Kayaking is not for everyone, and those men and women who decide to take it up often have very exacting standards for the kayak and equipment they use. There are many things at stake: not just efficiency, speed, ease and comfort, but also the simple safety of the kayaker, who is encased in thin, highly maneuverable vessel that must be made of the best material to ensure it remains intact and afloat. This is why many of the best and most dedicated kayakers choose to purchase a Kevlar kayak for all their kayaking needs.
There are, of course, other options besides Kevlar. Plastic, high impact plastic, and fiberglass are all popular choices, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Plastic kayaks are tough and can endure all kinds of landings, but are also quite heavy. Fiberglass is very strong but sensitive to impact and a kayaker with one of these must be careful about landing on rocks or dropping his kayak. And repairs to fiberglass are their own special art. Higher impact plastics are very strong and the up-keep is not as high-maintenance as fiberglass; also, they tend to be lighter. However, the kevlar kayak is in most cases the strongest and the lightest of all available options; along with this, though, they are usually the most expensive.
Eventually, through the course of years, hairlines cracks mainly a cosmetic issue will appear in kevlar kayak, and these can be challenging to repair. Ultimately, though, many people find kevlar kayaks to by the way to go: if nothing else, the benefits of a kayak as light as these ones are hard to overstate for the active kayaker who is lugging his boat around every weekend. At the end of the day there are benefits and drawbacks to every available option. If you are just starting out and not sure how serious you are going to be about kayaking, you might want to go with an affordable plastic boat: they’re tough and they do the job. Fiberglass will last longer, and can also take a good beating. Kevlar kayaks are the most expensive, but combine toughness with weight savings that are hard to beat.