Explore rivers, lakes, and ocean-scapes by kayak for a fun and immersive adventures. An extensive range of shapes, sizes, and designs are available, and relate to various kayaking activities. Kayaking is popular for wildlife viewing, fishing, and simply recreational joy.
Specific kayak designs, like tandem kayaks or inflatable kayaks, impact the kayaking experience. Consider where and how you want to paddle when choosing a kayak to get the best boat for you.
Related: See our list of the best tandem kayaks
Remember to grab the best kayak accessories and you will be onto a winning combination for epic days on the water. From specially designed dry bags to fishing rod holders and knee rest supports, you can deck your kayak out to be the perfect match for you.
Kayaking allows you to access secret gems and hidden coves. It is a peaceful way to explore rocky coastlines and open water horizons. And it is one of many paddle sports that gets you out on the water, nurturing your mental wellbeing and getting a dose of nature.
Sit on Top Kayaks: a higher seat position making getting on easier, typically preferred by beginners and anglers. Wide dimensions create stability however there is generally less storage than sit-inside types.
Sit Inside Kayaks: kayaks with a cockpit design where the paddler sits below the deck. Best for whitewater rapids and waves. Can be used with a sprayskirt to enclose the kayaker in the cockpit. Often more maneuverable than sit on top types.
Inflatable Kayaks: similar design to sit on top kayak, but made from advanced materials to allow inflation and deflation. Good for easy travel and small storage allowance. Typically wide and offer great stability.
Fishing Kayaks: Fishing kayaks have become increasingly popular over the years as they give anglers the ability to paddle down waterways with ease. Throw in the fact that a kayak is cheaper and far easier to transport than a traditional boat, and you’ve got yourself the perfect fishing vessel that can be stored on a rack system in your garage.
Inflatable Fishing Kayaks : Inflatable fishing kayaks offer their paddlers the ability to launch their kayaks in even the most remote waterways in search of fish. These inflatable kayaks are carefully constructed to provide anglers with adequate storage space, a large enough weight capacity, and comfort for long days out on the water.
Ocean Kayaks : Ocean kayaks are considerably long and narrow kayaks that are designed to take on the waves and currents you’d experience in the ocean. These kayaks give paddlers the ability to launch right off the shore, and although they aren’t as stable as recreational kayaks, they’re easy to operate once you get the hang of them.
Pedal Kayaks : Pedal kayaks may come with a considerable price tag, but their ability to be powered by the strongest part of our bodies makes them ideal for fishing or for paddlers who wish to cover vast stretches of water with little to no effort. These kayaks allow you to be hands-free at all times, giving you the freedom to fish, take pictures, or even eat your lunch while peddling.
Recreational Kayaks : River kayaks designed for whitewater rapids are some of the shortest kayaks on the market, as paddlers need enhanced maneuverability to tackle rapid moving waters. These kayaks, available in both a sit-on-top or a sit-inside configuration, are easy to transport and easy to carry, meaning you can launch off the banks of your favorite fast or slow-moving river.
River Kayaks : River kayaks designed for whitewater rapids are some of the shortest kayaks on the market, as paddlers need enhanced maneuverability to tackle rapidly moving waters. These kayaks, available in both a sit-on-top or a sit-inside configuration, are easy to transport and easy to carry, meaning you can launch off the banks of your favorite fast or slow-moving river.
Tandem Kayaks : Tandem kayaks are the perfect way to head out on the water with your friend, your partner, your family, or even your furry friend. These two-seater, sometimes three-seater kayaks give you the freedom to launch your boat on almost any shore so you can not only enjoy some time in nature but also spend quality time with your loved ones.
Tandem Fishing Kayaks : Gone are the days of paddling and fishing alone, thanks to tandem fishing kayaks that allow you to head out on the water with your best mate, partner, or even your furry friend in search of your biggest catch to date.
Recreational Kayaks: suitable for all levels, recreational kayaks are designed for paddlers to have fun out on the water. Perfect for calm waters and for beginners to learn basics.
Kayak Fishing: a kayak gives you an alternative to motorized boats. You can get into nooks and crannies while being silent on the water.
Kayak Touring: travel and adventure with a kayak is heaps of fun. Typically, these kayaks are longer so as to cut through the water faster and more efficiently.
Tandem Kayaks: days on the water are best spent with friends, so why not get a buddy on board with you? Tandem kayaking brings the company to your paddle and aids in power.
Whitewater Kayaks: compact, robust, and agile kayaks. These specially designed boats are made to handle whitewater rapids, waves, and strong currents.
Three key considerations you have to make when shopping for kayaks are: tracking features; storage and portability; and, overall weight capacity.
Tracking features include rudders, tracking fins, and skegs. These will help keep the kayak straight as conditions become more challenging. Rudders can also be paired with the paddle in providing direction.
Storage and portability are important if you are limited in space and transport. Inflatable kayak options are a great answer to these issues and are worth serious consideration.
Weight capacity is worth checking if you want to load extra gear on the boat for longer excursions. You can also look into covered hatches for keeping get dry in storage while paddling.
Large, recreational kayaks are the best type of kayak for beginners to learn the basics. These beginner kayaks are generally between 9 and 12 feet long, and 2 to 3 feet wide. This length and width give good stability for beginner kayakers to find balance and feel safe while in the water.
As kayaks get shorter, or narrower, they handle differently and are targeted for specific conditions. These more advanced kayaks require skill and experience to handle them appropriately.
Kayaks vary in price depending on the materials used and the size of the vessel. Recreational kayaks range from as little as $200 to $1000, or even more. A general rule of thumb is the more you spend, the better the quality of the kayak.
As kayaks get more specialized and specific for activity, the price often increases. Some inflatable kayaks can be a good budget option that does not compromise on stability or build quality.
Plastic and composite materials are the most common choice for kayaks. They are strong and durable, making them perfect for learning and general recreational kayaking. Carbon fiber is a premium material chosen for lightweight kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are made using PVC technology to replicate the same features as plastic or fiberglass.
Both sit-inside kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks come with their own benefits, so it’s not as simple as saying one is better than the other. Sit-on-top kayaks are often considered the most comfortable type of kayak. You are not confined inside the kayak, allowing you more freedom for activities, like kayak fishing. They are great for general recreational paddling and for beginners to learn how to kayak.
Whereas, sit-inside kayaks are the chosen vessel for whitewater rapid paddling and more intense adventures. Kayakers can seal themselves inside the boat and head out in rough conditions in a more manoeuverable vessel.
Larger and wider kayaks are generally designed with greater stability in mind. The most stable kayaks are typically 10 or 11 feet in length. Typically, kayaks of this length are build for specific activities, like fishing or recreational use, which require the most amount of stability to perform the job.
As kayaks get smaller, then get more manoeuverable but this compromises the stability of the boat. Similarly, as kayaks get narrower they get faster, but this also effects the stability of the kayak.
Kayaks range in price depending on the materials used and design features. If you want a intro kayak to suit beginner needs, you should be spending no more than $600. However, if you want to go more specialized in the kayak, expect to pay anything between $1000 and $2000.
It is generally accepted that sit on top kayaks are the most comfortable type. These kayaks provide a higher seated position, often provide decent seats and supports for the back and feet, and are easier to paddle. You can make a kayak more comfortable by adding on additional accessories, like seat pads or knee supports.
Your ultimate buyer’s guide for purchasing a kayak. Take on board our pro tips on how to find the best kayak for you and your adventures.
If fitness is your priority, then you will be interested in knowing the calorie count being burned with each stroke. From recreational to race conditions, kayaking is a great overall workout.
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Sit on top kayaks are a fun way to explore calm lake waters, sweeping rivers, and rocky coastlines. They are perfect for both beginners and experienced paddlers.
Correct storage ensures a kayak is damage free and ready to go in the water when needed. From where to store to how to store, this guide is here to give you all the information.