Are you a watersports junkie who is having trouble choosing between a standup paddleboard and a kayak? Maybe you want to cross over to a SUP but there is something in you that still doesn’t want to give up kayaking?
Well, if you are really finding it difficult making any of these decisions or just want to have a feel of both worlds with only one piece of equipment, then you may want to consider giving a sup kayak hybrid a try.
In this post, we are going to answer some of the most asked questions regarding a SUP-yak hybrid. We intend to give you a better understanding of what it is as well as its pros and cons so you can decide whether you need one or not. So, let’s dive right in, shall we?
What Is A SUP Kayak Hybrid?
As the name suggests, a SUP kayak hybrid is a combination of a standup paddleboard and a kayak. It allows you to enjoy the benefits of paddleboarding and kayaking at the same time. With a kayak paddleboard combo, you will have the best parts of each craft so you won’t have to think about which one to use when out in the waters.
Most of these hybrids come with a storage compartment and kayak seat, yet they are stable and comfortable enough to paddle while standing. You can think of SUP-yak as a paddleboard that also doubles as a sit on top kayak.
Can Any SUP Be Used As A Kayak?
Yes, and no! Most SUP kayak hybrids in the market today are plastic. You see, plastic is very easy to mold into the desired contours unlike composite, which could be the reason why many SUPs are plastic.
Plastic standup paddleboards are also more efficient and less costly to sculpt than their composite counterparts. So, if you are planning to convert your SUP into a kayak, then a plastic one would be the easiest to do so.
How Do I Benefit From A SUP-Yak Hybrid?
The biggest advantage of having a kayak paddle board combo is cost-saving, as you won’t have to buy both crafts. Purchasing a separate SUP and a separate kayak can be expensive and if you have an option that gives you the best of both worlds, why not take it?
With a hybrid like this, you can enjoy your paddling standing or sitting. This is perfect especially for longer adventures where the muscles used in kayaking or paddleboarding might get a little too tired.
When the wind and water are calm or want to watch sea life, or if you are angling and want to cast your fly fishing rod a bit further, you can simply stand up. And when you are paddling on whitewater or in an area with strong winds, you can sit down on a seat so you can be able to brace your vessel.
People who use SUP-yak crossovers change positions regularly during their paddling trips. They are therefore able to paddle for longer hours without being exhausted.
What Are The Drawbacks Of SUP-Kayak Hybrids?
You save some bucks, yes, but then you have to compromise on something. Since your vessel has to serve the functions of both a paddleboard and a kayak, it doesn’t do either at the level a separate paddleboard or kayak does.
For instance, sitting on a SUP even when using a backrest is not really that comfy. If you have been using a kayak all your life and suddenly decide to do the hybrid, then you really will have a hard time paddling in the first few days before your back gets used to the new sitting position.
Also, since the SUP-yak hybrid concept is still new in the market, manufacturers haven’t worked out most of the features for kayaking applications. For instance, there are still no footpegs in the hybrids and therefore your feet may not get the support they need to properly brace and propel the craft. They will be playing either in front of you or on the deck of your board and if you know how to paddle a kayak, then you know that neither of these options is comfortable nor effective for paddling.
When Is The Best Time To Use A Kayak Paddleboard Hybrid?
When there is something cool in the market, we all want to try it. SUP-yak combos look really promising and that’s why many people have started adding them to their water sporting accessories.
Hybrids can be a great add-on to your paddling equipment. There are times when you want to carry only one boat on a trip. Other times you are paddleboarding in choppy waters and want to be stable. A kayak SUP combo will allow you to sit or stand whenever you wish and sitting down when paddling in rough waters will get your vessel more stable.
How Safe Is A SUP-Yak Hybrid?
A SUP kayak combo will expose you to the same dangers as a separate kayak or SUP will. Any miscalculated edging or improper balance could send your vessel flipping.
As such, you must learn a few kayak self-rescue techniques such as getting back in a kayak after it’s flipped over, rolling a kayak, and any other stunt that could help get you back upright if your hybrid capsizes. Also, always have a life jacket on whenever you paddle. This will keep you afloat if your vessel tips and could actually save your life.
How Can I Convert My SUP Into A Kayak?
If you really love the idea of a yak-SUP hybrid and already have a paddleboard, then you may not need to spend more money on one. You can easily change your current SUP into a kayak.
There are usually two things to consider when converting a standup paddleboard into a kayak. First is how you will be sitting on it and second is how you will be paddling the standup paddleboard. Both will require you to secure attachments to your craft.
Make sure to find out how the entire procedure is done before trying anything. Alternatively, just take your SUP to a professional paddling outfitter so it can be rigged up properly.
Can I Use My Kayak/SUP Paddle On A SUP-Kayak Hybrid?
SUP paddles contain one blade while kayak paddles got two blades. Also, the blade of a SUP paddle is designed such that it makes an angle with the shaft. While this orientation increases its efficiency in paddleboarding, it decreases it in kayaking.
So, short answer – yes you can use your kayak/SUP paddles on a hybrid. However, you will need to bring both of them with you on the water so you can change with each activity.
SUP kayak combos come with all-in-one paddles that you can use for both standup paddleboarding and kayaking. Such paddles have a blade that is inline or straight to the shaft at one end and a removable portion at the other.
If paddleboarding, just insert a handle at the top section of the paddle. If kayaking, remove the handle and add another blade. Such a solution will ensure that you only carry one paddle and a handle or blade to switch as needed.
Globo Surf Overview
SUP Kayak is a fairly new concept in the market. While it may save you money and get you reaping the benefits of both a standup paddleboard and a kayak, it also has its downside; you may not enjoy high-level functionality as you would with a separate SUP or kayak. Think carefully about the pros and cons of a kayak paddleboard combo before making your purchase.
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