How to choose a kayak

November 3, 2015

How to choose a kayak

Kayaking is a great way to explore different bodies of water, enjoy beautiful views and get a healthy workout. Choosing equipment is an important part of kayaking; these tips can help you figure out which kayak is right for you.

How to choose a kayak

Where will it be used?

First you need to decide where you will use the kayak. Are you planning to take it on calm water such as a pond, lake or a river that doesn't have a fast current? Or do you plan to head out onto open water that could potentially have a lot of wind and waves? This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a kayak.

How much will you use it?

If you're planning to take your kayak out for a few miles every morning, that will call for a different style than if you're going to take it out on a multi-day excursion. You will need more storage options if you plan to take it on a long trip, among other considerations.

One- or two-seater

Are you planning to kayak alone or paddle with one or more partners? Solo boats are easier to carry, but choosing a model with more seating gives you the option of paddling with others.

Skill level

Choosing a kayak has a lot to do with your skill level and what your goals for kayaking are. A casual hobbyist will want a different kayak than someone who plans on competing or going on long excursions.

Recreational kayaks

These are great for calm waters and calm weather. They are small, and so are easy to carry and store, but aren't great for stability in choppy waters.

Touring kayaks

Touring kayaks are much longer and thinner than recreational models, and are specifically made to travel long distances. They can navigate open waters very well and provide a lot of stability in any kind of setting. They are also easy to control in currents and side winds. You'll find that these are usually much more expensive than recreational kayaks.

Sit-on-top kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks have moulded seats for you to sit on that make it easy to get on and off. They are great for kids and beginners who want an easy kayak to have fun with. They are wider and don't go as fast as traditional kayaks, but are easy to carry and store.

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