Kayaking looks like fun but there are so many different types of boats that it’s hard to know how and where to get started. To get you going in the right direction, here’s a beginners’ guide to the basic types of kayaks that are available along with a specific example of each type of boat. There’s as much difference in the many types of kayaking experiences as there is in a hiker doing a day hike on an urban Santa Barbara, California, hiking path and walking the Pacific Crest Trail. Just as you would choose a different style of backpack for a different hiking experience, you want to choose the right kind of kayak for the type of boating experience you have in mind. Here’s a simple guide to the basic kinds of kayaks that are available and the types of kayak experience they’re best suited for.
BEST USE: Flat water, lakes, ponds and slow moving rivers
If you are a beginning kayaker and looking to do weekend paddling on calm lakes, lazy rivers or other protected waters, the Ocean Kayak 12 Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top may be for you. It’s one of the most popular recreational kayaks in the world. It’s stable, versatile and can be paddled solo or with another person. It can accommodate two adults and a small child or pet.
BEST USE: Flat water, lakes, inlets, bays, slow moving rivers
Riot Kayaks Edge Flatwater Day Touring has the right amount of curve in the hull and the right keel to enable it to track well. It’s rudder-equipped with adjustable sliding foot braces to give the paddler maximum control. The kayak is 14.5 feet long and 22.5 inches wide and weighs 60 pounds
BEST USE: Fast moving rivers Class II to V whitewater
The Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.6 is a serious whitewater kayak designed for boaters getting into committed whitewater kayaking for the first time. It is forgiving and maneuverable making it a good choice for beginners. It’s built to handle the most intense Class V rapids, the kind or water kayakers would encounter on the Gauley River in West Virginia or the Arkansas River in Colorado. It gets 5 star reviews from hard core white water boaters.
BEST USE: Open ocean paddling
Your “Best” choice of sea kayaks is going to depend on your level of experience: Beginner, Experienced Novice, Intermediate, or Expert. The Current Designs Sisu Sea Kayak is a user friendly boat that produces a satisfying sea kayaking experience for experienced boaters while at the same time is user friendly in a way that allows novice paddlers to improve their skills and increase their performance level. Boats this category are pricy. This Sisu, for example, is priced around $3,500 for a fiberglass boat and $3,900 for one constructed of Kevlar.
Pick the right boat for your kind of kayaking and find out why it is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in the country. No one says you can’t own more than one boat for more than one type of kayaking.