Different Types of Kayaks

Published December 19, 2017


There are many kayak classifications. They can be can be grouped according to how they are used, how the passenger sits on them, their structure and built. Here are the common ones found on the market these days:

Traditional sit-in vs. sit on top kayaks

Sit-on-tops Kayaks

They are often used as recreational boats on flowing rivers and lakes. They are also used in warm coastal waters and some even have adequate storage that can withstand overnight trips. Perhaps you are not comfortable with the idea of being inside a cockpit which is a normal feeling for anyone who is claustrophobic. Maybe, learning to perform a “wet-exit” is something that you are not interested to learn. In such case, you are a sit-on-topper. If you are uncertain what to choose, then the following may help you decide better:

  1. Sit-on-tops are built for an easy get on. You can even go on and off from it even in deep water. Hence, if you intend to use your kayak casually like simply using it near the lakeside cabin, as swimming platform or kids’ boat then the sit-on-top will be an ideal one for you.
  2. Since you will be wet all the time while using the sit on the top type, make sure that you will be using this in hot weather when air and water are warm.
  3. There’s no need to worry about pumping out water since scupper holes will drain the water for you.
  4. Compared to sit-in type, the sit-on-top kayaks are heavier.

Sit-in Kayaks

This is often used as recreational boats for day touring. They are known for their fast speed, straight track and cargo compartment feature. Hence, if you intend to paddle your kayak to a far destination then the sit-in type will be your perfect choice. This one is the best to use during cold weather when water and air are cool as well. However, since you will be sitting inside, you need to learn how to do a wet exit before you use this type. However, you have the advantage of positioning your body in many points with this one. Hence, it will be easier for you to maneuver the boat since your knees butt and feet are positioned well which empowers you with a greater control, especially when paddling over rough waters. Overall, these functions more efficiently compared to its sit-on-top counterpart.

Kayaks can be categorized in many ways too. One is the Recreational Kayak. This one is stable, affordable and can be turned with ease. The Day Touring Kayak, on the other hand, is sleeker and should we say, more efficient to use than the recreational boats. However, they are more costly as well. The last category is the Touring Kayak. This is the sea kayaks which are made for robust use. They are also used for long distance paddling. You can check out outdoorveteran.com to check out the best sea kayaks picked by Ian Waterman.

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