Choosing a Kayak

Choosing a Kayak

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When choosing the kayak that is right for you, there are many factors to take into consideration. Use the information below to learn more about the different types of kayaking and which type of kayak is best suited to each. We also recommend talking to your local dealer to help with this decision...

Video

Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes. This video helps you choose the kayak that's right for your style of paddling.

STEP ONE – PADDLING STYLE

Where do you want to kayak and what is your main purpose?  We make recreational and touring kayaks, each with a specific combination of performance, outfitting and storage options.

AttributesRecreationalTouring
Types of WaterPonds, small lakes, sheltered bays, slow moving riversOpen lakes, bays, moving rivers,  current, limited ocean
Trip Duration Day tripsDay or weekend trips
Skill Level Low to IntermediateIntermediate to Advanced
Storage Low to ModerateModerate

STEP TWO – KAYAK PERFORMANCE

The following chart will help you understand what performance characteristics you can expect for each type of kayak. These are generalizations. Kayak lengths and hull types will greatly influence a kayak’s performance.

CharacteristicRecreationalTouring
Stability********
Speed/Glide********
Tracking********
Maneuverability********

STEP THREE – HULL DESIGN

The right hull type can make all the difference. Consult the chart below to find out more about which performance characteristics are optimized for each hull type, then find the one that responds to your needs.

HULL TypecHaracteristicsimageproducts
Shallow V Chine Hull
  • Maneuverable
  • Increased performance when paddling
  • Improved secondary stability
  • Tracks and turns well
  • Matrix 100x / Matrix 100x Angler
  • Summit 100x
  • Sprint 80x
Twin-arched Multi Chine Hull
  • Maximum stability; quick mastery of the kayak
  • Versatile
  • Tracks well
  • Liberty 100x / Liberty 100x Angler
  • Intrepid 100x / Intrepid 100x Angler
  • Intrepid 120x
Deeper V Chine Hull 
  • Shallow V characteristics with added performance
  • Gets on edge to turn and steer
  • Quicker, faster and more agile getting from point A to point B
  • Escape 100x
  • Escape 120x
Shallow Twin-Arched and V Hull 
  • Great stability; easy mastery of the kayak
  • Versatile
  • Castaway 100
  • Apex 100
  • Apex 130T
Multi Chine Flat Bottom Hull 
  • Great tracking and maneuverability
  • Maximum stability 
  • Superior capacity
  • Flat bottom stable on ground for loading
  • Alliance 136T
  • Unison 136T
  • Strike 100x  / Strike 100x Angler
  • Strike 120x  / Strike 120x Angler
Shallow V Tunnel Pontoon-style
  • Unmatched stability
  • Predictable behavior, quick mastery
  • Sonic 80x
Twin tunnel hull
  • Easily maneuverable
  • Good stability
  • Solo