“Sit-on-top” kayak vs “sit inside” kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks have similar hull shapes to “regular” kayaks. Instead of sitting inside the kayak, you sit on a molded-in depression on top. They are made from fiberglass or from tough, inexpensive, rotationally molded plastic. Sit-on-top kayaks are easier to use and less expensive. There are sit-on-top kayaks designed for fishing, surfing, touring, scuba diving and more. Some of these are considered specialty boats, but most sit-on-tops are built for multi-purposes and with recreational or beginning paddlers in mind.

Sit-on-top kayaks are very comfortable. Paddlers with large body types, long legs, or limited flexibility may feel less confined paddling a sit-on-top. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to do a self-rescue. Because sit-on-tops have an open deck rather than an enclosed one, there is less risk of being trapped in the boat if it tips over. With a sit-on-top kayak there is no need to practice Eskimo rolls or wet exits. That really appeals to new paddlers, and people who don’t plan to take their kayaks out on expeditions. Sit-on-tops are fun and a great way to enjoy kayaking.