There are many great reasons and needs for adding outriggers onto your kayak. However, all will relate back to stability. Outriggers will provide a massively increased level of stability to your kayak in every way, and are great for providing stability for different types of kayakers.
There’s no doubt that adding outriggers to your boat comes with advantages as well as disadvantages. The market is large, with a lot of different options available all offering different features, each of which are great for different users and conditions.
We hope this guide will provide you with all of the information on kayak outriggers that you might need. We’ve included information on the upsides and downsides of outriggers, as well information on different variations/constructions.
We’ve also included a number of reviews on the best kayak outriggers, with pros, cons, and key features of each.
What Are Outriggers Helpful For?
Kay outriggers are designed for increasing the overall stability of your kayak. There are a number of different scenarios that can cause your boat to become unstable/affect stability so that it’s not at its maximum. Below, we’ve listed a few of these, as well as information on how kayak outriggers can help combat the instability caused by them.
Outriggers increase how buoyant your kayak is, as well as how stable it is. Thanks to increased buoyancy, this technically means that your kayak should be able to handle more load capacity. If you’re camping, fishing, or taking a trip for a few days and need more equipment than usual, this could be very useful to you.
When you’re out fishing on a kayak, if you’re an angler you’ll know that it’s far easier to stand up when casting to get to the right spot than it is to not. However, standing up can place quite a strain on the overall stability of your boat. The last thing you want when casting is to end up in head first with the fish! Outriggers will solve this potential for instability, keeping your kayak upright in the water even when standing up and casting.
As you may have seen from our guide to the best kayak sails, fitting a sail on your kayak can massively increase the potential of what it can do and what you can use your kayak for. A sail can also help you to cover a whole lot more distance in a far shorter time than you would be able to otherwise cover with just a paddle. However, given that most kayaks on the market were not designed primarily with the thought of a sail being attached to the top, stability can be affected considerably when a lot of power gets behind the sail. Outriggers on either side of your kayak will disperse this instability, and allow for far more balance on your boat.
If you’re a bigger-built person, you may find that standing up on and moving around on your kayak can cause some significant instability. Kayak outriggers will help make sure that your kayak stays as stable as it should, whilst you’re moving around or standing up.
What Are The Downsides Of Outriggers?
Your Boat Will Be Faster Without Them – Speed is very much the main and really only major downside of attaching outrigger to your kayak. The more outriggers you add to your boat, the more surface area you’re placing on the water, and therefore more drag. This means the boat is overall less hydrodynamic on the water.
However, outriggers will allow you to, in a lot of cases, utilize more sail power. This will mean that you can travel faster with your sail than you would be able to without the extra stability.
Outriggers have either a solid or inflatable construction, being usually made from PVC. Both inflatable and solid varieties have advantages and disadvantages. Mainly, solid examples are more durable and can withstand more hard use – they aren’t punctured or damaged as easily. However, inflatable variants are easier to store.
- Solid outriggers are more durable, and cannot get punctured
- Inflatable options are easier to store than solid options
- Both types add buoyancy and stability to your kayak
Attaching Outriggers To Your Kayak
The vast majority of kayaks available are not designed with the view of having outriggers attached to them. It can be quite a tricky process.
Find the correct place – making sure that you mount your outriggers in the correct place is very important. You want to make sure that you can still paddle easily, as well as make sure you have room for getting in and out, or fishing line if you are going to be angling from your kayak.
Mounting your outriggers – If you’ve not done anything like it before, mounting outriggers onto your kayak could be a bit of a tricky process. You’ll be required to drill holes into your boat and attach mounts to the side. If you’re not comfortable with this, it may be advisable to seek the help of a professional, or someone who is more experienced. The upside to this is, once done it’s done!
The Best Kayak Outriggers
Great! You’ve decided to get looking about for the best kayak outriggers for you to add some stability to your boat. Take a look below for some comprehensive reviews of the best kayak stabilizers on the market.
Brocraft Stabilizer Kayak Outriggers – Kayak Stabalizers from Brocraft
These Brocraft Outriggers are designed to work well in conjunction with narrower kayaks. The arms that extend that floats out to the water are 32” in length, meaning that you can be sure they won’t be getting in the way or fishing line/paddling.
Being molded and non-inflatable, these Brocraft stabilizers are highly durable and cannot be easily damaged. When in use, they sit just above the top of the water. This means that drag is minimal, compared to if they were being pulled below the surface level of the water.
Thanks to their supreme stability and spacious design, the Brocraft outriggers are excellent for fishing. Not only do they keep your kayak as stable as possible when you’re standing up on it or moving around, they are also out of the way and are not at all obtrusive when you’re using them.
To further the excellent durability of these outriggers, the arms of the stabilizers are constructed from aluminum and the mounts of stainless steel. In addition to great durability, this means that the outriggers will stand up well to the test of time. If you’re planning on using your outriggers very regularly, this option from Brocraft is one to be contended with.
- Highly durable thanks to aluminum and steel construction
- Come with a warranty period of 2 years
- Long 32” arms, meaning the stabilizers are not obtrusive
Scotty Kayak Stabilizer – Premium Inflatable Kayak Outriggers
This pair of outriggers from Scotty is, most certainly, one of the more premium options available to those looking to stabilize their kayak. However, there’s no doubt that it provides you with value for money in terms of the quality that it offers.
Being inflatable, the pontoons aren’t too difficult at all to store. In addition to this, they’re not as open as inflatable pontoons usually might be to damage, thanks to them being covered in an outer-protector that’s made from PVC, as well as having a thick and hard-wearing inside. The main advantage of this is that you won’t be paddling around shallower areas of water that could have the odd obstruction here or there in worry.
The arms that connect the pontoons to the boat are both durable and hard-wearing. Being constructed from aluminum they are lightweight. Thanks to the aluminum being anodized, you won’t need to be concerned about the arms becoming rusty/corroded. You can use them in either salt or fresh water at your leisure. However, it is advisable still to rinse the arms after use in saltwater with fresh water, and to make sure they are dry before storing them away.
The Scotty Stabilizers add a considerable level of extra buoyancy to your kayak – up to 30 lbs of extra load capacity can be supported by the pontoons once attached. IF you’re someone that would like to take that little extra equipment on your boat, or regularly has to stand up and requires a little extra stability, these Scotty pontoons would make for an excellent choice.
- Extremely buoyant, increasing the load capacity of your kayak by up to 30 lbs more
- Inflatable and easy to store
- Extremely durable thanks to multiple layers, with external PVC protection
- Add a great level of additional stability to your kayak
Pactrade Marine Boat Kayak Outriggers – Kayak Fishing Outriggers
This outrigger system from Pactrade is excellent for fishing. Being highly buoyant, they make for an excellent addition to any fishing kayak Thanks to the added level of buoyancy, it allows the kayaker to take more load out onto their boat without worry of overloading the kayak.
With the kit comes included mounting equipment. Made of stainless steel, the mounting equipment is durable and is sure to last a good amount of time. In addition to this, the kit comes with aluminum poles to connect the PVC pontoons to the mounts on the boat, as well as a set of reinforced polypropylene mounts for securing the arms to the boat.
The arms of the stabilizer kit at just over 31” in length, meaning that they’re positioned a good distance away from the boat when out on the water, meaning normal movements are still easy when on board.
One of the great points about this kit is how easily the outriggers can be detached from the boat when they’re no longer needed. This can be done by adjusting the locking nuts and using the quick-release button provided to remove the arms and pontoons from the boat. This is a great feature to have if you’re going through a narrow stretch of water, and want to have the convenience of being able to take the stabilizers off and replace them again quickly.
- Installation is easy, with the kit including all mounts required including stainless steel mounts
- Stabilizers can be easily removed and reattached at any point
- Arms are 31.5” in length
- Provided with a 1-year warranty period
Mexidi PVC Inflatable Kayak Outrigger Stabilizer Kit – Cheap Kayak Outriggers Pontoons
The pontoons in this kit are inflatable, and are as a result, very easy to store and pack away in without taking up much space. Even though they’re inflatable, the Mexidi pontoons are still hardwearing and well made.
If you’re looking for a stabilizer kit that’s both easy to inflate and functional at a great price, it’s one for serious consideration in our books.
- Very quick and easy to inflate/deflate
- Hardwearing and durable