What Is A Good Kayak Length

August 3, 2020

It is a general fact that a longer and narrower kayak will go faster and straighter. It will track and glide much better than a shorter kayak. Longer kayaks are harder to maneuver compared to the shorter ones. A kayak that is wider and shorter may be more stable, but the speed will be sacrificed.

If you have just started with kayaking, then a wider kayak would be a good beginner’s choice, as you begin to grow accustomed to being on the waters.  

Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks are around 8 to 13 feet long. They are made for small rivers, lakes, creeks, and other types of calm waters. You can efficiently navigate narrow passageways and inlets in them. It is an excellent beginner kayak​ as it is light weighted and easier to maneuver for a novice kayaker. The beam of the kayak is rather wide, which gives it added stability. They are available in both sit-in and sit-on-top style. The sit-in ones have a larger opening, which makes it slightly easier to get in and out.

They are short in length and are not built for speed. However, they do provide the stability that is needed for a leisurely trip. They are ideal for short trips in calm waters. They are less expensive than specialized kayaks and are the most popular type of kayaks. You will find many of them at any kayak rental. 

Light Touring Kayaks

Light touring kayaks range between 12 to 16 feet long. Their width varies between 22 to 25 inches. They are good for amateur kayakers who enjoy sport and leisure.

Touring Kayaks

Touring kayaks are longer. They are around 14 to 18 feet long and have a width of 22 or fewer inches. They are built for handling large waves, bigger lakes, and rivers. Kayakers use these kayaks for advanced excursions and weather conditions. They are long and sleek and are made for long-distance paddling in various water conditions. They are often used for excursions in oceans and bays for a prolonged period of time. The track (maintaining a straight line) extremely well. The design of these kayaks favors efficiency and speed over maneuverability.  

A person’s height should also be taken into account when considering a kayak’s length. This is particularly important in a sit-in kayak. To enjoy a pleasant experience on the waters, fitting well inside your kayak is something you want to make sure of. 

For example, a person who is 6 feet tall and weighs 225 pounds, will be more comfortable in a 12-foot long kayak than in a 10-foot long kayak. Adjustable footrests can help to accommodate your height in the kayak. They can help shorter people to adjust in longer kayaks and taller ones to adjust in smaller kayaks. 

The length, width, and weight of a kayak have a direct impact on its abilities in the water. For instance, a long and narrow kayak will be fast, whereas a small and wide kayak will provide stability.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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