Comparison of Kayak Features

Comparison of Kayak Features
Different types of kayaks have various features. The features are based on what will make the kayak perform best in its environment--whether it be in the rapids or in the sea.


Sea (touring kayaks) are narrow and have plenty of storage for long trips on the water. Whitewater kayaks are meant for rolling water and and have no gear storage. Sit-on-top kayaks come in both singles and tandem and are meant for warm water and weather pursuits.

The beginners, weekend warriors and those who like to paddle calm waters, should use a recreational kayak. They come in single or double versions and usually have a place to store gear.

Devices to Control Direction

Sea kayaks may come with a rudder or skeg to control the kayak in windy conditions. Most kayaks come with foot braces that serve different functions. For example, foot braces in whitewater kayaks aid in maneuverability and come in handy if you need to roll.


The sea kayak is long and thinner than other kayaks so you ca go farther with less effort. Whitewater kayaks are rounded to handle the hazards in the water and shorter to reduce drag and weight. Recreation kayaks are wider than sea kayaks to offer more stability.


Seats are often the most difficult part of the kayak to fit to your liking, but they can be replaced or modified quite easily. The seat needs to be comfortable for long periods of time and should offer plenty of support in the middle of the back without restricting movement.


A recreational and touring kayak most likely will have a carry point, ridges to carry, longitudinal grab lines and deck bungee for paddles. A store and dry compartment and a compass recess are also some common features. Whitewater kayaks also have a carry point but will not have dry storage.

Article Written By Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson is a freelance sports writer and photographer based in California. Her articles and photos appear regularly in newspapers and magazines such as "Triathlete" and "Cross Country Skier." Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in media production and minor in writing. She is studying for her copy editing certificate at the University of San Diego.

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