Hello, Paddler!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Best Kayak Length

just wondering what most people here think is the ideal length for a one person touring Kayak


  • Options
    best to read the other related threads
    some key things to consider though are how far you hope to paddle, whether and how much you need to pack for multi-day trips and what conditions you paddle (moving water, calm lakes, rough open waters, etc.) and finally your own size (there are often scaled down version of larger boats that are ideal for those shorter than average).
  • 13 ft 6 inches
  • One other thing
    If you are paddling with other people don't get something too different to what they have.
  • Options
    seems like good advice
    I often echo the advice of getting the car rack first so you can easily rent from other than just the waterfront places. And if on a budget buying used is a way better idea than buying cheap new.
  • Options
    Parameters, Constraints, Boundaries
    Same questions applies to bikes concerning :
    - panniers
    - jumping ramps
    - velodrome

    Going to need some guidelines to frame the
    kayak question to understand the basic
    where, what, why, who and how.
  • well, second choice
    The Pamlico comes in both a 13' 6" and 14' 6" model, and both are just awesome for any use, whether as a single or a double.
  • Under 16 feet.
    Our kayak shed is 16 feet long. ;-)
  • Options
    The OP's question can't be answered *well* without more info.

    Though I suspect many ppl's default answer will always be 'seventeen feet'.

  • Options
    yeah, I discovered that
    I was kayaking in my nine foot, and friends had fourteeners. It wore me out trying to keep up.
    As I mentioned, I am looking for a touring kayak. something relatively lightweight, but has decent storage capabilities. Hoping for something in the twelve foot range.
  • in general, shorter kayaks
    -- Last Updated: Sep-05-12 6:14 PM EST --

    don't have both front and rear sealed bulkheads which is a safety feature (beyond the "dry" storage function of these compartments with hatches) -- keeps the boat floating and horizontal if swamped.
    I suppose in shallow ponds that might not matter. If you paddle with companions in 14 footers, why not that? I think a 14 can be lifted onto the roof of a car -- I guess you don't want to go so heavy that it is difficult to transport.

    What's ideal for me? I have a 14 and a 16.5; I guess neither one is ideal!

  • 14'-15'
    This is a personal choice. I don't like to store, load, or transport long or heavy kayaks. It also depends on the conditions, whether flat or rough.

    The minimum would be 12' with two hatches. Most people would consider that too short for touring, but I know of at least one or two twelve footers that would work for touring. Example: Delta 12.10 (Okay, that's more than twelve feet.)

    14'-15' is a nice middle ground. 14' is certainly sufficient.

    How much you can store in the hatches is a function of the length, but may depend even more on the depth of the kayak, especially at the ends.
  • 15.314159'
  • Options
    a kayak that inclues a piece of pi
  • Options
    kayak length
    Some of that depends on the seas/conditions you paddle, your size/weight, etc.

    In general, I find 14' a little short other than for training and day trips. I prefer about 16', high profile for more seas.

    24" width is standard for beginners/intermediates; 22" is faster of course.

    The more I am doing lakes/slow rivers I go a little shorter........14' to 15'.

  • Try a Conduit 13.
    From Dick's. Do some research. I have found it to be the best kayak for me. It may not be the best kayak out there, but for the price it can't be beat.
  • Options
    Question on the Conduit 13...
    -- Last Updated: Sep-06-12 4:48 PM EST --

    I could see this being a good 'second boat/loaner boat' for me when I have non-kayaking friends come along and paddle with me.

    How's the paddling position on the Conduit? From the pics, it looks like the deck is raised considerably near the front of the cockpit, so that you might be able to paddle with a bit of a 'knees high and close together' position (i.e. somewhat of a 'surf-ski-like' position).

    If true, that would be great. I think subjecting ppl to the 'frog-legged/yoga' splayed-out position is tough on newbies' backs (a la boats such as the Tsunami).

    If not true, oh well. The Conduit's still the most inexpensive front & rear bulkhead boat out there. =]

  • 17-19ft
    17 to 19ft and no wider than 22.5".

    With these dimensions, you get storage capacity and speed.

    If you plan on doing no touring and just playing around I'd say 15 to 16ft is a good length.
  • Longer than it is wide.
  • Curves are nice
  • Gotta love that
    Kajaksport Artissan Millenium, don'tcha? I know that I DO!!
  • For me it's 19'-2"
    When I first got into kayaking, I could never have imagined me having such a boat, but now I can't imagine ever being without it. NC Expedition.
  • two thumbs up! (nm)
  • Options
    mostly inland waterways
    99% of what I do/would be doing is on lakes.
  • Options
    Ideal for what?
    You said Touring Kayak, but you didn't really say what you want from the kayak. Do you want to cover a lot of distance? Camp from it? Fish from it? Take photos from it? Race it? Take it out on open seas?

    "Best" needs a qualifier of some sort.
  • The Great Lakes?
    The Great Lakes, where i do 99% of my kayaking have sunk a lot of big ships and can be just as challenging as the ocean ( minus tides and dangerous sea creatures).

    Most kayaks 17ft+ can handle just about everything except narrow waterways and hard core white water.
  • Oh, yes!
    It has a pretty large cockpit, and the (I don't know if they are knee or thigh) pads extend down into the inside so that if you want they can be used as thigh braces, but if you get cramped, you can bring you knees up.
  • Options
    Thanks, Nelson. =]

    In general, do you think it's a semi-capable boat for a little bay/gentle-ocean-conditions action? At what point would you say, "Uh, I'm not going out in that with this"?

  • I have
    no experience on the ocean or a large lake, so I shouldn't say anything, but it has very good secondary and initial stability, and I would be comfortable trying it in 1-2 foot swell. Not sure about the open ocean, but I don't think so.
  • my own preference
    Having owned 10 solo kayaks from 9' to 18' (and every length in between) I can state that the two I use and like the best (and find most versatile) are both around 15' long and 22" wide. Nice balance of speed and maneuverability in everything from rough lake and coastal waters to flat rivers and lakes and even up to mild Class II streams. I can keep up with any of my paddling buddies in longer boats and have a lot of fun on my own.
  • Options
    camping or long day trips
  • Options
    re: ideally
    Sounds like you want an expedition boat then.

    Those are generally 16 to 18 feet long, unless you're a petite female, in which case you can go likely a bit shorter (Necky Eliza, Impex Mystic, etc).

  • Correct kayak length
    corresponds to the weight one person can car load or carry to water by themself.
  • wrong question
    You should be asking yourself that question.
  • That's easy
    17 or 18 feet long unless you are a short person. then 15 or 16 feet long.

  • Length
    Somewhere between 15 and 18 feet.
  • 14 feet is the best for races
    I recently got first place in a race. I think they made a special category for me, because I was the only one to do the 20 miler in a 14 sit on top.

    I'm pretty certain most of the 20 mile competitors past me last Saturday, so if you want to win races bring a 14 foot rec boat!
  • What boat were you paddling ?
  • Options
    currently paddling an 8 footer
    but, I can't keep up with my friends who are paddling 14 footers, duh!

    I will probably end up getting something between 12 and 14 feet with a skeg.
  • Options
    ok then...
    "I will probably end up getting something between 12 and 14 feet with a skeg."

    Alrighty then, given that and your previously stated desire for more of a touring/camping boat, perhaps look at stuff like the Venture Easky 15, North Shore Aspect, Necky Manitou 14, and Perception Expression.

    Some might also add the Dagger Alchemy and P&H Delphin, and they'd probably do the trick, but they are more playboat-oriented than touring-oriented.

  • great source in Oakland
    I realize Oakland, CA, could be right next door or 500 miles from you, but if you can reasonably get there , CCK Paddlesports is having an incredible sale with dozens of new and used yaks in stock, including my favorite mid-sized kayak, the Venture Easky 15. They have some used ones under $800. Good opportunity to compare several of the models mentioned in this thread.
  • Options
    for the advice, and suggestions.
    I wish Oakland was closer, but I am near Pasadena
  • Roanguy - CD Kestrel 140 sit on top
    the Current Designs Kestrel 140 sit on top is my boat of choice for most paddles these days unless it is a long trip. For trips over two days, my Cobra Expedition hold more, but it is not as fun to paddle as it is a very straight tracking boat.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Message Boards Close

Hello, Paddler!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!