various types of kayaks leaning against a wall

Whatever Floats Your Boat! | Types of Kayaks Compared

Despite what some may believe, there are, in fact, many different types of kayaks to choose from depending on your kayaking goals.

These different kayak types have distinct features that can impact function and should be selected for your specific needs.

various types of kayaks on shore

Some kayaks are longer or wider to promote increased straight-ahead speed and stability in calm waters. On the other hand, if you see yourself in a whitewater situation, then a short, stubby, and maneuverable craft will serve you best. So which type should you choose? Keep reading!

Well, don’t get intimidated by what is ultimately a simple boat! Let’s take a look at the different types of kayaks so you can find out for yourself!

Types Of Kayaks

Lucky for you, this guide will provide guidance and information surrounding some of the main kayak types, to direct you toward the best kayak for your next adventure!

You can click on the links below to jump straight to the various types:

Sit-In Kayaks

man and woman in sit-in kayaks

Sit-in kayaks are probably what you imagine when you picture a kayak.

Also called recreational kayaks, sit-in kayaks have one seat that is in the center of a boat that usually ranges from 8-12 feet long.

Sit-in kayaks are designed for comfort; with the bodies being wide, making entering and exiting easier. They typically also have a lot of leg room for the occupant.

The comfort-oriented design of a sit-in kayak lends itself to calm water travel. A recreational kayak like this can travel at decent speeds and stays stable in a relaxed water environment.

The downsides, however, are that these designs can struggle through rough water, in strong wind, and over long distances.

On the upside, recreational kayaks are usually one of the more affordable options given their widespread availability. Their versatility and price point make them a great option for any kayaker.



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Sit-On-Top Kayak

pelican sit on top kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks are similar to the standard sit-in, recreational kayak.

The key difference is that instead of the occupant sitting inside the kayak structure, they sit on top, as the name implies. (photo credit: Amazon)

The open-air design of sit-on-top kayaks makes entering and exiting even easier than the typical sit-in kayak. What’s more, the lack of walls around your legs and feet provides significantly more room for a rider, making these types of kayaks extremely comfortable.

This open-air concept also makes for a more efficient hunting kayak setup, giving the hunter more range and freedom to move about.

The sit-on-top kayaks are also great options if you are looking to do some fishing.



The downside to the open-air design, however, is the fact that the rider has little protection from the outside elements.

These kayaks, similar to sit-in kayaks, do well in calm waters. But again, these type kayaks can struggle greatly in maneuvering rough waters.


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Whitewater Kayaks

man paddling in a whitewater kayak

If you have rough water adventure in your sights, a whitewater kayak may be what you’re looking for!

While the first two kayaks we discussed excel in calm waters, whitewater kayaks fill a different niche.

These kayaks are designed for fast, rushing whitewater with rapids and they tend to be shorter in length to increase maneuverability and stability in these difficult conditions.



However, the shorter length makes distance traveling in calm waters particularly difficult. In this sense, whitewater kayaks can struggle outside of a whitewater setting, which makes this model of the kayak a one-trick pony of sorts. 


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Tandem Kayaks

woman and kid kayaking

Kayaks are traditionally sleek and made for just a single person. But, then there are tandem kayaks…

Tandem Kayaks are designed such that two people can be seated in the watercraft as opposed to just one.

Tandem crafts can be found in numerous styles, including the sit-in and sit-on-top models. However, the tandem version of these two types of kayaks is going to be heavier and more expensive.

Fitting an extra person with you in a tandem kayak comes at a price. You are giving up speed and maneuverability due to the extra weight. However, you should expect to be more stable on the water with your extra passenger.

Plus, who doesn’t love kayaking with a friend?



Portable Kayaks

man and woman riding in inflatable kayak

Portable kayaks can encompass any of the kayak types we outlined avove.

The key difference between portable kayaks and regular kayaks is that portable ones can be broken down into smaller, more manageable packages to transport.



There are two types of portables: inflatable kayaks (like the one pictured above) and collapsable kayaks.

Portable kayaks are usually more affordable and easier to transport. However, they have factors you’ll want to consider before purchasing. For example, you’ll have to inflate or assemble them once you get to the waterfront.

woman in collapsible kayak

Portable kayaks can make transportation a cinch. But, you’ll also be giving up some conveniences…

Portable kayaks also tend not to move through the water as efficiently as other types due to their design. They may also lack some of the comforts of a more standard-construction kayak.

With that being said, there is a range of portable kayaks available on the market, with some costing more but providing more features such as stability, upgraded seating, propulsion systems, etc.

Just like with most things, in the world of kayaks, in one way or another, you get what you pay for!


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Final Thoughts On The Different Kayak Types

people sitting in calm water in kayaks

At the end of the day, there are several types of kayaks to choose from depending on what you want from the boat and the specific activity you’re looking to take part in. There is truly a kayak for all styles of life, for all cars, and for all different types and speeds of water.

Consider the bodies of water you wish to explore in your kayak, as the speed of the water will help guide you towards the correct boat.

Kayaking is a great experience alone or with friends and should be a staple for any person who enjoys being on the water.

So, get on a kayak and get paddling!

man on wing foil

Water Sports Names You Need To Know (And Try!)

Whether you are an expert or just being adventurous on your vacation, water sports activities are an excellent way of enjoying your outdoors.

man in midair kitesurfing

Swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, and other water activities can have significant mind-body benefits and the calming nature of water bodies is also thought by many to improve mental health.

Swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, and other water activities can have significant mind-body benefits and the calming nature of water bodies is also thought by many to improve mental health.

Below are six water sports activities you should try:

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a common water sport that typically combines the characteristics of surfing and sailing.

wind surfing mid-air

The activity involves balancing yourself on the water while controlling the wind direction. If you haven’t tried it yet, learning to windsurf can be tons of fun. However, you should learn various techniques and maneuvers, such as jumps, tacks, jibs, and starts.

Like any other water sport, you should begin by learning various windsurfing equipment. A windsurfing kit includes a windsurfing board, rig, and windsurfing clothing.


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While professional windsurfers don’t rely on weather conditions to enjoy the waters, strong winds are essential for this sport. So, if you are a beginner, you should plan your surfing experience during summer and choose destinations with good wind.

man wind surfing

You should then learn the basics on land before heading to the sea. Due to the steep learning curve, the best and fastest way to learn is by enrolling in a windsurfing school.

You should also check wind direction and speed. Choose places with wind speeds ranging from 7 to 15 knots (1 knot = approximately 1.15 miles per hour).

Some of the best windsurfing spots worldwide include France, the Canary Islands, California, Greece, Hawaii, New Zealand, Egypt, and North Carolina.



Jet Skiing

Jet skiing is another exciting and thrilling way to get into the waters. This high-speed water sport is great for developing balance, coordination skills, and leg muscles.

man on jet ski

Jet skiing is a popular water sport that most people easily pick up and also can be an adrenaline rush as you speed across the water.

Besides being a thrilling sport, jet skiing has several health and fitness benefits, which include:

  • Improves blood circulation – Balancing and coordinating the ski requires you to stabilize your muscles and have a firm grip on the equipment. This increases blood circulation, ensuring oxygen and essential nutrients reach all parts.
  • Burns calories – Outdoor adventures, like hiking and most watersports, are an excellent way of burning calories. Jet skiing is not only fun but also an excellent way of burning 400 calories in an hour.
  •  Strengthens muscles – Skiing regularly helps build body muscles. Balancing jet skiing, especially during strong waves, helps develop abdominal muscles.
  • Reduces stress – Recreational watersports, such as jet skiing, help many people forget their daily stress, which may help improve mental health.

Unlike camping and other outdoor adventures, the best way to get started on jet skiing is by completing a training course. Even if you’ve tried before, a jet ski course equips you with the necessary skills to ride safely. Most launch sites currently demand a certificate for anyone to be allowed into the water.


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Wing Foiling

Wing foiling is probably the hottest and most fascinating water sport of recent times.

wing foiling

Since its introduction, more windsurfers and kiters have ditched their favorite water sport for winging for various reasons.

The feeling of drifting over water using wind is incredible and addictive. Wing foiling (or, “winging”) basically involves using foil wings to catch some breeze while standing on a waterboard with an attached hydrofoil.

For starters, wing foiling requires less equipment and is easier to learn. The entire setup is also travel-friendly.

man wing foiling

Unlike kitesurfing kites, harnesses, cords, and windsurfing boards, you only need a wing and foil to start winging.

You can easily bag and check in your equipment when traveling. Wings and foils are compact enough and can fit your booked apartment or rental car without necessarily installing roof racks.

While this sounds simple and straightforward, there’s a learning curve involved. For instance, managing the wing can prove challenging for beginners. You should also master how to balance the rising foil.




Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing is another excellent watersport for any active person. Like other watersports mentioned above, nobody is too young or old to try out kitesurfing.

person kitesurfing

Kiteboarding is practiced on nearly every shore because of the simple equipment requirements. All you need to get started is water, wind, a board, and a kite.

If you are new to the sport, you should consider taking some training classes.


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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

There’s a lot of confusion between scuba diving and snorkeling. So, let’s clarify the differences…

man scuba diving

Scuba diving is a common water sport that can be done in shallow and deep water and is basically underwater diving, where participants dive using self-contained breathing equipment that doesn’t depend on surface air supply. This enables divers to stay underwater longer.

On the other hand, snorkeling involves swimming at or near the surface a body of water, with your face down, while wearing a diving mask or snorkel, a breathing tube that allows divers to stay underwater for longer than if simply holding your brreath.

woman snorkeling

Snorkeling is best practiced in shallow water and allows participants to observe underwater attractions for some period without much breathing effort. You’ll definitely need some swimming lessons to participate in these sports.

Children are not recommended to try snorkeling due to potential safety hazards.



Kayaking

woman and kid kayaking

Kayaking is one of the most-loved and versatile water sports across the U.S., enjoyed by individuals of all ages.

With a simple kayak, you can enjoy the peaceful nature of calm water, and even fish, away from the hustle and bustle.

It’s also a good water sport of choice for anyone who prefers calm outdoor environments and the waters.

The only challenge is choosing a suitable kayak from the various types, including recreational, touring, and sit-on kayaks.


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Final Thoughts On The Water Sports Names You Need To Know

Water sports are an often less-explored outdoor activity that provide unmatched fun as well as health benefits.

beach water

Your outdoor water activities shouldn’t be limited to wading in the water and collecting seashells. You should take advantage of your access to the oceans, lakes and rivers by engaging in any one or more of the above listed adrenaline-pumping activities.

You should consider the activities mentioned above in your next outdoor adventure!

man floating above fish while spearfishing

Spear Gun Fishing For Beginners (And Mistakes To Avoid)

Humans have been spearfishing for a long time. In fact, spearfishing was initially a survival method to gather food.

In a cave found in southern France, there are paintings that some believe reveal how spearfishing dates back more than 16,000 years.

man standing on beach with speargun

Today, spearfishing is a sport loved and practiced by many people across the globe.

If you’re a passionate swimmer or a diver looking to take part in this sport, there are certain things you need to be familiar with first. After all, spearfishing doesn’t simply entail wearing your diving suit and carrying a spear stick with you!

Read on to learn all there is to know about the exciting sport of spearfishing, as well as mistakes to avoid. With the insights you gain, you’ll perfect your spearfishing skills in no time.

Speargun Fishing Safety Tips

man in water with speargun

You must never forget that a speargun is a dangerous weapon, and can cause serious injury or even death if not handled and operated properly.

  • Respect The Speargun

Although spearfishing is one of the most thrilling watersports, you must not forget that spearguns are dangerous weapons. Therefore, you must never play around with or point one at another individual. When you are using a speargun, always be sure that the speargun is pointed away from areas where people are present, to prevent injuries or accidental discharges.

When a speargun gets discharged, it releases a powerful recoil that could lead to a severe injury to the body or face if discharged accidentally. Even if the safety feature is on, don’t be careless and assume nothing could happen. If you are not about to fire on a fish, keep your finger off the trigger!



  • Start With The Basics

You should know the basics of operating a speargun before you go spear fishing. To do this, take a spearfishing course to equip yourself with knowledge of how to use a speargun safely, even if you’re already an experienced scuba diver or free diver.

This is crucial, because the added complexity of using a speargun, which is a deadly weapon, completely changes the dynamic of scuba diving or free diving.

After taking spearfishing lessons, you’ll be aware of the fundamentals, such as how to take a shot with spearguns, the types of water, ideal spots for spearfishing, and the fish species to hunt. With the guidance of an instructor, you’ll also have extensive and practical knowledge of spearfishing techniques.

  • Maintain Your Speargun

The speargun, like any equipment, requires routine maintenance for it to work effectively.


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Speargun Fishing Equipment Safety Checklist

Regular maintenance is necessary since shooting lines regularly results in wear and tear eventually. So, you need to maintain your speargun often. You can do this by inspecting the shooting line, taking out the shaft, and examining everything, from the shaft’s rear to the lower part of your speargun.

The following are additional steps you can take to maintain your equipment:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s specs for maintenance of your speargun.
  • Rinse it with fresh water after each dive.
  • Replace the speargun rubber at the end of each season.
  • Diassemble, inspect, and if necessary, replace parts regularly.
  • Dry the speargun properly AWAY from direct sunlight.
  • Be sure parts have no rust and be lubricated per manufacturer’s specs.

Taking these steps will make your speargun last longer and become more effective while you’re out fishing.

man on edge of boat with speargun

Every time you get in the water to go speargun fishing, you should follow some basic rules…



Speargun Safety Reminders

You should always follow some basic rules. The following are basic rules of speargun safety you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t load a speargun out of the water because spearguns require water resistance to work properly. The amount of force the bands have can shoot a spear 20 feet underwater. So, out of the water, these bands can send spears more than 200 feet. You won’t be able to control this kind of shot.
  • Avoid firing a speargun out of the water too, as it can be very dangerous.
  • As mentioned earlier, avoid aiming your speargun at anything you don’t intend to kill, and make sure your finger is kept away from the trigger until you’re prepared to shoot.
  • Be aware of what’s behind your target.

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Speargun Fishing Tips

  • Know before you go

It’s easy to get sensory deprived underwater. Therefore, before heading out to go speargun fishing, you should always know things like:

  1. The tide schedule
  2. Surf conditions (Including wave height and surf direction. Swell direction will tell you in which direction you will drift if you’re not paying attention.)
  3. The weather Forecast


  • Start in shallow water

Even when practicing in shallow waters, wear the right attire and gather all the necessary gear, such as wetsuits and rash guards.

Once you’re all set for practice, begin with the ‘stalking’ technique. This technique involves staying above water while hunting fish below the surface. You can either stand on the rocks or in the water, but you’ll need to act fast. Over time, you’ll get better at spearing fish.

  • Practice In Shallow Waters And Master Your Aim

If you’re still working on your spearfishing technique, refine your skills by practicing in shallow waters. This will help protect you from the dangers of underwater diving and speargun use. 

man in shallow water with speargun

It’s a good idea to start practicing with your speargun in shallower water.

In addition to practicing in shallow waters, you need to master your aim. Some have it easy—it’s just a matter of pointing and shooting. Others have their own technique, such as aiming along the side of the gun to have better control over the vertical axis. Find and use a method that you’re comfortable with.

man handling fish from speargun

Aiming for the head is a good rule of thumb. Open the safety lock of your speargun, direct your gun at your target, relax, and then pull the trigger to let go of the spear shaft in an instant. Just remember to get close enough to the fish, so you can have good aim before pulling the trigger. This will make the fish suffer less and keep you from having to puncture it again with your knife.

  • Be patient

While spear fishing, don’t chase the fish and swim with jerky movements. Swimming hastily after fish will only scare them away. Just take your time and relax, so you can get closer for a shot.



  • Keep Your Distance

Another rookie mistake is swimming too close to the ocean floor. You should go as high as your visibility allows and then aim silently at the fish. This way, pressure on the fish is lessened, and gravity helps you get a faster shot.

man with fish spearfishing

To keep from over-pressuring the fish, stay as high above the fish as you can while maintaining visibility.

Moreover, a successful shot from a downward angle can sometimes pin the fish to the bottom, until you’re ready to string it and carry it to the surface.

  • Shoot From The Proper Distance

While you shouldn’t fish too close to the ocean floor, you also shouldn’t shoot too far away either. You need to familiarize yourself with the flight distance of different kinds of fish. For instance, approaching hogfish for a great shot is a breeze. On the other hand, snappers and groupers tend to be wary, so you’ll need to take longer shots. 



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  • Understand How Your Speargun Works

Naturally, you must understand how your speargun works before diving into the water and chasing fish. Spearguns have varying shooting line paths. Variations include the roller, closed, and open muzzles.

Aside from these shooting line paths, you should research the various spearfishing weapons such as pneumatic or band spearguns, Hawaiian slings, and pole spears.

Handling a pole spear is simple, but other weapons are complicated since they involve certain steps to use them safely, like rigging and aiming.



Final Thoughts on Spearfishing

Spearfishing can be an incredibly enjoyable outdoor activity. Just be sure to master the basics and familiarize yourself with general spearfishing mistakes.

We hope you put a hole N1!