7 Best Kayak Sails

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Best Kayak Sail

Kayaks designs are being improved all the time with new innovations that make kayaking more fun and easy. One of these new and exciting innovations is kayak sailing or kayaking with a sail. If you have a kayak and you add a sail to it, you can bring kayaking to a whole new level. When you bring two sports together, you can only imagine a more intense and more adrenaline-pumping outdoor activity. 

In the past, kayak sailing enthusiasts only had very limited options. Some of them even owned inflatable kayaks, which means that they have way lesser options. Because of this, they weren’t able to make the most out of the activity.

Top 5 Best Kayak Sails (Summary)

Image Product Details
sample-table__image Most DurableOlilio Downwind
  • Suitable for sailing through heavy wind
  • Offers UV protection
  • Versatile
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sample-table__image Easiest to UseVGEBY1
  • Offers immense comfort
  • Has a storage bag that makes it easy to maintain
  • Does not soak up
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sample-table__image Most ComfortableHobie Mirage
  • Has great balance
  • Can sail long distances
  • Fast
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sample-table__image Hydra52
  • Clear windows offer added security
  • Adaptable
  • Tough
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sample-table__image Hosmide
  • Maintains its shape even after frequent use
  • Portable
  • Strong
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.

Luckily, right now, the market is bombarded with a plethora of kayak sailing gear options. Kayak sails now come in different sizes and shapes, which means that regardless of your needs, there’s definitely the right fit for you. 

If you love kayaking and sailing at the same time, you can do both and enjoy it even further. If you’re new to this sport, this guide will help you understand the sport better, learn about its advantages, pros and cons, and also understand how you can properly choose your kayak sailing gear. But before that, let’s start with the basics.

7 Best Kayak Sails on the Market Reviewed

1. Olilio Downwind

Olilio Kayak Sail is well crafted, easy to set up and maintains the simplicity of using a kayak or canoe.

As of the design, it is made of strong clothing material, thus making the ease of deployment set in no time. It is extremely strong and sturdy and can withstand the heavy wind without losing shape.

Its clean window gives a good rear view, thus making sure you are able to observe the activities going on around you. Also, this unit is a versatile product as its usage is not limited to kayaks alone but usable with inflatable boats and canoes.

This item is pretty easy to use and offers you absolute comfort. The straps and clips give you total control of the movement of the sail. Also, it offers you protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Pros

  • Easy to use, set up and control
  • Suitable for sailing through heavy wind
  • Versatile and offers UV protection
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons

  • Comes with no instructions
  • Sometimes requires heavy wind to set off

2. VGEBY1

One of the products designed to ease the sailing is VGEBY1 Kayak Sail. This item is made with top-notch PVC material. This ensures that it does not soak up and become heavy during sailing. The product is easy to set up and deploy.

The wind sail is dynamic, versatile and can be adjusted to fit your boat without making it heavy or lose balance. It has a wide range of applications, as it works faultlessly with kayaks, inflatable boats and canoes.

Also, it provides some shade from the sun and its bright color makes it beautiful and visible to the eye.

This item boasts astonishing ease of usage and durability. To set off with the boat, all you need do is to grab the clip and let off the clips to stop. It also comes with a storage bag which enhances the ease of maintenance.

Pros

  • Durable and does not soak up
  • Has a storage bag that makes it easy to maintain
  • Easy to use, offers immense comfort and has a wide range of applications

Cons

  • Can be reshaped and destroyed by heavy wind

3. Hobie Mirage

With Hobie Mirage Kayak Sail, you can sail lengthy distances in a short time without having to worry about tiredness. The item is easy to use and offers a stress-free way to sail.

It is a specially designed sail kit for non-inflatable Hobie Mirage kayaks. It’s not heavy and, as such, does not require heavy wind to set sail.

This item is safe, comfortable and fun to use and has a large window that enhances visibility and control while sailing. It has a furling hook that keeps the sail rolled and reduces the effects of wind on it. At higher winds, this kayak sail might need extra support to keep it in shape and maintain control.

It is durable, easy to set up and deploy and comes with two pieces of a mast that give it improved control and balance.

Pros

  • Fast and extremely comfortable
  • Can sail long distances
  • Has great balance

Cons

  • Can only be used with non-inflatable Hobie kayak

4. Dilwe

Dilwe Kayak Sail is superbly designed with top quality materials and has compact shape. It is strong, sturdy and can withstand high winds, plus, it’s durable and dynamic.

Unlike some other sturdy kayak sails, this product is impressively fast, easy to use and deploy. To get it moving is simple; you just need to hold onto the clips and also lay down the clips to make it stop.

It has a clear window that allows you to easily see things behind the sail. The material (PVC) prevents it from absorbing water and becoming baggy when sailing and it’s highly versatile as it is compatible with a host of kayaks and canoes.

The product also reduces the effects of the sun and hence protects you from UV rays. It gives you absolute control of the sail and, at the same time, saves you from the rigors of continuous paddling. Also, it has a storage bag and can be easily folded for security and maintenance purposes.

Pros

  • Durable and suitable for strong wind
  • Easy to install, control and does not soak up water
  • Window is extremely clear providing a clean view behind the sail

Cons

  • Not as fast as the light kayak sails

5. Hydra52

Are you a novice in need of a versatile kayak sail? Then Hydra52 is the product for you. The product is perfect for an expedition and inflatable boats, canoes and tandem. Its simplicity is what makes it the go-to product for the novice or amateur users.

For a sail with a wide scope of application, it is impressively strong. As of the design, it’s made from tough polyester taffeta, thus making it very durable. It is designed using triple-stitched seams and a nearly indestructible composite material.

This unit has a see-through window that allows you to have a clear view of things behind the sail and, in turn, offers more safety. Its installation is effortless and fast, while also being simple to use.
Even after repeated use, this product maintains its shape. The edges don’t lose their seams and, as such, remain in normal shape.

It is also easy to maintain and store it with the added storage bag. The control mechanism needs no prior knowledge or experience, just to follow the user’s guide to the letter. This makes it suitable for beginners and intermediate paddlers with little or no experience at all.

 

Pros

  • Tough, sturdy, versatile and adaptable
  • Clear windows offer added security
  • Easy to install and maintain its shape after repeated use

Cons

  • A little bit too rigid

6. Dilwe Kayak Downwind

Dilwe Kayak Downwind is not only well crafted and simple but also absolutely efficient. It has a compact shape and it’s portable, making it easy to transport.

Considering the design, this unit is made from a low stretch material that does not soak up water and does not become baggy when it is in use. It is easy to navigate and can be set off by the light wind. Also, it protects you from the ultraviolet radiation and creates adequate shade.

Using this product is absolutely stress-free. You’ll find it simple to set up and it’ll get you sailing quicker than you can imagine. It’s versatile as it is compatible with boats, canoes, kayaks and inflatables. By holding onto the clips, the sail keeps going forward.

The item is safe and comfortable. Like every other foldable kayak sail, it is easy to secure and maintain. Although it’s a simple design, it’s tough and long-lasting. Also, you’ll find it easy to control while having a fun-filled and stress-free sailing experience.

Pros

  • Has a simple design, easy to use, set up, deploy and control
  • Does not absorb water and provides adequate shade from UV rays
  • Has a wide scope of usage, foldable and easy to store

Cons

  • Gets easily deformed by heavy wind

7. Hosmide

Hosmide Kayak Sail is a carefully crafted sail that is made portable and light in weight to enhance the ease of storage and transportation.

The kayak sail is made from hard polyester taffeta, which gives it adequate strength and allows water to skid off its surface, thus preventing it from absorbing water. The frame is made from composite materials that are virtually indestructible. Also, it has triple-stitched seams, which increases its durability.

With a big sail of 108 diameters, it provides adequate protection from ultraviolet radiation and harsh weather conditions. Apart from being light in weight and portable, the ease at which it can be used and deployed is another feature that makes it stand out.

This item is effective and does not lose its durability regardless of its lightweight and portability. It is specifically designed for kayak. To keep the kayak moving forward, you only need to hold onto the clips of the kayak sail and drop it when you want it to stop.

Pros

  • Portable and light in weight
  • Strong and durable
  • Maintains its shape even after frequent use

Cons

  • Might need additional support with heavy wind

What Is a Kayak Sail

Kayak sailing is an innovative kind of sport. It’s a new and simple concept and once you get to try it, you’ll surely find it extremely enjoyable. This is the reason why more and more people love this sport. For some, it’s a hobby that they frequently come back to for the thrill and adrenaline rush.

For others, it’s a sport that they can get better each time while unleashing their competitive nature. Then again, regardless of its classification, one fact remains true – the simplicity of this activity makes it all the more alluring. 

Anyone who tried paddling a kayak or kayak would have surely thought, at one point, about sailing it. While holding the paddle up to the towel, or tie a tent, fly to your paddle and see it sailing. So, if we were to define what a kayak is, one can say that it’s an innovative sport or a hobby, wherein a sail is added to the kayak and make it move to the direction of the wind, just like you’re sailing. 

Benefits of Using a Kayak Sail

To help you understand and appreciate the beauty of kayak sailing, check these benefits out. This can help persuade you to try this activity as soon as possible. 

Rest

The most obvious benefit of kayak sails is that you get to rest. If you’ve been paddling a kayak, you’ll understand that the longer you paddle it, the tougher it is for your shoulders and arms. Your upper body part can get tired easily. Though the degree of tiredness depends on what shape you’re in, the point is, with kayaking, you cannot rest. To move your kayak, you need to paddle. You have to constantly do something to stay in motion. 

This is not the case with kayak sailing. You only need your sail and the wind to get in motion. Because you don’t have to overexert yourself, you can stay in the water for a long time. Aside from that, you can also go further. If, however, this is not your goal, kayak sailing can still allow you to sail down your usual route, but this time, you’ll be less tired. As a result, you can enjoy the view and have some quiet time for yourself. 

Allows Hands-Free Fishing

Another benefit of kayak sailing is that your hands are free to use your fishing equipment. You can even bring and use the world’s best ice fishing fish finder if you sail and paddle in the colder areas. Since you no longer have to paddle, you can now spend more time fishing in the deeper parts of the ocean.

You can just adjust your direction and leave everything else to the wind. Since you don’t have anything else to do, you can try trolling, too. The great thing about the kayak sails available in the market is their outstanding maneuverability. You can adjust them easily and point them in which direction you want to go. 

Great for Beginners

Benefits of Using a Kayak Sail - Great for Beginners

If you want to get an even bigger sailboat, kayak sailing will prepare you well and give you a good head start. It’ll expose you to all possible ocean and sailing scenarios to make you get the hang of how the wind works. Aside from that, you’ll also get more practice in as far as maneuvering while sailing is concerned. And just when you get the chance to maneuver a larger vessel, all will feel much more familiar. 

Convenience

Convenience is also another major factor why you should try kayak sailing. If you’re a novice, you might be asking yourself what are you going to do with your kayak sail when you don’t need it. When it comes to a good kayak sail, you can break it down into smaller pieces. This means that you can stow it away in the stern or bow. You can also put it in your closet when you’re not using it.

If you want to set it up again, it’s also easy to do so. Depending on which model of sail and kayak you own, setting them both only takes between one to ten minutes. This time frame is nothing. Portability is a non-issue, too. You can bring both of them just about anywhere you want to go. 

Protection From the Sun

Kayak sails will also give you ample protection from the rain or sun. The good ones are usually made of a waterproof, high-quality material that is also capable of absorbing the UV rays. Though some wouldn’t think that this benefit matters, it will actually make a huge difference. 

Fun

The most important benefit of all when it comes to kayak sailing is the fact that it’s fun. This is the very essence of any kind of hobby or sport – to make something fun. Kayaking may be a competitive sport for some, but even at the height of the competition, the adrenaline rush makes the activity fun. Whether you’re just touring, fishing, or paddling, the fun element will always be there. 

It’s even more fun if you add a sail to your kayak. As you glide through the water with less to zero effort, you can feel a sense of freedom. And as the warm breeze touches your skin, you feel more alive. Plus, if you take on the waves, there’s some excitement that makes you want to go back for me. 

How Does a Kayak Sail Work

Recreational kayaks that are short and wide, along with the sit on the top type, are the easiest type of kayak to control and sail. They are very stable, and they’re also way easier to keep on track. Kayakers who take on this activity for recreation consistently said that they had great paddle sailing experiences. 

If you don’t have any experience in kayak sailing, you can still make a kayak sail work. You’ll do just fine. And if you’re comfortable in a kayak or canoe, you can catch on to the paddle and sailing craft in no time.

Most people easily go for the intuitive downwind run before they start experimenting with the straight downwind run. Under normal conditions, someone who’s not a sailor can sail across the wind after 10 minutes from their very first paddle sail. This, in itself, is a truly amazing and eye-opening experience. 

Some say that a sailor who is a non-kayaker learns faster compared to a kayaker who is a non-sailor. Regardless of the learning speed, one thing holds true – they’ll all learn after a few tries. Traditional sailing offers a small benefit when it comes to lingo knowledge and tune adjustments. Fortunately, these are not essential requirements.

A seasoned sailor with no paddling experience would waste his time competing with a kayaker who has no sailing experience. In the same vein, a seasoned kayaker with no sailing experience will also waste his time competing against a seasoned sailor with no paddling experience. 

When it comes to paddle sailing, there are only a couple of simple concepts that you should pay attention to. These concepts include the following: 

  • When you feel that the wind is behind you, allow it to boom out to allow the sail to catch as much wind as you can. 
  • When you’re gearing to paddle sail in an upwind direction, slowly but tightly pull the boom in. Take note, however, that there’s no sailboat that can sail straight into the wind. Even the most technologically advanced boats used for America’s Cup will be able to do this. As you grow your paddle sailing experience, you’ll understand better when your sail performs beyond its upwind capacity. 
  • When you find yourself somewhere between the dead up and downwind, you can see the boom location somewhere within the middle. 
  • Remember to keep the sail so that it remains full of air. Keep bubbles away so that it won’t just flap around. The presence of bubbles only means that the air pressure is on the wrong side of the kayak’s sail. 

If you’re not a seasoned sailor, you can learn a lot in just a couple of tries. Remember, however, that before you start paddle sailing, ensure that you know how to lower your sail. This will make full depowering at any time easy. 

Pros and Cons of Kayak Sails

Pros and Cons of Kayak Sails

To help you weigh your options properly, here are the pros and cons of kayak sails. 

Pros

  • Your arms can rest: Since your arms can rest, you can enjoy the view and the experience more. This will also allow you to paddle in one direction further while allowing the wind to carry you back to your point of origin. 
  • Great for fishing: Since your movement will not be restricted, you can fish at any depths.
  • Learn how to sail: If you intend to buy a larger vessel, paddle sailing can be an excellent stepping stone. 
  • Can easily be stored and kept: Since you can break the pieces away, it’s easier to keep them away when not in use. When you’re done paddle sailing, you can just keep it in your closet. 
  • Easy to set up: Depending on your sail, it will only take you somewhere within one to 10 minutes before you can fully set up your sail. 
  • Portable: Portability is a non-issue, too. You can bring both of them just about anywhere you want to go. 
  • Provides protection from the harmful rays of the sun: Kayak sails will also give you ample protection from the rain or sun. The good ones are usually made of a waterproof, high-quality material that is also capable of absorbing the UV rays. Though some wouldn’t think that this benefit matters, it will actually make a huge difference. 
  • Fun to use: Kayaking may be a competitive sport for some, but even at the height of the competition, the adrenaline rush makes the activity fun. Whether you’re just touring, fishing, or paddling, the fun element will always be there. It’s even more fun if you add a sail to your kayak. As you glide through the water with less to zero effort, you can feel a sense of freedom. And as the warm breeze touches your skin, you feel more alive. 

Cons

  • Can obstruct one’s view: If you have smaller sails, it usually sits at the front of the kayak, easily limiting your view. Then again, since most of the kayaks have a viewing window, seeing through is usually not a serious issue. 
  • Pricey: Better performing and larger sails often come with a heftier price tag. In fact, it can sometimes be on par with the price of the kayak. To make the most out of the price, make sure that you’re really into paddle sailing if you start investing in high-end sails. If you’re only into recreational sailing, you can find several options that won’t hurt your pocket that much. Cheaper options do not automatically mean poor quality. If you know how to choose your sail, you can find one that’s of great quality, offers full utility, but is not as expensive. 

Types of Kayak Sails

Generally, there are four types of kayak sails and they are enumerated as follows: 

Circle Shaped Sails

As its name would suggest, circle-shaped sails are circular in shape and are very similar to a parasail when it comes to style instead of a sailboat’s sail. This type of sail is also ideal for kayaks because it’s easy to control and use.

Usually, it also features a window where you can see where you’re heading. If you want to learn more about basic sailing techniques and the sails’ mechanism, this is best for you. Once you’ve mastered this kind of sail, you can go ahead and try more complicated ones. 

A vast majority of circle-shaped sails are usually attached to kayak and canoes’ bows. It can also be manually controlled. Because of its position on the kayak and its size, circle-shape sails are best for downwind sailing conditions. Here, the wind can just push you along. 

​V-Shaped Sails

Just like the circle-shaped sails, V-shaped sails take its name literally. A huge majority if this sail’s area is moving towards the topmost portion of the sail. With that, there’s a minimal space found at the sail’s lower end. This is a good thing since it can’t obstruct the kayaker’s view. And just like other types of sail, it comes with a clear window panel where the kayaker gets to see what’s in front of him. 

The design of this sail makes it easy to catch more wind. The height of the sail and its generally smaller surface, however, means you might sacrifice a bit on its speed. Because of that, V-shaped sails are better for downwind sailing since here, you don’t need to change directions frequently.

If you’re a kayak sailor with little experience in kayak sailing, this is ideal for you. Beginners can get help from this type of sail, too. Its heavy top design makes it less suitable for lightweight or small vessels traversing a body of water in strong winds. 

​L-Shaped Sails

If you’re already an experienced sailor, L-shaped sails can be ideal for you. This is, however, not recommended for beginners. In terms of style, L-shaped sails are more traditional, imitating the shape of most sailing yachts’ sails. This sail is quite difficult to use since it requires a more advanced sailing skill. You can control the sail’s travel direction by moving the sail. 

This type of sail usually comes with a mast and boom. Both of these allow the sailor to sail in whatever direction the wind is slowing. It’s more flexible and freely moving compared to a downwind sail. 

Downwind Spinnaker

This type of sail is a v-shaped wide-bellied sail that transforms into a bell-shaped one every time it’s filled with air. This is also normally attached to the kayak’s bow, with the spinnaker’s shape propelling kayaks at faster speeds during downwind sailing. When facing the wind, it renders the kayak and sails almost useless. 

Materials of Kayak Sails

Materials of Kayak Sails

Now that we’ve fully explored the types of kayak sails, along with its benefits and disadvantages, let’s move on to tackling the materials used to make the kayak sails.

Synthetic Plastic and Cloth

Plastic is the most common kayak sail material and it’s often used in circle-shape sails. The advantage of this material type is that it’s water-resistant, lightweight, and durable. It can’t last as long as other more durable materials, however. 

Aside from plastic, the cloth is also one of the most common materials used for kayak sails. It can be durable; however, its biggest drawback is it can get heavy when dry and twice or thrice as heavy when wet. If you insist on using cloth sails, make sure to cover it with a waterproof coating before you try kayak sailing during the rainy season.

Visor Material

The visor of the sail is typically made from transparent plastic materials. They are usually located in the middle part of the kayak because its purpose is to allow the kayaker to see through it.

Carbon Fiber

When a mast needs to be added to the full design of the kayak sail, it needs to be made of lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber. The ratio behind such make-up is to make the mast durable yet light. The circular sail’s outside edge is usually stiffened. Because of its shape, a supporting rod called batten is also added. The batten is usually made of plastic since most of the circular sails are specifically designed to be folded when stored.

Laminated Cloth

The older versions of kayak sails and L-shaped sails use laminated cloth because of its higher tensile strength compared to plastic. It’s also less likely to rupture even if exposed to high winds. The only downside of this material, when used in kayak sails, is its thickness and weight. These can make the sail hard to store or put up. 

Aluminum

As already mentioned above, when a mast needs to be added to the full design of the kayak sail, it needs to be made of lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber. The ratio behind such make-up is to make the mast durable yet light. The circular sail’s outside edge is usually stiffened. Because of its shape, a supporting rod called batten is also added.

How to Choose the Best Kayak Sail

To help you choose the best kayak sail, here are some of the features that you should focus on.

Speed

What determines your speed in paddling a mile is your physical condition. For an experienced paddler, the paddle speed should be somewhere within 3 to 3.5 miles per hour. This speed, however, depends on several other factors. If your kayak has a lighter load, your kayak will also go faster.

On the other hand, if there’s another person helping you paddle the kayak, you can also travel faster, for as long as your total weight load is not extremely heavy. You should try paddling with another person as a tandem kayak is great for couples.

If you have to get back to land or go somewhere fast, a kayak sail with a paddle can help you pick up the speed. To accelerate your kayak’s top speed, you might need the help of a downwind spinnaker. 

Exertion

A kayak sail can also be used to remove or decrease the strain off your kayak on a long-distance paddle. Whether you’re out there for sea kayaking or touring, your kayak sail can help you reach your destination with less effort and without getting exhausted. 

Width

How to Choose the Best Kayak Sail - Width

The sail or the sailing kayak’s width will determine whether or not it can catch the wind well. If you have a wider material, it means you also have a bigger surface area to allow the wind to catch on. Your sail should be wide enough to catch some breeze to help you cruise along. However, it should not be too large and wide that it poses a tipping risk. 

You need to find the proper middle ground between kayak sail widths. This will largely depend on the sailing kayak that you use. You don’t want the wind to make your kayak unsafe or carry it in any direction. The best sail is one that is wide enough to allow you to move safely. 

Rocker

When you talk about the rocker, it refers to the hull curvature from the kayak’s stern to its bow. The ideal rocker should be small but not too much. You can improve your kayak’s maneuverability with the use of a rocker. However, if the rocker is too much, it can make your kayak sail off-track. A good balance means a healthy mix of stability and maneuverability. 

Rudder

This is an example of a kayak accessory that will allow you to steer your kayak properly. If you’re using a sail, you don’t have to use your paddles all the time. This only means that when you cruise along, you’ll need a guide to help you with the directions. This can be done by a rudder blade since it serves as the guidance system of the kayak.

It’s easy to add the rudder to your kayak. Once it’s placed properly at your kayak’s back, you’ll find it easier to steer right or left. If you’re a beginner, you might not need a rudder yet. However, if you want to enjoy kayak sailing, investing in a rudder is a good idea. 

Keel Strip

This is an adhesive strip added as an extra layer of protection for the kayak. It is often placed in kayak areas that are highly susceptible to abrasions. If you still haven’t gotten a keel strip for your kayak, adding one now might just be a great idea. Aside from protecting your kayak from abrasions, these strips can also improve your kayak’s stability. 

Relaxation

Recreational kayaks that are short and wide, along with the sit on the top type, are the easiest type of kayak to control and sail. They are very stable, and they’re also way easier to keep on track. Kayakers who take on this activity for recreation consistently said that they had great paddle sailing experiences. 

Fun

To satisfy the fun criteria in choosing a kayak, you must invest in a kayak that fits your user level. If you’re a beginner, go for the circle-shaped sails. This type of sail is ideal for kayaks because it’s easy to control and use.

Usually, it also features a window where you can see where you’re heading. If you want to learn more about basic sailing techniques and the sails’ mechanism, this is best for you. Once you’ve mastered this kind of sail, you can go ahead and try more complicated ones. 

However, if you’re already a seasoned kayak sailor, go for the L-shaped sails. This sail is quite difficult to use since it requires a more advanced sailing skill. You can control the sail’s travel direction by moving the sail. The level of difficulty of maneuvering the kayak can significantly affect the fun element of the activity. 

Convenience

Convenience is also another major factor in looking for the best kayak sail. If you’re a novice, you might be asking yourself what are you going to do with your kayak sail when you don’t need it. When it comes to a good kayak sail, you can break it down into smaller pieces. This means that you can stow it away in the stern or bow.

How to Choose the Best Kayak Sail - Convenience

Fishing

Another aspect to consider when looking for the best kayak sail is the possibility of getting your hands free to use your fishing equipment. You can also find a fish easier with a kayak fish finder, so might as well bring one with you. And since you no longer have to paddle, you can now spend more time fishing in the deeper parts of the ocean. Experience fishing from a kayak easily.

You can just adjust your direction and leave everything else to the wind. Since you don’t have anything else to do, you can try trolling, too. The great thing about the kayak sails available in the market is their outstanding maneuverability. You can adjust them easily and point them in which direction you want to go. 

How to Install a Kayak Sail

This is how you can successfully install a kayak sail by yourself. 

Step 1 – Attach the snap buckles (side release) to the kayak

Drill two holes to attach the snap buckle’s female ends. The holes need to be approximately 12 inches from the kayak bow’s shock cord attachment point. It should also be above the waterline. The drilled holes should be just enough to insert the nut screw into the hull.

After that, attach the snap buckle’s female ends on the webbing loop. Place a single flat washer on your well nut screw and have the same inserted into the webbing holes and right into the kayak hole. After which, have the well nut installed. 

Step 2 – Create a mast

Prepare two six-foot ½ inch PVC pipes. Remember to weld end caps to every end of the pipe section. Cut in half one section of a 48 inch by ⅝ inch dowel rod. Put the cut half into the PVC section. Place one ⅝ by 48-inch dowel rod on the sections for the mast. Weld the PVC tee to the ends of each mast section. 

Step 3 – Attach the mast saddle

Insert a ½ inch PVC tubing (braided) through the tees. Maintain a 2-inch gap between the tees. Slide the 1-inch webbing to make sure that each mast saddle has equal webbing amounts. Carefully slide your mast with the use of a 1-inch webbing strip secured to the sail. This is to safely tuck the sail onto the saddle. Insert the snap buckle’s male ends to its female ends. Tighten the webbing. Tie the ends of the webbings tightly.

Step 4 – Attach the shock cord and sheeting to your kayak and masts

Carefully secure the attachment of the hose clamp to the mast where the sail sleeve is found. Tighten the clamp and make sure that it holds the lines to the kayak’s mast. Install and mark the strap eyes to the kayak. With the use of micro blocks, route the sheeting to make sure that it doesn’t get in your feet’s way. Adjust your sail with the use of the sheeting. 

 

How to Build a Kayak Sail

Building your own kayak sail is absolutely doable. This is not something that you do to save money as there are kayak sails that are pretty cheap. Instead, this is for people who want to launch a DIY kayak sail building project. Below are some of the basic steps, so read through them before building your own kayak sail.

Step 1 – Plan your project

List all the materials you need, along with the dimensions of your project. 

Step 2 – Cut the tarp accordingly

Cut the tarp based on the previously-drawn dimensions. Find and use a heavy-duty tarp to make your kayak sail more durable.

Step 3 – Prepare the PVC piping

Cut the piping and form a triangular shape from it. This will serve as your mast, so it’s important that it’s appropriately secured to be able to hold your sail properly. 

Step 4 – Cut the rope

You need to cut the rope and have it attached to the pipes using hooks. Remember to leave a room for the give at the bottom. This will help make your sail more mobile. 

Step 5 – Make the mount

With the use of a wooden block, make a mount to move the whole thing on to the kayak. 

 

Top Kayak Sail Brands

Here are the leading and top-rated brands when it comes to kayak sails.

BSD

BSD is the maker of the 32-inch sail known as the BDS Batwing. It has been around for more than 25 years and ever since it was manufactured, the company continued to make it more advanced.  Just like its kayak sails, BSD is also the “Cadillac” among sailing brands. Its reputation stems from its functional and durable products. 

Westwind/Vision

WestWind Sail is the brand of choice when it comes to budget-friendly sails to be used for medium or low winds. This is also the brand most solo kayakers go for. Its casual padding, lightweight product, and ease of use are the common selling points of WestWind Sail products. 

Wind Paddle/Sea Eagle

If you’re a beginner, Wind Paddle is the brand for you. They offer a variety of choices, but the downside is their sails are not that customizable. Their circle-shaped sails are popular because of their efficiency and ease of use. Sea Eagle, on the other hand, is a brand that specializes in inflatable boats and kayaks. Their sails are therefore specific for their inflatable boats and kayaks, too.

Falcon Sails

This is a premium go-to brand for those who can afford its hefty price tag. They have customizable masts that are made of carbon fiber. If you want to buy from their brand, you can have your logo customized along with the look of your lines. Their customer service is also commendable – customers can even email the owner directly and also get a prompt response. 

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

If you look at the different kayak sail brands, you can say that if you want a premium-quality, fully customizable kayak sail, you must be willing to pay its expensive price tag. The higher the cost, the better the product features, material quality, and customer service you get. At the end of the day, when it comes to kayak sails, you get what you pay for. 

Do’s and Don’ts With Kayak Sails

Here are common do’s and don’ts when it comes to your kayak sails:

Do’s

Don’ts

  • Stay and be comfortable on your current skill level
  • Blindly buy gears solely because of the brand
  • Be overly competitive that you forget to have fun 
  • Pass on guides that will help you improve your skill at kayak sailing 
  • Try the sport for the first time without guidance from an expert 
  • Not knowing the dangers and risks involved in the activity 

FAQ About Kayak Sails

FAQ About Kayak Sails

Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about the sport. 

Are kayak sails safe?

Yes, kayak sailing is safe, but you need to be certain that the sail you’re using is right for your skill and kayak. Make sure that the sail of your kayak is also properly installed according to the user manual. You should also be aware of your physical limitations, along with the accompanying risks and dangers of the body of water you are exploring. 

How do wind sails work?

This type of sail depends on air pressure for the kayak to move forward. If the sail is adjusted properly, a low-pressure zone is created in front of the sail, with a high-pressure zone created on its windward side. If the wind is strong enough, the differences will be magnified further, with the kayak starting sailing further, too. 

Is kayak sailing a sport?

It can both be a hobby and a sport. Its classification largely depends on the person doing it. If you’re kayak sailing just for leisure, then you can say that it’s a hobby. However, if you aim to compete and be better at kayak sailing to beat others, it can be seen as a sport. 

How do you use a canoe sail?

First, you need to wait for the tailwind. This will propel your canoe. Next, you need to get the canoe rafted. After that, you need to keep the downwind. This may be a huge challenge; however, you have to manage this one as this can turn you sideways. Bring your sail or make one. Attach ropes to its four corners and safely secure the sail. Raise your sail and go faster. 

Conclusion

With all that has been said, one fact stands out – kayak sailing can be a sport or a hobby. However, regardless of its classification, the main point of outdoor activity like this is for the person doing it to have fun while honing his craft. You may be a novice in kayak sailing. Then again, if you commit yourself to the sport and constantly practice, you’ll be a pro in no time.

Photos from: PixelsAway / depositphotos.com, Florimel / depositphotos.com and Abdulaxxx / depositphotos.com.

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