Modular Kayak Set Ups: How Do They Work?

Kayak Set Ups

​Kayaking has been around for a long time in one form or another. Primarily, kayaking was seen as a way of hunting for food. Nowadays, that’s a completely different story. Many people take to the open waters to go kayaking. For some, it’s a time to relax in nature, out on the open sea. For others, it’s a time of fast-paced competitiveness. Whatever your reason for choosing to go kayaking, one thing is for certain—you’ll need a decent kayak to do it.   

Benefits of Modular Kayaking

There are various different types of kayaks available to buy today, such as inflatable kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, recreational kayaks, fishing kayaks, racing kayaks, sea kayaks, touring kayaks, folding kayaks, and tandem kayaks to name but a few. However, these are all fairly limited in one way or another. Another, more innovative model to hit the shores in the past few years is the modular kayak. There are many reasons as to why a modular kayak is a great choice for anyone looking to get into the sport and here are just a few of them:

  • Easy to transport: Probably the most obvious benefit with a modular kayak is that it’s easy to transport. Simply detach the segments, stack them up, and away you go.    
  • Versatile: Quickly transform a solo kayak into a multi-person one and have twice or thrice the fun!  
  • Affordable: The first part of your modular kayak may be more expensive than a single-piece option, but adding another section to it is far cheaper than forking out for a tandem.  

The Ins and Outs of a Modular Kayak

Now that you know some of the benefits that modular kayaking has to offer, the following will take a closer look at the ins and outs of a modular kayak.

  • Structure: The best way to describe a modular kayak is one that has individual pieces that slot together like Lego.  
  • Type: Modular kayaks can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes fit for all kinds of different purposes. Here are some of them:
  • Sit-on-top modular kayaks: These are great for kids and those just starting out as they’re easy to get in and out and are extremely stable. These kayaks are wider than standard models and the seats are up higher. While this does make them marginally slower, they do drain automatically.   
  • Sit-in modular kayaks: Designed with speed and agility in mind, these kayaks are perfect for touring or adventure. They usually have very roomy cockpits and are very easy to maneuver. These kayaks are slightly more awkward to get in as are a little less stable overall.      
  • Modular fishing kayaks: Designed with the avid angler in mind, these kayaks can come in either the sit-in or sit-on-top model. The main difference is that they’re equipped with fishing gear, such as GPS mounts and rod holders.  
  • Hull shape: The shape of the kayak’s hull will make a difference to how it performs in the water. A U-shaped hull is more stable to begin with and is less affected by forwarding water resistance. A V-shaped hull offers more stability once in motion and offers far better tracking.     
  • Construction method: Another thing to consider when looking to purchase a modular kayak is how it was made as this too can affect its performance when on the water. The main types of construction methods used for kayaks are:
  • Blow-molded: This is the most expensive construction method. It uses plastic that’s been heated and then poured into molds. Once cooled it’s an extremely durable material, but it is also very heavy.  
  • Roto-molded: This involves pouring powdered polyethylene into a mold and heating it. As it’s heated, the mold is rotated, creating a thin layer of hardened plastic. It’s the cheapest method of construction but produces a very lightweight kayak
  • Thermoform: This method of construction uses sheets of plastic in which to make up the kayak. It usually creates the lightest kayak of all the methods but is more durable than a roto-molded one. The downside to that is that a thermoform kayak is also more expensive.         
  • Additional features: There are many additional different features of modular kayaks that will help determine which model is best for you. While not all of them are essential, some will certainly make your life a lot easier. Here are a few that you may want to think about:  
  • Cushions. Not all modular kayaks are equipped with cushions and some are certainly more comfortable than others. If being comfy is important for you, make sure you look for a cushioned option or get ready to make some yourself.    
  • Carry handle or grab loops. Make sure the kayak you purchase has either carry handles or grab loops as without these transporting to the sea will be a nightmare.
  • Bungee systems for storage. When it comes to storing your stuff, you’re a little limited for space on a kayak. That’s why bungee systems are so great. They’re inexpensive, easy to fit, and will help keep your gear safe.     
  • Footpegs. While these aren’t essential, they’ll certainly help to provide leverage when you’re paddling. If your chosen kayak doesn’t have footpegs attached you can pick them up fairly cheap. Adjustable ones are recommended as won’t need to be reinstalled each time a different person uses the kayak.           
  • Rod holder. If you’re going to be doing some fishing, a rod holder comes highly recommended. If you have purchased (or are going to purchase) a modular fishing kayak, the chances are there will be one attached already. If not, they aren’t that expensive and are super easy to fit. They’ll also allow you to have a little well-deserved break from holding your rod every now and then without the risk of losing it.  

We hope you found the above article useful. You should now be much more knowledgeable about modular kayaks. They come in that many variations that there’s no real difference between a modular kayak and a traditional one other than the fact that it comes apart for easy storage and easy transportation. A modular kayak may cost you more to begin with, but if you were going to consider upgrading to a tandem later on, this may be a better option. Rather than have to buy a whole new kayak, simply buy another module and slap it on!