Our guide to finding the best stand up kayak for you
When looking for the best standing kayak for your needs there are many possible choices. First you must consider what you want your kayak to do. Do you need an agile craft that can maneuver quickly in reeds or rocks or do you need a safe and stable craft you can share with your family? Do you want a traditional wide kayak for fishing or something that can be collapsed to fit into the trunk of your car? Today there are kayaks that can fill nearly every need for the water enthusiast.
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak
Our favorite for 2020
Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Stand-Up-Sit-On-Top Paddleboard
A great value option
Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak
A great kayak
So called sit on top kayaks are one of the more popular kinds of wide kayaks. These are crafted with hard shells and molded depressions that are perfect for a comfortable seat for paddling and fishing. They have wider hulls than traditional kayaks which makes them perfect platforms for fishermen and divers. These are larger craft that can carry up to three people with ease. Another popular type of wide kayaks are fishing kayaks. Fishing kayaks feature built-in fishing niceties like rod holders and tackle keepers. Sea kayaks are another type of kayak. These are well-built longer craft that are able to withstand sea waves, but can be used any place a kayak could be used.
Another basic consideration is the shape of the hull. Different hulls give different handling experiences. If you are looking for a stable craft, a flat hull offers the most stability in calm waters. It is also the slowest to paddle. A rounded hull is both stable and easier to paddle. These hulls are found on most day trip type kayaks. The last type of hull is the V-shaped hull. These hulls are the least stable and mostly found on long distance kayaks.
The Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid Stand-Up-Sit-On-Top Paddleboard – This is a true hybrid wide kayak. The rider is able to use it comfortably as either a standing kayak or as a traditional sit and paddle craft. It is eleven feet long with a wave piercing or displacement style bow. The hull itself is broad and flat with a stable tri-fin rear design element. The foot well design is padded for comfort and is flat-bottomed and designed to be secure while standing or seated. There are easy carry handles at bow, stern, and sides. This craft sells for around 500 dollars online. This kayak would be perfect for the recreational user looking for versatility and stability.
The Ocean Kayak 11-Feet Nalu Hybrid Stand-Up-Sit-On-Top Paddle board – Bright yellow and perfect for anyone just beginning to paddle board, this wide kayak offers a stable platform for smooth riding. Its hard plastic shell can resist those thumps on a rocky shore that would end a fiberglass craft. The Nalu is light and easy to transport. It may be one of the best standing kayaks in its price range of around 600 dollars. When used as a kayak it rides smoothly and securely. When used to paddle board it performs as well as single use fiberglass boards. All in all, it is a great choice for anyone into both sports.
The Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak – A fisherman’s dream, this sit on top wide kayak can seat three adults and gear for the perfect fishing outing. This is a very wide kayak and extremely stable in the water. It is able to remain stable while its riders stand to cast or sit astride it. The short length gives it instant turning ability and improves its comfortable ride. The design includes three pole holders, a cup holder, and plenty of foot space to pull in a whopper of a fish. It sells online for 530 dollars and would make any fisherman happy.
The Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II Angler Kayak – Sit-On-Top – At almost three feet wide and a little over twelve feet long, the Prowler Big Game II is a hefty standing kayak. This big craft can hold up to 600 pounds of rider and gear in comfort. Bigger riders will find themselves secure in its molded seats. It features secure pole clamps, a cup holder, and ample gear stashing space. An adjustable track foot brace rounds out this great fishing kayak. It comes in stealthy camouflage shades and prices at 1,300 dollars online.
The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak – A true top of the line craft, the Mirage Pro Angler from Hobie is like few other standing kayaks on the market. Riders will enjoy the MirageDrive with Glide Technology and Vantage seating system. The MirageDrive gives the rider the use of his hands by powering the pedals with his legs. The Vantage seat is more comfortable and more adjustable than most other seating systems on the market. The hull itself is designed to track smoothly while remaining stable under a load of 600 pounds of gear and man. At an online price of 3,300 dollars, this is a craft for the fisherman who values the finest experience money can offer.
Buyers guide – how to choose the best boat for stand up kayak fishing
There are so many things to keep in mind when selecting your new wide kayak. Cost, the features available, and materials are just a few of things to keep in mind. Soon enough, you will be out on the water enjoying your new kayak.
For many people, cost is the first consideration. Not everyone will want to spend a grand or three on a kayak. But going too inexpensive may cost more in shoddy construction or ruined vacations over time. Try to pick a comfortable budget and stay within it.
Narrow down which features you must have and which ones you don’t need. If you wish to take a lot of gear you will need more storage space than if you pack light. Those who want a family craft will need seating that a single person kayak will include. Extras such as pole clamps and fish finder mounts are nice, but be sure to weigh the costs of each.
Standing kayaks come in many materials and designs. Hard plastics are light yet tough. Fiberglass hulls are smooth and fast. Inflatable kayaks are light and easy to transport. Try to find a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of each material while keeping in mind how you will use, store, and transport your new kayak.