Beginners’ Kayak Identification Guide
Key to identifying kayaks in the field or in the store…
- Are you a newcomer to paddle sports?
- Are you a returning friend who has yet to experience the innovations of the last few years?
- If so this Kayak Identification Guide is for you.
Shorter/Broader Kayaks (typically 9-14 feet)
Calm water kayaks found on ponds, small lakes and gentle rivers. Notable for their larger cockpit size or sit-on-top design, these fair-weather kayaks are very stable and ideal for relaxing short trips, noodling about, or taking the dog for a swim.
Recreational Kayaks are especially suitable for large, playful groups. Their broader cockpit size or sit-on-top design allows for flexibility in seating, and their exceptional stability is adaptable for serious fun.
Longer/Narrower Kayaks (typically 12-15 feet)
Moving water kayaks found on larger lakes, bays, rivers with stronger currents, and sheltered ocean areas. These kayaks are favored by more experienced paddlers opting for longer trips where maneuverability and storage space are more important than steadiness.
In addition Touring Kayaks can be equipped with a rudder or skeg to assist in steering or staying on course.
Touring Kayaks often venture for great distances. Stocked with food and even camping gear they can speedily and comfortably transport their paddlers to remote places, hidden paradises and awesome picnicking spots.
Super Long/Skinny Kayaks (typically 16 feet or more)
Swift current kayaks found on large lakes, open bays, fast rivers, and rougher ocean areas. These are adventure kayaks for intermediate to experienced paddlers who really want to go places. With the largest storage capacity, best manageability and greatest speed of any of the kayaks these are the craft of odysseys.
Sea Kayaks can also be fitted with a rudder or skeg to increase efficiency and maneuverability in rough conditions.
Days, weeks, you name it, rough water or quiet, down rivers or out in the ocean Sea Kayaks are for serious paddlers for whom every excursion is a quest.