plastic and may snap.
Option #5. Brocraft Canoe Outriggers System
The Brocraft Canoe Outriggers System comes with 32-inch arms that can be mounted the gunwales of your kayak. These arms are made of stainless steel with sturdy plastic fixtures and durable PVC outrigger floats to keep your kayak more upright and stable than ever before. This system can be used with any kayak that has a gunwale lip.
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- It’s easy to install this outrigger by using the included G-clamp on your gunwales.
- The bright yellow outrigging adds some visibility to you and your watercraft.
- This option can be a pricey option, coming in at the top of most budgets.
- This outrigger doesn’t work with every kayak.
Now that you’ve had a chance to check out some outriggers, it’s time to pick your favorite and install them today. The different types of outriggers are not all made equal, and it’s crucial to pay attention to the styles you’re considering buying so you can determine whether or not you’re getting the right ones for your kayak.
It’s also important to know how to install the outriggers before you buy them. Depending on the type of kayak you have, you may need additional adapters or mounts to use certain outriggers, so read up on the directions before purchasing.
How are outriggers installed on kayaks, anyway? Each style of outrigger and each brand has its own instructions, so it’s impossible to provide a solid, universal guide that can be used for all outriggers. However, there are some tips to remember for installing these offers on any kayak.
Here’s a quick guide to help you learn more:
- Make sure you position the outriggers near your kayak’s stern. This way, they won’t get in the way while you’re paddling and you also won’t have to worry as much about fishing around them.
- You will probably need power tools to mount the outriggers to the kayak. Unless your kayak is already designed to be used with outriggers, you’ll need to be prepared to drill holes in the hull to make the outriggers fit.
- Follow the directions that come with the outriggers you’ve chosen to be sure you install them the right way the first time.
When you’re trying to decide whether or not to go with outriggers for your kayak, it can take some time and consideration to make up your mind. Outriggers aren’t for everyone, and they aren’t perfect; sometimes, they can get in the way of your fishing or paddling, and they can also make it harder to navigate your kayak through tight spaces.
If, however, you do choose to use outriggers with your kayak, be sure to pick a product from our list above to bring home a high-quality option that will work for a long time to come.
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5 Essential Tips for Outrigger For Kayaks Safety
- Always wear a life jacket when using outriggers. This will help keep you afloat in the event of an emergency.
- Check your outriggers before each use to make sure they are securely attached and functioning properly.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the weather conditions when kayaking with outriggers. Strong winds can cause instability.
- If you are paddling in open water, be sure to bring a whistle or other signaling device in case of an emergency.
- Make sure to practice proper paddling technique when using outriggers. This will help ensure that you stay balanced and safe.
ALSO: Consider investing in a kayak stabilizer bar for extra stability while using outriggers!
Helpful Information For Readers
These are critical items of gear for any serious kayaker. They give you stability and balance in the water, allowing you to paddle confidently and with control. Outriggers also aid prevent capsizing, which can be dangerous while paddling in stormy water or against strong currents. You'll have better mobility and will be able to explore more difficult waters with ease if you attach outriggers to your kayak. They can also let you carry greater cargo on your kayak without losing performance or stability. These items will improve your paddling experience and give you the courage to try new things!
Usage Ideas: How Should I Be Using Them?
You can use these outriggers in three distinct ways. First, they make paddling more stable in rough water or strong winds. This is especially helpful for people who are just starting to kayak because they might not know how to handle these conditions yet. Second, they can be used as a place to stand up on the water to fish or do other things that require you to be on your feet. This makes it much easier and safer to do so and keeps it from falling over. Lastly, they can also be used to attach extra gear to your kayak, like coolers or storage boxes. This is great for longer trips when you need more space than the boat itself offers. When you add up all of these uses, it's easy to see why these products are a must-have for any serious paddler.
The Cons: What To Expect
There are a few disadvantages to take into account despite the many advantages of these products. They can be challenging to install and call for some technical expertise, to start. For the outriggers to offer stability and safety when paddling, they must be tightly fastened to the kayak. This implies that in order to correctly attach them, you will need to have access to equipment like drill bits, screws, and other hardware. Outriggers can also increase drag and weight, which can make it harder for you to paddle your kayak effectively. Thankfully, there are workarounds for these drawbacks. If you don't feel confident putting in outriggers by yourself, you might always hire a pro or enlist the aid of a knowledgeable friend. You may also think about buying lighter ones that won't add a lot of extra weight or drag as you paddle. Last but not least, detachable flotation devices may be a better alternative for you if you're seeking for a simpler solution to increase stability without having to permanently put anything onto your kayak.
By What Criteria Should They Be Evaluated?
The three most crucial quantitative factors to consider while evaluating these kayaker products are stability, portability, and price. How well an outrigger can maintain a kayak's upright position in choppy water or heavy winds is a sign of stability. The outrigger's portability is determined by how simple it is to move it from one location to another and by how quickly it can be erected and disassembled. Cost is calculated by contrasting the outrigger's price with those of comparable goods available on the market. To be the ideal choice for paddlers, these items should generally strike a balance between stability, portability, and price.
Using It First Hand: What To Expect
These kayaker accessories are a fantastic method to improve your kayak's stability, allowing you to paddle through rougher conditions with greater confidence. Outriggers are attachments that attach to the sides of your kayak and stretch outward, providing extra buoyancy and balance. They can be built of a range of materials, including wood, plastic, or metal, and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the size of your kayak. It is critical to ensure that outriggers are securely attached so that they do not become dislodged during paddling. Additionally, before each usage, you should inspect the item for signs of wear or damage. Outriggers, with regular care and maintenance, may give years of dependable service and enable you enjoy more exciting paddling adventures!
The basic steps for employing outriggers like this are as follows: Make sure the outrigger is first firmly fastened to your kayak. Next, alter the outrigger arms' length so that they are spread equally on both sides of your kayak. Thirdly, secure the flotation devices to the outrigger boats' ends. Fourth, make sure that all connections are reliable and that there are no leaks when in use. Fifth, while using your outriggers to paddle, take advantage of the improved stability and mobility! You may easily employ an outrigger system to improve your kayaking experience if you keep these straightforward instructions in mind.
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