Types of kayaks and how to Choose a quality kayak

Fact Checked By:Samuel Carter

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Kayaks are small and narrow watercraft boats that are usually propelled by the use of double-bladed paddles. Kayaks come in different sizes where some are designed for a single person use while others fit more than one person also refrred to as tendam kayaks.


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If you feel a kayak is not for you, have a look at our guide and reviews of the best sit on top fishing kayak for beginners or top rated touring kayaks.

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What to look for when choosing a kayak

The following are crucial factors to consider when selecting a kayak

Where to use it

Unlike with other boats, one needs to be extra careful when selecting a kayak based on the areas to use it. The major areas that people like to kayak include in lakes, flowing rivers, oceans, and even river lakes. Due to the nature of the kayak designs, you need to make sure that the kayak you choose is safe for that area. For example, if you want to kayak at the ocean, you should choose a kayak that can withstand high ocean tides and waves. If you need a compatible lake kayak, choose a kayak that can easily float on the top of the lake.

For those who need a kayak to use a flowing river, choose a sturdy kayak, have a high power of floating, and that you can easily turn around in case you need to go back.

The type of kayak

There are three major types of kayaks, which are the sit on top, sit in, and lastly, inflatable kayaks.

Sit-on kayaks are suitable for people who want to enjoy recreational water activities such as fishing. This is because these kayaks are designed with a seating area a bit raised from the floor. They are quite long to offer enough legroom and also come with multiple storage spaces.

Sit-in kayaks are similar to the sit on kayaks only that the sitting area is a bit lower. Half of the body is covered in such kayaks while seated. They are ideal for people who don’t want to come to contact with wetness while kayaking. They also fit areas that frequent tourists and comes with a foot peddle too.

Inflatable kayaks are ideal for people who enjoy kayaking occasionally. These kayaks are mainly recommended for use in shallow areas as they are relatively light in weight and thus can easily be carried by heavy tides or waters.

Your needs

Do you need a fishing kayak, a kayak that you can exercise with while in waters, or just a simple recreational kayak? The kind of experience you want to achieve with the kayak will influence your needs. For example, if you need a kayak to fish with, you ought to choose a large kayak that is stable and easy to control as well.

The size

Kayaks come in different sizes where some are designed for a single person fit while others can fit up to four people. Therefore, if you need a kayak that you can use with your family or friends, check out the number of people it can accommodate.

The kayak accessories

Kayaks are equipped with different accessories that vary from drift anchor, storage bags, the straps, and even pumps ideal for inflatable kayaks. So, choose a kayak that has all the accessories you will require while in the water.

Types of kayaks

Sit on a kayak

    This is a kayak designed in a way that the user sits on the top area. You are bound to get wet or remain wet for the rest of the kayaking time, as this design does not prevent you from water splashes. This type of kayak is ideal for areas with warm tropical waters.

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    1. Getting in and out of this type of kayak is relatively straightforward.
    2. The kayak does not restrict one from doing other activities like yoga.

      Sit in a kayak

      If you need a kayak that will protect your body from getting to contact with wetness, sit-in kayak is the perfect option. This type of kayak ensures to keep the lower body parts free from the water splashes. This type of kayak works best in areas with cold waters.

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      1. The kayak ensures you remain warm while on the water.
      2. The kayak protects your body from coming to contact with wetness.

        Crossover kayaks

        These types of kayaks are ideal for people who like to experience water recreational activities in different waters. They have advanced features and designs such that you can use them when fishing, and even running the whitewater.

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        1. They are versatile in terms of use.
        2. These kayaks can be used in different waters.

          Inflatable kayaks

          The majority of the inflatable kayaks are recommended for recreational water activities, although there are brands that work for white waters. They come with a pump for inflating them and can be deflated for easy storage or carrying around.

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          1. They are easy to store and carry since they can fold to a smaller size.
          2. They are stable and easy to carry around.

            Whitewater kayaks

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            These kayaks are ideal for professional kayakers who can maneuver and control its movement on fast-moving waters. These types of kayaks are designed in larger sizes as the length range from 7 to 10 ft long. They are further classified into two categories, which are the playboats and the creakboats.

              Playboat whitewater kayaks

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              They are smaller in length and fit best in areas that are steep and have fast-flowing waters.


                They are relatively more spacious and suitable for use in narrow regions with low water flows.

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                1. These kayaks are quite durable.
                2. Some brands (playboat) work great in areas with fast-moving waters.

                  Fishing kayaks

                  These kayaks are designed specifically for fishers. They have all the kayak accessories required by a fisherman. For example, they consist of a pole holder, flatter hull ideal for stability, and peddle water wheel for enabling you to focus on fishing while the kayak floats or moves in the water.

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                  1. They are relatively light in weight for comfortable transportation.
                  2. They have storage spaces where you can keep your fish after catching.

                  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

                  What kind of things can one do with a kayak?

                  Kayaks of today are used for a variety of activities, ranging from leisurely paddling on calm waters to sophisticated racing and maneuvering in swiftly flowing rapids to ocean fishing and extended paddling journeys over great distances.

                  Is kayaking safe?

                  Kayaking is something that, even while it could seem like a pleasant sport to perform with your family over the course of a vacation, can be quite risky if it is not done under the guidance of an experienced person. The breaking of even the most fundamental safety standards pertaining to kayaking results in a significant number of incidents being reported on an annual basis.

                  Are kayaks simple to use?

                  Learning how to kayak is not nearly as difficult as one would first believe. To paddle efficiently, you need just a few fundamental abilities at your disposal. You will need the assistance of a knowledgeable guide or teacher to learn how to get into and out of a kayak, how to do the forward stroke and the sweep stroke for turning the boat, and you will also need to take a few lessons on how to be safe while paddling.

                  Why is kayaking fun?

                  Paddling a kayak for fun is a simple and accessible method for everyone to explore new waters. It provides a relaxing form of transportation to explore an inlet and enables the paddler to pause and take in the beauty of the surrounding waterscape while they are out discovering a new area. Watching whales, learning about wildlife, and navigating new territory are some of the things that may be done.

                  The Bottom Line

                  Kayak is a great water gadget for people who enjoy fishing or carrying out recreational water activities. They come in different types and designs for customers to choose from depending on their needs and uses. So, if you are planning to buy the right kayak for summer or winter use, the above are the available types of kayaks on the market. Follow the above buying guide to help you choose the right kayak for your water activities.

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                  Samuel Carter

                  This is Samuel Carter. I have been online product reviewing for the last 7 years and owns many product samples from different companies. I love online product reviewing and reviewing is my hobby. I know, choosing a product is very difficult for newbies and that is why I have created this blog to help the newbies. I think might be useful for you. Thanks - Carter

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