Kayaking is a great low-impact sport for those looking to workout their bodies and minds while connecting with nature. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of too, once you’ve chosen the type of kayak you prefer. Sit-on-top kayaks and sit-in kayaks are both great options, it just comes down to your personal paddling preference.
Sit-on-top kayaks, as the name implies, don’t have a cockpit that goes down into the hull of the boat. You sit on the deck to paddle and move around in it. These kayaks are gaining popularity as of late for the flexibility, comfort, and ease of use they deliver to kayak enthusiasts of all ages.
Benefits of a Sit-On-Top Kayak
Whether you’re new to the sport, or a veteran looking for a new yak experience, a sit-on-top kayak is a great choice to meet all of your paddling needs. The open hull allows for maximum legroom and comfort while kayaking, and many models come with foot pedal motors that allow you to pedal for propulsion as well as paddle. If there aren’t pedals, the deck will have shallow foot wells to guide where you rest them while paddling.
Sit-on-top kayaks are popular for fishing because of:
- It’s maneuverability
- The ease of getting on and off
- Its stability
- The ability to stand up for casting or reeling in your fish
- Its storage capacity
- The freedom of being hands-free (if using a pedal drive)
Many kayakers enjoy the versatility of a sit-on-top kayak. They are shallower in depth, so they tend to be lighter and less bulky to transport anywhere you like. Most sit-on kayaks will be able to handle a variety of water terrains as well, so whether you enjoy some ocean waves or a calm lake, you’ll be able to bring this kayak along. This also allows beginner paddlers the flexibility to try out different settings to discover which they enjoy most, without worrying about investing more in another kayak.
The open-hull design is also appealing to kayakers because it’s freeing and easier to re-enter if you take a spill. The lack of confinement and ease at which you can adjust yourself or feel a breeze is a selling point for sure. It also allows for a simplified re-entry, since all you have to worry about is hoisting yourself back onto the deck. You don’t have to worry about your legs being trapped or sliding back inside the hull at all.
Stability & Self Bailing
What’s more, the wider deck of sit-on-top kayaks makes it more stable and less apt to flip over in the first place. You won’t always pick up the most speed due to this design, but the stability is a great peace for those new to the sport, or seasoned kayakers who are looking to relax on the water. The self-bailing scupper plugs found in these yaks are also great for keeping you dry and floating throughout your trip.
Investing in a sit-on-top kayak has many benefits, and it is increasingly a good fit for new and seasoned paddling enthusiasts. Even if you’re more familiar with sit-in kayaks, the fundamentals are the same so there isn’t a steep learning curve at all. However you enjoy doing it, getting out on the water and enjoying yourself is paramount, so grab your yak and get to it! Happy paddling!