Best Ways to Find What Size Kayak do I Need? in 2024

Best ways to find what size kayak do I need and Choosing the right size kayak can take a bit of research, a little experimentation, and some planning ahead.

Best ways to find what size kayak do I need? 2024

There are many factors that will be important to the decision making and this includes where you will be kayaking and what type of kayaking you will be doing, your height and how much leg room you will need, weight capacity and volume, and how heavy the kayak is.

It is also important to consider how you will be transporting your new kayak, as you will need to be able to stabilize it and keep it in place during any travel, carry it to and from the water, and be able to get it correctly positioned for travel after use.

With so many factors it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or become confused about where to start, so it is important to start with each step and then move to the next consideration.

Take Some Measurements:

To begin selecting the right size kayak for you, first take your own measurements. While height and weight are not the main concerns when selecting a kayak, they are the easiest to determine and a great place to start.

This will determine when a child moves from a beginner child kayak to an adult one, help to determine how much weight you will be able to carry and what length you can easily move yourself, and what weight limit the kayak will need to be safe for you.

In addition, check your leg length to know specifically how much leg room you need as this will vary by individual even if you are the same height. Not everyone will take the time to take this step, but for those who are unsure how to choose the right size, it can be useful information to have.

Kayak Types:

The next consideration is where you want to use it and what type of water you will be in. This is separated into five different types; recreational kayak, fishing kayak, tandem kayak, sea kayak, and performance kayak.

For basic recreation and beginners, the recreational kayak ranges from 3 meters to 3.7 meters, is slower due to their shorter length, and is easy to move and direct. They are more stable than other styles, and ideal for those who want a leisurely experience on the water to enjoy the fresh air and the views without rushing or having other goals.

Fishing Kayak:

A fishing kayak is for exactly what it is called, with a length of 3-4 meters that allows it to maintain stability that is key to a good fishing line cast.

They will allow you to stay still, to glide slowly through the water, and can be taken on many types of water. Tandem kayaks offer the opportunity for two people to share the same kayak. Ideal for those who are learning, couples or friends who want to stay close together, or for a stronger kayaker to help another person to enjoy the hobby.

Sea Kayak:

A sea kayak is longer and that allows them to move faster, but also allows them to be better suited for longer trips. Ranging from 3.5-5 meters in length, they work better on a sea, but are also well suited to travelling along a river for a longer period of time and longer distance than the recreational ones.

The last style, performance kayaks, are made to be faster and are more suited to experienced kayakers who enjoy the speed and even those who want to join races, among other events. At 4.5-5 meters in length, they are the longest and it is partly this length that helps them to gain speed well and maintain it longer.

As length has been considered, before making a final decision be sure to check the width of the kayak you are interested in as that will be key to stability, with the wider kayaks offering better stability than the thinner ones.

The Need for Space:

Both legroom and the size of the cockpit are important considerations. For those who are taller, they will require more leg room than those with shorter legs, in order to comfortably be seated in it for any length of time.

Having constant contact between the legs and the interior of the vessel is also important for steering and improved control, so having too much leg room is less ideal but not having enough room will be uncomfortable. When considering the cockpit size it is key to have the correct height for the paddler to easily reach the water with the paddle and be able to steer and maneuver the kayak.

Those that are sit in will need to have enough room to easily get in and out, both in the event of a rollover or overturn so you can slip out and get above the water faster, but also for the comfort of the waist and around the body.

Whether the legs and cockpit fit properly and are comfortable determines how long you can stay in and how enjoyable the experience is. For those who are not comfortable sitting inside, there are kayaks that offer space to sit on top of the kayak, where it is not necessary to climb in or out.

Can You Carry It

You also want to have a kayak that is light enough that you can easily transport it the distance from your vehicle, or home, to the water and back. If you are unable to transport it then you will use it less and be unable to enjoy it as much, which may lead to not using it at all.

This is also important to consider for storing and how much weight the vehicle can carry or tow, espeically if you are going with other people and will be transporting more than one. It should fit inside your vehicle or comfortably on the roof rack, and have space to store it at home.

Considering all of these factors will help you to find the right size and style of kayak for your use and will make it much easier to determine which is the right kayak for you.

Most sporting stores will have employees who are able to assist in selecting the right size and style as well, making the shopping experience less overwhelming and more enjoyable.

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