Are you looking for a kayak but overwhelmed by all the different choices? Well you’ve come to the right place! In our continuing “101” series, ACK’s Roland Jimenez walks you through the basics of choosing the right kayak based on your specific paddling needs. He covers everything you need to know from sit inside, sit-on-top, whitewater, touring and the canoe / kayak hybrid design types.

Check out these Kayak specific to your needs!

Fishing Kayaks: //
White Water Kayaks: //
Pedal Kayaks: //
Sit Inside + Sit On Top Kayaks: //

Still have questions? Shoot us an e-mail to and we’ll be glad to help!



  1. I used to use a sit in kayak, i rolled it and i couldnt get my feet out and almost drown, it was the scariest thing in the world. thankfully my friend helped me out. sit in kayaks, especially the one at 3:15 are VERY dangerous, if you flip, good fucking luck getting out.

  2. A couple things to note:
    1. Sit inside kayaks are much more difficult to recover from if you fall out or they capsize.
    2. A sit-on-top kayak is wetter but recovery is somewhat easier if you fall out (you just kind of flop on top).
    3. A sit inside kayak may be more difficult to launch especially if you are overweight or not very flexible.
    4. Tandem sit on top kayak's are a lot of fun and less work than a single.
    If your new to kayaking, the sit-on-top makes the most sense unless you are in cold water.

  3. I'm a recreational kayaker, but I'd like to do some river situations where the water could be a bit choppy. I know I'll get wet (though I have dry-pants), and self-bailing scuppers, so what's your opinion of doing that sort of float trip on a river with a set-on-top kayak? I don't do cold weather kayaking, so hypothermia isn't as big of a possibility for me. Summers are when I tend to use my kayak, with possible some early fall, or late spring ventures. Thanks!

  4. shame you cant get proper lessons for white water kayak here in norway becouse even if we have the perfect rivers here there just arent enough ppl using white water kayaks as opposed to sea kayaks so if i want lessons i have to travel out of the country for it but i must say best way to train too lose weight ive found is kayaking ive lost 25 kilos in 3 months and youre actualy having fun doing it jogging is dead boring in comparison i recomend the dagger katana for large ppl and for multi use

  5. I am looking to get into Kayaking and really for my first Kayak, though I like the idea of dry storage areas… I really fell in love with the Canoe Kayak Hybrid and the large storage… I have a waterproof case for my camera and there are many locations that require access to a boat of sorts.. Kayaking out to them would be no problem. I have Kayaked down the spring water rivers of florida.. but would love to go out into the bay(tampa bay a bit.. I am a big guy, so the large Canoe Kayak design looks like it would be an excellent fit especially for me being new to the sport.

    Which Brands of the Canoe/Kayak Hybrids would you recommend for someone like me?

  6. The main difference is that there are real kayaks, and things that roughly look like kayaks, but aren't, and handle very differently. These pseudo-kayaks are called Sit On Tops, and are much more like paddle boards in construction and operation. Many uneducated people can't tell them apart, despite obvious differences.