Types of Kayaks

The following page provides information about several popular kayak hull designs. When choosing a kayak, tracking, stability, agility, carrying capacity and seaworthiness are important characteristics to consider.

Kayak designs include sit in kayaks (SIK), sit on kayaks (SOK), stand up kayaks, sea kayaks and other styles. Each design has its advantages as well as disadvantages.

Sit in kayaks usually offer plenty of room for storage and a more protected, dryer experience while sit on kayaks are usually better equipped and are less vulnerable to flooding.

The sea kayak, often called ocean kayak, is a type of sit in kayak that is designed for longer trips and ocean environments. They incorporate a skirt which shields the hull from water intrusion.

One of the more popular kayak designs is the sit ON kayak (SOK). There are several variations of this design, but each type shares several basic attributes. SOK designs tend to be durable enough to handle rough waters without sustaining damage.

Stand up kayaks utilize a special SOK hull with pontoons that swing out when fishing. When deployed, the rear mounted pontoons give the kayak enough stability to allow an angler to stand and fish. A leaning post is used to provide extra stability while fishing.

Both SIK and SOK hulls are available in one person or two person configurations. Two person kayaks have a variety of advantages. They allow a pair of anglers to work in tandem, sharing paddling and other activities. When fishing this can be a huge advantage as one person controls the craft while the other fishes. A major disadvantage of two person kayaks is their tendency to perform poorly with only one occupant.