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How to Choose a Kayak | Canadian Tire. Play video

How to choose a kayak

Whether you plan to use your kayak for a relaxing paddle around the lake with the family, a brisk morning workout or a mode of transportation, we’ll help you choose a kayak that best suits your needs and skill level.  

Types

Sit-in kayaks are great for cooler days. Find the one that’s right for you

Sit-in kayaks

Sit-in kayaks have enclosed cockpits that allow the paddler to sit inside the kayak. This makes them a great choice if you plan to be on the water on cooler days and want to stay dry while paddling. If you want to paddle for longer periods or improve your skills, this kayak is what you’re looking for. 

SHOP OUR SELECTION OF SIT-IN KAYAKS
Explore our assortment of fun and easy sit-on kayaks

Sit-on kayaks

If you are new to the sport and just want to have fun, you may be more comfortable in a sit-on kayak. These models have open decks and are easy to get into and out of, in case you want to take a swimming break. They’re also very stable on the water and almost impossible to capsize, making them great for recreational kayaking. Keep in mind that you will get wet with a sit on model, so they’re better in warmer temperatures.

SHOP OUR SELECTION OF SIT-ON KAYAKS
Discover our tandem kayaks, perfect for sharing

Tandem kayaks

Tandem kayaks are available in both sit-in and stand-on models, so you can share the time on the water.

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Explore these kayaks specially made for fishing

Fishing kayaks

If you would like to fish from your vessel, you will benefit from a kayak made specifically for the sport. These have additional features such as flush-mount and/or swivel fishing rod holders and additional storage for your equipment. Fishing kayaks are often stable enough to stand on for better visibility and casting. 

SHOP OUR SELECTION OF FISHING KAYAKS

Size

The length of a kayak determines how fast and how easy to carry it is

Length

The length of a kayak determines how fast it goes and how easy it is to transport. Shorter kayaks are lighter, easier to maneuver and ideal for smaller bodies of water. They’re also more convenient to transport. Longer kayaks are faster, track straighter and perform better on open water. They give you more storage capacity and are generally for more experienced, serious paddlers.

Wide kayaks are more stable while narrow kayaks are faster

Width

You should also consider the width or beam of the kayak. Wide boats offer more stability, which is better for recreational kayakers. The more narrow the boat, the faster it goes, which is handy if you’re using it for transportation. 

Consider your height and size before choosing a kayak

Depth

If you are particularly tall or a larger paddler, you’ll want to consider the depth of a kayak, to make sure you have enough legroom and space. Keep in mind that kayaks with high sides are more affected by the wind. Shallower kayaks are less affected by the wind, but will also let more water in.
Check the kayak’s weight limit to make sure it can hold you and your gear

Weight Capacity

Every kayak has a recommended weight limit, which you should consult before purchasing. Don’t forget to factor the amount of gear you want to carry into the total.

Types

Size