Comparing sit in kayaks and sit on top kayaks

Published September 12, 2016

sit-inside-vs-sit-on-topKayaks come in different types of shapes and designs and it is upon the kayaker to choose the type of kayak that he or she wants to use. The main thing that determines what type of kayak that one is going to use is the activity that the kayaker is going to engage in. There are various types of kayaking activities, these include; sea touring, kayak racing, white water kayaking, kayak fishing, show boating and leisure kayaking. All these kayaking activities call for different types of kayaks.

There are two major kayak designs that differentiate the types of kayaks – these are the sit in kayaks and the sit on top kayaks.

Sit in kayaks are the most ancient types of kayaks. This is because this is the design that was used by the ancient Inuit communities to make the first kayaks. The Inuit designed a kayak that had a covered deck that only had a small opening which was the pilot’s cock pit. The cock pit was designed such that the pilot sat in the deck with only his head and upper torso being exposed atop the kayak. The legs and lower body were all recessed in the hollow of the kayak.

The sit in kayak did not allow any water into the hollow of the kayak. The kayaks had a water tight skirt that was secured to the kayak which the pilot would tightly fasten to his body.

The sit in kayak is a very maneuverable kayak since, due to the snug positioning of the pilot’s body, he can use his legs and body to steer the craft to whichever side. An experienced kayaker can even roll the kayak to a capsized position and back to its upright position again. Kayak rolling was important for the Inuit kayakers who used it as a self-recue maneuver when their vessels capsized.

Since sit in kayaks are easy to steer and the pilot is more secure in the kayak. The sit in kayak is suitable for use in rough waters such as in white water kayaking.

Sit on top kayaks is a kayak model that was designed much later. The major difference that is seen in sit on top kayaks is the fact that the pilot has his whole body exposed on top of the kayak. The sit on top kayak does not have a covered hollow hull deck as in the sit in kayak.

The design of the sit on top kayak is ideal for recreational users who prefer having a kayak on which they have more freedom for turning to whichever side. Sit on top kayaks are also much easier to embark on and to disembark from.

Sit on top kayaks provide the paddler with an opportunity to enjoy the weather better and one has a closer bond with the water. These kayaks are also better in terms of providing more storage space. One can even have an extra person atop a sit on top kayak whereas it is impossible in a sit in kayak designed for one pilot.

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