Touring Kayaks

Touring Kayaks

Touring kayaks can be divided into Touring SOT kayaks and Touring Sit in kayaks.  Both of these categories offer a lean fast hull shape for efficiency needed on longer distance paddling trips.  Many touring kayaks are also equipped with extra storage capacity for carrying meals, clothing, fishing gear or camping gear.    

Touring Sit In Kayaks

A sit-inside kayak, comfortable, sleek and efficient to paddle with enough storage for day trips or overnighters. Possibly with or without a rudder.

Generally sit-ins can be narrower than sit-ons without compromising stability because they have a lower centre of gravity.  For this reason sit-ins tend to be faster and more efficient than their sit-on counterparts.

If you prefer to stay relatively dry then perhaps a sit in is the way to go.

 

Touring Sit On Kayaks

A touring kayak with the safety and ease of use of a sit-on-top.  Ideal for fishing and long distance paddling through surf and swell.  Possibly with or without a rudder.

Because of their higher centre of gravity sit-ons tend to be wider than their sit-in counterparts, so as to retain the desired level of stability.

Sit-on-tops are easier to get in and out of, especially in deep water and most have scuppers (drain holes) so that you're not left sitting in a pool of water.  

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Touring Sit In Kayaks

OK, so we've established that you're wanting to paddle some distance (touring) and like the idea of something cosy and comfortable (sit in). 

The next question is "Do you want a double or a single?" Many people come into our shop with a dilemma: "Should we get one double or two singles?" The answer will often come down to personality. If the two of you think that you're OK being together for some time and able to agree on which way to go, when to stop etc. then a double can be a lot of fun.  If not then perhaps two singles would be more suitable.

Touring Sit In Double Kayaks

A double kayak is especially good if one of you is stronger than the other because then the stronger person can work harder than the weaker person and the weaker paddler doesn't get left behind, even if they have the occasional rest.

Remember, a double can always be paddled by one person, so if you think that you'll be wanting to take it out on your own sometimes then that's fine.  Some doubles are easier to paddle solo than others so give us a call or pop into one of our stores to discuss your options.  

Touring Sit In Single Kayaks

Two single kayaks are suggested for those couples that tend to disagree from time to time or need their independence.  A single means that you can go at your own pace and where you want to go.  Even if your partner is stronger or weaker than you, a bit of (tow) rope can come in quite handy if the one wants a workout while the other wants to rest.

Another way to balance things where one person is bigger or stronger than the other is to get two different models : A bigger, heavier model for the stronger person and a lighter, more agile model for the smaller person.  If you visit one of our stores we'll be able to advise on which would be the best combination to suit your needs.

Two singles is also the recommended option if one of you is likely to be doing a lot of paddling on your own.  Sure, any double can be paddled solo, but it will never be as suitable paddled solo as a single kayak and loading a double kayak onto your car on your own can be a challenge.  It will also come down to budget as generally a double is cheaper than two equivalent single kayaks.

Naturally if you're only looking for a kayak for yourself then the decision is simple, you'll need a single (although we do get the occasional request for one person plus their dog, or someone wanting the extra space to store excess gear for long distance expeditions)

Touring Sit In Doubles

So you want something comfortable for two people that is sleek and agile for longer distance touring.  We offer a few options in this category to suit your specific needs and budget.

 
 
Touring Sit In Singles

So you want something for one person that is efficient and agile for longer distance touring.

We have a wide spectrum of touring kayaks in this class, ranging in length and shape depending on how far and where you plan to travel. The longer and sleeker the kayak the more suited to longer distance, whereas the shorter, wider kayaks are less streamlined but very stable.  Touring kayaks may be available with a rudder or skeg.  Lets look at the rudder vs no rudder vs skeg debate....

Rudder vs No Rudder

Another common question is "Should I be getting a kayak with a rudder or without?".  The truth of the matter is (for flat water paddling) a rudder is a nice to have, not a necessity.  The only time a rudder really comes in handy is when the wind picks up or when you're paddling in strong currents or on longer trips, the rest of the time you should be able to more than adequately control the direction of your craft using correct paddle strokes. Experienced paddlers will often retract their rudders most of the time and only drop the rudders when conditions deteriorate, so as not to develop a lazy paddling style (plus the rudder will add some additional unnecessary drag).

We have, on a few occasions, had customers come back and state that a particular craft that they have bought (with no rudder) does not "go straight".  All kayaks will naturally move from side to side with each paddle stroke, although a well-defined keel will reduce this two-and-froing.  Usually after a quick in-store demonstration that same person will find that they can paddle the same kayak dead straight.  Don't be too quick to blame the craft as it's usually the paddler that needs "fixing" :)

A smaller craft is easier to control without the help of a rudder. Naturally in the sea a rudder is recommended.

A drop down skeg will actually help the kayak track straight even better than a rudder, the only thing a skeg cannot do is help you turn the kayak - but if you know how to use your paddle correctly then turning is quite easy without a rudder

 
 
Touring Sit On Kayaks

So you prefer a sit-on top, either because you want to take on the surf or perhaps you're one of those people who's afraid of being trapped in a sit-in in (this fear is not a reality but understandably some are just more cautious than others), or possibly you just like the idea of something you can just hop in and out of.

Rudder vs No Rudder

Another common question is "Should I be getting a kayak with a rudder or without?".  The truth of the matter is (for flat water paddling) a rudder is a nice to have, not a necessity.  The only time a rudder really comes in handy is when the wind picks up or when you're paddling in strong currents or on longer trips, the rest of the time you should be able to more than adequately control the direction of your craft using correct paddle strokes. Experienced paddlers will often retract their rudders most of the time and only drop the rudders when conditions deteriorate, so as not to develop a lazy paddling style (plus the rudder will add some additional unnecessary drag).

We have, on a few occasions, had customers come back and state that a particular craft that they have bought (with no rudder) does not "go straight".  Usually after a quick in-store demonstration that same person will be able to paddle the same kayak dead straight.  Don't be too quick to blame the craft as it's usually the paddler that needs fixing :)

A smaller craft is easier to control without the help of a rudder and naturally in the sea a rudder is recommended.

The next question is "Do you want a double or a single?" Many people come into our shop with a dilemma: "Should we get one double or two singles?"  The answer will often come down to personality.  If the two of you think that you're OK being together for some time and able to agree on which way to go, when to stop etc then a double can be a lot of fun.  If not then perhaps two singles would be more suitable. 

 

Touring Sit On Double Kayaks

A double kayak is especially good if one of you is stronger than the other because then the stronger person can work harder than the weaker person and the weaker paddler doesn't get left behind, even if they have the occasional rest.

Remember, a double can always be paddled by one person, so if you think that you'll be wanting to take it out on your own sometimes then that's fine.  Some doubles are easier to paddle solo than others so give us a call or pop into one of our shops to discuss your options.  

Touring Sit On Single Kayaks

Two single kayaks are suggested for those couples that tend to disagree from time to time or need their independence.  A single means that you can go at your own pace and where you want to go.  Even if your partner is stronger or weaker than you, a bit of (tow) rope can come in quite handy if the one wants a workout while the other wants to rest.

Another way to balance things where one person is bigger or stronger than the other is to get two different models : A bigger, heavier model for the stronger person and a lighter, more agile model for the smaller person.  If you visit one of our stores we'll be able to advise on which would be the best combination to suit your needs.

Two singles is also the recommended option if one of you is likely to be doing a lot of paddling on your own.  Sure, any double can be paddled solo, but it will never be as suitable paddled solo as a single kayak and loading a double kayak onto your car on your own can be a challenge. It will also come down to budget as generally a double is a cheaper option than two equivalent single kayaks.

Naturally if you're only looking for a kayak for yourself then the decision is simple, you'll need a single.

Touring Sit On Doubles

We have a few double sit-on-top touring doubles available on our floor. To get to this short list we have tried and tested a range of doubles available in the market and these few have come up tops in our opinion.           

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Touring Sit On Singles

So you're looking for something fast, efficient and safe. We have a wide range of single touring sit-on-tops and choosing the right one for you will come down to comfort, what sort of distance you plan to cover, what your storage requirements are and simply what appeals to you.  We suggest that you pop in to one of our stores and have a sit in one or more of the available kayaks before making your decision.  Quite often it'll come down to your BRAND preference and what you can afford.

We have highlighted above the key features and benefits of each kind of kayak in order to hopefully make it easier for you to compare kayaks.   If you are still not clear then we suggest that you shoot us an e-mail, give us a call or pop into one of our stores where our qualified staff will be more than happy to assist you.  

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