Best Kayak Length

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)

mostly inland waterways
99% of what I do/would be doing is on lakes.

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.

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.

camping or long day trips

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.


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!