Different Types of Kayaks: Which One is Right for You?

different types of kayaks

Last updated on September 9, 2022

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A kayak refers to a narrow and small water vessel which is usually propelled by the use of double-bladed paddles. Modern kayaks are propelled using gas engines and even electric motors. The art of making kayak evolved as people designed various boats for transporting goods and hunting. What does the word kayak mean? It means the hunter’s ship or man’s boat. I will take you through different types of kayaks and their uses to help you make the right choice.

Kayaks are classified into two major categories, namely flat water or recreational and white water kayaks. Flat-water kayaks and white water kayaks are further classified under five groups and classes. First one comes in calm water like slow-moving and meandering rivers, ponds and calm oceans. These types of kayaks are suitable for recreational purpose because of their stability.

This article will make you understand about different types of kayaks and it’s uses, I will make sure the types of kayaks explained below are detailed fully.

A. Different types of kayaks for flat-water

1. Sit On Top Kayaks.

2. Touring Sit-In Kayaks.

3. Recreational Sit-In Kayaks.

4. Pedaling Kayaks.

5. Inflatable Flat Water Kayaks:

What are the different types of flat-water kayaks? The following are the explanation which will answer you what exactly flat-water kayaks are:

1. Sit On Top Kayaks

Sit On Top Kayaks are recreational kayaks that are suitable for kayaking of beginners and their fun. Kayak rental firms mainly own them. Sit on top kayaks have an open cockpit which allows you to get in and out quickly because you sit in the open. These kayaks enable fishers to access their fishing gear at ease, making them suitable for fishing as well. Splashes may make you wet when using these kayaks and making it unsuitable during winter when it is cold but ideal for use in the summer.

2. Touring Sit-In Kayaks

These are significantly narrow with small cockpits and usually have a length of between twelve inches and twenty-four inches. The touring kayaks’ length and narrowness makes very fast and also suitable for long distances. Touring kayaks are high priced, and their length makes them difficult to store or transport.

i. Advantages

  • Moves fast due to its ability and to move in a straight line.
  • It’s bulkheads minimize chances of the kayak flooding inside.

ii. Disadvantages

  • Its length makes them unsuitable for watercourses that have sharp bends.
  • Evacuating a touring kayak, in case of capsizing is very hard.

3. Recreational Sit-In Kayaks

Recreational kayaks usually have a length of between eight and twelve inches and about twenty-eight inches wide. Its cockpits are typically closed but have large openings to allow easy accessibility. These are suitable for both summer and winter are low priced, making them affordable. These types of kayaks do not track because they are short. This types are low priced and so very much affordable.

i. Advantages

  • The length of the recreational kayaks makes that easy to store and transport as well.
  • Its wide hull helps them maintain stability.
  • These are more Maneuverable.

ii. Disadvantages

  • Its inability to track makes that tiring for long distances.
  • These are designed for still water and difficult to control on rapid moving water.

4. Pedaling Kayaks

There are two common types of pedaling kayaks. One that uses flippers and another one that uses a propeller. Pedaling kayaks are an excellent choice for people who have back, arms and shoulder problems because peddlers use their feet throughout the journeys and only use hands when you want to pull at the shore. The two types of kayaks explained are expensive to purchase.

5. Inflatable Flat Water Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are easy to store and transport because these types of kayaks can fold to small portable sizes. They require to be inflated using an electric pump or a football pump. These kayaks are available in different sizes and shapes as well. Modern inflatable kayaks are made of nylon, fabric and rubber materials which makes them sturdy to handle beaches that are sandy and rocky.

i. Advantages

  • The materials used to design them make them suitable to withstand rough water and other weather changes.
  • It can be folded to small sizes and used as backups as well.

ii. Disadvantages

  • Lightweight is a significant undoing when the weather is windy.
  • Any poked hole makes inflating hard and consequentially renders the kayak useless.
  • White water kayaks are designed with molded plastics. They are suitable for rapid moving watercourses.

B. Different types of kayaks for white water

1. Play boats.

2. River Runners.

3. Creekers /Creek boats.

4. Fishing Kayaks.

5. Tandem Kayaks.

What are the different types of whit water kayaks? The following explanation will be give you the answer what exactly white water kayaks are:

1. Play boats

Play boats are short with a length of about two meters and those are used for sporting activities in waters that have waves. These boats are generally uncomfortable.

i. Advantages

  • Hulls of the kayak do not easily get damaged.
  • It is suitable for steep as well as rocky waters.

ii. Disadvantages

  • It is slow in calm water due to their bow design.
  • It is unstable, owing to the way they are designed.

2. River Runners

River runners usually have a length of about seven to eight feet which enables to track and manoeuvre meandering rivers. Those are comfortable and have sufficient space to store quite some essentials while on transit.

3. Creekers /Creek boats

Creek boats are comfortable with a length of about eight feet. Usually have a large volume and are built heavily. Various creek boats have a displacement hull that enables them to handle different water masses.

i. Advantages

  • Those are multipurpose kayaks used on various water masses.
  • Highly stable which helps the negotiate irregular watercourses.

ii. Disadvantages

  • Those are not suitable for long distances.
  • Have no space to accommodate essentials on transit.

4. Fishing Kayaks

Fishing kayaks are designed with wheels that are power paddled that allows the paddler to concentrate on holding the fishing pole.

i. Advantages

  • Have a space that accommodates the storage of fishermen catch.
  • Those are easy to store and transport in an out of water.

ii. Disadvantages

  • Paddlers require to apply a lot of energy to move them, making them tiring.
  • Have no storage space making them unfit for long distances.

5. Tandem Kayaks

Tandem kayaks are suitable for kayaking who are beginners & want to pass time with family. Because they offer an excellent learning avenue for those who are new to the noble. These types of kayaks usually have a design that accommodates two or several people.

i. Advantages

  • Suitable for longer trips owing to its ample storage space.
  • Can be used to induct children to kayaking.

ii. Disadvantages

What are the main types of kayaks?

There are different types of kayaks based on their design and how they are used. The three main kayak types are whitewater kayaks, fishing kayaks, and touring kayaks. Whitewater kayaks are designed for use in difficult and turbulent water conditions. They are often shorter and wider than other kayak types to improve maneuverability. Fishing kayaks are designed with fishing gear in mind, such as rod holders and storage space for tackle boxes. They usually have a stable design to provide a good platform for fishing. Touring kayaks are designed for long-distance trips on flat or calm water. They are usually longer and narrower than other kayak types to improve speed and efficiency. Kayaks can also be further classified based on their construction, such as inflatable kayaks and plastic kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are made from a variety of materials, such as PVC or nylon, and can be inflated with a pump. Plastic kayaks are made from rotomolded polyethylene, which is a type of plastic that is heated and molded into shape. There are also a variety of kayak accessories available, such as paddles, life jackets, and storage containers or cup holder or safety whistle. Paddles are the most important kayak accessory, as they are used to propel the kayak through the water.

What type of kayak is most stable?

There are many different types of kayaks on the market, and each one has its own unique set of features. Some kayaks are designed for speed, while others are built for stability. When it comes to stability, there are two main factors to consider: the shape of the hull and the width of the kayak. Kayaks with a wide beam and a flat bottom are typically more stable than those with a narrow beam and a rounded hull. However, wide kayaks can be more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. As a result, the best type of kayak for stability depends on your personal preferences and the type of paddling you plan to do.

How do you pick the right size kayak?

Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. But with a little bit of research, you can find the perfect kayak for your needs. The first thing to consider is the type of kayaking you’ll be doing. If you’re interested in long-distance touring, then you’ll need a kayak that’s at least 16 feet long. For whitewater kayaking, on the other hand, a shorter kayak will be easier to maneuver in fast-moving water. Second, consider your height and weight. A kayak that’s too small will be uncomfortable to paddle, while one that’s too large will be difficult to control. Finally, think about where you’ll be using your kayak. If you’re planning on paddling in the ocean, then you’ll need a kayak that’s stable and has plenty of storage space.

Bottom Line

The above tips will help you when purchasing a kayak. You now know various kayak types and uses from my list of kayaks explained above. The type of water you plan to take your vessel will determine the kayak type and uses that suits you and the rest becomes easy for you to get the right kayak.

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