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One Size Doesn't Fit All Adventures - Kayak Types Explained

Aug 17, 2007
Yes, there are many kayak types. They differ greatly in their size and construction but there is sure to be one out there for you. Whether you're a hardcore entheusiast or weekend hobbyist, read the descriptions below so you know what you need - if you're going to buy or rent a kayak for your next trip.

Sea Kayak

A sea kayak is typically built for one or two people. They are highly maneuverable and tend to be more stable than other sport kayaks. (Often longer than 15 feet.) The kinds of crafts can be found as a sit-on-top model, which are usually wider because of their higher center of gravity and seat position above the water level. The other variety is built with a rigid - but light - fiberglass frame. Some types of sea kayaks are equipped to carry enough gear suitable for a longer trip.

Recreational Kayak

This type of craft is the PERFECT way to spend the day navigating a quiet lake or stream. Recreational kayaks are generally wider and way more stable than other kinds. Unlike the sea variety, these don't usually extend beyond 11 or 12 feet in length. This gives them the ability to weave around tight corners and still provide maximum comfort.

Although recreational kayaks don't include much storage, their very suited for quick jaunts in still waters. They, however, are not very suitable for rough weather.

Pedal Kayak

Commonly referred to as a kind of "paddle boat", pedal kayaks introduce the novice to the world, and the motion of, kayaking. By using your feet in a round about or alternating manner, fins equipped on the boat move you forward through the water.

Whitewater Kayak

Whitewater kayaks are very simply constructed. They're short, fast and durable. Most paddlers love these light crafts because of their ease of use and maneuverability.

Inflatable Kayak

You may think this kind of watercraft is for kids and beginners. Well, think again. Many well-performing kayaks are inflatable and provide a comfortable ride while still remaining durable and agile.

Folding Kayaks

Part kayak, part transformer, folding kayaks are a strange breed and don't readily fall onto the kayak types described above. Ages ago, folders where merely animal skins stretched over wooden frames that could be disassembled and carried for long distances. Although putting them together is sometimes not an easy task, they can prove invaluable when you need to carry many items on a wilderness trek.
About the Author
Kayakadvice.com offers lessons for the beginning paddler as well as a buyer's guide and kayak vacation planner for the kayaking enthusiast.
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