Colorful Touring Kayaks

How to Choose a Kayak (GUIDE)

Kayaking is something that anyone can enjoy. You can use your kayak in your spare time to explore campsites, or even take it on the water for more serious adventures.

No matter what you want to do with your kayak, you’ll need to know which type to buy. Keep reading for details on how to choose a kayak that will do what you want it to do, that will fit your need and that will bring you joy and excitement every time you use it.

How to Choose a Kayak

If you only intend to use it for casual trips, or every now and then, you won’t need a kayak that is as sophisticated as something that will be able to travel in rough waters. Furthermore, it won’t need to be able to be used over long distances.

You’ll also need to know where you’ll be using it. There are kayaks that work well on open water, and some that are better for small streams and ponds. This is due to their shape and weight, as well as other features.

While it may seem overwhelming, the best way to approach finding the right kayak is to know what style of kayaking you want to try, and where will you do it.

Remember that you don’t have to get a top-of-the-line model if you aren’t going to use it. Recreation kayaks will still allow you to boat on the water, and you won’t have a hard time paddling and staying safe and try. Besides that, you can always work your way up to sportier types as you learn more and get more comfortable using a kayak.​

What Are the Different Types of Kayaks

Here is a look at the different types of kayaks from which to choose.

Recreational Kayak

This is the type of kayak that anyone can pick up and use. They are perfect for just tooling around on the water and aren’t hard at all to steer. In other words, this is the type of kayak you would choose if you are a beginner or just intend on occasionally using your kayak.

Touring Kayak

This type is a bit more serious. You can use it on larger bodies of water and you’ll need a little bit of practice to be able to control them. They are also generally less wide and longer than the recreational type of kayak, so they’re able to perform well in faster-moving bodies of water.

Sit-on-top Kayak

This type of kayak doesn’t have a place for you to sit inside, and instead you sit on top of it. These are mainly used by beginners or people who are concerned about being able to control their kayaks. It can’t be flooded, which is something that can keep it from capsizing. This is also a common type for those that want to go fishing on their kayak, since it can be easier to reel in without having to worry about flipping the boat.

Sit-in Kayak

This is the type of kayak you sit in, so you can be comfortable and paddle easily. It’s better for smoother waters and can get flooded, but there are accessories you can get to prevent you from taking on water. This type is mostly used by professionals, or by people who are comfortable with their kayaking skills.

Inflatable and Fold Up Kayaks

There are other types of kayaks that are noteworthy as well, some of which are inflatable or fold up. Click here if you want to learn more about the top inflatable kayaks​.

Features of Kayaks


Another thing you’ll have to consider when it comes to kayaks is the length. You can’t get a long kayak if you have no way to transport it to the water. As a general rule, shorter vessels are easier to control, and longer ones are able to navigate in more places. This is something to keep in mind while you’re looking around.


You’ll also need to know what the weight limit is on your craft; this is important so you’ll have a successful ride on the water. At the same time, you’ll also have to be concerned about the weight of the kayak, since you’ll likely have to carry it from your car to the water, and place it back after you’re done. You also want to be sure that you are physically able to do so.


Depending on what your budget is, you can purchase kayaks made of different materials. This includes various types of plastics and even materials like fiberglass or wood. It’s up to you which one you choose, as they’re likely to vary in price, depending on how strong the construction is.


Finding the right kayak for your needs depends on where you’re going to be traveling with it and how often you’re going to be using it. There are also certain restrictions on whether you can physically carry it and paddle it.

Regardless of what you choose, remember that in most cases you can add accessories to improve your kayak versatility, like a trolling motor or a stabilizer. And, of course, you’re not limited to just one type of kayak. You may want to upgrade it one day, or just decide that you want to try different styles of kayaking.

The most important thing is that you feel confident when you get on the water. Kayaking isn’t for everyone, but there are kayaks that are perfect for all skill levels and needs.

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