Best Kayak Reviews. PhD kayak knowledge! [February Update]

If you have landed on this page then our best guess is that you are in search for a kayak whether it be to buy or browse through a review we hope you find what you are looking for.

Where to Start?

If you already have a firm idea of the type and model of Kayak you are after and would like some more information on the specifics of that kayak itself including customer testimonials, then head over to our reviews section where you will find a list of kayak reviews you can browse through.

If on the other hand you are not sure which make or model kayak you are after, but already know what type of kayak style you are looking for, then keep reading! Hopefully you will find the best kayak for your particular needs.

below you will find our interactive chart of Best Kayaks Reviews. This guide ranks the top rated Kayaks on the market today based on a number criteria including price and customer review ratings.

 

Buying Guide, Choosing The Best Kayak For You!

When choosing a kayak, the first question you need to ask yourself is where you intend to kayak. Most people would want to kayak just about anywhere. Before you venture out to purchase a kayak, it is important to determine what type of a paddler you really are. You can get the answer to this question by further asking yourself a few questions-

Before you venture out to purchase a kayak, it is important to determine what type of a paddler you really are. You can get the answer to this question by further asking yourself a few questions;

  • Where would you like to kayak? You have a wide range of choices from shallow rivers to creeks, small lakes, large water bodies or even oceans.
  • How much time will you be kayaking?
  • How much distance do you expect to cover on your kayak?

In order to be able to choose the best kayak, it is important to learn of all the different types and where they are best suited to be made use of.

So, what are the different types of kayaks?

 

Choosing the best Fishing Kayaks-

Getting the most suitable or best fishing kayak for you, requires that you do some extensive research and get as much information as you can on various types of kayaks. It is also important to know exactly what you want depending on your needs and requirements. Luckily, we hope to have done the hard part for you, by outlining what you must consider before deciding to buy.

Choosing The Best Fishing Kayak?

There are certain considerations that are highly significant when it comes to selecting the best fishing kayaks. The most common ones include; Peddle versus paddle, sit in vs. sit on top, fishing sites and their conditions, cost and last but not least the type and amount of rigging.

Peddle vs. Paddle:

Other than the traditional types of kayaks, there are more contemporary designs of kayaks available. A good example is a kayak which is powered through a pedal. A large number of people usually prefer peddle fishing kayaks since they are less tiresome especially when travelling for long distance. However, depending on your preference you can always opt for a paddle.

Peddle kayaks must have a rudder. This is different from a paddle kayak that does not necessarily need this accessory for steering purposes. The rudder increases the resistance to the water thereby decreasing the overall speed of the peddle kayak.

There are certain times when the pedal system may experience unexpected problems while out on your fishing expedition. It is therefore necessary to always ensure that you carry an extra paddle. Peddle kayaks are also more costly when compared to paddle kayaks used for fishing.

Sit in vs. sit on top:

A large number of kayak anglers usually prefer a sit on top kayak, the reason for this is because these kayaks allow for easy gear access. It also provides enough room for you to easily get out of the kayak and wade whenever necessary.

One disadvantage of this specific type of kayak is the fact that they are known to offer a wet ride. This can be quite dangerous and uncomfortable, more so when the water is cold.

When it comes to kayaks with a sit in, it is important to ensure that you get one with a large cockpit to allow easy access to the gear. However, the additional space around the cockpit will make it more difficult for you to wade whenever you decide to do so.

Fishing site and conditions:

As you make your selection, there are certain important questions you need to ask yourself. Some of these questions include; will the fishing be done in lakes, ponds, ocean, and rivers that move considerably slow? Warm or cold water, will you launch and land through surf? This will allow you to choose a kayak with the right features depending on the trips you are planning to make.

As earlier stated, a sit in kayak is considered to be more comfortable especially in cold water. Some kayaks have more rocker than others. Such kayaks are known to perform well in currents and waves. However, the same does not apply when it comes to tracking especially in calm waters. To some extent, selecting any type of kayak must involve some kind of trade off.

With everything being equal, lengthy kayaks are known to be quite fast when compared to shorter ones. On the other hand, wider kayaks are more stable and are quite suitable for fishing. However, care must be taken when selecting since a kayak that is extremely wide is usually quite slow.

Rigging:

The main feature that differentiates a kayak used for fishing to any other type of kayak is a rigging as well as a holder for the rod. A large number of the fishing kayaks available today are the angler( the rigging is designed to make the accessories more accessible to most of the paddlers) or stock varieties( this allows you to add your personal rigging). The latter is known to be the less costly model.

You can even reduce the overall cost further by working on the rigging yourself while customizing the kayak according to your needs and requirements. It is more advisable to begin with minimal gear and add more stuff that you require over time as opposed to getting all these things on the first day.

Cost:

When compared to the mentioned considerations, cost is not as important. However, if the kayak of your choice is way over your budget, go for something less costly.

It is always possible for you to do an upgrade much later. Getting into the water and fishing is the most significant thing.

With the right selection, you will get to enjoy your fishing. Your fishing kayak will also enable you undertake all your activities in the best way possible.

 

Choosing the best Sea Kayaks-

Kayaking is a highly popular and interesting activity for any individual to take up. However, before doing so you need to look through different sea kayaks before you can select the one most suitable for you. This will highly depend on the location and your plans on how you will do the paddling.

Choosing the Best Sea Kayak

A large number of kayaks can effectively be used for different activities, but it is important to note that a particular kayak will not necessary perform well in every activity. Therefore the selection process requires that consider a number of important factors before making a purchase. Some of these include:

  1. Ways to sea kayak

As a beginner, it may prove a bit difficult to steer the kayak accordingly. There are various basic paddling techniques that one should. It is important to maintain short strokes and do them as close to the kayak as possible. Positioning the blade further out will cause you to turn.

The most common strokes that people use when sea kayaking includes; the low brace and basic forward stroke. When it comes to the latter, you are required to maintain an upright sitting position then stroke deep. In order to move on straight line, the strokes should be even and done on both sides of the kayak.

Low brace helps to keep the boat balance especially when it begins to tip over. Here you are required to place the bottom part of the blade flat onto the water. Increase the downward pressure in order to balance the kayak thereby preventing you from tipping over.

These are just a few techniques. However, the best way to sharpen your skills is by getting into the water. It has been noted that touring kayaks can be mastered much more easily when compared to white-water kayaks and is therefore an important factor to consider in your overall decision.

  1. Hull material

The main body of a kayak also known as the hull usually differs from one to another due to the material used. The choice of material you go for play a major role when it comes to weight, durability as well as cost. Some of the available materials include Polythene which is the most popular hull material being used today.

It is less costly, can be repaired quite easily with an excellent impact and resistant to abrasion. Even though it is considered durable, too much exposure to the sun makes it brittle. A hull made from triple tough is known to contain foam core which helps to improve insulation, stiffness, flotation and paddling efficiency.

Thermoformed ABS like composite has a glossy look but is much heavier and less costly. It is also much lighter than polythene and highly resistant to gauges and at the same time repairable. Although almost similar to polythene, composite kayaks are much more expensive.

PVC is quite flexible and is commonly used in inflatable kayaks. It is available in different thicknesses, quite tough, and abrasion as well puncture resistant. Fiber glass although rarely used on its own and also quite expensive is known to produce a long lasting hull that needs minimal upkeep.

  1. Skeg vs. rudder

A rudder is known to help in turning and a skeg does not have this capability. The turning is usually more controlled and can also be set to either give a wide or tight turn subject to the intentions of the paddler. When compared to a skeg, a rudder is mounted way further ahead thereby giving it more effect when it comes to the direction of the kayak.

In as much as a skeg rarely does anything to assist you in turning, it has been noted that individuals who paddle kayaks that have a rudder rarely learn effective turning methods through any other means. Other than being in flat water and windless conditions, a rudder kayak is said to be faster than a skeg in similar conditions. The reason for this is because the rudder can be used as compensation for the wind and currents and can therefore paddle at maximum power.

When it comes to a skeg kayak, in order to compensate for currents as well as winds a paddler has to use asymmetrical strokes which results to speed loss. A rudder is also quite popular with individuals who want to go for kayaking without having to master numerous steering techniques needed for effective paddling.

  1. Sizes and transportation

Larger sized kayaks are usually built for more than one person. The length affects cargo capacity, this is applicable to both gear as well as paddlers and in some cases tracking ability is also affected. They are also much easier when it comes to paddling but can prove to be challenging when it comes to taking a turn. Cargo capacity is dependent on the width.

If you are planning to transport the kayak on your own, then select a smaller sized one and light in weight. This will enable you to easily carry it in and out of your vehicle without any assistance.

  1. Cost

Kayaks are available in different designs with varied prices. Therefore make your selection depending on your budget. Prices for sea kayaks range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand.

As time goes by you will be able to save more money and buy a more costly kayak. But in the meantime, you will still be able to enjoy yourself.

 

Choosing the best Inflatable Kayaks-

A kayak or in this case an inflatable kayak makes it possible for you to easily explore different areas of a creek, enjoy some of the world’s beautiful views that cannot be viewed while standing at the shore, enjoy a morning workout at the lake or simply enjoy a wonderful time with your family. They are also available in a variety of sizes and shapes.

That’s all very exciting, however before delving into your wallet to take out your credit card, you should consider the following factors to ensure you really do choose the best inflatable kayak.

Choosing the Best Inflatable Kayak: Top 5 Factors to Consider

In order to choose the best inflatable kayak for you, there are various factors that one needs to consider. The most common factors include; the form of kayaking to be done. This can either be solo or tandem. Cost and transportation are other significant factors.

Type of kayaking:

There are numerous designs of inflatable kayaks available for you to choose from. This normally ranges from the entertaining sit on top to sit in kayak, designed specifically for performance. Therefore the most important factor to consider before making your choice is being aware of the type of paddling you are meant to do.

If you are looking to paddle in windy waters with lots of waves and currents, then it would be more advisable for you to spend some more money in order to acquire an inflatable kayak designed specifically for performance.

This will allow you to move through such waters in the best way possible. If you are only planning to paddle on calm water on the rivers and lakes found within your locality, then a good number of the available inflatable kayaks will be suitable.

Tandem, solo or convertible

If you are planning to take a partner when you go out for your outing and prefer sharing a kayak, then a tandem inflatable is said to be

highly suitable. However, there are occasions where having an entire kayak to yourself would be the best way to go as it will enable you to do your explorations undisturbed.

Even though it is possible to paddle a tandem on your own, it can prove to be somewhat challenging due to the fact that your sitting position is not centralized. A convertible solo-tandem is a kayak that is specifically designed to deal with this problem by enabling you to easily change the location of the seats.

Due to the additional space, the tandem convertible also allows you to take your family along. It is also suitable for a larger sized individual who finds the solo kayak to be cramped.

When travelling solo, tandem convertibles also have the capability to hold more weight and you can therefore carry a sizable amount of gear. All this gear will come in quite handy for various reasons depending on their purpose.

Transportation:

Inflatable kayaks can easily be transported from one place to another. This is when compared to other types of kayaks especially the rigid ones.

However, it is important to note that the weight as well as size of this particular type of kayak usually varies considerably. Therefore depending on how you plan to carry this kayak, this can either be in your backpack or airplane, its weight and size when packed should therefore be seriously considered.

Weight can also be a major problem if you are going to do the paddling alone. The reason for this is because it might prove to be quite challenging to lift the kayak on your own when putting it in or taking it out of your vehicle.

Storage:

Due to the fact that inflatable kayaks can be deflated and folded up, they can easily be stored in minimal space. However, it is important to ensure that the storage area is covered in order to protect it against direct sunlight.

It is important to ensure that you have a covered area set aside specifically for the storage of the inflatable kayak. If this is not available, it would be advisable to put up a shade.

If the available space happens to be quite small, you can opt for an inflatable kayak which is smaller in size. This will help to take care of this problem.

Cost:

As earlier stated, inflatable kayaks are readily available in different designs and their intended use also varies. They largely differ in price as well.

When making your choice, the factors mentioned above are far more important when compared to price. As you look through different designs of inflatable kayaks, there will be one that you love the most. However, if its price range goes way beyond your budget the only thing you can do is look for a less costly one.

Even though the less costly kayak may not be on a similar level with the expensive kayak, as it will limit you to the less thrilling waters, use it as a starting point. You are definitely better off paddling any kayak than none at all.

 

Choosing the best Sit On Top Kayaks-

A sit on top kayak is usually popular due to the fact that it is less expensive and also user-friendly. These kayaks are designed according to their purpose which can either be fishing or touring. A number of these kayaks are known to be speciality boats, but a large number of them are constructed for different purposes. They are also suitable for beginners.

In order to find the best sit on top kayak for you, several factors must be taken into account. We have outlined the most crucial one’s below. Please read and take these into consideration before making a decision to buy.

Selecting The Best Sit On Top Kayak

Some of the most common factors to consider when selecting the best sit on top kayak depends on the nature of kayaking you are planning to do; this can either be tandem or solo, the type and load volume you intend to bring along with you, storage as well as transportation, and last but not least the cost.

Form of kayaking:

Kayaks with a sit on top are available in a wide variety of designs. Due to this, it is important for you to first determine the form of paddling you are expecting to do. If your plan is to paddle on flat and calm water in some of the rivers and lakes found within your locality then go for a kayak with a medium width as well as length.

Even though lengthy kayaks are considered to be faster, they are also quite difficult to turn. Like the lengthy ones, Kayaks with a narrower form also move faster but are not as stable as the wider ones.

Another important thing to consider is ”rocker”. This is a term used to refer to the turned up amount of the bow and stern. You can easily tell the amount of rocker from one kayak to another by simply viewing the sides. A kayak that has plenty of rocker is usually shaped like a banana and the one with less rocker resembles a straight log.

Enlarged rocker means increased maneuverability and reduced rocker means improved tracking. When it comes to recreational paddling select anything in between.

  • Solo versus tandem

If you intend to have a companion when you go out for the outing and you happen to be interested in sharing a single kayak, then a tandem kayak with a sit on top would make the perfect choice. However, it is also good to have your personal kayak in order to enable you explore different areas without any restrictions from your companion. Even though paddling a tandem (such as the Sevylor Inflatable Sit-on-top kayak) can easily be done by one person, maneuvering it can somewhat become a challenge due to the fact that your sitting position is not at the mid-section of the kayak.

  • Cargo

Recreational kayaking can be made even more enjoyable by bringing along a few comforts from home as you go out for your outing. Some of these would include; refreshments, snacks and comfortable chairs to be used on the shore while taking a break. Therefore before making a decision on the type of sit on top kayak to purchase, think about everything that you would love to take along. However, it is important to note that too much cargo will cause you to slow down considerably.

  • Transportation as well as storage

The most important transportation related issue to be considered when it comes to kayaks is weight. The slight weight difference between various kayaks are usually evident immediately once you get to the water. If you are sure that you will always have an extra hand to assist you move the kayak off and onto the vehicle, then weight will not be an impeding factor when it comes to choice.

Choose the size depending on your available storage room. A large sit on top kayak (for example the 14 footer Malibu Stealth Fish and Dive kayak) will definitely be more difficult to store. You can also opt for an inflatable one if you live in an apartment with minimal storage space.

  • Cost

Due to the fact that these type of kayaks are available in different designs and planned use, the price also varies greatly. Prices for sit on top kayaks can range from as little as $200 to $1000, depending on the quality of  the Kayak.

In as much as cost is usually a major deciding factor for a large number of people, it should always be given less priority when compared to the considerations mentioned above. If the kayak you prefer is not within your budget at the moment, then go for a less costly sit on top.

This can be a good start for you even if it means having to stay within less adventurous waters. You are definitely better off paddling and enjoying some good times. Making the right choice regardless of the price is key and will be a determining factor on whether or not you get to enjoy yourself on your outing.

 

Choosing the best SUP Boards-

What is SUP boarding?

SUP Boarding or Stand up paddle boarding as it’s also known as, is a form of water sport which is relatively new and is fast gaining popularity. It involves standing on a surfboard then thrusting yourself forward with the help of a paddle that is single ended. This form of surfing is also commonly referred to as beach boy.

Choosing the Best SUP Board.

There are various important things one needs to know before purchasing a SUP board and they include;

– Material used

It is important to know the kind of material used to construct the board. The material used should be of high quality in order to ensure that it is strong with a good weight and finishing.

– A paddle which is made up of 100 percent carbon fiber

A good number of sellers usually advertise paddles made of carbon fiber. However, in most cases these paddles are usually not fully made from carbon material but mixed with other materials and in some cases even painted to resemble carbon. This is quite misleading and also has negative effects on the weight, flexibility as well as the toughness of the paddle.

– Suitable size

The most suitable size of a paddle board is dependent on your weight and your skill level. If you are only just starting out then you should go for a board that ways less than the others.

– Storage

Most of these boards are usually large in size and therefore need adequate space. You are therefore required to know where and how the board will be stored. If you are planning to leave it outside or store in your garage, it would not be advisable to purchase a costly paddle-board.

– Price

It is important to know the prices of various paddle-boards before making a selection. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand depending on the board you purchase.

 

Different types of boards:

– All round

These boards are known to be wider, thicker and much longer. They are highly stable and can be used in flat water as well as small surf.

– Surf style

These are shorter, with more rocker and a rounded rail. They are also easy to maneuver.

– Touring and race

This is known to have less rocker with a hull shape. Their shape enables them to move faster and in a smoother manner through choppy waters.

Styles of stand-up paddle boarding:

– SUP surfing

Paddle boarding originated from surfing. A large number of surfers usually prefer this type of SUP boarding. The reason for this is when using a paddle, surfers are not only able to quickly get to waves and also easily catch them.

– SUP paddling

In as much as SUP boarding is known to have started from surfing, it is mainly practiced as a discipline of paddling. A large number of people are mainly getting into this activity in order to enjoy paddling around. As long as there is a water body such as a river, stream, lake as well as bays, then it is possible to do SUP paddling.

– SUP racing

Just like other sports that have competitions, SUP boarding also has racing competitions. These races usually take place in different areas of the world with surfers making use of boards that are designed mainly for tracking and speed.

– Whitewater SUP

There are specific paddle-boards available to be used on white water rivers. These boards are usually inflatable. Here a surfer stands upright as they go through major rapids.

Cost:

There are numerous types of SUP boards available. The costs of these boards widely vary depending on the design, model and quality of material used.

Another significant factor that largely contributes to the overall cost of a SUP board is its length. Lengthy boards are usually more costly when compared to the shorter ones.

In as much as cost is important, it is more important to carefully look through different types of boards in order to get one which will suit your needs while giving you optimum performance when out in the water. If you are expected to look around and continue doing so until you get the kind of board that pleases you, then go ahead and do so. You are better off spending some more money in order to get what you need thereby giving you full satisfaction as opposed to going for a cheaper board only to find out about its poor performance later on.

 

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