Types of Kayaks – 20 Types You Need to Know- Updated 2020

types of kayaks

Last Updated on November 6, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

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Kayak has gained popularity in recent times due to its wide use as an environmentally friendly and healthier system of transportation. It has become more popular for its relatively low price tag when compared with motorized boats. There are different types of kayaks available in the market and each has its own characteristics and use. After describing each type of kayaks I will show you one best kayak under those particular types on the market.

Are you searching in the market for purchasing a kayak? Regardless of whether you enjoy water sports or outdoor activities, kayaking is an incredible method to enjoy both. While there is a wide range of ways you can use a kayak, on the sea, waterways, lakes, and white water, this makes the buying procedure appear to be extraordinarily diverse. The kayak advertises is amazingly different, offering plenty of alternatives for adventurists and outdoorsy people to look over. Before you start your hunt to get one, it’s crucial to understand the various types of kayaks that are perfect for you. If you don’t get the correct one, it won’t work perfectly in the open situation and might be unfavorable.

What a lot of purchasers don’t understand is that kayaks are made for specifically planned uses. As there are a lot of different types of kayaks in the market. Understandings the types of kayaks that are best used for specific types of water will help you in finding the best one for you. In this article, we are mentioning 20 types of kayaks below, read it carefully.

20 Most Popular Types of Kayaks

Sit on or Sit in kayaks

There is a difference between these two types of kayaks. One of the major differences in the sit-on kayaks (with a sealed hull) or sits in where the paddler’s lower body is inside the hull of the kayak).


You will get a lot of options if you have a sit-in kayak. It’s possible to rely on them in hot weather; however, you might also attach a spray skirt and then apply them colder, coarser water. You’ll stay drier having a sit-in plus so they have more storage and also gives more options to store belongings and keep them from getting wet. They are assembled of foot braces inside to secure your thighs for an even more productive stroke and get more power. Unlike what some might think, sit-in kayaks are quite roomy, rather. It is the best sit-in-kayak in the market. You can have a look at this product. 

Evaxo Tide 10' Sit-in Kayak (Paddle Included)
  • Rear storage hatch, adjustable foot braces, padded thigh pads, molded-in seat,

Sits-On top kayaks

A sit-on-top kayak comes with a molded-in depression on top that provides you with somewhere to sit down. They’re versatile and can be used to get a day to the water. For example, they’re a great solution for everybody, a newcomer who’s learning the intricacies of kayaking. They might also be described as considered an excellent pick for somebody who’s tall, has long thighs, or is framed (always check weight capacity criteria if buying). You are certain to get splashed and get wet; therefore, they are inclined to be best for warm days and warm water. They have been easy to get in and outside of, that will be excellent if you are still boating with dogs or kids or intend to swim.

Now you realize the difference between sit-ins and sit-on-top, let us divide the kinds of kayaks out of which to pick. To do this, you want to ask yourself, how can you plan on using the kayak and which type of water and also requirements are you going to be paddling in? Every sort of kayak functions a particular purpose, so let us jump in (or jump “onto”). 

Recreational Kayaks

If you see yourself using your kayak for free time trips, are another paddler, or plan to take photographs on a calm lake or river, a recreational kayak is a wise decision. These kayaks are steady and designed to be flexible and simple to use.

Tri-Kayak XS-1 Red Recreational Kayak
  • Outriggers provide a stable platform allowing for a more comfortable raised seating position and a unique hull design that provides minimal resistance.
  • Open cockpit provides extended trip comfort.
  • Dry storage hatches on each side of cockpit, covered storage up front, and large open storage aft.
  • Cockpit dashboard for mounting electronics.
  • Engineered to allow for various customizations including; fishing rod holders, eye hooks, camera mounts, trolling motor, 35 amp hour battery, and more.

Touring Kayaks

If you think you are brave and have the dare for something more adventurous like trips on rougher waters or out in the sea, touring kayaks are the best choice for you. In that case, consider searching for a touring kayak. To reduce your effort we have a buyer guide on the best touring kayak of 2020. They are worked to go in a straight line and on the grounds that they are typically more stable. These kayaks are always ready to weather rougher water. They are designed for long trips and regularly offer more comfort alternatives, for example, overhauled seats, footpegs, and more storage.

Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport...
  • 3 person/650 lb capacity, weighs 26 lbs, suitable for up to Class III whitewater
  • 370 Deluxe Kayak Package features two movable, super comfortable Deluxe Kayak Seats for improved back support and 2 paddles, foot pump, and carry bag
  • 2 AB30 7'10"" 4 Part Paddles with asymmetrical blade and aluminum shaft.Seam:High Frequency Welded
  • 2 skegs on the bottom for better tracking & speed.Inflation Pressure:1.1 psi
  • Open and close drain valve, 5 deluxe 1-way inflation/deflation valves

Inflatable Kayaks 

If you don’t have a big storeroom at home, you can decide to purchase an inflatable kayak, which folds up completely and can be easily transported. Some fold up sufficiently too much little to fit into your pack. They are genuinely durable, typically made of multiple layers of plastic and texture. They also can usually be patched and repaired.

Sea Eagle 465 FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Pro Package
  • NMMA Certified. Hull WT: 44 Lbs. 3 Persons or 795 lbs Length: 15 ft. 3 in.
  • 18 D-rings to secure seats for one or two person use, Bow/Stern Grab Handles, Front and Rear Spray Skirts with storage and lacing
  • Hull material completely resistant to sun & saltwater, Nylon carry bag, repair kit & Printed instructions
  • Separate inner High Pressure Drop Stitch floor for greater rigidity, Outside drop stitch high pressure keel at bow for true tracking
  • Large removable skeg at rear to control yaw and improve speed, 2 High capacity self-bailing drain valves

Fishing Kayaks

There are many types of kayaks made only for fishing that come with exceptional storage compartments. A few models are designed with built-in rod holders, fishing supply bags and other additional capacity includes that a fisherman would require. One major advantage of fishing kayaks is that they are made to be more stable so you can stand upon them to cast, or get a better look into the water and underneath the surface. Various recreational kayaks can work for fishing as well, simply look at the highlights to affirm they will suit your fishing needs.

Check out the best fishing kayak under $1000

Check out the best fishing kayak under $600

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top...
  • Propel your exploration and fishing to a new level
  • Pedal-driven performance at an unbelievable price
  • Ample storage features to accommodate fishing gear
  • Water Types: Flat, Slow-Moving, Calm Coastal
  • Boat length: 12’ 5”
  • Compatible with Pescador Paddle

Tandem kayaks

You might be thinking about what is a tandem kayak? Go with your friend and don’t stress over staying aware of someone else’s rowing. A pair of the best tandem fishing kayak has seats for more than one individual. It will also give you more space if you want to bring along a kid or a friend.

Solstice by Swimline Durango Kayak
  • Includes: carry bag, repair kit, detachable skew, 2 seats and an owners manual
  • Color: blue/white
  • 1 or 2 person

Modular Kayaks

If transportation is a problem, your choice can be a modular kayak. These kayaks come apart for capacity and transportation. They can also prove to be useful in the event that you need to have the option to use your kayak as a single or couple, rather than purchasing different kayaks, you can purchase an additional piece and expand the kayak, similar to a leaf on a dining table.

Snap Kayaks USA Modular Sit on Top Kayak (Yellow, Back...
  • Back section only
  • Snap-tap locking system keeps all sections securely latched together
  • Four-step footrests accommodate Paddlers of all sizes
  • Built-in carry handles, Paddle park, bottle holders and gear storage with Drainage
  • Made of strong, impact- and up-resistant Polyethylene that's also maintenance-free and recyclable
  • New modular sit on top kayak

Sea Kayaks

A variation of the touring kayak, the sea kayak has a higher rocker (the bend from bow to harsh) that helps it’s it crests into oncoming waves. It additionally has a limited, V-formed front profile. This design makes them ready to manage with rougher waters, yet to the expense of stability.

The sea kayak is simple to control, track straighter and is more averse to be swamped by waves than a standard touring kayak. This makes it particularly designed for journeys on coastal waters. At Present-day, sea kayaks are designed to carry a lot of equipment. For instance, undertakings of about fourteen days or more, in environments extending from the tropics to the Arctic, can be taken in sea kayaks.

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Angler Sit On Top...
  • 1-person sit on top fishing kayak: 11-foot 62-pound fishing kayak offers best of speed and stability
  • Includes 2 flush-mount rod holders and 4 integrated gear tracks for customized rigging
  • Pre-installed toe controlled rudder system saves your energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents.
  • Fishfinder transducer port with mounting points and protective lid
  • Multiple storage areas — Large center console, 20" front oval hatch, rear hatch and large bungeed rear tank well

Creek Boats

Creek boats are what you could think about the average kayak. It is commonly used by everybody, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an expert kayaker. Truth be told, the creek boat is explicitly designed for quicker and faster turns, making it perfect for waterways and creeks, yet it very well may be rowed anyplace.

A creek boat is a high-volume kayak, with an equal volume around the cockpit. The structure of this boat guarantees that the boat will be more averse to submerge and regardless of whether it does, it will resurface immediately. You will find that these boats have stubby or slightly adjusted tips, and edges along the base that controls the vessel on difficult turns.

If you are looking for an adaptable kayak, the creek boat is the best approach. While the creek boat isn’t the longest kayak in the family, it surely isn’t as little as playboats.

kayaks types

White Water Kayaks

Whitewater kayaks range from 4 to 10 feet long and are specifically designed to move rapidly down quick flowing rocky courses. They are generally made of hard-wearing rot molded plastics.

Like most extreme games, whitewater kayaking is an equal part of exhilaration and risk. The surge originates from effectively exploring rapids, rocks, cascades, and even underground rivers. Any hazard can be relieved by purchasing the right kayak for the run you need to make, ensuring you know your cutoff points, and being properly prepared.

Downriver Boats

This one of a kind kayak is very versatile, with an ideal mix of the playboat and the creek boat. This boat falls directly between high-volume and low-volume, offering paddlers a controlled cruise down a waterway just like some basic play features. The downriver boat has pointy tips that are made to shed water, allowing you to have comfort and control during your rowing. Out of the considerable number of kayaks available, this one is longer than most, which means it can move along a lot quicker on a straight course.

If you are looking for a kayak down a big lake, river, or the bay, the down riverboat is your best choice. It is perfect for the beginners and the individuals who like to kayak long-distance since this vessel will travel a lot quicker in an increasingly controlled way. The downriver boat will give you such an incredible experience and have the option to see under the water.

type of kayak

Play Boats

Play boats are the shortest whitewater kayaks. They have a scooped bow and blunt stern, making play boats exceptionally flexible and powerful. By using the speed picked up by going through rapids, these playboats are used to perform specialized tricks in a game known as rodeo boating.

These playboats are profoundly coordinated and their structures are resistant to harm. They excel at navigating steep, rocky waters that have fast-flowing water.

types of kayaks explained

Flooding kayaks

In view of the skin-on-outline boats used by the Inuit and Greenlandic societies, the innovation behind folding kayaks has seen significant advances as of late. New materials allow full-length touring boats to be packed into a little bag. They are sufficiently light to be conveyed without any difficulty. This makes them the perfect solution for capacity and transportation issues related to longer, non-foldable touring kayaks.

Folding kayaks are exceptional in their capacity to overlap down into a compact bundle. They are lightweight and permit those without significant storage space to access kayaking.

Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak -...
  • THE ORIGINAL ORU KAYAK – Meet the boat making waves in the kayaking world and helping people everywhere connect with the water. Innovative, fold-out Bay ST is stable enough for beginners, but its contoured shape maneuvers stronger waters too!
  • FROM BOX TO BOAT IN MINUTES – Construct your kayak in under 5 minutes! Oru pioneered the Bay ST’s origami-inspired, foldable structure, so you won’t spend forever setting up or waste time lugging around a boat!
  • SLEEK, DURABLE, & RELIABLE – Although your kayak is small enough to carry when folded, it is most certainly mighty. Oru Kayaks undergo extensive strength and durability testing, rated at 20,000 folds and exceed U.S. Coast Guard recreational vessel requirements. Each kayak comes with a full 12-month warranty & 30-day money back guarantee!
  • NO ROOF RACK REQUIRED - Fits into the trunk of a small car or our Oru Pack carrying case [sold separately] for easy transport when hiking, bicycling, and using public transportation. Your Bay ST is the most convenient, transportable kayak imaginable.
  • AWARD-WINNING DESIGN - featured on Shark Tank, Forbes, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and Oprah Magazine, there are now more than 15,000 Oru Kayaks out on the water.

Surf kayaks

Surf kayaks combine the best parts of surfing and kayaking, letting you take on the heavy surf from the comfort of your kayak. Its skis can be up to 21 feet in length and 16 to 20 inches wide. They use their limited front profile to cut or punch through huge, broken waves. The wave ski, a variation of the surf ski, is used to exploit wave swell, like a surfboard. Wave skis include a wide, level structure that is frequently less than 10 feet in length. Surf kayaks come as both sit-in and sit-on models.

Surf skis are a specific design of the kayak and are incredible at what they do, letting the paddler combine the exhilaration of surfing and kayaking.

Riot Kayaks Thunder 65 Whitewater River Running Kayak...
  • Lightweight thermoform construction
  • Pilot rudder system
  • Advanced Contour outfitting
  • Lightweight Thermo hatches
  • Bow & Stern sealed bulkheads

Crossover Kayaks

​Crossover kayaks spread the gap between one style of the kayak and another, for example, recreational and whitewater, allowing the ‘yakker to handle various conditions without changing boats. You can’t unit kayaks that are totally different, similar to a touring kayak and a wave ski, so most crossover kayaks depend on a recreational kayak hull joined with features from more specific designs, similar to pole holders for fishing or a planing hull for running whitewater.

Day Touring Kayaks

Day touring kayaks are perfect for beginners looking to take expanded kayaking journey and build up their aptitudes before moving to a touring or ocean kayak. These kayaks join the dependability and convenience of a recreational model yet with more noteworthy control in rougher waters. They offer more extra storage than recreational structures yet keep up the more considerable, simple to-get to the cockpit. Over this, because of them being shorter than a genuine touring kayak, they are simpler to stow and transport.

flat water kayaking

Diving Kayaks

These kayaks have been trending in 1990 in California, and are a fashionable option for using the powered boat to arrive at the diving hotspots. While there are no particularly manufactured diving kayaks, ‘Kayaks that are reasonable for use in jumping are described by their wide and stable pillar and big storage areas. You can choose either the sit-in or sit-on type since diving kayaks come as the two kinds.

types of kayak and their uses

Sail Kayaks

While still unique, the use of a sail on a kayak has been around for more than 150 years. As opposed to a specifically designed sailing kayak, a kayak sail is an accessory that can be joined to practically any kayak, intensifying its speed and diminishing the strain on the paddler. It very well may be added to both demonstration sit-in or sit-on type of kayak.

A kayak sail can altogether add to a paddler’s capacity to cross large stretches of water in minimal time. It diminishes the physical strain on the kayaker and is perfect for those focusing on kayak visiting.

kayak different types

SUP Hybrid kayaks

SUP, or stand-up-paddle boarding, is a paddle sport that has developed altogether in popularity as of late. As this mirrors the development in the prevalence of kayaking, it’s nothing unexpected that there was a requirement that the two games should be combined. A SUP Kayak Hybrid holds every one of the highlights of a stand-up-paddleboard with the expansion of a sit and double-ended kayak paddle. By adding kayak components to a SUP, the crossover enables the paddler to rest when bringing longer adventures or sits down to paddle in rougher conditions.

kayak different kind


Day by day the popularity of kayaking continues to enriching more people are enjoying the range of activities that you can enjoy in a kayak. The most important trick is to understand the contrasts between the many kayak types available, so you discover one that coordinates with your preferred activity.

In case you’re looking to spend quite a long time out on the water, maybe enjoying the natural views and the excellence of a waterway or lake, you’ll need a touring kayak for a long term and storage space for supplies. In any case, in the event that you need the adrenaline rush of running whitewater rapids, at that point it’s a tough, flexible playboat for you. Want to put in a couple of calm hours fishing? A fishing kayak will let you pedal with your feet, to keep your hands free and concentrate on your catch.

When you’ve discovered your ideal kayak from these 20 different types of kayaks. You’re well on your approach to making some extraordinary memories on the water.

Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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