So you’re interested in purchasing a kayak. But how do you determine whether a sit-on-top or a traditional sit-inside kayak is the better choice for you? Let’s discuss some key factors to consider.
You Want a Kayak that’s Easy for the Whole Family
If you’re looking for a kayak or two that everyone in your family can easily use at your cabin, a sit-on-top model is worth considering. These kayaks are simple to get on and off, and they offer a stable platform for paddling. Whether it’s Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, or the kids, everyone can enjoy using the same kayak. Depending on the length of the kayak, there may even be enough space to bring a small child or your family dog along for the ride. It’s a fantastic way to introduce your loved ones to the joys of kayaking.
Entering and Exiting a Sit-Inside Kayak is Challenging for You
If you struggle with knee or hip issues that make it painful for you to climb in and out of a traditional sit-inside kayak, opting for a sit-on-top kayak may be the solution. With a sit-on-top kayak, you can simply walk the kayak out to a suitable water depth and easily turn and sit without needing to bend too much. This feature can make a significant difference, allowing you to continue paddling as you grow older.
You Want to Enjoy Water Activities
Similar to a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), sit-on-top kayaks allow you to take a refreshing swim while you’re out paddling. As long as you secure your paddle and ensure the wind won’t blow your kayak away, you can comfortably slip off your kayak into the water to cool off. With a bit of technique, you can easily climb back onto your kayak and resume paddling. If you have kids with you, they can also enjoy jumping into the water from the kayak and easily getting back on.
Self-Rescue is (Relatively) Easy
The wider design of sit-on-top kayaks makes them more difficult to capsize compared to sit-inside kayaks. If you do happen to capsize, self-rescue is relatively simple. Your kayak won’t fill up with water or sink, making it easy to flip it back over and climb back on. For the average paddler, self-rescue from a sit-on-top kayak is much easier compared to a sit-inside kayak, which can be quite tricky.
Fishing from Your Kayak
Anglers generally find it much more convenient to fish from a sit-on-top kayak than a sit-inside kayak. Sit-on-top kayaks offer better stability and plenty of space to store tackle boxes and other fishing gear. Many fishing kayaks are even stable enough to stand on, allowing you to switch up your seating position and avoid sitting all day long. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, we recommend selecting a kayak specifically designed for fishing. Plenty of manufacturers specialize in fishing kayaks, but you can also enjoy recreational paddling from a fishing kayak if you desire.
Disadvantages of Sit-on-Top Kayaks
Sit-on-top kayaks do have their drawbacks. Generally, they tend to be heavier than sit-inside kayaks of the same length. For instance, the Wilderness Systems Recon 120, a sit-on-top fishing kayak, weighs 95 pounds, while the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, a sit-inside kayak, weighs only 49 pounds. Additionally, sit-on-top kayaks are not known for their speed. If you’re interested in kayak touring, such as embarking on long day trips or multi-day journeys, a sit-on-top kayak may prove too sluggish due to its width, added weight, and high stability, resulting in increased water resistance.
Choosing the Right Paddle for a Sit-on-Top Kayak
When selecting a kayak paddle, one crucial factor to consider is the width of your boat. Since sit-on-top kayaks are wider, you’ll need a longer paddle compared to most sit-inside kayaks. To give you an idea, refer to the chart below for the appropriate paddle length:
For more detailed information, consult our Kayak Paddle Sizing Guide.
So there you have it. We hope this article assists you in deciding whether a sit-on-top kayak is the right addition to your life!
Do you have any questions about paddles? Our friendly Customer Service Team is here to help! Contact them at 715-755-3405 or [email protected]
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