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Ocean Kayaking: How To Choose A Kayak for Open Water

A kayak allows you to get to scenic beachside campsites, quietly discover an estuary, enjoy breathtaking views that aren’t visible from the shore, go into a morning workout all around the lake, or play in the water with the children.

Do you feel prepared to leave the calm waters behind and try something new? Or are you looking for a rush of adrenaline? In any case, taking to the open waters and trying out ocean kayaking will leave you a transformed person.

The open sea will give you a whole new perspective on kayaking, as well as the perfect ocean kayak, will be an invaluable partner during your next adventure. On the other hand, finding one isn’t as easy as it sounds because there are so many options out there.

Kayaks are of various shapes and sizes, so it’s critical to understand your options. Getting the proper kayak would provide you with the most enjoyment, but it will also have a significant impact on your security on the water.

Narrowing down your choices is quite simple.

what kind of kayak for ocean

How to Choose a Kayak for Open water.

The prospect of eventually possessing the right kayak for your open water kayaking can also be thrilling.

But scouring the market for hundreds of different designs of all sizes and shapes to find the right one can be difficult.

Consider the following factors when selecting a kayak for your open waters.

Who are you Going Kayaking With?

Tandem kayaks are an excellent way for first-time paddlers to gain experience and confidence on the water. Because you can’t get disconnected from the other paddler, they’re also a suitable option for parents and couples.

A tandem kayak also will take up very little storage space in the home than two independent kayaks.

On the other hand, paddling a tandem solo is inconvenient, so it’s not best suited if both you and your paddle partner have conflicting schedules.

You’ll also have to learn how to synchronize your paddling, which will take some practice.

If you want the best of both worlds and often paddle on flat water, an inflatable tandem kayak might be for you.

Most have customizable and removable seats, allowing you to remove one and place another in the kayak for solo usage.

Where you will like to use your kayak?

  • Lakes: We’re not talking about Lake Superior here, but rather a local lake. If the weather is nice and your destination is close, you can go out on any sit-on-top or maybe recreational sit-in boat and have a good time. When whitecaps appear, a purely pleasurable boat may become overmatched.
  • Coast: Wind, waves, currents, tides, and other factors all play a role along the coast. Therefore, having a sit-in touring boat alongside a rudder, fixed tracking fin, or skeg (a drop-down fin) is prudent. If you reside in one of the warm climate regions and don’t bother going for a swim, or if you plan to go kayaking, a sit-on-top could still be a good choice.
  • Rivers and lakes: Choose a short leisure sit-in and otherwise sit-on-top kayak if you intend to use it in flowing and still waters. These crossover boats are usually equipped with a skeg. That configuration will allow you to turn quickly whenever the skeg seems to be up and track effectively whenever the skeg is bottom. A short boat alongside a rudder is another alternative, but rudders are usually found on larger boats.

How lengthy will you paddle?

On a long kayaking trip, features like a comfy seat, storage hatches, and deck riggings come in handy. However, any kayak you consider taking on a long trip will also be useful for short excursions.

For day trips of up to a day, day touring kayaks and perhaps recreational kayaks alongside one storage hatch and deck riggings will most likely give sufficient space for both your water and sandwiches and safety equipment.

For multi-day trips involving overnight camping, look for touring kayaks having two massive storage hatches, deck riggings, and a place to attach a compass.

Kayaks having a day hatch may also be useful for storing items you’ll need during the day.

What kind of kayak for the ocean?

Kayaking on the open sea provides a completely different perspective. There are several factors to this thrilling and rewarding experience, including powerful currents, regular ocean sprays, and the wind.

Ocean kayaks must be able to endure and handle powerful currents, shifting tides, and anything else that open waters may throw at you. This includes the waves you will not encounter while paddling in rivers.

For kayaks to withstand rough currents and waves, an ocean kayak will be longer and narrower than your average ‘yak, and it should possess maximum storage and weight capacity to boot.

Efficient and pinpoint tracking performance are also essential.

What is the best kind of kayak for the ocean?

Several other kayaks are preferable to others when attacking the waves.

Touring kayaks (sea kayaks) are your best option because they are designed for open waters. A longer, shinier hull is enhanced for unrivaled efficiency on longer trips and exceptional control and tracking performance.

Recreational kayaks are also an option, but only if you intend to paddle in calm bays and coastal areas where the waters aren’t too rough. While an inflatable kayak could be extremely useful in other situations, it is not a good idea to use one in rough ocean waters.

Theoretically, In the open Waters, you could use any kayak as long as it:

⦁ It is a minimum of 14 feet long and has a beam width ranging from 20 to 36 inches.

⦁ It has a V-shaped hull that emphasizes secondary stability and is a less pronounced rocker.

⦁ Non Segregated bulkheads – enclosed compartments that enhance buoyancy – and watertight storage hatches are included.

⦁ It Has great tracking performance and a rudder scheme or a retractable skeg.

⦁ Thigh braces, as well as footrests, are included for added support and control.


Kayaking in the open waters can produce memories so vivid that the simple smell of salt during cooking will elicit them. But the oceans can be unpredictable.

Finding the right kayak for your needs requires patience and a few hours of research. When purchasing a new kayak, there are numerous factors to consider. 

When you decide on the forms of water regions you would like to explore, you can choose whatever kayak style best fits that niche.

After you’ve narrowed down your options, take into account everything from the solace of the seat to the storage space and the suitability of the footpegs.