How to Choose a Kayak
Whether you are looking for a kayak for a mode of transportation, a brisk morning workout, or a relaxing paddle around a lake, we’ll help you find the right kayak that best suits your skill level and needs.
Sit-in kayaks: Sit-in kayaks have enclosed cockpits that let the paddler sit inside the kayak. This makes them a great choice if you want to stay dry while paddling or plan to be on the water on cooler days. If you want to improve your skills or want to paddle for longer periods of time, this kayak is what you’re looking for.
Sit-on kayaks: If you are new to kayaking and want to have fun, you may feel more comfortable in a sit-on kayak. These models are easy to get in and out of and have open decks in case you’d like to take a swimming break. They are almost impossible to capsize and very stable on the water, making them great for recreational kayaking. Keep in mind that you will get wet with a sit-on model, so a sit-on kayak is better in warmer temperatures.
Tandem kayaks: Tandem kayaks carry two people are available in both sit-in and sit-on models, so you can share the time on the water.
Fishing kayaks: If you want to fish out on the water, you will benefit from a kayak made specifically for the sport. These kayaks have additional features such as swivel fishing rod holders, additional storage compartments for your equipment, and/or flush mounts. Fish kayaks are often very stable enough to stand on for better visibility and casting.
Length: The length of a kayak determines how easy it is to transport and how fast it goes. Longer kayaks are faster, track straighter and perform better on open water. Shorter kayaks are lighter, easier to maneuver and ideal for smaller bodies of water.
Width: It is also important to take into consideration the width of the kayak. The narrower the boat, the faster it goes, which is handy if you are using it for transportation. Wide boats offer more stability, which is better for recreational kayakers.
Depth: If you are a larger paddler or particularly tell, you’ll also want to consider the depth of the kayak to make sure you have enough legroom and space. Keep in mind that shallow kayaks are less effected by the wind, but will also let more water in. Kayaks with high sides will also be more affected by the wind.
Weight Capacity: Every kayak has a recommended weight limit you should consult before purchasing. Don’t forget to factor the amount of gear you want to carry into the total.