How to Find the Best Kayak Fit

How to Find the Best Kayak Fit
When buying a new kayak, finding the right fit can mean the difference between many happy days on the water and many miserable ones. A boat without enough volume is hard to control. A boat that doesn't fit your body size and shape can be very uncomfortable. Some people even have special needs, such as a knee that doesn't bend too well, and these should definitely be taken into account when fitting a new kayak. The good news is that there is a boat out there to fit just about everyone.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Check the volume guidelines for the style of boat you plan to buy. Whether you are looking for a play boat, a river runner, a creek boat or even a racing boat, manufacturers publish recommendations on which size (volume wise) of that particular model fits which weight range of paddlers. Buying the right volume boat for your weight means the boat will be easier to control. Too little volume will make the boat sit low in the water and seem unresponsive. Too much volume will make the boat easily pushed around by the water's current and harder to keep on the track you want.
Step 2
Sit in the boat models you are considering and check the width of the cockpit. You should fit snugly but comfortably inside, and be able to rock the boat just by rocking your hips. Most newer boats come with adjustable hip pads, so if it is just barely too wide or too narrow, check to see if a small adjustment makes the perfect fit.
Step 3
Place your legs in the boat in paddling position and check the leg fit as well. Be sure you wear the shoes you will be paddling in so you can accurately gauge the foot room. Cramped feet can lose circulation in a hurry and make you very uncomfortable. Pay attention also to the knee height, and be sure that the position is one that is comfortable for you, neither too high nor too low.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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