What Type of Plastic Are Kayaks Made Of?
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of plastic are kayaks made of, you’re not alone. This is an important question, and one that can vary considerably depending on your budget and your personal preferences. While there’s no single answer, here are some common types of materials that kayaks are commonly made of. Kevlar hulls: These kayaks are made with Kevlar material, which is a synthetic fiber most famously used in bullet proof vests and armored vehicles. Kevlar is a light, strong material that is highly resistant to heat and is relatively lightweight. They are also slightly cheaper than polyethylene and carbon fiber, but have a slightly higher cost than the former. tandem fishing kayaks
Polyethylene: The material most commonly used in kayaks is polyethylene, which comes in a variety of grades. HDPE, or high-density polyethylene, is the most common type of plastic, while LDPE, or low-density polyethylene, is used for lower-density kayaks. Compared to HDPE, the latter has higher-density, which makes it more durable and resistant to puncture and abrasion. LDPE also has a lower tensile strength, which means that it can easily warp and bend. Further, LDPE is susceptible to oxidation, which can cause it to break down. If it is not UV stabilised, it can be easily damaged by ultra violet light.
HDPE versus LDPE: While HDPE is the most durable option for kayaks, it’s also the most expensive. It’s stiffer than LDPE and is better for extreme kayaking. This material also has good impact and scratch resistance. However, HDPE is more difficult to mould than LDPE. However, the price difference can’t be ignored when making a decision based on personal preference.
Polyethylene hulls: Most kayaks are made of polyethylene. The most common types of kayaks are thermoformed and rotomolded. Rotomolded kayaks tend to be heavier than thermoformed kayaks, but they’re still durable and sturdy. Thermoformed kayaks are stiffer and lighter than rotomolded ones, and they fill the gap between composite and plastic kayaks.
HDPE hulls: If you’re an experienced kayaker, you can repair the cracks yourself. HDPE hulls can be repaired by using polyethylene (HDPE) weld rods, or with some knowledge of kayak-repairing. To repair a kayak hull, however, make sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty for repairs before purchasing. Many paddling shops sell HDPE weld rods for kayak hull repairs.
Polyethylene hulls: Most “plastic” kayaks are made of polyethylene. Polyethylene is cheap, durable and versatile. Because of this, polyethylene kayaks are often referred to as Tupperware kayaks. Polyethylene kayaks were first made with rotomolded technology in the 1970s. This process involves pouring plastic pellets into a hollow metal mold and rotating it in an enormous oven to spread the molten plastic throughout the entire mold.
Composite kayaks are also durable, but plastic kayaks are less flexible than composites. Composite kayaks are a better option for rough waters and debris, but require more maintenance. Composite kayaks are also more expensive and tend to take more abuse. Plastic kayaks are heavier than composites, and can be uncomfortable in choppy water. They also tend to degrade in the sun and oxidize if stored improperly.