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The Best Ocean Kayak

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Buyer's Guide

Considerations For Choosing the Best Ocean Kayaks

If you're interested in the sport of kayaking, there's a good chance that you may have considered buying an Ocean Kayak. While river kayaks tend to be more popular for beginners, there are a number of benefits to owning one of these smaller vessels. Ocean kayakers can enjoy smoother water due to their larger wakes, larger hulls, and more maneuverability. However, they tend to cost a little bit more money as well. Is an Ocean Kayak the right boat choice for you?

One of the main features that an Ocean Kayak must have in order to provide you with the most stability is hull design. Most of these kayaks have a long hull, which allows them to deal with choppy ocean waves. However, there are some models that feature a short hull, for added stability. The length of the kayak also determines how stable it is in strong currents. If you live along the coast, or in areas where strong ocean currents are a common feature, you'll want to make sure that your choice of a kayak can deal with the potential for large waves.

If you live on the Pacific coast, or other areas of the world where tidal range has an effect on weather patterns, you'll also want to consider hull design. In the same vein as the length of the vessel, the width of an ocean kayak affects its stability in the water. The wider the kayak is, the better able it will be to deal with changing ocean use. For example, the widest boats are often used for out-of-water recreational kayaking; wide hulls give you the ability to cover a lot of space, which is helpful if you plan to fish, kayak, or just hang out on the ocean.

Another characteristic to take into consideration when choosing an ocean kayak is safety. Most sea kayaks have either outriggers or fins to assist you in remaining safe in the event of a paddle flip. Paddle flops happen. No matter how experienced a kayaker you may be, a paddle flip can happen. Sea kayaks with inboard mounted floats are especially designed to help minimize the risk of an inboard flip.

Ocean kayaks come in several varieties, including the flat, bow swept, or ski style. Each style has its own set of benefits, depending upon style and comfort. The flat ocean kayaks tend to have shorter length. These kayaks also tend to have a smaller cockpit, often no more than five feet from the kayak bottom. The ski style tends to be a little larger, with a cockpit of approximately twelve to sixteen feet.

There are some other considerations to keep in mind when choosing an ocean kayak. In terms of gear selection, sit-on-top kayak style tend to have the least amount of gear options compared to other styles. This is because it doesn't have as much structure in terms of paddle attachment points and the type of paddle itself. Some sit-on top kayaks may have gear pockets, however they will usually be limited to what can be stored in these pockets. Some of these models have external gear storage compartments, however these tend to be cramped and there is no way to store very long items in them.

Some types of ocean kayaking may include rudders which allow for longer excursions in rough waters. These paddles are great for longer distance travel in rough waters where a traditional paddle might not be seaworthy. Rudders allow for longer range in whitewater than traditional paddleboards and for longer trips in rough waters. If you want to enjoy your whitewater experience to the fullest, a ruddered racking Ocean Kayak is a great choice for you.

One final consideration for choosing the best ocean kayaks for your trip is how well they perform in the currents. If you plan on kayaking across wide open waters with large wakes and fast currents, your best option is a kayak with a rudder system. This makes it easier to maneuver your craft through the currents and make it more enjoyable in the process. A good rudder system will also allow you better control over the direction in which you move in the currents. Consider the maneuverability of each model you consider and the total amount of time you expect to spend in the water.