Taking a boat out onto the sea is a fantastic experience in itself. Taking a kayak out onto the sea, however, is even better. It allows you to be truly at one with nature. In a sea kayak, you are just on top of the water and no more. The height and positioning of the boat allow you to feel truly enveloped in your surroundings of the ocean.
As well as getting out and enjoying new scenery and experiences, a sea kayak offers you a very cost0effective, fun, and easy way of getting to places close to home that you might never have been able to or thought you would ever be able to access before.
If you are considering buying a sea kayak, there is a lot of information that you must know if you’re going to make a good and informed decision. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with information on what you should look for in a sea kayak, how they can be useful, as well as some general information and advice on taking a kayak out onto the open water. We’ll also provide a number of reviews on the sea kayaks that we think are the best available.
What Should You Consider If You Are New To Sea Kayaking?
Something that a lot of people forget to consider when purchasing a kayak for the sea is the differences in the types of water that you and your boat could be faced with. For example, some areas of the sea can be completely calm, and some can be completely the opposite.
It’s important to consider the places that you will be taking your sea kayak to for the majority of the time – if you’re going to be paddling on choppy water all of the time, it would be completely unsuitable to buy a boat that’s designed for calmer waters or that is not rated for choppier water.
Calm Water vs Rough Water Kayak
Kayaks that are designed for calmer water compared to those that are designed for rougher water vary considerably in shape and size. Some are longer, shorter, wider or slimmer – the dimensions of a kayak affect greatly the types of water that it’s able to perform well on.
Kayaks that are designed primarily for use on calmer waters tend to have a rounder front and a wide cockpit. These curved short dimensions make their handling very good on calmer waters, but more difficult to keep under control on choppy waters. This is due to the fact that they aren’t as stable or as resistant to waves as those that are designed for choppy waters. Kayaks of this design are best suited to calm seawater areas, such as coastlines, bays, and inland sea waters.
Kayaks that are designed to be used on rougher waters have quite a different design to those that are designed for calmer waters. They tend yo have a hull that is shaped like a V. A V-shaped hull makes a kayak far more effective at moving through waves since they are more streamlined – those with wide hulls would instead be smacked by the wave head-on, and most likely have their stability and direction adversely affected. Kayaks that are designed for choppier waters also have smaller cockpits that are sit-inside as opposed to sit on top. A smaller cockpit means that there is less space for water to come into the boat from waves, and result in flooding.
What Should You Look For In A Sea Kayak?
The Correct Design – when looking for a sea kayak, finding one that has the appropriate design that will cater to your uses for the boat is so important. If you’re planning on using your boat on rougher waters, purchasing one with a round hull and large cockpit is not suitable. The boat would be extremely unstable, and it’s likely that you’ll get very wet. Whilst a boat with a wide hull and large cockpit is great for handling on calm waters, it’s not a suitable design for rougher waters.
If you know that you’re going to be taking your kayak out onto choppy water, look for one that’s appropriately designed. A V-shaped hull and smaller cockpit are two good starting points for this type of design.
One That’s Comfortable – it’s said by so many people, but it is certainly so true – comfort is key. If you buy a sea kayak that you struggle to use for more than an hour because it’s extremely uncomfortable, you’re going to have wasted not only a lot of your money but a lot of opportunities that you would have had in a more comfortable boat. Look for a kayak that has a cockpit that you can fit into comfortably. Whilst it is in the nature of sea kayaks to have a smaller cockpit, make sure that it doesn’t affect how you move your upper body in any way.
Weight/Portability – Due to the design of sea kayaks, they can often be quite heavy and bulky. Whilst some models may not be all that difficult for one person to move around, some certainly are. You should make sure that you have both the appropriate facilities and manpower to move around the kayak that you’re looking at before you buy it. Always check how heavy the boat is when out of the water before buying.
What The Boat’s Made Of – Sea kayaks come in a fairly wide variety of material types. Some are made of strong plastic such as polyethylene, whilst other more high-end models are constructed from composite materials such as carbon fiber or fiberglass. Each material type has its own advantages and disadvantage. Composite kayaks are the most expensive type and are lightweight and very rigid indeed. They are high-performing=. However, they are often more fragile due to their lightweight design. In the event that you damaged a composite kayak, you would find yourself receiving a very large repair bill.
Plastic kayaks, on the other hand, aren’t quite as high-performing. They do tend to be heavier, but with this comes more durability and reduced costs.
Skeg/Rudder – Making sure that your boat has a skeg or rudder is important if you are planning on traveling into rougher waters. A skeg can help to keep your kayak moving in a straight line when in high wind – due to the very shape of a kayak, it is natural for it to move with the wind. A skeg/rudder will allow your boat to travel in a straight line, improving its tracking considerably.
The Best Sea Kayaks
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 – The Best Sea Kayak For Fishing
The Sea Ghost from Vibe Kayaks is a very flexible boat indeed – not in the literal sense of course! It’s versatile in that whilst being a very stable and well-balanced design for use at sea, it’s also great for getting up to a good speed and touring around on.
The Sea Ghost 130 is a fantastic boat for fishing, too. It is extremely easy to modify the top of the boat, in that it can be easily hanged around to suit exactly the way that you would like. Whether you’re fishing or simply cruising around, the Sea Ghost 130 will allow you to do so in comfort and with plenty of space.
What are some of the main advantages of the Sea Ghost 130? Well, it’s first of all one of the best in class in terms of stability. The boat has been designed to be extremely stable on a variety of water types, and certainly is. You can either stand up or sit down on the boat. There’s also a non-slip deck that is can be particularly useful for fishing should you want to stand to cast or reel in your next catch.
- Length: 13 feet
- Width: 33 inches
- Load Capacity: 550 lbs
- Very good steering and tracking – with the controllable rudder, the 130 is easy to steer around in the water and has very good tracking
- Comfortable – the seat in the 130 is of a very high standard indeed. It’s adjustable and is also fitted with vents to keep you cool on those warmer days out on the water. As well as the seat being adjustable, the footrests are also adjustable meaning you can easily get into the best position possible.
- Great for Fishing – the Sea Ghost 130 is thoroughly kitted out for the ultimate day of fishing. It’s got two-rod holders, as well as a mount that can be used for whatever you’d like. There’s also rests for your paddles on the boat to make sure that you always have somewhere to put them whilst fishing
- Lots of storage space – there’s storage both on top of and inside the 130
If you’re interested in finding out more detailed information on the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130, be sure to check out our full review of it right here!
Ocean Kayak Frenzy – One-Person Sit On Top Sea Kayak
The Frenzy from Ocean Kayak makes for a great little boat if you’re in the market for something that you can use leisurely on your own. Whilst not a tandem kayak at 9 feet long, the Frenzy still has a very respectable amount of space onboard for storing your things.
The Frenzy weighs a tiny 43 pounds. For a hard shell kayak, this is extremely lightweight indeed – even lighter, in fact, than some inflatable models that are on the market! In addition to the generous amount of storage space, the boat can carry a load of up to 325 pounds. There’ll be no weight concern with one person and a decent amount of luggage on this little boat.
This 9-foot kayak is very stable indeed. Making use of Ocean Kayak’s “Tri-Form” hull, it’s very stable on flat water indeed. Whilst this boat isn’t designed to tackle very rough waters, it will handle just fine some choppier areas.
Of course, as is the case with all of its products, Ocean Kayak has fitted this boat with a comfortable and four-way adjustable seat. It’s easy to paddle for a good length of time aboard this boat without getting tired of the seat.
- Length: 9 feet
- Width: 31 inches
- Load Capacity: 325 lbs
- Tri-Form Hull – ocean Kayak has installed a tri-form hull into this boat. This makes it very stable and gives the boat extremely good tracking
- A good amount of storage – the Frenzy has both wet and dry storage available. There’s a small covered area for storing smaller items and those that you want to keep dry, as well as spaces towards the front and back of the boat that are secured by bungees.
- Comfortable, fully-adjustable seat
- Comes complete with a lifetime warranty for the hull
We’ve got a more detailed review on the Ocean Kayak Frenzy right here too if you’re interested!
Perception Pescador Pro 10 – Sit On Top Sea and Fishing Kayak
The Perception Pescador Pro 10 is another sea kayak that’s great for fishing. Whilst being well kitted-out for angling, the Pescador Pro doesn’t need to be used solely by anglers. It’s a very comfortable and high-quality kayak for anyone to use.
The seat on the boat is comfortable and can be adjusted to the height that you find most comfortable for paddling. It’s also made of a mesh material, meaning it’s very breathable and that you shouldn’t get too warm.
The Pescador Pro 10 is also made from only one piece of polyethylene, making it very strong indeed. Those kayaks that are made from multiple pieces of plastic aren’t as strong as those that are made from one.
There’s plenty of space for storing your things on board this boat too, having storage areas towards the front and back of the boat. In addition to this, the Pescador Pro 10 is fitted with a skid plate. The skid plate is a replaceable piece of material that’s fitted onto the bottom of the boat to prevent the actual body of your boat from taking too much damage.
- Length: 10 feet
- Width: 32 inches
- Load Capacity: 325 lbs
- Comfortable – height-adjustable mesh seat that’s great for breathability
- Loads of storage space – there’s storage at the front and rear of the Pescador Pro 10
- Mounting space for additional fishing accessories
Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 – Inflatable Tandem Sea Kayak
The Lagoon 2 is an inflatable tandem kayak from Advanced Elements. Something that some inflatable kayaks can suffer from is lack of rigidity – this is certainly not a problem on the Lagoon 2. The Lagoon 2 is a very tough boat, that behaves more closely to a hard shell kayak as opposed to a soft shell kayak, once in the water.
Even though the Lagoon 2 is inflatable and weighs in at only 37 pounds, being very strong and well-built it’s able to handle up to 350 pounds of weight on top of it once in the water. It’s 12 feet long and comes with a warranty period of one year.
This Advanced Elements bat comes with a skeg too, making it great at moving through the choppier waters on the sea whilst maintaining good tracking.
- Length: 12 feet
- Width: 34 inches
- Load Capacity: 350 lbs
- Lightweight at just 37 pounds
- Highly Durable – the fear of deflation should not be in your head whilst out on the Lagoon 2. It’s made of high-grade tarpaulin and plastic, making sure that punctures are as unlikely as they can be
- Time-Efficient – the Lagoon 2 is very quick to inflate and deflate. It’s fitted with locking valves that make deflation very easy.
- Comfortable – the seats within the boat are well-padded and very comfortable indeed.
Whilst you’ve been looking through our guide, you’ll probably have seen that we’ve mentioned quite a number of sea fishing kayaks. This is simply due to the fact that a lot of kayaks that are designed for use on the sea are also optimized for fishing. It certainly doesn’t mean that they are any less suitable if you’re not planning on doing any fishing.
Hopefully, you’ve now got a better idea of what exactly a sea kayak is, as well as what you should look for in one before buying. Let’s take a final and very brief look at the best sea kayaks that we’ve mentioned.
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 – The Sea Ghost from Vibe Kayaks is a fantastic sea kayak for fishing. It’s very well kitted-out with everything that you need for fishing. It’s got ample storage, as well as rod and paddle rests to make your fishing experience as relaxing and as comfortable as possible.
Ocean Kayak Frenzy – The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a fantastic compact and lightweight kayak. If you’re in the market for a boat that’s hard-shell, whilst not being quite as difficult to move around like the others, it’s a great option.
Perception Pescador Pro 10 – The Pescador Pro 10 is one of our favorite sea kayaks, and for many reasons. The Pro 1- is a very comfortable place to be with its mesh seat and ample legroom. The build quality is very high and is sure to keep in good condition and last you for a good amount of time. The skid plate on the bottom of the boat aids durability massively.
Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 – The Lagoon 2 is a tandem sea kayak. It’s extremely lightweight at only 37 pounds and is very rigid considering it’s an inflatable kayak too. It’s very easy to set up and get onto the water quickly with.