A kayak stabilizer is a great idea, whether you are an experienced kayaker, or you are gearing up for your first kayaking experience. Purchasing a kayak stabilizer kit can make your kayaking experience easier and safer, especially for beginners. For experienced paddlers, a kayak stabilizer kit can give you added confidence while standing up in your kayak or SUP for activities such as fishing, photography, or yoga. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best kayak stabilizers on the market along with some valuable information to make your kayaking experience smoother and more enjoyable.
Kayak Stabilizers & the Importance of Safety While Kayaking
Safety is an important factor to consider when you participate in any sport or outdoor recreational activity. The risk factors are even higher for activities that involve water. Before you begin exploring the exciting world of kayaking and other paddling activities, it is important to take note of a few safety precautions.
The biggest worry of any inexperienced kayaker is capsizing or flipping over. Kayaking usually takes place in active bodies of water, such as rivers. As a result, many kayakers fear being swept downstream and drowning.
Top Related: Best Kayak Outriggers
The first precaution that you should take before taking your kayak out is to check the weather. Capsizing is more likely during storms or high wind. Strong winds have the ability to knock your kayak off balance, which can result in capsizing. Offshore winds can also make it harder to bring your kayak back to the shore at the end of your kayaking session.
In the event of a capsize, you will want to make sure that you are wearing appropriate clothing. Even if the air temperature is warm, the water temperature can be several degrees cooler. This can lead to issues such as cold shock, hypothermia, and hyperthermia. These issues can affect your ability to get out of your kayak and swim to safety in the event of a capsize.
When participating in water-related recreational activities such as kayaking, you should be alert and well rested. Avoid kayaking when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. Kayaking requires you to remain alert. That way, you can better avoid collisions with rocks, trees, and debris that may be hidden underwater.
Having the right equipment can go a long way in keeping you safe while kayaking. You should be sure that the equipment that you bring along does not exceed the overall weight capacity of your boat. It is also very important to wear a PFD or personal flotation device. PFDs can save your life in the event of a capsize in turbulent waters. If you are a first timer or inexperienced kayaker, then you may also want to invest in a kayak stabilizer kit to reduce the risk of capsizing.
What is a Kayak Stabilizer Kit?
Kayak stabilizer floats, also known as kayak outriggers, are flotation devices that you can attach to kayaks, SUPs (stand up paddle boards), and other watercraft. A kayak stabilizer is a framework that supports the kayak stabilizer float that extends from the side of the boat. Kayak stabilizer kits provide your watercraft with extra stability when it is out in open water. If tipping or capsizing is a major concern for you when kayaking, then these devices will give you added security and peace of mind.
Kayak stabilizer kits keep your kayak stable and balanced which decreases your risk of capsizing. Plus, it allows you to stand up in your kayak with confidence. These devices are lighter than water, and when they are attached to a kayak, they can resist the pressure that attempts to pull your kayak underwater. Kayak stabilizer floats are attached a good distance away from the kayak’s center line which keeps the boat balanced and resistant to the pressure of the water, as well as the weight of the kayaker.
Kayak outriggers are easy to connect to most kayaks and SUPs using wing nuts and clamps. They can be added to your kayak or SUP within minutes. Attaching a kayak stabilizer float to your watercraft is an easy task that gives peace of mind to anyone who consistently goes out on the water. Even if you are an experienced kayaker, it is nice to have the extra precaution, especially if you encounter rough waters.
The Benefits of Using a Kayak Stabilizer
There are many great benefits to using a kayak stabilizer float. If you are interested in fishing, marine photography, or bringing children and pets along for a ride in your kayak, then a kayak stabilizer kit is a great product for you to purchase. Even if you are an experienced kayaker, a stabilizer float can give you added peace of mind when you are participating in other activities while kayaking. While you should always remain alert while kayaking, a stabilizer float allows you focus on other activities such as fishing, photography, and even water yoga.
Reasons You Should Purchase a Kayak Stabilizer Float
- They make handling a kayak or SUP easier for beginners.
- Increase the comfort and safety of your kayaking experience
- Protect kayakers of all experience levels from rough and turbulent water conditions
- They make kayaking more fun and exciting by making adventurous rides safer.
- You have a higher chance of staying dry during a kayaking trip if you have a stabilizer attached to your watercraft.
All in all, kayak stabilizer kits provide many amazing benefits. If you are an avid kayaker, then one of these devices is a great tool to add to your kayaking accessory collection. They are easy to find and purchase online, and they are very affordable.
Before purchasing kayak outriggers or a kayak stabilizer kit, it is important to know how to use them. Kayak stabilizers are great for providing added stability for paddlers of all skill levels, but in order to experience the benefits, you must first know how to properly install them. Most kayak stabilizer kits come with helpful instructions. Although, here is a general guide to the basics of kayak stabilizer installation.
The first step is to find the correct spot on your boat for where your stabilizer float should be attached. Most stabilizers should be placed near the back half of the boat. Although, there are a few brands that suggest attaching them to the front of your boat. Attaching them to the back of the boat keeps them from interfering with your paddling. Back of the boat placement also reduces the possibility of your fishing line becoming entangled with your stabilizer floats and mounting gear.
A few kayak stabilizer kits suggest attaching your floats near the front of your boat in order to better distribute the overall weight of the boat. This will depend on the style and shape of your float, the weight load, and the activities that you participate in while kayaking such as fishing, photography, or paddling.
After determining the correct area of the kayak to attach your outriggers to, you can now securely attach the stabilizing floats to your boat. Some of the best kayak stabilizer kits come equipped with the mounting hardware that you will need in order to do this. After you attach the mounting hardware to your boat, you can attach your floats. You will want to make sure that they are securely attached in order to prevent them from detaching from your kayak while you are in the water. The floats that come with kayak stabilizer kits are highly buoyant, and they will easily float away if they become detached.
After attaching the floats, you should adjust the height and angle of your outriggers based on the type of water conditions that you will be paddling in.
- Angle them upwards if you would like them to jump into action when your kayak leans.
- You should angle them parallel to the water if you would like them to float evenly with your kayak.
- Adjusting them in a downward angle allows you to put pressure on the water. This will create resistance and reduce the speed of the kayak. However, you should avoid angling them too far down as this will strain the attachment point and could possibly damage your kayak or your kayak stabilizing gear.
Shopping for a Kayak Stabilizer
Finding the best kayak stabilizer kit is important for your safety as well as the safety of your pets, children, or anyone else who may spend time in your kayak. One of the most important things to be sure of when purchasing a kayak stabilizer kit is to make sure that it fits your kayak. Be sure that you know the dimensions of your kayak before purchasing a stabilizer. You should also make sure that you choose a kayak stabilizer that is able to be mounted onto your particular kayak model.
It is also a smart idea to purchase a kayak stabilizer kit that includes a mounting system and any other tools necessary for installation. This ensures that your stabilizer will be installed securely.
Knowing the weight of your kayak can also be helpful when you are purchasing a kayak stabilizer. You will need a stabilizer that can improve the buoyancy of your kayak and support its weight. Each type of kayak stabilizer will have different amounts of added buoyancy. You should choose a kayak stabilizer that is buoyant enough to support your kayak as well as any extra gear that you may bring along.
In terms of quality, you should select a kayak stabilizer that is made of quality materials and that has a smart design. This doesn’t have to be the most expensive kayak stabilizer kit on the market. There are many great kayak stabilizers to meet a wide range of budgets.
A great material for kayak stabilizers is Polyvinyl Chloride, more commonly known as PVC. PVC is a tough a durable material that is able to withstand high water pressure as well as collisions with rocks and unseen underwater debris. Also, this material is non-toxic and eco-balanced. PVC is a versatile material that is cost-effective, high quality, and reasonably priced.
Inflatable vs. Non-inflatable Kayak Stabilizer
Another factor to consider when purchasing a kayak stabilizer kit is whether you want to purchase a kayak stabilizer float that is inflatable or non-inflatable. There are multiple benefits to both versions.
Inflatable kayak stabilizer floats are easy to store, and they won’t take up too much space. They are great for anyone who travels frequently for kayaking trips. They also tend to be less expensive which makes them a cost-effective option for beginners or infrequent kayakers. Although inflatable kayak stabilizer floats tend to be cheaper, they are durable enough to withstand turbulent waters.
Non-inflatable kayak stabilizer floats tend to be a bit more expensive than inflatable ones, but they are still a great option for kayakers. They tend to be used on watercraft in less turbulent waters such as on beach shores, lakes, and bays. Non-inflatable stabilizer floats are great for attaching to SUPs and kayaks, and the provide optimal speed and agility.
All in all, choosing between an inflatable or a non-inflatable kayak stabilizer float comes down to your own personal preferences.
5 of the Top-Rated Kayak Stabilizers
Now that you have learned more about how to stay safe while kayaking, and the importance of purchasing a kayak stabilizer kit, we would like to share a list of the best kayak stabilizers on the market. These kayak stabilizers are intelligently designed and will make your kayaking experience more enjoyable by giving you peace of mind.
1. Lixada Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger Kayak Canoe Fishing Boat Standing Float Stabilizer System (Without Metal bar)
The Lixada Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger is a great stabilizing system for kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, and standing floats. This kayak stabilizer kit is a great pick for keeping your kayak steady in even the roughest and most turbulent water conditions. It inflates easily and provides a strong, stable platform that makes you feel secure during activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and boating. This makes on board activities such as fishing, photography, and giving paddling lessons easier and safer.
Lixada’s kayak stabilizer kit is highly versatile and can be attached to virtually any water vessel for superior safety, security, and stability. This kayak stabilizer kit is known for being easy to inflate and deflate. With just a few short breaths these stabilizer floats can be inflated and ready to attach to your kayak or canoe. Plus, they can be deflated in seconds for easy storage and transportation. They are lightweight, durable, and portable.
Lixada’s stabilizer kit comes equipped with 2 repair patches just in case your floats become damaged by rocks, hanging trees, or underwater debris. This ensures that you will get the most use out of these kayak stabilizers. In addition, it enables you to take exciting water adventures without worry. Side note, this stabilizer kit does not come with a metal bar.
The floats are made of PVC, which is a durable, non-toxic, and cost-effective material. They are blue and white in color with dimensions of 35 x 10.8 inches. They weigh 1.3 pounds. They are lightweight and buoyant, keeping your kayak above water at all times.
Overall, Lixada’s Kayak PVC Inflatable Outrigger is a great stabilizing system for your kayak, canoe, boat, or standing float. You will feel safe, steady, and secure during every kayak adventure.
The Airhead SUP Training Wheels Set allows you to convert any SUP, or stand up paddle board, into a stable platform for a variety of water activities including fishing, SUP yoga, and paddling with children and pets. Beginner kayakers can take on rough waters with ease with this SUP training wheels set. They make kayaking an easier and more enjoyable activity for kayakers of all sizes, ages, and skill levels. Airhead’s SUP Training Wheels are made of durable, non-toxic PVC material. They come equipped with speed valves that allow you to inflate and deflate your kayak stabilizer floats easily and effortlessly.
The Airhead Stabilizer is a great tool for transforming any stand-up paddle board into a stable floating platform. This extra security is great for a variety of situations including providing stability to beginners, plus sized paddlers, and paddlers with back issues. They are also great for giving paddling lessons.
Unlike inflatable stand up paddle boards that come with extra tubing, Airhead’s SUP Training Wheels can be added and removed from a traditional paddle board. This is great for the progression of a beginning paddler who may want to paddle without the training wheels after gaining more experience. You may also want the choice of adding and removing your SUP training wheels depending on the water conditions.
Airhead’s training wheels are easy to construct and set-up. The training wheels have dual sided PVC bladders with a patented speed safety valve on either side. This stabilizing set can be inflated quickly with a standard hand or foot pump.
Paddling with the Airhead SUP Training Wheels attached to your paddle board is a highly enjoyable experience. The training wheels do not get in the way of smooth, efficient paddling. They provide your board with advanced stability even in choppy water conditions. Plus, they significantly reduce rocking, which reduces your risk of tipping over. Additionally, they are great for paddling in ocean waves, especially if you are concerned about toppling over into the cold water.
If you want to fish, bring your dog along, or do yoga while using your paddle board, then the Airhead SUP Training Wheels make a great addition to your collection of water gear. Ultimately, they make paddle boarding a more adventurous and versatile activity.
All in all, the Airhead SUP Training Wheel set is a convenient accessory that makes paddle boarding more accessible to a wider variety of people. They reduce the speed of your paddle board, which makes traveling by water much less intimidating for young and beginner paddlers. Overall, the Airhead SUP Training Wheels are an excellent choice for keeping your paddle board steady for activities such as fishing, yoga, photography, and paddling lessons.
If you are looking for outriggers that are made in the USA, then Inspired By Nature’s kayak outriggers (stabilizers) are a great option for stabilizing your kayak. These kayak stabilizers are made of durable, furniture grade PVC pipe. They come with strong, long-lasting molded PVC Floats, and stainless steel mounting hardware. They also come equipped with a 241L locking Scotty for easily attaching the outriggers to your boat.
Inspired by Nature’s kayak stabilizers are a perfect stabilizing option for kayakers of all skills levels, from beginners to experienced kayak fishermen. They deliver the highest level of stability for a variety of kayaking adventures. Inspired By Nature includes a standing assist cord and carabiner that makes standing and sitting in your kayak easy for pretty much anyone. They are great for providing extra stability for young and elderly kayakers, as well as those with back issues.
Inspired By Nature’s kayak stabilizers live up to their brand’s name by inspiring beginner and young kayakers to continue practicing and learning to paddle by relieving fears about tipping over. Many new kayakers give up on this exciting recreational activity after experiencing a capsize, but that is not a concern with Inspired By Nature’s kayak stabilizers.
These stabilizers are also a great choice for experienced kayakers. Kayak fishermen love Inspired By Nature’s kayak stabilizers because they provide the necessary stability for being able to stand and sight fish while fishing in still lakes and oceans. This kayak stabilizer kit is very versatile and can be used for a variety of functions. For example, when you are not using your kayak stabilizer floats, you can use the locking Scotty mounts as fishing rod holders or attach any other kayak gear that uses Scotty mounts.
This kayak stabilizer kit has 30-inch long outrigger arms that are easy to attach to your kayak using the Scotty 350 rod holders and locking Scotty 241L bases that are included in your package. The standing assist and docking cord are 4 feet long. The overall product dimensions are 30 x 10 x 10 inches, and the product weighs 10 pounds.
The floats are made of durable, compression molded PVC material that is resistant to puncturing and does not absorb water. The long-lasting pipes are made of high quality, furniture grade PVC that is five times stronger than lower quality, plumbing grade PVC pipes. Furniture grade PVC is also UV resistant and will not fade from exposure to sunlight.
One of the best features of Inspired by Nature’s kayak stabilizer kit is the Scotty locking 241L bases. These bases have a locking mechanism that keeps your outriggers securely attached to your kayak while you are out on the water. If you cannot access the underside of your kayak to properly use the mounting hardware, then you will need to use well nuts in order to mount the outrigger. Inspired By Nature offers this additional hardware for free.
Yak-Gear makes high quality outriggers for your kayak. Yak-Gear OUTRIGGERS improve your overall safety and security as you enjoy the adventurous activity of kayaking. These outriggers are great for providing added stability to paddlers of all experience levels. They are great for sight casting, kayak fishing, and paddling with children and pets on board. This kayak stabilizer kit comes with stabilizer floats, stainless steel installation hardware, a set of installation instructions, and Yak-Gear’s rigging tips.
Yak-Gear Outriggers provide a secure safety net that protects you from excessive rocking back and forth, tipping over into the water, and paddling in rougher waters. Each set comes with two outriggers. In order to use them, you attach one to each side of your boat. The outrigger arms extend out to 30 inches long. They extend 22 inches from the starboard side and the port. The overall dimensions of Yak-Outriggers are 7 x 11 x 33 inches. They weigh seven pounds.
The sides of the arms that are attached to the boat and fit into the RAILBLAZA StarPort that mounts to the boat. You can remove the outriggers from the kayak during transportation and leave the RAILBLAZA base attached to your kayak.
Yak-Gear recommends that you attach the outriggers to the front of the boat. This helps to eliminate the problem of the outriggers being bumped to the back by fishing rods, paddles, and other on board equipment. Mounting your outriggers in the front of your kayak will also enable them to float about the water while you are paddling. This is important for the overall buoyancy of your watercraft as more weight is carried in the back of the boat.
The floats that come with this kayak stabilizer kit are standard sized and orange. The orange color is vibrant and makes your boat easy for other kayakers, swimmers, and marine wildlife to see. This helps to avoid collisions. The bright orange color is also beneficial for helping you to see your boat underwater in the event that you capsize. Although the possibility of tipping over is less likely with the outrigger set installed, it is a beneficial added safety feature. The standard sized floats have the ability to support up to 350 pounds. In general, they add an extra 60 pounds of buoyancy to your kayak.
Overall, Yak-Gear outriggers provide high quality stability to kayaks, canoes, and other paddle boats. Their patented side-shafted design enables movement on one side of the kayak to produce a downward movement on the other side. This keeps the kayak balanced and stable. These outriggers are easy to install and include all of the installation accessories that you will need. They are a great choice for beginner paddlers looking for secure kayak stability.
Airhead SUP Stabilizers are a great option for keeping your kayak or SUP steady in even the most turbulent waters. Airhead’s SUP Stabilizers are made of heavy duty PVC that is encased in 420-denier nylon covers. The nylon covers on these kayak stabilizer floats provide them with an added layer of protection that enables them to be able to handle the wear and tear of rougher waters. PVC is already a tough and durable material, so the nylon covers will greatly extend the lifespan of these stabilizers.
Airhead’s SUP Stabilizers are a great solution for anyone who wants to double the usage of their SUP. Thus, enabling it to double as a fishing or paddling craft. These stabilizers have the ability to transform a basic paddle board into a stable platform for the water. Attach the stabilizers to your paddle board for lake fishing, water yoga, photography, and light paddling with your children.
SUP Stabilizers by Airhead are a great option for beginners, plus sized paddlers, and experienced paddlers who want to take their paddle board out for a new adventure. They are very easy to store and have the ability to inflate and deflate within seconds thanks to Airhead’s patented Speed Safety Valves.
Finding the Best Kayak Stabilizer for You
Overall, a kayak stabilizer kit is a great addition to your kayak accessories. They can turn the already fun activity of kayaking, into an even more versatile and adventurous outdoor recreational activity. Kayak stabilizer kits give young and beginner kayakers the confidence to practice their paddling skills without the stressful fear of capsizing. They are also useful to experienced kayakers who want to stand on their kayak for activities such as fishing, photography, and yoga. Not only can you use kayak stabilizer kits for kayaks, but you can also attach them to SUPs, canoes, and boats.
Now that you have learned all about how kayak stabilizer kits can keep you steady, even in the choppiest water conditions, you are ready to purchase a kayak stabilizer kit of your own and enjoy the exciting world of kayaking. We are certain that any of the amazing kayak stabilizer kit options on our list will meet your needs.