Water lovers know the pleasure of kayaking. But choosing the best kayak that suits your needs, locations and offers maximum comfort can be a hectic process.

Here is a guide that chalks down important points to consider while selecting the best kayak for you.

Structure of a Kayak

A typical kayak is divided into four segments. The upper surface is known as a deck; the lower part is called the hull, the front is the bow, and the most backward part is called the stern.

Depending on the type of kayak, there are little differences; a sit-inside kayak comes with a cockpit and spray skirt to channelize water away from the boat.

Types of kayak

Broadly speaking, there are two types of kayak: Sit-inside kayak and Sit-on-top kayak.

Sit-inside kayak: These are suitable for cool water drives where rough waves are common. These are a little spacious and provide sufficient space for the kayaker to sit and make themselves comfortable. The cockpit also comes with seats and foot pedals that can be adjusted as per body length.

Metaphorically, these are like shoes that can make the rider sit in a fixed position in an enclosed area that protects them from harsh winds. Since it glues you to one position, it’s a little difficult process to revive after flipping.

They are further classified into two categories: Recreational kayaks that are suitable for new kayakers and sea kayaks that are for long tours and are durable in structure.

Sit-on-top kayak: Usually, these kayaks are good for warm waters as they are almost like sitting on top of a floating mattress. More comfortable and gives you a better experience. Most suitable for claustrophobic people.

Metaphorically, Sit-on-top kayaks are like flip-flops exposing you to all the waves of water and winds. Hopping in and out of these kayaks is an easy process. Also, these are equipped with self-drainable mechanisms to transmit out water via scupper holes.

Design of the kayak

The design of the kayak varies depending on the frequency of its use, location, and priorities in strength, pace, and steadiness.

Dimensions: The length and width of the kayak are detrimental to its speed and stability. A longer kayak is said to be fast and firm on the water. Wide kayaks offer the stability that means less flipping but with reduced speed. Therefore, longer and narrow ones are fit for long-distance and stable at high speed, whereas wider and shorter kayaks are better in maneuverability and strength.

Take into account your particular body measurements before opting for the kayak of your choice.

The shape of the hull:  The lower surface of the kayak defines its performance. Round shape offers better speed as it can beat rough water waves more efficiently after you start pedaling. On the other hand, a flat hull is ideal for beginners because they enable better occupancy and steadiness while setting yourself on the kayak.

The v-shaped hull design is a great performer at high speeds and remains stable in the toughest of situations. Though they are a little difficult to handle in the beginning,  once your hands and legs are set, these make the ride an amazing experience. Pontoon and chine are two other categories that are stable but slower in high water waves.

Material of the kayak: The quality of the product largely depends on the budget. Fiberglass and polyethylenes are two major materials widely used in the construction of a kayak. The former is said to be stiffer but easily damageable subject to weather conditions. The lesser the weight of the kayak, the higher is the budget.


Portability is a major issue for kayaks. You’re lucky enough if you have a backyard or a large garage to accommodate it. Nowadays, inflatable kayaks are saviors for people with small apartments and a huge love for kayaking.

The inflatable kayaks are said to be a little slow on water but are good enough for beginners to ride on calm and flat water. They have good glide performance. Usually, come with an aluminum or wooden frame with a fabric to set the model. They can be easily dismantled and stored even in a closet.

The material used to build inflatable kayaks is nitrilon, polyvinyl chloride, or Hypalon. It can be quickly inflated via a pump with low-pressure air.

Test drives

Before finalizing your kayak, do not forget to take a test drive. Most sellers allow free test drives to lure the customers. You should look for better adjustability, paddling efficiency, speed variations, steadiness, dimensions of the cockpit, hatches, and also weight capacity.

Look for accessories such as a skeg, rudder, and a trekking fin that help the boat achieve stability while on water. It is mandatory to check the material of the kayak and inquire about its durability and the puncture-proof ability for better longevity.