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A Precise Guide to Choosing the Best Sit on Top Kayak for You!

Sit on top kayak
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: March 8, 2022

Who doesn’t want to be on top of the crowd? Whether it’s your exam, your job, or anything; you always want to get the better, but it’s not easy. Nevertheless, you can always sit on the top of a sit on top kayak. Amusing, isn’t it? Yes, If you’re an angler or a pleasure seeker.

Sit on top kayaks are the new sexy additions to the kayaking world. Buying a sit on a top kayak can change your life dramatically regardless of the reasons for your buying. However, before buying a sit on top kayak, you should consider some facts very carefully. Most of the sit on top kayaks can be used for a variety of activities, but don’t expect a kayak to do everything you want. So, you should choose the kayak that matches your expectations. Let’s explore the best sit on top kayak that matches your choices.

How a Sit on Top Kayak Is Different from the Other Kayaks

  • The obvious difference is that you can sit on the top of a sit on top kayak while most of the other kayaks require you to place your lower body into the boat. The sit on top kayaks have an open and wider design that makes them more stable in the water.
  • Sit on top kayaks are easier to use, and you don’t have to worry about being stuck in the boat in case it trips over.
  • The sit on kayaks are best suited for warmer seasons or places because they will get you wetter than the enclosed kayaks.

How to Choose a Sit on Top Kayak

Consider the Length, Width & Speed of the Kayaks

Width and length influence speed and mobility. If you want speed, then you should choose a thin line to sit on top kayak. It will help you to cruise through the water rapidly. However, the speed is a limitation  for the kayak particularly kayaking in a river with lots of sharp corners and bends. A 17 foot-long sit on top kayak will move forward quickly than a nine-foot kayak, but remember that the longer your kayak is, the harder it will be to take a turn. So, a nine-foot kayak will turn much easier than the 17 foot-long kayak.

Now, let’s talk about the width. A wider sit on top kayak is more stable than a narrower one, but narrow kayaks are faster. So, choose according to your choices and the geography of the place you’re planning to ride the kayak on.

Consider the Hull Shape of the Kayaks

U-shaped (bottom-smoothed) sit on top kayaks have more secondary stability, while the V-shaped (kneeled) sit on top kayaks have more primary stability. You might feel unstable on the U-shaped kayaks at first, but the boats themselves stay stable in moving water like rivers, surf, etc. The V-shaped kayaks are known for their added stability in flat water.

The tri-form hull of most sit on top kayaks incorporates both primary and secondary stability. The tri-form kayaks also come with a long center keel to help you to go straight and two shoulders like contours for secondary stability. This tri-form hull generally compromises a little speed but ensures the ultimate stability. So, this shape can be great for both fishing and family tours.

So, basically,

  • V-shaped (kneeled bottom) Sit on Top Kayaks encourage you to go straight, and they are good for touring and fishing in the flat
  • U-shaped (smooth bottom) kayaks are good for spinning or turning which is great for surfing, kayak polo, or river running.
  • Tri-form sit on top kayaks are good for stability in both flat and moving water. So, they can be great for fishing and family touring also.

Consider the Types of the Sit on Top Kayaks

The Sit on to Kayaks Can Be of Three Types

1. Single Seat

This variety of sit on top kayak has only one seat. It is inexpensive and good for surfing, fishing, and sports. Sun dolphin kayak sit on top and lifetime sit on top kayaks have some great varieties of single seated kayaks.

Sit on top kayak - Fishing Kayak

2. Tandem

This variety has 2 or 3 sit on top kayak seats. It’s the best kayak for family touring. Pelican sit on top kayaks have a great variety of tandem kayaks.


3. Fishing

This variety has one seat, but it is specially designed for recreational fishing. This fishing kayak is small and easy to move both in the water and out of the water.

Fishing Kayak

Try for Yourself

Sit on the sit on top kayak you want to buy to make sure that your body fits the seat of the kayaks. It’s important that you feel comfortable sitting on the kayak.

So, the final recommendation is that you consider all the above factors before buying a sit on top kayak. It’s always better to look before you leap because buying the wrong sit on top kayak can ruin your kayaking experience for good.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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