One question we get a lot is “What kind of kayak should I get?” This will all depend on what type of paddling you will be doing and what activities you would like to do with your kayak: Paddling, Fishing. Hunting, etc.
One of the first things to look at is going to be a SOT (Sit-On-Top) or a Sit-Inside kayak. Both kayaks can have their benefits, but it really depends on what you will be doing and where. Down in Texas, and other places that are hot throughout the year, you may want to look at SOT’s. Sit-Insides can be hot in the summer and make it uncomfortable to be in in the heat. Most of the time, you will not be using a spray skirt to help keep water out of the kayak during the hot months. This means that if you do turn the kayak over, there is a good chance it will fill with water and sink, which can be a real pain to deal with if the water is deep. While a SOT can easily be turned back over.
Now, if you are up north and/or like to hit faster moving water/rapids, the sit-insides might be the option for you. The kayak can help keep you dry and with the use of a spray skirt, allows you to hit rapids and roll over while keeping water out of the kayak. Sit-insides are generally more narrow than SOT’s and this will help the kayak move faster in the water.
The next thing to consider is will you be fishing with your kayak? There are a ton of kayaks out there built specifically for fishermen with all the gadgets and gizmos to help provide an efficient fishing machine. Many fishing kayaks will also have rudders and pedal drives to help keep your hands free while moving the kayak around. Which brings me to my next point to consider; Paddle, Pedal or Motor Drive.
Deciding what you want to power your kayak will highly depend on what type of water you are going to spend most of your time in. If you are looking to hit skinny water rivers and creeks, a paddle kayak may be your best bet. Having to raise and lower your drive through shallow water and rapids can become a pain and flipping your kayak with the drive up, may cause you to lose or damage your pedal drive. However, if you are going to be spending most of your time in lakes, saltwater or deeper rivers, a pedal drive might be the choice for you. Pedal drives can help you move around the water more easily, which comes in handy when you are fighting waves, wind or currents. These will also allow you more time to fish because you are able to keep your hands on the rod while moving and steering with the rudder.
Motors have become very popular in the last few years as battery technology has improved. Everything is getting smaller and more powerful and less expensive, which we kayakers LOVE!. With some motors only costing slightly more than a pedal drive system, some people are choosing to skip the pedal drive completely and go straight to a motor. This allows you to choose the platform you like, instead of being stuck between a few pedal drive options. It will also clear up deck space for those that do not want a drive in the middle of their floorboard. Now you will have to get your kayak registered, even with a small electric motor which can cost about $45-$75 and need to be renewed every couple of years.
There are benefits to each kind of kayak and the right one will depend on what kind of activities you are wanting to do and where you are doing them. Take your time and do some research into different models that might fit your needs and always feel free to reach out to us if you need any recommendations on the right kayak for you.
You can hit us up on Facebook or Instagram, Email Us at Customer@austinkayak.com or give one of our shops a call to help you find your next ride!