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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.