316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel
All our fixings are 316 stainless steel. You will find many kayaks on the market using 304, A2 stainless or worse, with claims that it is marine grade. This just isn’t true.
High Grade Polyethylene
The raw material we use for all our kayaks is the highest quality available. It resists UV damage and has excellent impact resistance / memory properties. The cost is nearly twice as much as the grade many kayaks are made from, but we know it won’t let you down so we think it’s worth it.
HDPE vs LLDPE
As a company well versed in the manufacture of kayaks, from material selection to mould construction, we have a depth and breadth of knowledge that gives us great confidence in the plastics of all our hulls, and this is why we offer a lifetime guarantee on them.
However, we do speak to many people who are concerned by the fact that we use LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) versus the better perceived HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), the purpose of this short article is to thoroughly, but simply, explain the relevant differences between these two plastics, so you can walk away with the same level of confidence in our (and hopefully your) kayaks!
To begin, polyethylene (PE) is simply a generic name that encompasses many types of plastic, from LDPE (Low Density), to UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight), and though all these variants share a very similar basic chemical structure, each differs slightly in its properties.
HDPE is the densest commonly available variant and is widely used in applications from bottle caps, to garden furniture, like deck chairs. It is very UV resistant and the hardest and stiffest of the PE’s – and this is where the vast majority of people become, understandably, confused as to why we do not use this plastic. The full answer as to why we don’t is rather physics-y, but, put simply, despite greater stiffness and hardness, HDPE has lower impact strength than LLDPE – meaning when you hit it, it is more likely to crack; in other words, HDPE is more brittle. This has been thoroughly, and repeat tested countless times using a standardised test known as the ‘Izod impact strength test’ which shows that, in fact due to the lower stiffness value of LLDPE, instead of cracking, it simply changes shape, this is because it is slightly more malleable, while still retaining a very large percentage of the UV and chemical resistance of HDPE.
Now, what all of this really means in in relation to your kayak is that if you were to crash into rocks, or drop it from the roof of your car, instead of cracking – and totally ruining your most recent purchase – all that could happen is the hull may dent slightly, which is far more favourable on your bank account, as it retains its usability.
We hope that this short explanation has shed some light on a confusing, though very important, subject, and that now you better understand why we, and almost every other kayak manufacturer, use LLDPE for hull construction, and though some claim to use HDPE, the chances are this is either a marketing ploy, or simple confusion.
You will not find any accessories or attachments fixed to our kayaks using rivets. Experience tells us that rivets can be unreliable and in some cases dangerous when used on roto-moulded kayaks.