In the world of kayaking, there are a lot of different types of vessels. There are whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, and even racing kayaks. But what is a clear kayak? What materials do they use to make them? In this blog post, we will answer these questions for you!
The short answer is, yes there are clear kayaks. Some are constructed of GE Lexan material, polyethylene, or other plastic materials. The hull is constructed with durable polycarbonate or other durable material. While other parts of the craft are made of fiberglass, and aluminum, making it clear.
Kayaking on any type of vessel is exciting. As it gives you the ability to enjoy being on the water with family and friends.
But what if you can improve your kayaking experience? Wouldn’t it be great if you could watch a school of fish gathering for feeding time?
Imagine that you could see a humpback whale hugging and spoiling its calf. This is possible if you have a kayak with a transparent bottom.
So, are there clear kayaks? What are they made of?
You’re here at the right place because we’ve answered all your questions in this article. So, keep on reading.
Are There Clear Kayaks?
Believe it or not, they are. And they’re not as expensive as you think.
While clear kayaks might sound a little bit fancy, they actually aren’t. As a matter of fact, they cost a few hundred dollars more than regular kayaks, but those who bought them swear that they’re totally worth the price.
We’re not talking about cheaply made plastic kayaks that cost less than $100. If you’re taking your kayak to the ocean, you need to invest in a well-made one to make sure that it will handle the strong currents and waves. It should also be durable enough to withstand an accidental impact, whether you hit another kayak or a rock formation.
Clear kayaks are well-built because they’re made of a durable type of polycarbonate resin thermoplastic. They provide you with everything that a regular kayak would, but they offer an exceptional experience that a plastic or composite kayak can’t deliver.
Imagine that you could actually see the water under your feet, whether you’re kayaking in a lake or the ocean. This is what riding a clear kayak feels like.
The water is full of marine life forms from plants, fish, marine mammals, and even exotic rock formations that you can watch while chilling in your clear kayak. Just look through the bottom, and you won’t be able to take your eyes off the view.
What Are Clear Kayaks Made Of?
Kayaks are made of several materials. Some are made of polyethylene or other types of plastic, and they’re pretty affordable. However, these kayaks are a bit heavier compared to other models.
Other kayaks are either made of glass or carbon composite materials. Glass composite kayaks are lighter than polyethylene. They’re also less prone to UV damage, which plastic kayaks usually suffer from.
Nevertheless, these kayaks are less impact-resistant and are more prone to damage. Moreover, they’re costly to repair.
Graphite or carbon composite is highly resistant to UV damage and extremely lightweight. But carbon composite kayaks are less impact-resistant, and they’re quite expensive. They’re also costly to repair, and in some cases, a repair might be impossible.
Clear kayaks check all the right boxes because they excel where other materials fall short. These kayaks are made of Polycarbonate Lexan sheets, which are highly resistant to impact and UV deterioration. This material is an excellent choice for an object that will remain submerged in water because it doesn’t absorb water and stays in good shape upon exposure to different temperatures.
Polycarbonate Lexan is a durable material that is usually used to make bulletproof glass and fighter jet canopies. This only proves how sturdy your kayak will be, so you don’t have to worry about hitting another yak while navigating the water or a sharp rock while you’re paddling.
Lexan is a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic designed to go through a series of deformation processes to suit any shape without bending or breaking. This is why your clear kayak will look and perform exceptionally.
Despite its flexibility, polycarbonate sheets are actually 250 more impact-resistant than glass. It’s highly resistant to acids and gasoline, so you don’t have to worry about your kayak breaking or getting damaged if you accidentally spill fuel. It can even be drilled without cracking.
Clear kayaks are also designed to provide maximum balance. In addition, they’re highly stable for your peace of mind, so you’ll always feel safe while paddling.
Where to Get A Clear Kayak?
A well-known company that sells clear kayaks is Crystal Kayak Company located in various states throughout the United States. Expect to pay a pretty penny for it, as they require specialized construction.
That said, if you can afford it, they are worth it. They allow you to experience the waters differently than on a regular kayak. The biggest difference is that you can watch the wildlife swim below you.
What Are the Different Types of Clear Kayaks?
There are actually two types of clear kayaks on the market. Those that are 100% clear, and those that are only clear on the bottom and sides.
100% transparent kayaks are entirely made of polycarbonate sheets. Everything will be clear, including the rim, seats, and paddles. They come in several models that accommodate one kayaker or two.
Other kayaks are made of polycarbonate sheets and other materials. The rim can be made of anodized aluminum, and the paddles might be made of plastic. These kayaks can be a little bit more affordable because of the use of other materials in manufacturing.
Both versions are incredibly durable, corrosion-resistant, and fun to use. As a matter of fact, a clear yak might be easier to control than a regular one because it’s lighter.
How Can I Clean and Maintain a Clear Kayak?
Clear kayaks are made of high-quality materials and they cost a little more. But they’re definitely worth the price.
If you’ve already invested in a clear kayak, you need to know how to maintain it well. Luckily, you don’t have to have it professionally cleaned or anything. By following the next simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your transparent kayak in excellent condition.
- If you’re not using your kayak, keep it in the shade. Clear kayaks have a protective coating to protect the material from sun damage, but keeping it in the shade will maintain this layer and keep your kayak in great shape for a longer period.
- For storage, buy a special kayak cover or use a tarp. Keep it in the garage to guarantee that it will always be ready for use.
- After paddling on your yak in the sea or ocean, always have it hosed down with lukewarm water or a solution of mild dish soap and water.
- Avoid getting suntan oil or lotion on your kayak. If you happen to spill some, clean the spot as soon as possible to prevent it from settling.
- Use a soft sponge to clean any spots on your kayak. Avoid using brushes or squeegees to scrub your kayak.
- If there’s a tough spot, you can use a small amount of alcohol or a special polycarbonate buffing compound. However, you should never use any solvents as they might damage the material.
- Take your shoes off or wear special shoes that won’t scratch the kayak. The scratches on the outside usually fill in once you put your yak on the water, but the ones on the inside might affect visibility.
- Rinse your feet off the sand and gravel before getting into your kayak.
- Keep your gear in towels or bags to avoid scratching and damaging your transparent kayak.
Although you might not have bought one yet, a clear kayak is a pretty good choice. It’s made of highly resistant and sturdy material to withstand being submerged in water and exposed to the sun’s rays. It’s also impact-resistant, so it will last for a long time.
Clear kayaks are fun because you can actually see the water below you. They’re also easy to control and perfectly offer maximum stability and balance.
You should make sure that you’re buying your kayak from a reputable manufacturer. You should also spend time cleaning and maintaining it, so it’ll always stay in great shape.