If you find yourself at your desk dreaming of kayaking serenely down smooth-flowing rivers, the breeze in your hair, a dappled sun resting gently on your face, you're not alone. Kayaking, always popular, has become a leading pursuit for women and men keen to get and keep fit in all the nature to be found in Canberra and surrounds. Maybe it's the social aspect that appeals to you and you have a kayaking adventure group firmly in your sites, or perhaps you prefer paddling solo. If you're just starting out you may be wondering exactly what kind of kayak you'll need. Here's your guide to the perfect kayak purchase to launch your next adventure.

Kayaks are incredibly versatile, and your choice of craft depends on how you plan to use your new boat. Will you pack up the camping gear and set sail for isolated seaside campgrounds, explore quiet river trails, focus on fitness, or just have some fun sploshing around the lake with the kids?

  • Coast: By far the most challenging quest, coastal kayaking means taking on the wind, the waves and tides. For coastal exploration you'll need a traditional sit-in craft with a rudder or a drop-down fin, called a skeg. If you're attracted to the idea of surfing the waves in your kayak, a boat that allows you to sit on top could be a fun choice for you, as long as you don't mind getting wet.

  • River: Gently to moderately flowing water demands a craft that turns responsively and easily maintains its stability. For river exploration you'll be looking for a boat that's sturdy and short, and either designed to sit-in or sit-on-top. If flying down rapids is your thing - and let's be clear this is not for the faint of heart - you'll need a whitewater kayak.

  • Lake: For stress-free paddling on your local lake you'll be fine in a recreational sit-in or sit-on-top boat any time the weather is fine. If you opt for a recreational craft, you'll need to head to shore if the weather is windy enough to form whitecaps on the water. A day touring sit-in kayak will offer you more control in rough conditions.

  • Combination Kayaking: Perhaps you don't want to be confined to the river, or the lake. A short sit-in or sit-on recreational kayak with a skeg will suit you perfectly. You can raise the skeg to ensure your boat will turn responsively, or lower it to assist your tracking. Keep an eye out for a short ruddered kayak, as well. Although rare, this kind of craft will also do the job nicely.

Purchasing your kayak is an important step in reaching your adventuring goals, whatever they are. Take your time to find the right craft for you and, when you first feel the pull of the water against your oars, you'll be very glad you did. For more information, contact companies like Wetspot Water Sports.