If you love to be out on the open water but don't necessarily want to fish off the side of a boat, a kayak can be a good choice. A kayak is easier to transport than a boat, as you can often put one on a vehicle roof rack rather than having to invest in a boat trailer, and they are easy to operate even in smaller rivers and canals. When you're ready to shop for a kayak, note a few tips for choosing the right size and model.

Recreational versus touring kayaks

Touring kayaks are usually thinner and longer than recreational kayaks and may provide more control in rough waters. They will also typically have more storage space, as they're often chosen for day-long rides. The cockpit will also have a cover, to keep you more comfortable while on the water all day, although some people may find the cover to be confining.

A recreational kayak won't offer as much control in rough waters, so it's better for calm, open lakes and other such attractions. It also won't have as much storage space, and may be harder to keep on a straight course. However, recreational kayaks are usually cheaper than touring kayaks, so if you're just an occasional kayaker and rarely hit rough waters, this model may be sufficient for you.

Sit-on kayaks

A sit-on kayak won't have a cockpit but will have an open floor that some might find easier to get into, and out of, when on the water. The hull is also typically wider than other models so it's usually more stable in the water, but it won't offer much speed. You may also need to work harder to turn a sit-on kayak because of its wide hull. However, the sit-on design is also a good choice for those who are nervous about sitting so low in a cockpit, a common problem with beginner kayakers.

Inflatable and foldable kayaks

If you're looking for a very lightweight option, inflatable and foldable kayaks can be a good choice. Inflatable kayaks are just as the name implies; you literally fill the hull with air when you're ready to use it. When deflated, an inflatable kayak may fit into a duffle bag-sized container, so it's easy to transport.

Foldable kayaks have hinges in the body so you can fold them up and better fit them into the trunk of a car or back of an SUV. They have a strong fibreglass body, but note that both inflatable and foldable kayaks may not handle so well in rough waters, so choose them only if you intend to kayak in calm and open waters.

Look at kayak options at a store like Wetspot Water Sports to determine which type will suit your water needs.