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What Are the Different Types of Kayaks and Their Uses?

Explore the different types of kayaks and find your perfect fit, from beginner-friendly models to high-performance sea kayaks built for exploration.

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Think all kayaks are the same? Think again! There are dozens of different types of kayaks on the market today.

Kayaks come in a range of different shapes and sizes to make them suitable for a variety of water-based activities. As a result, it’s important that you understand the differences between them all. Otherwise, you might end up with the wrong kayak for your height and weight or your paddling style.

But if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the different types of kayaks out there, worry not. We’re here to help. Kayaks can be broken down into four main categories:

Flatwater Kayaks | Whitewater Kayaks | Specialty Kayaks | Portable Kayaks

Flatwater Kayaks

Our first group of kayaks are known as flatwater kayaks. However, flatwater doesn’t necessarily mean that these kayaks are only appropriate for calm conditions. Some flatwater kayaks are crafted for rough seas, while others are best for cruising around sheltered lakes and bays.

With that in mind, here are the most common flatwater kayaks you might encounter. 

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