19 Types Of Kayak Explained In Detailed For 2023

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What is a Kayak?

A kayak is a small watercraft that is typically propelled with the help of a paddle, trolling motor or pedal drive system in some cases. There are multiple types of kayaks available in the market like sit-on-top, sit-in kayaks, fishing kayaks, kayaks for kids and so much more. 

Over the years, the design, structure and overall look and feel of the kayaks are evolved and changed a lot. Today, kayaks come with a pedal drive system that offers a hands-free kayaking experience. Some kayaks are also compatible with the motor mount system that takes their speed next level and ensures stress-free paddling. 

What type of kayak is more stable?

The stability of the kayak is determined by its width, overall dimension, construction and length as well. However, a wider kayak is always more stable as compared to others. Here’s why? A wider kayak has more surface area at the bottom and on the side to resist side-to-side tipping.

Also, the kayak with good length and displacement hull design is stable and gives stunning balance as well. 

What type of kayak is best for beginners?

Without a doubt, a beginner kayaker should always start with inflatable kayaks as they are more lightweight, stable and of course safest kayak on the market right now. Inflatable kayaks are loaded with multiple air chambers that keep the rider safe and sound.

They also feature stunning drain plugs to keep the water out of the kayak. 

19 Different Types Of Kayaks 

1.Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable Kayaks

As the name says, inflatable kayaks or blow-up kayaks are a special type of kayak that requires the pumping of air to set up the kayak for your outdoor adventure. Just like inflatable paddle boards, inflatable kayaks offer a wide range of opportunities and make kayaking more accessible for any skill-level paddler. 

There is a wide range of inflatable kayaks floating in the market from fishing to hunting, from tandem inflatable kayaks to sit-on-top inflatable kayaks and a lot more. You can opt for the best suited and enjoy gliding on a variety of water types. 

Inflatable kayaks are also capable of tacking whitewater and rough water type very well and offer great buoyancy, stability and balance. In fact, beginners, newbies and kids paddlers can also opt for such kayaks.

Cost Rage:

The cost of inflatable kayaks ranges from $100 to $1000. It also depends on the brand to brand and the type of kayak you are buying. 

Suited For:

Camping, recreational and touring activities on the water. 

Construction Materials:

Most inflatable kayaks are made with multiple layers of PVC construction material with air chambers to offer great stability, balance and extra buoyancy to float on the water. Some of the inflatable kayaks are also wrapped with durable fabric for added protection.

2.Pedal Kayaks

Pedal Kayaks

Pedal drive kayaks are a type of kayak which comes with a pedal drive system on the platform to give ride hands-free kayaking experience. You don’t need a paddle to row such a kayak front and back. With the help of your feet and pedal drive system, you can row these kayaks backwards and forward. 

The biggest benefit of such kayaks is their hands-free and effortless kayaking experiences. 

They are also the best option for fishing and duck hunting as they allow you to stay put in one spot without hurting the stability of the boat. Kayaks with pedal drive systems also offer increased power, allowing you to reach your spot in a quick time. Within a few pedal kicks, you can easily reach your destination in time. 

Such types of kayaks are also known to offer amazing storage space in form of storage hatches, tankwell, wide platforms and bungee lacing systems. 

Cost Rage:

They are one of the expensive kayaks that start from $1000 and go up to $5000 or more. 

Suited For:

Pedal kayaks are best suited for fishing and hunting purposes. 

Construction Materials:

Most pedal-drive kayaks are made with Polyethylene plastic, which makes them tough, durable and long-lasting.

3.Fishing Kayaks

Fishing Kayaks

These are one of my favourite type of kayaks that allows the angler to take their fishing next level. Such kayaks are jam-packed with a plethora of fishability features like rod holders, storage space, tankwell, bungee lacing, fishing ruler, transducer mount, mounting points for fish finder and lot more. 

You can get fishing kayaks in the form of inflatable kayaks, pedal kayaks, paddle kayak, sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayak. 

Some of the top-rated fishing kayak brands are: Lifetime, Hobie, Perception and Jackson kayaks. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of a fishing kayak starts from $500 and goes up to $5000 or more. The cost of a fishing kayak depends on features, brand name, construction material and type. 

Suited For:

For fishing and hunting purposes only. 

Construction Materials:

Inflatable fishing kayaks are made with PVC material, while others are made with a combination of plastic, EPE core and UV-resistant materials.

4.Tandem Kayaks

Tandem Kayaks

Are you looking to take your buddy or partner along with you for kayaking? Do you want to carry ample of extras on your kayaking journey? If yes, tandem kayaks should be your choice. These types of kayaks are suited for carrying a load of 2 people. 

With the tandem kayaks, you can enjoy an awesome kayaking session along with your family and friends. Tandem kayaks are further available in multiple categories including: inflatable tandem kayaks, tandem pedal kayaks, and tandem fishing kayaks. 

Tandem kayaks have a carrying capacity of 400+ lbs. Also, they feature wide deck space and platform to give you ample of storage space for your other accessories. However, they are heavy to carry and you might need a kayak rack or trailer to carry and transport them. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of an inflatable tandem kayak is $100 to $1000. Cost of tandem fishing kayaks starts from $300 to $2000 or more. Cost of tandem pedal kayaks starts from $1000 and goes up to $5000 or more. 

Suited For:

Touring, recreational rides, camping on lake and ocean, fishing and hunting adventures. 

Construction Materials:

Inflatable tandem kayaks are made with PVC material, while others are made with ABS plastic core and polyethene construction material. 

5.Sit In Kayaks

Sit In Kayak

Sit-in kayaks are a type of kayak in which the cockpit will be slightly downside to allow your lower body to get shelter from the wind. Such kayaks are suited for paddlers who want to stay high and dry while paddling. 

Sit-in kayaks are available in multiple shapes, sizes and types. For example, you can get the inflatable type of sit-in kayak, tandem sit-in kayak, pedal drive sit-in kayak and a lot more options in the market. 

The only drawback of such types of kayaks is they don’t offer hassle-free entry and exit from the cockpit section. Also, if you tip off in the water due to some reason, it will be next to impossible to get into the kayak again as water might fill in the cockpit. 

Cost Rage:

Inflatable sit-in kayaks are cheaper and cost anywhere between $90 to $500. Fishing sit-in kayaks cost $200 to $500 more or less. The cost of sitting in kayaks also depends on the brand, features, construction material and many other factors. 

Suited For:

Sit-in kayaks are suited for a wide range of water sports adventures including snorkelling, diving, swimming, touring, fishing and a lot more. 

Construction Materials:

Inflatable sit-in kayaks are made with PVC or drop stitching materials, while others may be constructed with High-density polyethene material.

6.Sit On Top Kayaks

Sit on top kayaks

Sit on top kayak features a sitting arrangement on top of the deck or platform. They are one of the most comfortable kayaks and are user-friendly as well. It is easy very easy to get in and out of such kayaks without fear of tipping off into the water. 

Most of the sit-on-top kayaks has got self-bailing, which makes water moves out of such kayak so you can stay aloft for long hours. 

The downside to sit-on-top kayaks is that you’re guaranteed to get wet while paddling, while sit-inside kayaks allow you to stay dry.

Cost Rage:

Sit-on-top kayaks are more costly as compared to sit-in kayaks. Their starting price may be around $900 and might go up to $3000 or more. 

Suited For:

The majority of sit-on-top kayaks are suited for fishing, hunting and recreational purpose. 

Construction Materials:

The majority of the sit-on-top kayaks are made with ABS core plastic construction material using the rotomolding technology. 

7.Foldable Kayaks

Foldable Kayaks

Do you want to carry your kayak hassle-free anywhere and anytime? Do you want to get rid of heavy-duty kayak racks and trailers? If yes, foldable kayaks should be on your list. 

As the name says, foldable kayaks can be folded into bits and pieces so that you can easily carry and store them anywhere in your home or in the garage. These kayaks are made with Custom-Extruded Polypropylene and plastic construction material which makes them lighweight and easy to be folded into pieces.

Oru is the top-rated brand known for making the best folding kayaks that break down into 4-5 pieces for easy carrying and transportion. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of a foldable kayak starts from $300 and goes up to $3000. 

Suited For:

Foldable kayaks are suited for camping, touring and recreational rides only. 

Construction Materials:

These kayaks are solely made with plastic construction material which makes them lightweight and easy to carry. 

8.Modular kayaks

Modular Kayak

Modular kayaks are similar to foldable kayaks but with one exception. You cannot fold modular kayaks, but you break them into pieces and attach them again for your next wilderness on water. Modular kayaks are compositely lighweight and easy to carry as compared to sit-on-top kayaks, rigid and other hardshell kayaks. 

Once out on the water, modular kayaks will give you a smooth, stable and rigid ride. You can take modular kayaks for camping on the lake, touring and surfing on the lakeside, recreational activities and other water sports adventures. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of a modular kayak depends on the brand, construction material and features. However, the average cost of modular kayaks is $200 and they are less experience as compared to foldable kayaks. 

Suited For: 

Modular kayaks are suited for camping, touring and recreational rides. 

Construction Materials:

100% plastic materials are used for making modular kayaks. 

9.Motorized Kayaks

Motorized Kayaks

Motorized kayaks are such types of kayaks that feature motor mount capacity, allowing you to attach a kayak trolling motor to your kayak. Most of the motor kayaks feature sit-on-top design, wide deck space and stunning platform space as well. 

With this type of kayak, you’ll experience amazing speed and stunning gliding experience on the water. Such kayaks are mostly suited for fishing and duck-hunting adventures on the water. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of motorized kayaks starts from $1000 and goes up to $5000 or more. 

Suited For:

Most of the motorized kayaks are built for fishing. 

Construction Materials:

The hull of such kayaks are made with single or double layers of polyethene construction material.

10.Lightweight Kayaks

Lightweight Kayaks

Worried about carrying a hardshell kayak from point a to point b? Opt for lightweight kayaks which can be easily carried and transported anywhere without breaking your shoulder or back. 

Most of the lightweight kayaks are made with ultra-lighweight construction material or drop stitching technology which makes it easy to carry and durable at the same time. The primary stability of such kayaks is the exception but they struggle with secondary stability. 

Lightweight kayaks can also be used by senior people for touring and recreational adventures on the water. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of the lightweight kayak starts from $90 and goes upto $500. Some of the inflatable lightweight kayaks might also cost $500+ depending on which type of kayak you are buying and the features associated with it. 

Suited For:

Lighweight kayaks are made for normal paddling and touring activities on the water. 

Construction Materials:

Lightweight kayaks are made with PVC drop stitching material, which makes them easy to carry. 

11.Whitewater Kayaks

Whitewater Kayaks

Whitewater kayak comes in a lot of different flavours and so do whitewater kayaking. Whitewater kayaks are made for a specific purpose with special features and are well-optimized for different activities. 

They are made with an aggressive rocker profile at the bow and stern to keep the kayak on top of the water even in the most daunting condition on the water.  The length of such kayaks ranges from 7 feet to 10 feet which makes them suited for rapids and fast-moving water. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of whitewater kayaks is anywhere between $700 to $1000. 

Suited For:

Such kayaks are only suited for whitewater and fast-moving river rapids. 

Construction Materials:

The construction materials of whitewater kayaks are done with plastic material and fibreglass coating which allows them to resist water and give riders a stunning gliding and surfing experince. 

12.Hybrid Kayaks

Hybrid Kayaks

Do you want to enjoy kayaking and paddle boarding at the same time? If yes, look no further than hybrid kayaks. Hybrid kayaks are most commonly used by paddlers with a knack for paddle boarding and kayaking both. So, if you don’t have a budget to buy a paddle board and kayak, then hybrid kayaks are best suited for you.

Hybrid kayaks are also called crossover kayaks, which can be used in any water type. Also, this type of kayak is mostly a blend of touring and whitewater kayaks, which makes them seaworthy to offer endless joy on the water. 

Another great benefit of hybrid kayaks is their lighweight nature and foldable design, which makes them apart from other kayaks. You can carry such kayaks easily without breaking your neck or shoulder. 

Cost Rage:

The price of hybrid kayaks falls anywhere in the range of $200 to $1000. Just like hybrid kayaks, there are hybrid paddle boards as well, which give a similar performance, stability look and look hybrid kayak. 

Suited For:

Hybrid kayaks are best suited for anglers looking for more opportunities to enjoy the water. With hybrid kayaks, you can go fishing, snorkelling, diving, swimming, yoga and fitness and a lot more activities on the water. 

Construction Materials:

Hybrid kayaks are made with military-grade material, while some are made with military-grade as well as PVC construction material. 

13.Pontoon Kayaks

Pontoon Kayaks

If you are a beginner angler looking forward to taking your fishing or hunting game next level, then the best way is to buy a pontoon kayak. Pontoon kayaks are similar to pontoon fishing boats, with the obvious difference in hull design and deck platform. 

The hull of the pontoon kayak is made rigid and supported by two pontoon tubes on the side. You need to inflate the tubes in order to set up the kayak for your next wilderness. 

Most of the pontoons kayaks come in military green colour which allows them to easily adjust to the surroundings so that you can sneak into fishing spots quickly and get the best catches of your life. 

Cost Rage:

You need to have big pockets in order to buy pontoon kayaks as the start cost of such kayaks is $1000 and it goes up to $10000 or more depending on the type of pontoon, brand name and features attached to it. 

Suited For:

Pontoon kayaks are especially suited for fishing and duck hunting. You can also take it for fly fishing and stand-up fishing as it featues a wide deck platform. 

Construction Materials:

The construction of pontoon kayaks are made with inflatable tubes at the bottom of the hull, while the deck is made with rigid and sturdy material to enhance its durability. 

14.Ocean Kayaks

Ocean Kayaks

When you are kayaking on the calm sea or lake, you might feel confident for a while when you are kayaking. However, conditions might change within a few minutes because of the uncertainty of the weather. Hence, you might look for the best and most reliable kayaks in the market. This is where ocean kayaks come into the picture.

With their long, narrow and sharp design, the ocean kayak features a sharp profile as they cruise across the waves. Ocean kayaks are also long built with small widths to give impressive top speed and slice through the water. The tracking and stability are top-notch for a long day outing on the water. 

Also, most of ocean kayak comes with an adjustable seat and sit-in style cockpit design which will ensure comfortable and smooth paddling for you. You can also make adjustments in the seat and enjoy a super duper ride. 

Some of the ocean kayaks also come with a rudder system at the back to give you hassle-free tracking and manoeuvrability. 

Cost Rage:

Ocean kayaks are dam costly. The starting price of such kayaks is $1000 and goes up and beyond $5000. 

Suited For:

Ocean kayaks are mostly suited for large water bodies and flatwater types. 

Construction Materials:

Most ocean kayaks are made with ABS plastic material to make carrying and transportion of the ocean kayak easy despite their long lenght and width.

15.Touring Kayaks

Touring Kayaks

These are another favourite type of kayak of mine as they allow touring and gliding on sea, lake, ponds and quiet rivers. 

A touring kayak is a type of kayak designed for extended trips and long-distance kayaking on the water. Touring kayak features that set them apart from others include a narrow and long design, storage hatches, sit-in style cockpit. These features allow kayakers to travel efficiently and efficiently on long day kayaking adventures. 

Over the years, the category of touring kayaks has extended a bit and includes more shorted kayaks built to tackle all types of water. In fact, some of the touring kayaks can also be taken for fishing adventures on water because of their humongous carrying capacity and ample storage space. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of a touring kayak starts at $500 and goes up to $5000. 

Suited For:

They are best suited for professional-level kayakers looking to tackle any kind of water. Touring kayaks are suited for sea, lake and ocean kayaking as well. 

Construction Materials:

Most of the touring kayaks are made with plastic material using fibreglass coating. 

16.Recreational Kayaks

Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks included a wide range of kayaks under their belt with the common theme to stay on the flatwater, saltwater and freshwater. Touring kayaks also features some similar design elements of recreational kayaks and sea kayaks, which makes them suited for beginner and newbie as well. 

Generally, Recreational kayaks are shorter and less than 15 feet in height. They give more responsive paddling performance and smooth cutting through the seawater.

Cost Rage:

Recreational kayaks are cheaper and they start from $100 and go up to $1000 only. 

Suited For:

Recreational are best suited for swimming, sightseeing on water, snorkelling, diving, and learning kayaking as well. This kayak can also be used by beginner-level kayakers. 

Construction Materials:

Recreational kayaks can be inflatable which is made with PVC material and drop stitching technology, or they can be hardshell made with plastic and polyphenylene materials. 

17.Sea Kayaks

Sea Kayaks

Sea Kayaks are large and long lenght kayaks that are specialy built for touring and surfing on sea belts and flatwater types. The longer lenght of the sea kayak makes them to glide efforlessly across long distances. However, they are slightly slow at speed with an average speed being around 3.7 knots MPH. 

Speaking of their hull design, sea kayaks are generally backed by V shape hull design which makes them highly stable and comfortable boats. Also, the width is wide with the bottom flat to offer a great balance for both newbie and expert-level paddlers. Also, sea kayaks feature a rudder system on the back side to enhance overall manoeuvrability and tracking.

If you want to shop for the best sea kayaks, then I would suggest you visit a local paddle board or kayak store near you. You can also visit national outdoor chains such as Sea Eagle or REI. You can also shop for sea kayaks online at REI, Backcountry or Walmart. 

Facebook Marketplace is also a great option to look for sea kayaks and discounts on them. 

Cost Rage:

The cost of a Sea kayak range anywhere between $1000 to $4000. The cost of sea kayaks depends upon the material, model, condition, feature and brand name. If you opt for an expensive sea kayak it will be loaded with a plethora of additional features and vice-versa. 

Suited For:

Sea kayaks are suited for newbies and pro paddlers as well for touring and exploring unexplored spots on lakes and other flatwater-type bodies. 

Construction Materials:

Construction of the sea kayak depends on the brand to brand and model to model. Some sea kayaks are made with rotomolded technology, while some may be made with ABS plastic material with fibreglass coating. 

18.Stand-Up Fishing Kayak

Stand-Up Fishing Kayak

Stand-up fishing kayaks are a type of kayak that offers more deck space and a commanding view for straight fishing. These are the ultimate kayaks that will allow you to enjoy unlimited casting with great accuracy and distance on flatwater, saltwater, sea, river, blackwater and ocean bays as well. 

Stand-up kayaks are more powerful, loaded with impeccable features and give better control for reeling in.

There are loads of mounting points on stand-up fishing kayaks that give easy access to your fishing lures, casting reel and other accessories. Also, standing and kayaking are much better for your back if you are using a kayak that does not feature comfortable seating arrangements.

Cost range:

Stand-up fishing are a bit experienced and their starting price is from $1000 and goes up to $5000 or more. 

Suited for:

They are best suited for stand-up fishing, fly fishing, bass fishing, professional anglers with a knack for fishing and duck hunting as well. 

Construction material: 

The construction of stand-up fishing kayak are done with polyethene material at the hull which makes it durable, and sturdy and enhances the overall longevity of the kayak.

19.Fly Fishing Kayak

Fly Fishing Kayak

Similar to stand-up fishing kayaks, there is another type of kayak which suited for fly fishing. This type of kayak also features wide deck space, a stunning platform, and ample mounting accessories point to help with an awesome fishing experience. 

Cost range:

The cost of a fly fishing kayak is between $500 to $4000 more or less. 

Suited for:

This type of kayak is suited for stand-up fishing, bass fishing, trout fishing and also for other recreational activities on the water. 

Construction material:  

The construction of fly fishing kayak are done with polyethene material at the hull which makes it durable, and sturdy and enhances the overall longevity of the kayak.

FAQs About Different Types Of Paddle Boards

How many types of kayaks are there?

There are more than 10 different types of kayaks currently available in the market. Some of the kayaks are fishing kayaks, fitness and exercise kayak, beginners kayak, foldable kayaks, sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable kayaks, modular kayaks, motorized kayaks and a lot more. 

Which type of paddle kayak is best for a beginner?

Kayak with ample deck space and wide and long length that offers stability are best suited for beginner-level paddlers. Such kayaks are known for their stability and safe ride on any type of water. Therefore, beginners will enjoy gliding and surfing with those types of SUP. 

What you should carry on kayaking?

While out kayaking, one should carry a life jacket, cooler for long-distance paddling, GPS system, watch, depth finder and dry storage bag if possible. 

What is the difference between a paddleboard and a kayak?

 A paddle board is a small watercraft on which you can stand and row with the help of a paddle that comes along. The dimension of a paddle board is 10 feet in length, 30 inch in width and 6 inches in thickness, while kayaks are generally long and more wide deriving their overall look and feel from the small boat. 

What is a solid kayak called?

Solid kayaks are also called hardshell kayaks which are made with rock solid and plastic construction material. They are not inflatable in nature. Many of them are also made with fibreglass materials. 

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