Malta is arguably one of the nicest places to kayak. The pristine coastline and crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean sea offer a unique blend of natural beauty and man-made architecture with historical significance which makes Kayaking in Malta and Gozo a must. Paddle along beautiful beaches, rocky cliff faces, under natural rock formations, inside caves or along century old bastions used during the war – the choice is yours!

The Zegul Greenland T underneath the Great Siege Bell Memorial Valletta

The photo above shows the magnificent Zegul Greenland T exiting the Great Siege Bell Memorial cave in Valletta during one of the Malta Paddlers events.

Malta is only 27km long by 14.5km wide is tiny by most standards, however the coastline exploration is never ending! Kayakers who have been kayaking for over 30 years keep finding new spots they’ve never seen before, new caves and new view points!

The temperature in Malta generally ranges from 8°C in the coldest months to 31°C in the warmer summer months. These are ideal temperatures for all-year round kayaking. Technical clothing is highly recommended to protect against the sun throughout summer.

Enjoy a few more pictures taken by Malcolm Manduca of Zegul kayaks exploring in Malta.

The images above were kindly sent to us by Malcolm Manduca. They were taken during his paddles with Ruben Lofaro and Charles Brincat (in the photo with three kayaks). Malcolm owns a Zegul Ormen MV (Skeg + Rudder) and Ruben is with his Tahe Marine/Zegul Playspirit and Epic V5.

After over 40 years of kayaking in Malta we still regularly get caught up in the discussion especially with newbies on the advantages and disadvantages of skeg vs rudder or vice versa. 

First of all a rudder or skeg is designed to aid in the steering of a kayak thereby minimizing the need to making continual correcting strokes that can cause fatigue and perhaps discomfort.  There are however some key differences between the two. 

Depiction of Rudder and Skeg

So which one is best?

Brian Day from Paddling Magazine comes up with some clearly articulated arguments in favor of the skeg.  He states that rudders are clearly helpful to beginners who are just getting the hang of paddling, but  goes on to explain why  rudders are a poor choice in a versatile sea kayak paddled in a full range of ocean conditions, from surf to tide races.

Rudders have one big problem (and some small ones) you just can’t get around. The real problem with rudders is trim (it is either up or down).

He goes on to explain (story adapted to Malta!): Imagine yourself kayaking off the shore of Armier. Olive trees (!) sway in the breeze and a steady wind pushes your boat toward the rocks. You start paddling forward, steering a course toward Comino… and your kayak begins turning into the wind.

What the heck is going on? It’s simple. If the wind blows you sideways, you’re going to drift sideways. If you start paddling forward, the bow of your kayak gets stuck in the water and the stern keeps on drifting sideways as the kayak will naturally want to turn into the wind. This is known as Wind-cocking (Figure A– no skeg deployed. Bow anchored into the sea due to forward movement but stern not anchored).

Now, if you are in a kayak with a skeg, you’ll want to slide that skeg down a little bit at a time until you can point at Comino again. That skeg mechanically changes the bow-to-stern trim of your kayak. In essence, it makes the stern sit deeper in the water and locks it in place, so it can’t skid out. (Figure B- Skeg partially deployed to counterbalance the bow anchoring and wind-cocking)

Here you are now, happily paddling along, pointed just where you want to go, skeg in perfect position. Great. What happens if you decide to push the skeg all the way down? Trouble. Why?  Because if you put that skeg all the way down, your kayak will start to turn away from the wind. The trim will be too far toward the stern. You’ll start heading for certain destruction on the rocks of Comino! (Figure C – Skeg Fully deployed so no longer balancing the bow anchoring but creating even more drag so not allowing the kayak to turn from the stern)

With the skeg fully down you thrash away on the downwind side of the boat, desperately trying to claw off the fatal lee shore. To no avail. Slowly, inexorably, your bow points toward the pointy rocks. Your mind is filled with visions of smashed plastic or. Yikes. Better pull up the skeg a little bit. Wind-cocking fixed!

Now with a rudder you just can’t do that! They are either deployed or not deployed. This will mean leaning heavily on one foot pedal as you continuously attempt to steer in the correct direction. This will reduce the power you can deliver to the stroke cause by uneven leg bracing.

This brings us to another point mentioned frequently in favor of skegs, being that the solid foot pedal in kayaks with a skeg stay in place and support your feet and legs better. Since the foot pedal with rudder-equipped kayaks moves, even if only at the top, the foot support is not as strong and for some this is the biggest compromise of rudders.

In conclusion

Since rudders and skegs are really only useful for tracking over long distances, you generally don’t find them on shorter recreational kayaks, especially sit on top models.  It is however important to look at the hull of the recreational kayaks, as round hulls will be particularly prone to wind-cocking in the wind and beginners or weekend kayakers may want to take note.

Over the last few years top kayak manufactures have recognized the growing popularity of skegs, and one can now find more and more mid-length models (11-13feet/ XM-YM) on the market with built-in adjustable skegs. These kayaks are generally called Hybrid Kayaks, as although shorter than touring kayaks they can track well over longer distances. Models with built in skegs will be costlier than those without- but this is usually one of the best investments you can make and will allow you to take your kayaking to the next level.

The key take out from the above is that rudders are very easy for beginners to understand and use but more experienced kayakers may not want to use them for the two reasons mentioned above (wind-cocking and solid foot bracing). Rudders just don’t do a good job at balancing a versatile kayak in the wind in a broad range of conditions.

There is still a place for rudders.  They work great on both tandem kayaks and on specialized kayaks intended to be paddled with the rudder in the water at all times like surfskis and racing kayaks. If you have both a skeg and rudder on a touring kayak the rudder can be a great way of getting used to your kayak as a relative beginner following which you can transition to using only the skeg.

 As the saying goes: ‘If you want to explore the sea in all its manifold dimensions whilst touring, stick with a skeg, and avoid rudders’.

Proper kayak storage is crucial—yet often overlooked. Sure, calling it a day after a thrilling time in the great outdoors and putting your kayak away is not exciting, but it’s important (i.e., if you want to prolong the life of your precious kayak).

Failure to store your ‘yak properly leaves it susceptible to disgusting mildew/mold, scratches, and dents from contact with hard surfaces, or worse, warping of the plastic hull. But as anyone who’s ever owned the watercraft will tell you; kayaks are hard-to-store items! They’re often bulky, relatively delicate, and downright odd-shaped. And this is where kayak wall mounts come in.

Read on for more on why you should consider investing in a kayak wall mount and how to install it for proper storage of your trusted ‘yak.

Wall Brackets

Benefits of Kayak Wall Mounts

Consideration Before Mounting your Kayak – Types of Kayak Wall Mounts

If you’re planning to mount your kayak to a wall, you’ll have to make a few considerations for a seamless experience. How heavy is your kayak? How far can you stretch your budget? And where is your storage space (inside or outside)?

Depending on your unique needs, you have two main kayak wall mount options available:

  1. Slings: With a sling-type cradle, you suspend your kayak by securing it through loops. Slings come in handy when you’re looking to maximize your storage area (i.e., no parts sticking out), store more items (e.g., you can slide a paddle into the loop), and it’s secure. PS: See this video for an illustration. Check out the Railblaza Starport Wall Sling on our website.
Kayak Storage Option - Railblaza sling mounts
Railblaza Wall Slings
  1. Hooks/Brackets: As you can guess, the kayak is placed gently on padded brackets/hooks installed into a wall. Bracket-type systems tend to have a higher weight capacity and a higher price tag than slings. Or you can make a homemade version for less but the craftsmanship is then down to the builder.
Kayak Storage Option - Riber Wall Brackets
Riber Heavy Duty Wall Brackets

How to Mount your Kayak to a Wall

Finding the right kayak wall mount is only one facet of the whole equation. Failure to install the rack properly leaves your wall, the kayak, and whatever is below at risk of damage. The good thing is that most kayak wall mounts come with instructions from the manufactures. But if not, here’s a quick guide:

STEP 1: Prepping the Storage Area

First things first; do you have a wall that is big enough and convenient for the storage of your kayak? The general rule of thumb is to measure the length of the kayak (plus a few extra inches for good measure) and match it to a relevant wall.

You can store it anywhere; including the shed, basement, garage, or even your bedroom (*if your partner is okay with it). But ensure the temperature and humidity are controlled—preferably indoors away from sunlight.

STEP 2: Clean your Kayak

Grab a mild all-purpose cleaner and sponge down your kayak’s interior and exterior hull. The idea is to remove residue, dirt, or potentially corrosive substances. Next, dry the kayak to ward off mildew/mold and degradation of the surface. After this, you can cover your kayak to protect it from the elements.

STEP 3: Install the Wall Mounts

Space; check! Kayak, check! The next step is to install your storage unit. For the sling-type system, drill holes for the eyebolts on ceiling rafters or wall studs—ensuring the distance between them is approximately a third of the kayak’s length. Screw in the eye bolt into the drilled hole and insert the sling suspension system.

STEP 4: Hang the Kayak

Place the kayak horizontally with the cockpit facing away from the wall. Make sure the kayak is perfectly centered and not tilting to either side (i.e., straps should be just outside the cockpit and equidistant to each end). Aaaand…you’re done.

Now, hit the water and come home to easy, secure kayak storage—repeating the process over and over for years!

Links to wall mounting systems:


Did you ever find yourself wanting a particular product from one of the many kayaking brands such as Palm, Hiko, Crewsaver, YAK, Aquadesign, Gumotex, Epic Kayaks, Perception, NRS which was out of stock and had long waiting times? You now have access to thousands of quality products at your fingertips.

We came up with a system where we inform our esteemed clients before placing an order from any of our brands. This allows them (you) to submit an order along with ours to make sure you don’t miss out on your desired product.

No matter how small your order is, combined with our larger order we make sure you save on shipping costs. Win-Win for everyone! Be it a particular shoes size, or specific PFD colour, we’ve got you covered!

The process is simple.

  1. A member of our team posts on the Facebook group chat all the current open orders and deadline order dates.
  2. Group members can send us a private message with their desired order.
  3. We will inform you of cost and place the order with a deposit.

To be added to this group chat send us a message on our Facebook Page or on Whatsapp (+356 79322092)

Thousands of Quality Products at Your Fingertips
Group Chat showing open orders.

Thanks to this group chat you are now able to order, thousands of quality products at your fingertips. Let us know what you think of this idea!

Kayaking is a fantastic outdoor activity that has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reasons. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, kayaking offers a wide range of benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional health. In this post, we’ll explore some of the top benefits of kayaking and why you should consider giving it a try.

Gumotex Inflatable kayak in action

Low-Impact Exercise

Kayaking is a low-impact exercise that provides a great workout for your upper body, core, and legs. Paddling engages your arm, shoulder, and back muscles, while the twisting motion works your core muscles. Kayaking is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that helps improve your stamina, endurance, and overall fitness. Unlike high-impact activities like running, kayaking puts less stress on your joints, making it a perfect exercise for people with knee or hip problems.

Cave hopping in Malta

Stress Relief

Kayaking is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety. When you’re out on the water, surrounded by nature, you can disconnect from the stressors of everyday life and enjoy the peace and tranquility of your surroundings. The rhythmic motion of paddling can be meditative and help clear your mind, providing a sense of relaxation and calmness.

Family time on the Wavesport Scooter XT!

Improved Mental Health

Kayaking has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Being out on the water and surrounded by nature can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The exercise and fresh air also release endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels. Kayaking is also a great way to socialize and connect with others, which can be beneficial for overall mental wellbeing.

Group paddles are always fun!

Connection with Nature

Kayaking provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors. You can observe wildlife, enjoy the scenery, and experience the natural beauty of your surroundings. Kayaking can help you appreciate the environment and develop a deeper understanding of the world around you.

Epic V5 and Zegul Orme from Ritz. Thank you Ruben and Malcolm.

Affordable and Accessible

Kayaking is an affordable and accessible activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. You can rent kayaks from local outfitters or purchase your own, depending on your preference. Kayaking can be done on lakes, rivers, and even in the ocean, making it a versatile activity that can be enjoyed in a variety of locations.

At Ritz Kayaks, we stock a wide range of kayaks and accessories for all your needs. From sea kayaks, sit on top kayaks, two-person kayaks, inflatable, fishing, surfski, SUPs and accessories in stock for you to choose from!

We import top brands such as Perception, Wavesport, Galaxy, Zegul and more.

In conclusion, kayaking is an excellent activity that provides numerous benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Whether you’re looking for a low-impact exercise, stress relief, or a connection with nature, kayaking has something to offer. So, grab a paddle and hit the water – you won’t regret it!

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