Kayaks - Types
Kayaks come in different styles and designs, depending on the type of Kayaking you do, the area where you will kayak, and your Kayaking Skills. Each one is made to meet the needs and preferences of any kayaker.
Since the Kayak is your primary piece of Kayaking Equipment, it is only imperative to know the type that suits you best. There are several touchstones that can be used to classify Kayaks. In this section, letís narrow down the selection by determining the basic types of Kayaks based on intended use and structure:
Based on Intended Use
Based on Structure
- General Recreation
Paddlers, nature lovers, and even Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy Kayaking with Recreational Kayaks. These easy-to-maneuver and all-around boats are usually not more than 12 feet. They are ideal for mild river trips and perfect for novices who are starting to get comfortable in using Kayak Paddles.
- Ocean Kayaking / Sea Kayaking
Kayaks under this category are a blend of seaworthiness, stability, speed, space for cargo, and performance. These are designed to endure different conditions that saltwater can give.
- White Water Kayaking
Whitewater Kayaks are obviously used in rivers with fast-moving current. These are more maneuverable compared to Sea Kayaks and shorter than any other type.
Attention to detail is one important factor when designing Kayaks for competitions. These specialty Kayaks are usually designed with speed, maneuverability, and overall performance in mind.
One characteristic of a Sit-on-top Kayak is that it has no Cockpit that you can climb on. It is usually used by people who go Fishing or Diving, since the open area makes it easy for them to move, plunge into the water, and climb back on.
Also known as rigid or hard-sided Kayaks, Hardshell Kayaks are those which are made of wood, plastic, fiberglass, or other materials such as Kevlar.
Kayaks under this category are less expensive, lightweight, portable, and easy to use and transport. Moreover, Inflatable Kayaks are more buoyant than other types.
As the name suggests, a Folding Kayak has a collapsible frame, making it easier to store and transport. Its design is based on an Eskimo Kayak which was made of a wooden frame with animal skins stretched over it.
Not using the right Kayak is definitely not fun at all. Get familiar with the different types of Kayaks, know their features, and determine which one suits your requirements.