Which type of kayak to buy?

I have researched the differences between a sit in and sit on kayak. I don’t want one of each and they both support things I want to do with them (i.e. fishing and swimming). I would like someones opinion that has used both types.

4 thoughts on “Which type of kayak to buy?

  1. Costie Post author

    I guess some of it depends on where you live, and what type of water you plan to be kayaking in (Like open ocean, river, lake, etc.)

    If you like fishing and swimming, but you don’t care much about speed, I would recommend the “red fish” (it’s a sit on top that has worked out well for me!) I wouldn’t recommend it for open ocean or much fast flowing current.

    It is a lot harder to swim from a sit inside because it’s so hard to get in and out. if you’re in a warm climate, it also gets hot and uncomfortable. However, they are good for speedy currents because if you flip, you can just keep spinning till you get back around. If you flip a sit on top, you have to stop to climb back in.

    Good luck finding one!

  2. smoothie man Post author

    i dident write it but it helped me

    Choosing and Buying a Kayak :

    Choosing a kayak? We know it’s tough buying your first kayak.
    There are lots of questions: Are you buying the right style? Are you
    paying too much? What if you get the wrong one? Our intent here is
    to help you make a good choice when you are shopping for and
    buying a kayak, so, if you’re sitting comfortably, lets begin….
    There are three structural classifications of kayaks:
    1. Rigid (or hardshell) boats, made up of either plastic,
    fiberglass, kevlar, carbon fiber or wood.
    2. Folding boats
    3. Inflatable boats.

    The rigid kayak is the type that most people think of when they
    think of a kayak. Of the rigid models, a plastic boat will be the least
    expensive. It will also be the heaviest. Plastic boats are usually
    tough and can take a lot of abuse, but once damaged are difficult to

    A fiberglass boat will be more expensive than a plastic model,
    but will be significantly lighter. Fiberglass may be easier to damage,
    but will also be easier to repair.

    Composites such as kevlar, graphite and carbon fiber kayaks will
    be even more expensive and lighter still.

    Wood boats are a somewhat different breed. They can possess
    a nostalgic hand-made quality as well as an aesthetic beauty. A
    smooth, warm wood kayak can be a beautiful thing. Some people like
    to buy a wood boat in kit form and assemble it themselves. The
    prices on wood boats vary considerably. They are easy to repair but
    do require routine maintenance.

    Folding boats have the advantage of easy portability and
    storage. A folding kayak is a collapsable boat made of fabric
    stretched over either a wood or aluminum frame. Their initial price is
    usually on the expensive end of the spectrum, but they tend to last
    longer than a typical hardshell and their resale price usually remains

    Foldables are remarkably tough, flexible, stable and seaworthy,
    but the general consensus is that they lack a bit of the speed and
    performance of a hardshell. Like wood boats, folding kayaks bring a
    sense of nostalgia with them, as they carry on the traditional
    construction of past North American native cultures.

    Inflatable boats offer terrific portability and ease of storage.
    They can generally be the least expensive kayaking option. I’ve been
    using an inflatable for years and I appreciate how easy it is to get it
    to the water and back. After it dries off, I just store it in the

    But, as important as the structural makeup of the boat is,
    kayaks are typically classified as to the type of boating they are
    designed to do. Boats built for long distance touring are radically
    different from boats built for whitewater activity. There isn’t any
    single kayak that will excel in every type of paddling situation. As a
    kayak shopper, you need to anticipate your future paddling
    situations and then select a boat that should perform well in those
    situations. We recommend that you take the following factors into
    consideration when looking for a kayak.

    The kind of boating you will be doing
    You want to get a kayak that is well-suited for the type of
    boating you will be doing. This is probably the single most important
    factor you need to consider. You want to determine what kind of
    paddling you will be doing and how often you will be doing it.

    Your experience as a paddler
    When an experienced paddler is shopping for a kayak, he will
    generally look for different qualities in a boat than a beginning
    paddler would look for. An experienced paddler will usually look for a
    boat with good final stability, while a beginner will probably value
    good initial stability. The “tippiness” that accompanies a boat with
    low initial stability makes many beginners uncomfortable. That
    tippiness, however, will generally indicate a boat has greater final
    stability, a characteristic advanced boaters value when they’re in
    bigger waves.

    An experienced paddler may prefer a tight cockpit, while a
    beginner may prefer a bigger one that is easier to get in and out of.
    Some beginners worry greatly about either escaping from a
    tipped-over cockpit or being forced to successfully perform an
    Eskimo roll in order to get back above the surface. If this is an issue,
    then a sit-on-top model with a recessed seat and footwells may be a
    great choice.

    Portability and weight
    Unfortunately, your kayak is going to be out of the water more
    than its going to be in the water, so you need to think about how
    you are going to store it, transport it, and physically get it in and out
    of the water. If this is a paramount concern, then a portable or
    good-quality inflatable boat may be a terrific option. Another option
    would be to purchase the lightest hardshell you can afford.

    Passenger/Cargo capacity and comfort
    There are single-passenger kayaks and there are
    double-passenger kayaks. They both have their advantages. A
    double can be perfect for couples and families. Paddlers of different
    skill levels and ages can be paired up so that nobody is left behind. It
    can be a fun family adventure. Doubles are fast and stable, but lack
    some of the maneuverability of a single. Also, purchasing one is a
    little more risky than buying a single. Make sure that your future
    paddling partner is as enthused and motivated as you are. A dusty,
    neglected double hanging in the back of a lonesome garage is not a
    pretty sight.

    If you decide on a single, make sure that it has enough storage
    capacity for whatever stuff you wanna bring along. For most
    afternoon kayakers, space usually isn’t that much of an issue, but if
    you’re going to take long trips, adequate cargo capacity must be

    With either a single or a double, the seats need to be
    comfortable and supportive. Most paddlers prefer a snug fit for a
    whitewater kayak, but for a touring kayak they prefer something with
    more room, allowing them to stretch and change positions on longer

    Initial and final stability
    We discussed stability earlier when we mentioned how beginners
    typically like a boat with good initial stability while experienced
    paddlers favor a boat with good secondary stability. Initial stability is
    the tendency of the boat to lean or shift away from a perfectly
    upright position. Final stability is the tendency of the boat to
    actually tip over. A boat with good final stability that seems tippy will
    be more forgiving by staying in a leaning position instead of tipping
    over. A boat can’t have both good initial stability and final stability —
    it’s pretty much one or the other. The hull shape will determine what
    kind of stability the boat has.

    A second issue with stability is its relationship to speed. A highly
    stable boat will not be the fastest boat on the water. Typically, the
    stable boat will be wider and slower than the narrower faster boat.

    Another issue is the controllability of the boat — how well it turns
    and tracks. A kayak can either turn easily or track dead straight, but
    its a rare boat that can do both well. One of the deciding factors for
    this is the length of the kayak. A shorter boat will be more
    maneuverable; a longer boat will track better.

    Another factor is the curvature of the keel line along the bottom
    of the hull. The points where the hull meets the bow and the hull
    meets the stern are out of the water higher than the middle area of
    the hull (picture a rocking chair). This degree of upward curvature
    varies from boat to boat. A boat with a high degree of curvature will
    turn easy but track less accurately, while a boat with low curvature
    will do the opposite. Many paddlers find a boat with a medium
    curvature (some call it rocker) a good compromise.

    Available Options
    A sprayskirt, accessible hatches, deck fittings, cockpit cover,
    flotation bags and a handy holder for your water bottle are all
    options that will probably be of interest to you. Having the right
    options can really make a difference in your paddling enjoyment.

    Another option to consider is a rudder. Many boaters will argue
    about the usefulness or necessity of having a rudder. Some will say
    that a good kayaker doesn’t need one and a beginner shouldn’t learn
    to rely on one. Others counter with the argument that if a rudder
    helps, then use it. Most would agree, though, that in certain
    conditions, such as when strong winds and waves are consistent and
    unrelenting, that a rudder may provide just the right amount of
    course correction necessary to allow the paddler to focus more on
    their stroke or the scenery instead of their tracking. Rudders are
    usually standard on doubles.

    After a person has decided what style of kayak to purchase, price
    may be a big factor in determining exactly which model to buy. An
    entry-level plastic kayak can be as low as $250. Other plastic models
    can run as high as $1500. Fiberglass boats will cost from about
    $1000 to $3000. Other more exotic composite boats will cost as
    much or possibly even more. Inflatable boats can start at about
    $250 and go up to $2000. Folding boats will set you back $1300 for
    an entry-level boat and up to $4500 for a topnotch double.

    Oh, but what the heck, its only money.

  3. paddlesurfelipe Post author

    I would always prefer to fish from a sit on top kayak. The higher seating allows for better casting. The open cargo area allows for easy accessability of your gear. Most fishing SOT’s have a front hatch designed so that you can stowe all your rods below deck. I like to stowe my stuff in the hull, paddle through the wind and waves to my spot, and then pull it out of the hatch and rig up for fishing.
    The open deck also allows you a place to wrangle a green fish without as much danger to the angler. If you ever end up with a lively flopping fish inside the cockpit of a sit inside kayak with you, you will know what I mean!
    I have been a certified whitewater kayak instructor and a certified sea kayak instructor. Sit inside kayaks tend to be lighter and warmer. Your body is also more protected in whitewater greater than class II. There is no kayak that will do everything. Remember that a kayak for all uses will be a master of none. Be more specific with the kind of paddling you will be doing the majority of time.

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