Best kayak for ocean

what type of kayaks are best for ocean, because summer are about to start and im bout to buy a kayak but no idea which kayak will be suitable for ocean.

A sea kayak. Because ocean and sea are the same…

If sit inside - At least two bulkheads, at or near 16 ft long, thigh braces, and a small enough cockpit for a good skirt, backband not high seat back, skeg or rudder and full perimeter deck lines.

If SOT some of the above capacity but obviously not all.

Get a lesson or two including on self-rescue so you have some idea what you need. You are not ready to buy a boat right now if you are asking this.


It completely depends upon your skill level and the type of paddling you intend to do. Are you going to surf ocean swells? Are you going to play in the breakers? Do you only want to paddle for distances on calm days? Are you new? Are you experienced? All of these come into play.

Just bunches of great info here…
From just playing in the surf
to circumnavigation
to hunting seal and caribou…


Oceans are all not made the same. There are differences in waves, winds, how far out you are from shore, etc.

Here is information based on the American Canoe Association level system which breaks out conditions versus type of boat.

In end, you would be looking at a sit on top kayak or a sea kayak.

Keep in mind that this assumes a person has skills and experience to match the gear and conditions. Especially a sea kayak you’d want to at the very least take a class on self rescues. Maye also a class on how to deal with the surf zone, if you do plan to launch and land on an unprotected beach.


Oh, there is an article in California Kayaker Magazine that talks about the different types of kayaks that might be worth reading. Issue #10 at California Kayaker Magazine - South West's source for paddlesports information.

“Ocean Kayak” is a brand name not a kayak for Ocean paddling. However some are used for near shore fishing in the ocean.

OK, I was being a bit whatever. But I am totally serious about getting wet in a class that has you dumping out of a boat and having to get back in - like you would have to do if you capsized out on the ocean. There is nothing short of actual experience that prepares you for what is involved, and what boat features most matter, for that. It is why even very experienced kayakers go out and do this drill each season.

As mentioned above, this site has excellent resources in the Learning section that can save you a lot of time.

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I think Dave made good points in his post. What do you want to do with it? I’ve had a ball playing in the surf with a whitewater playboat, and I’ve also paddled for miles in the open ocean. Definitely two very different boats!

I’m a fan of surfskis for the ocean. Look into some of the wider, more stable versions. The open deck will give you some confidence for reentry if you fall out.

The OP’s post implies significant inexperience, so rather than suggesting possible kayaks I would strongly suggest taking classes which would certainly include self and assisted rescues. The instructors could then suggest potential kayaks and the OP could then have at least some basis for selection.


It’s almost as if the answer to the OP’s question is “if you have to ask, you’re not ready yet to be out on the ocean”.


@shrenz Chime in with your goals/experience/dedication in light of the questions asked so far. Or else there is no more relevant advise to dispense without more specifics

I’ve been kayaking (CD Solstice GTS) on my good sized kettle pond for five years and I am absolutely not ready to be out on the ocean.

For paddling in general a good basic kayaking course that covers safety, rescues, dangers of cold water, and paddling technique.

In addition, for paddling in the ocean, a helmet and a course in surf landings and launching. Always a spare paddle (a good idea to always have anyway). A well fitting spray skirt if the boat is designed to accommodate one. For most sit in kayaks, a spray skirt is an essential component, not an optional accessory. Be aware of the dangers of offshore winds.

For the boat, a SOT with integral floatation, usually a sealed hull, or a standard sea kayak with sealed fore and aft bulkheads and perimeter lines. I would recommend 16 feet or longer. Exceptions can be made for shorter play boats designed for surf.

For sit in kayaks especially, surf training is essential to reduce the chance of back and neck injuries and a good roll can be important.

With ocean paddling, just because you might be launching from a protected area, don’t feel as if you can skip surf training, because you never know how a day may turn out.

Many boats can be used for ocean paddling. Education, training, and practice are more the critical factors.

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