How To Buy A Kayak: Guide For First Timers

Are gearing up to spend your summer in the water? If so, you can’t do it without a kayak.

If you’re new to kayaking and are looking to get your first kayak, then we want to help — outdoor activities are our specialty.

Read on to learn how to buy a kayak and what to look for.

Where do You Plan on Using it?

When deciding to buy a kayak, you have to keep in mind the water type where you want to use your kayak in action.

The water type will affect your decision making. In the case of your local lake or river, you can choose either a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak.

If you plan on using your kayak on the coast, you might want to pick a sit-in type.

Type of Hull

After you decide on which body of water you want to use your kayak, you should begin to look at types of hulls.

Flat Hull

This type of hull is easy to maneuver and is ideal for still and calm water conditions.


Since this hull is meant to cut through the water, it’s better suited for tours or long distance kayaking.

Rounded Hull

The round edges help the kayak travel through waters at a higher speed than a flat hull.


This hull combines the stability of a flat hull and the features of a rounded hull.


A chined hull has a bottom that meets the side of a kayak in either a rounded or angular chine.

Sit-on-Top or Sit-in Kayaks

You will need to make a decision between sit-on-top or sit-in kayaks.

Sit-in Kayaks

If you want to do long touring, you might want to pick a sit-in kayak. Sit-in kayaks are also a better choice when you face cooler waters.

Another advantage of sit-in kayaks is you can add a spray skirt. Since you’re fully in the kayak, you will also have more control over it.

Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Sit-on-top Kayaks are convenient to get on and off. You can even use them in deep water if you don’t mind getting a little wet.

These are better suited for warmer climates since they don’t provide extra protection against the elements. These kayaks also tend to be a bit heavier.

Material & Weight

When picking out the right kayak, keep in mind the material could make the kayak light or heavy.

Polyethylene plastic is inexpensive but is one of the heavier materials, not to mention it weathers with the sun.

ABS plastic is slightly more expensive and it lasts longer against UV rays. Plus it’s also lighter than polyethylene.

A kayak made of composites is the most expensive option, but these are light-weight options.

How to Buy a Kayak Bottom Line

If you want to figure out how to buy a kayak, all you have to do is decide what the main body of water is going to be.

From there you can take into consideration the materials and functions.

We have more tips where these came from. If you’re the outdoor type and would like to improve your game, check out our blog for more tips.

Canoe Vs Kayak: What’s The Difference?

15.69 people participated in kayaking in 2016. When deciding on buying a canoe vs kayak you need to look at the type of water you plan on going on, what region of the country you are in, how you will transport, and your lifestyle.

Both canoes and kayaks are similar in some features, yet totally different in others. We’re going to explain the differences and help you decide which one is right for you.

The Gear or Equipment

The most obvious difference between kayaking vs canoeing is the boat you’ll be in. The other obvious difference is the paddle you’ll use to maneuver each type of boat.

The Boat

Canoes are typically open topped and are designed for one or two people to sit on benches or kneeling in the boat. Most kayaks are more closed in on the top and designed for a single person. You’ll sit down in the boat with your legs out in front of you.

The Paddle

Kayaking paddles are double ended. This means you grip the bar of the paddle with both hands alternating which end goes into the water.

A canoeing paddle is single ended. You grip the shaft of the handle with one hand, and the other goes on the T end of the paddle. You alternate which side of the canoe you dip the paddle into the water on.

Additional Kayaking Equipment

Kayaks are typically used to go on the water that are running rapids or whitewater, which requires some additional equipment. A spraydeck is a skirt that goes around the waist of the kayaker and connects to the kayak covering the open space.

This prevents water from going into the kayak. Kayakers also will wear a helmet and noseplugs.

Paddle Style

To paddle a kayak you’ll have a paddle on each end of the shaft. You will keep each paddle on its respective side.

The paddles are positioned at 90-degree angles from each other. This allows for efficient paddling.

Dip the left side into the water and then the right side. You’ll propel yourself forward by alternating paddling.

For a canoe, you’ll have a single ended paddle. You’ll dip the paddle into the left side, and then take it out of the water and then paddle on the right side of the canoe.

If there are two people in the canoe you’ll need to coordinate with the other person. When both people are paddling in unison you’ll be able to efficiently gain a quick pace.

Canoe vs Kayak: Which One Should I Choose?

When deciding on buying a canoe vs kayak, take a look at the water you are planning on going on. If the water is fast moving and full of rapids, you may want to consider the kayak.

Maybe your intention is to go on less rough water, or you want to camp with a lot of gear. In this instance, you’ll want a canoe as they can carry a lot more.

Who will you be paddling with? If you are by yourself make sure you can maneuver the vessel on your own.

Most importantly look at the car your drive. You need to be able to transport your boat to and from the water.

When kayaking and canoeing season is over, check out these snowboard boots and try your hand at hitting the slopes.