Kayaks make for a versatile bit of kit that allows people of all ages and skill levels to get out on the wet stuff. Because kayaks come in such a diverse range of shapes, sizes and styles they are the perfect watercraft for almost anyone. It's important when choosing a kayak that you think long and hard about what type best suits your needs. The BCFing experts thought it would be a good idea to run you through each type with a few of the benefits and added extras they come with.
What are the different types of kayaks?
With so many different styles of kayak out there we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at each type with a few of the benefits and added extras they come with.
As people begin to realise the simple and cost-effective benefits of hitting the water in a fishing kayak, we are seeing anglers of all skill levels taking up the hobby with great rewards. Not only do they make getting on the water a breeze with their lightweight frame, they also allow the angler to cover more water with their shallow draft. Fishing kayaks are built for stability with a wider hull design and come standard with rod holders, storage compartments and comfortable seating which will aid in making your day on the water more enjoyable. With the added purchase of a fishfinder, the fish won't have anywhere to hide, making your catch that much easier.
To summarise, fishing kayaks:
- Have greater stability with a wider hull design
- Are easy to manoeuvre, lightweight and portable
- The shallow draft allows access to unfished waters
- Most fishing kayaks come standard with rod holders
- The large storage areas allow you to store all your tackle and excess equipment
- Are an affordable way to get on the water with no registration needed
A favourite among families, adventurers and athletes alike, the recreational kayak, as its name suggests, is a great all-purpose kayak that is perfect for checking out your local waterways, bird watching and getting some exercise as you soak up some vitamin D. With a much slimmer hull design that creates greater speed and tracks through the water with relative ease, they are best suited for expeditions and longer paddles.
Recreational kayaks are:
- Great beginners kayak for families and children
- Narrower hull provides speed and easy directional changes
- Ideal for use in still water rivers, estuaries and freshwater impoundments
- Comes in both sit-in and sit-on designs
- Many come with changeable seating and footrest positions
Providing the ultimate in lightweight and portable, the inflatable kayak makes sure you're ready to hit the water no matter where you venture. The rugged vinyl construction is strong, stable and rigid, ensuring it lasts many years and provides many fond memories. Not only are they compact, fitting easily in any vehicle, inflatable kayaks are also extremely versatile. Great for lakes and rivers the inflatable kayak will provide hours of fun for the whole family with easy paddling and manoeuvrability that makes them ideal for older children.
The main benefits of an inflatable kayak include:
- Quick and easy inflation and deflation with included pump
- Can be transported inside your vehicle
- Takes up minimal storage space when packed away
- Comes in both single and tandem models
The name Hobie is synonymous with high-end kayaks. After 2 decades in the business, they have used their knowledge and expertise to create the Mirage Passport 10.5, powered by the innovative MirageDrive pedal system with hands-free acceleration that makes a day's paddle feel like a breeze. The mirage passport 10.5 comes with a comfortable mesh aluminium seat and handy 2-piece paddle so you are ready to hit the water right away. With a sleek thermoformed hull design that is heavy-duty, lightweight and flexible. Whether you're a mad-keen fisherman, love long-distance adventuring or maybe you are looking for a way to keep your lower body in shape, this kayak can do it all and at a great budget.
This Hobie kayak features:
- MirageDrive pedal system that uses the stronger muscles in your legs to propel you rather than relying on your arms
- Comfortable seat and paddle
- Stowable rudder that greatly improves steering
- Bow and stern cargo area with bungee tie downs
- 8” twist-n-seal hatch
Getting the littlies into kayaking is not only great for their health but also an awesome way for them to discover new things and take part in adventures. Junior kayaks are designed to be stable, helping to avoid the risk of them tipping over, while also being extremely lightweight, making the loading process a piece of cake.
Single or tandem kayaks?
The appeal of having a tandem kayak is that it can carry multiple people and provides added storage space, allowing you to bring friends or family for a great day out while also making the process of paddling quicker and easier. Be mindful that the added length and weight can be difficult to negotiate by yourself in the event you can't find someone to join you. It is for this reason that we recommend single kayaks as a better alternative. A single kayak provides greater freedom, while also being lighter and easier to manoeuvre both on and off the water.
Sit-on or sit-in kayak?
When first choosing a kayak, these are the two designs available. Each drastically different from the other with their own characteristics and advantages.
- Features an enclosed cockpit space that keeps your lower body dry
- Provides greater stability
- With a much sleeker hull design caused by the significantly lower centre of gravity these kayaks require less effort when paddling and will generally be faster
- The best option for long-distance paddling
- Better control and manoeuvrability given by the ability to brace your legs against the inside of the hull. Will also allow you to apply more power into your paddling stroke
- Ideal for cold water climates as it will keep you dry and retain warmth
- Is less affected by winds due to its lower profile design
- Provides some protection from the elements such as sun and surf spray due to the enclosed cockpit
- Is specifically designed for solo kayaking
- Handles rough conditions and has better turning capabilities, well suited to shooting rapids and offshore kayaking
- Without the inclusion of self-draining scupper holes it keeps the kayak extremely dry however in the event of a capsize you may need to make your way to land in order to get back in
- As they have a significantly higher centre of gravity sit-on kayaks are normally much wider and more stable
- Great for still water locations such as rivers, lakes and estuaries
- The fully enclosed hull design and self-draining scupper holes mean they are practically unsinkable
- The best option for both beginners and children
- As they have an open cockpit it provides greater freedom of movement
- In the event of a capsize they are much easier to get back into and you feel less confined
- Most come with storage space in the stern or bow that can be used for keeping fishing gear tidy or bring a cooler box for a sneaky coldie at the end of the day
- Perfect for getting out on the water with the family
- Available in both solo and tandem configurations