As I mentioned in my recent post, “Kayak Shopping“, I’m in the market for a new kayak. It was my birthday this week and I celebrated the occasion by making the down payment on my new kayak.
There are now two decisions left to make:
1) the Mirage 582 or the smaller Mirage 532. I am right in the middle of the size recommendation for both and have booked into trial them on Sunday; and
2) the colour!
I figured colour would be relatively straightforward. I’m happy to sacrifice preference for safety – paddling on busy Sydney Harbour, visibility is key. However, when I started researching I found a complete jumble of opinions on the issue. Basically I have seen some online article or discussion supporting almost every colour in the rainbow.
Here is what I have concluded:
– there are so many different opinions out there, that it is not possible to conclusively say which colour is the best for visibility (the conversation on this discussion board will give you the idea);
– there are different colours recommended for on water visibility versus visibility for air rescue situations;
– the colours that come up as most consistently positive across the board are orange, bright / fluro green and, surprisingly, robins egg blue;
– for air rescue, bright colours are better but in the case of the Mirage colour choice won’t make a big difference as the bottoms are all white which tends to get lost in the white water when boats are overturned (most likely the case in a search and rescue situation);
– other safety measures like wearing bright colours or using bright coloured paddles are potentially more important than kayak colour choice.
The best article I came across in my research was this one from the Walrus Kayaks Blog which summarises a number of different sources. In particular, this source recommends “Wear Fluorescent Green to be Seen” – maybe I am just looking for evidence to support my favoured colour choice, but it looks like green it is!
Postscript: I stumbled across this fabulous shot from National Geographic when looking for information on colour choices – my new iPad wallpaper.