There are many different styles of kayaks, each with its unique design that offers its distinct benefits. Some kayaks are meant to be used near the shoreline and others for open water. Before you set out to buy your first kayak, it is important to understand how these designs differ so you will know which one is best suited for you.
Fishing kayaks are designed for people who love fishing and want to get out on the water without having to worry about sinking or capsizing. These types of kayaks are usually lightweight, stable, durable, able to hold plenty of gear, and most importantly comfortable. Being comfortable is important when you are out on the water all day.
Touring or SOT kayaks have a harder shell and are designed for open water fishing. The main difference between the two is that touring kayaks have a wider hull and a deeper V-shape, which means they track better at a faster speed when rowed with a double-bladed paddle. Touring kayakers will usually travel longer distances and fish in deeper waters, whereas SOT kayakers usually stay closer to the shoreline and don’t need as many features.
Sit-on-top kayaks are easy to get on and off of and allow you to sit right next to the water for a unique view of the surrounding environment. These types of kayaks are great for people who want to get out on the lake and be able to stand up during their kayak trip.
Sit-in kayaks provide more protection from the elements and are usually more stable than sit-on-top designs. Also, they usually offer a wider range of accessories and add-ons such as rod holders, coolers, and more. However, they are not as practical for those who want to be able to stand up as often as sit-on-top kayaks allow.
Inflatable kayaks open up a variety of possibilities for both recreational and commercial uses. Mainly, inflatable kayaks provide many people with an affordable way to enjoy kayaking at their own pace, on their own time. When an inflatable kayak is deflated, it can be easily transported (often by car or motorcycle) and then later unpacked to use again.