Lakes are a great place for paddlers. If you love to kayak or canoe, or think it’s something you’d be interested in, the calm but large waters of Nantahala Lake provide the perfect scenario for beginners or experienced paddlers with beautiful and scenic views and easily maneuvered waters. With close proximity to the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the rapids of the Nantahala River, kayaking in the area allows you access to both rougher rapids and the calm, serene paddling of the lake. Do you know which kayak to get for your sport? Here’s a guide to help you pick the kayak that will meet your needs.
Do you need a recreational kayak, whitewater kayak, or a touring kayak?
Before you purchase your kayak, decide on your intent for the sport. This includes the duration of your trips, what kind of water you plan to use your kayak in, and your ability level before you buy. Choose the description that best applies to you:
- Do you plan to just take basic cruises around the lake? Would you like more stability in your kayak for beginner’s assurance and for taking photos? If so, a recreational kayak is probably for you.
- Do you want to try out your kayak on multi-day trips along a camping route? Would you like for your kayak to be used in the lake and the ocean on vacations? Will you need to transport gear in your kayak with you? A touring kayak will fit your needs better than a basic recreational model.
- Do you want to be able to use your kayak on the rapids of the NOC along the Nantahala River, as well as the calm waters of Nantahala Lake? Consider investing in a whitewater kayak; these kayaks are built for the rushing rapids of a powerful river, unlike your basic recreational model.
Photo via U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region via Flickr CC.