what kind of kayak should i buy?

what kind of kayak would be best to buy for someone just starting out? I’ve been looking at inflatable kayaks and wondering if there are any drawbacks to them as opposed to the others.
I want it mainly for recreation, but am also wondering if i could use a normal plastic kayak for fishing.

2 thoughts on “what kind of kayak should i buy?

  1. awaywa Post author

    Most inflatables won’t handle well in the wind, and they’ll be slower than a typical hardshell. I wouldn’t trust the cheap inflatables sold at the big-box sporting good stores. There are some quality inflatables made the same companies that make rafts, but they’re also pretty expensive.

    As far as hardshells go, for calm lakes and rivers, you could either go with a regular recreational kayak or a sit-on-top. A recreational boat has a large cockpit (the hole where you sit in) and is usually not covered with a sprayskirt, while a sit-on-top has a depression in the deck that you sit on instead of actually sitting in the boat.

    If you think you’re going to do a lot of fishing, you may want to go with a sit-on-top since it will give you easier access to your gear. Some manufacturers have started outfitting their sit-on-tops specifically for fishing.

    Check out some manufacturer sites (listed below) and paddling.net to get an idea of the different types of boats. Start visiting local kayak shops. Many of them will have free demo days this time of year. Consider signing up for a couple lessons– you’ll learn about technique, safety, and more about the gear.

  2. Peggy S Post author

    I agree that for fishing you want an SOT (sit-on-top). I also agree that you should avoid inflatables. I will add one thing–if at all possible, demo the boat before you buy it! A friend of mine bought an SOT without taking it out first, and he was in a lot of discomfort because it just didn’t suit him. He could barely walk after getting out! Kayaks differ from brand to brand. At the very least, sit in it first.

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