Types of Kayaks and Kayaking – Which Is Right For You?

There are many different types of kayaks and you have endless options to choose from. Before you decide which type of kayak you should buy, you must learn more about the design, construction, and other important aspects. 

This brings us to the most important question! 

What Are The Different Types Of Kayaks in 2022? 

Despite the fact that each kayaking journey is entirely up to you, the types of kayaks do fall into certain broad categories. Here we’ll explain the different types of kayaks and their intended use to help you to know more.

Types Of Kayaks Based on Design

1. Sit In Kayak

Sit-in kayaks keep the bottom part of your body sheltered beneath the cockpit deck, limiting how wet you get. They may be used in warm weather, but you can also use them in cooler, rougher water by attaching a spray skirt. A sit-in will keep you dry, and they have extra storage space for storing goods and keeping them from getting wet. They are typically built with foot braces on the inside so you may brace your legs for a more efficient stroke and greater force from your stroke.

Sit in Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Plastic or fiberglass to prevent them from UV rays

Hull type

Rounded, v-shape, flat and pontoons

Transportation

Easy to carry and store

Weight capacity

Holds 250 lbs to 450 lbs

Length, width, and height

Length starts from 5” to 12”, width starts from 20” to 36”

Seats

One or two seats are available

Storage space

More storage space for carrying gear because there is a cockpit 

Cockpit size

Starts from 30” to 58” in length, 18” to 24” in width

Suitable for

Fishing in cold water for lakes and seas 

Price

$150 and $1000

2. Sit On Kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks will not fill with water unless anything goes wrong with the hatch. Most of the models will include scuppers, which allow water that washes over the top of the boat to drain back out through the bottom of the hull.  This type of kayak is stable, easy to get in and out of and there is no sense of confinement. This makes sit-on-top designs ideal for paddlers with limited movement.

Sit on Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Molded plastic and polyethylene material

Hull type

Rounded, v-shape, flat and pontoons

Transportation

Easy to carry

Weight capacity

350 pounds to 450 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length starts from 9” to 15”, width is 31” to 36”, height is 5” to 12”

Seats

One or more seats are available

Storage space

Adjustable storage space with gear tracks

Cockpit size

Starts from 28” to 36” in length, and 18” to 22” in width

Suitable for

Lakes, calm rivers, and canals

Price

$100 to $1000

Types Of Kayaks Based on Usage

1. Recreational Kayak

Recreational kayaking is the best one for beginners and it is easy to use. They come with an open cockpit so you don't feel cramped and you can get in and out of the kayak with ease. This kayak is stable and easy to maneuver in calm conditions. It is built for comfort rather than performance.  If you're new to kayaking, the increased stability of a recreational kayak will be more comfortable for you. 

recreational kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Rotomolded polyethylene

Hull type

Wider hull and it will not track lines, Shallow V-shaped hull for easy maneuver

Transportation

Easy to store and carry

Weight capacity

250 to 300 pounds

Length, width, and height

Starts from 8 to 13 feet long, width starts from 20" to 36", height starts from 6” to 15”

Seats

One or two adjustable seats

Storage space

Rear cargo storage area with bungees

Cockpit size

Recreational kayak cockpits are fairly forgiving, measuring 20 inches or more wide and 36 inches long on average. 

Suitable for

Lakes and flatwater streams

Price

$400 to $4000

2. Touring Kayak

Touring kayaks are lengthy and thus are skinnier. They are primarily built for speed and tracking, which means they may not have the stability that wider boats offer. All canoe and kayak equipment and supplies can be stored in the compartments. It is an ideal choice if you want to go on longer kayaking trips.  

touring kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Composed of polyethylene

Hull type

Long and narrow hull design

Transportation

Easy to store

Weight capacity

The average weight capacity is 200 to 400 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length starts from 9.5” to 15”, width starts from 22" to 25"

Seats

Accommodates only for 1 person

Storage space

Ample storage space with gears

Cockpit size

Range starts 18 to 24 inches wide

Suitable for

Lakes, oceans, seas and coastal areas

Price

Starts $1200 to $2000

3. Surf Kayaking

Surf kayaking can be a very exciting and exhilarating way to participate in water sports. It is critical to keep safety in mind at all times, so if you’re trying out surf kayaking you should have some prior expertise on the sea. Surf kayaking offers a distinct paddling experience. Furthermore, surf kayaks typically have at least one fin to aid in tracking while riding waves. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver in calm waters. 

Surf Kayaking

Features

Information

Kayak material

Glass composites (compositions of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass) or rotomolded plastic.

Hull type

Displacement hull & tri-hull design

Transportation

Easy to store

Weight capacity

150 and 220 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length of this surf kayak starts from 9” to 12 “ length, 30” to 36″ width

Seats

Accommodates for one person

Storage space

Storage areas are large and equipped with bungee cords.

Cockpit size

Sea kayaks are 14 to 18 feet long, with small enclosed cockpits and skirts.

Suitable for

Lakes, lagoons and sea 

Price

$300 to $1000

4. Whitewater Kayak

Whitewater kayaking or canoeing is an intense form of water sport. Paddling through rivers, streams, or creeks with whitewater rapids will be one of the most amazing experiences. Before getting into this type of kayaking, you must have proper knowledge, skills, and control or it can be dangerous. Following are the four basic forms of whitewater kayaking. 

Playboats - They are relatively short, with an average length of 4 to 8 feet. These kayaks often have circular hulls that make them easy to maneuver. As a result, these kayaks are best suited for individuals who have the appropriate skill to paddle safely in high-risk scenarios.

River Runners - Compared to playboats, it is a bit longer and has super tracking capability. River runners are often regarded as one of the most adaptable whitewater kayaks. Many paddlers use these kayaks on rivers that are simple to moderate. 

Creek boats - These resemble a longer, higher-volume river runner but have a considerable rounder, and high-rocker hull. The concept behind a creek boat is that its design makes them buoyant. Overall, stream boats are a versatile and reliable solution for more difficult descents. 

Whitewater Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Polyethylene plastic

Hull type

Whitewater kayak hulls are classified into three types such as planing hulls, displacement hulls, and semi-displacement hulls

Transportation

Easy to carry and store

Weight capacity

From 90 to 275 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length of a whitewater kayak range from 4 to 8 feet and 7 to 11 feet long

Seats

Accommodates for one person

Storage space

More storage space with gears

Cockpit size

Starts from 34” to 36” length and 19” to 22” width

Suitable for

Lakes, rivers and oceans

Price

$700 to $1400

5. Fishing Kayak

They are one of the best choices and it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. These fishing kayaks are less expensive than traditional boats. Plus fishing is much easier when you're standing up. However, if you're new to kayak fishing, it may appear to be an entirely different game than any other type of angling. When compared to the deck of the large boat, it is an entirely limited area. It comes with rod holders, extra baggage storage, pedal propulsion systems, and mounts for your electrical gadgets. 

Fishing Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Rotationally molded from polyethylene material

Hull type

Pontoon-hulled and flat hull

Transportation

Easy to carry and store

Weight capacity

Range from 400 to 550 pounds

Length, width, and height

Length starts from 9” to 12”, width starts from 30” to 42”, height starts from 5” to 12”

Seats

Accommodates only one person

Storage space

Plenty of storage space and option to store fishing kayaks that carry more gear.

Suitable for

Lakes, oceans and rivers

Price

$500 to $2000

6. Flatwater Kayak

Flatwater kayak is best for beginners since there are fewer obstacles. It is done on small bodies of water, such as small lakes, ponds, and even swamps and marshes. It's a laid-back style of kayaking that's fun for both novice and experienced kayakers seeking a relaxed day on the water. Kayaking on flat water is simple, inexpensive, and enjoyable.

Flatwater Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Fiberglass, carbon fiber, or high-density polyethylene material

Hull type

Smaller size and shallow semi-flat "V" hull design

Transportation

Easy to store

Weight capacity

300 pounds to 500 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length of the flatwater kayak is 10” to 12 “ length, and 30” to 34” wide

Seats

Accommodates 1 or 2

Storage space

Limited

Cockpit size

Large cockpit

Suitable for

Lakes, rivers and ponds

Price

$300 to $1,095 

Types of Kayaks Based on Construction 

1. Inflatable Kayak

Many kayakers feel that an inflatable kayak is a good place to start paddling. They are suitable for both professionals and beginners. If you live in a smaller residence, where space is limited, you'll be able to store a while, not in use. Inflatable kayaks have a wider base than hard-shell kayaks, making them more stable.      

Inflatable Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Inflatable kayaks are made of tough, durable PVC and rubberized nylons

Hull type

V-shaped hull

Transportation

Easy to carry and limited storage space

Weight capacity

Holds up to 400 to 750 pounds

Length, width, and height

Length starts from 7” to 9”, width starts from 28” to 40”

Seats

Larger inflatable kayaks carry up to 2 to 4 persons

Storage space

Storing an inflatable kayak is more convenient.

Suitable for

Lakes, rivers, and oceans

Price

$100 to $1000

2. Folding Kayak

A folding kayak's convenience is based on its ability to be built when needed and folded down for storage. Each style and brand will most likely come with its own set of assembly instructions. Folding kayaks are very convenient because they are easily transportable and can fit in the trunk of your car, truck, or boat. 

There are two types of folding kayaks includes origami frame folding kayaks and skin on frame folding kayaks.

These portable kayaks are suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers. They can also be folded and stored in your apartment in a small suitcase. A modern folding kayak has a collapsible frame made of wood, aluminum, and plastic which is UV protected and long-lasting.

Folding Kayak

Image Source:www.amazon.com

Features

Information

Kayak material

Single sheet of hard, corrugated plastic polypropylene

Hull type

Folded V-shaped hull design

Transportation

Easy to carry

Weight capacity

250 to 350 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length of a folding kayak range from 12 to 16 ft

Seats

Accommodates for one people

Storage space

Plenty of space to store belongings

Suitable for

Lake, river, and ocean kayaks

Price

$1800 to $2500

3. Modular Kayaking

Modular kayaks can be assembled and disassembled within seconds. Before you enter the water, you can simply snap these kayaks' sections together like a jigsaw. When opposed to folding kayaks, modular kayaks have far more durability and mobility. Due to the fact that these kayaks are often composed of plastic, certain models are more suited for sea kayaking. These modular kayaks are relatively new in the market.

Modular Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Made of durable HTP (High-Performance Thermoplastic)

Hull type

Designed by wide and stable hull

Transportation

Easy to transport

Weight capacity

50 pounds to 100 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length of the modular kayak is 8 to 15 ft, width starts from  14 to 18 feet long

Seats

Accommodates 1 or 2

Storage space

More than enough dry storage

Cockpit size

A large cockpit with plenty of legroom (33 "x18")

Suitable for

Lakes, rivers and calm waters

Price

$400 - $1100

Types Of Kayaks Based on Number of Paddlers 

1. Tandem Kayak

Tandem kayaks are the best alternative for those of you who want to get out on the water with your friends and family to appreciate what nature has to offer. If you and your partner are seeking new ways to spend time together on the weekends, a tandem kayak might be an ideal option. The hull's design helps it to cut through the water with less resistance and increased speed. Tandem boats provide extra space for passengers, and also provide greater storage for supplies. 

Tandem Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Durable polyester

Hull type

Long, narrow body shape and deep grooved hull bottom

Transportation

Easy to store and carry

Weight capacity

Holds up to 500 to 600 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length starts from 12” and reach over 20” ft, 20 to 42” wide & height from 12 to 16 ft

Seats

Accommodates 1 or 2 people

Storage space

Enough space to add your belongings

Cockpit size

Measures 85 x 23.5”

Suitable for

Lakes, ponds, and calm coastal waters

Price

$500 to $2500

Types of Kayaks Bassed on Propulsion

1. Pedal Powered Kayak

Undoubtedly, pedal drive kayak is one of the most growing categories of watercraft in recent years. The concept of being hands-free while pedaling a kayak rather than paddling has become a game-changer. Not only has the number of models increased but so have the feature set and performance. These pedal-drive systems are incredible and will astound you with their directional control and maneuverability. You can get to those hard-to-reach fishing spots like never before. 

Pedal Powered Kayak

Features

Information

Kayak material

Durable HTP (High Performance Thermoplastic)

Hull type

Stable pontoon-style

Propulsion method

Pedal drive system

Transportation

Easy to store and carry

Weight capacity

350 pounds to 550 pounds

Length, width, and height

The length of a pedal powered kayak range from 13 or 14 ft and width from 30” to 38”

Seats

Accomodates one

Storage space

Less storage space because pedal drive system takes more space

Cockpit size

Open and flat cockpit size

Suitable for

All types of water

Price

$1200 to $2000

Conclusion

Although this guide focuses on the most important distinctions between kayaks, it should be a useful starting point for anybody interested in knowing more about this amazing sport. 

Make sure you select the appropriate one depending on the area you'll be kayaking and the activities you want to partake in. Always make sure to practice departing and re-entering your kayak in calmer conditions so you don't feel overwhelmed while you're out on the lake. Hope this article on the different types of kayaks in 2022 will help you make an informed decision. 

Disclaimer - The images inside the article were collected from the internet. We do not own any of them.

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