Best Kayak Length

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

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.

if serious, something to read

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.

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. :wink:

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’.


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!

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.


18’ 3"

a kayak that inclues a piece of pi

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.

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. =]