Kayak wheels are the most important part of your kayak. Even though you might be looking for a good deal, without good wheels you won’t have a successful recreational kayak. The right wheels will allow you to load and unload quickly and easily, allowing you to get out on the water faster. But where can you purchase kayak wheels, and what type of wheels are the best for you?
First of all, it is important to understand that the size of your kayak wheels will greatly affect your ability to load and unload your kayak properly. If you have a large kayak dolly or a folding camping chair with an extension spring, you will want to consider a set of wheels that are at least ten inches larger than the widest part of your kayak. This means that your kayak wheels will be able to roll across the sand at ten inches per step. If you have a smaller boat, you will still need a larger wheel, because you will want it to be able to turn at least three inches per step.
You can choose between aluminum or stainless steel kayak wheels. Aluminum wheels can usually be purchased for less than a hundred dollars, although the cast aluminum wheels tend to be the least stable. Stainless steel wheels, on the other hand, can run anywhere from one hundred to five hundred dollars. These wheels tend to last longer, they are not as loud to the touch, and they do not rust like aluminum wheels. However, they are heavier and harder to roll with.
Before purchasing your kayak wheels, you will want to take a few moments to measure the width of the widest part of your kayak. You will then need to determine how many inches this measurement can go by, depending on your kayak size. After you have these measurements, compare them to the recommended widths given by most manufacturers. If you are having trouble reading the instructions that come with your wheels, there are several websites online that can help you figure out how to measure your width and find the recommended wheels for your specific size. Bonnell pegs and some other manufactures may also have charts available that can easily tell you what the recommended width should be based on the model of kayak that you own.
Once you have your wheels, you will need to decide whether or not you want a soft or a hard foam shell. There is an extensive range of kayak wheels available that offer either hard or soft shell construction. This decision will largely depend on the conditions that you will be driving the boat in, as hard shells are generally built for rough waters while soft shells are better for calm waters. Some of the more expensive models in the Bonnell Lism kayak dolly line also offer shock absorbing capabilities. The hardness of the shell will also impact the ability for the kayak wheels to glide over smooth, rugged, and rough surfaces.
Another way to make your kayak wheels more comfortable and easier to control, especially for beginners, is to get some extra padding for the wheel bottoms. Some of the paddlers who have difficulty getting a good seal on the bottom sometimes turn to adding a strap or two of padding to the tops of their carts. Many of the kayak manufacturers sell paddles with shoulder straps and even a lapel pin to attach them to the carts. If you do purchase additional straps or a lapel pin, always remember to keep these accessories in a place where they will remain secured so that your kayak cart will always be stable.