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What Is A Touring Kayak? Here is everything you need to know

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: April 22, 2020
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Kayaking is growing in popularity, with manufacturers producing different types of crafts to meet individual needs. Most of the traditional kayaks had deck covered with a seating capacity of one person. With the continued invention, many kayaks have been produced primarily classified as either sit-in or sit-on-top. In sit-in, the lower body goes inside while the seat on top has a sealed hull. These kayaks are further divided according to their purpose and one of them being touring kayaks.  

Understanding the Touring Kayaks

Touring kayaks, as the name suggests, are designed for serious paddlers who intend to ride for long distances. They are long and thinner, allowing kayakers to paddle fast in rough waters without being swamped by the waves. If you are looking for a versatile craft with ample space for cargo and easy to handle, then touring kayak is for the ideal choice. The touring kayaks are sit-in, thus preventing water from getting in as you cruise.  

Recreational Kayaks Vs. Touring Kayaks

Kayakers who are new to the sport find it challenging to differentiate between recreational and touring kayaks. There is a slight difference between the two, as touring is usually considered an upgrade of the recreational kayaks.  

Recreational kayaks are designed for beginners and those who wish to paddle on calm waters. They are 10-12 feet long, and the width measures between 27-30 inches.  The recreational kayaks are also made of cheaper polyethylene materials that make them quite affordable. They are thus heavy and challenging to maneuver, therefore not suitable for rough waters.

The touring kayaks, on the other hand, measures between 12-24 feet in length, which is longer than the recreational types. It has internal blackhead that increases storage space, unlike their counterparts. They are also fitted with skeg or rudder to make maneuverability smooth even in shaky waters.  

Advantages of Touring Kayaks

  • The sleek shape of the touring kayak with narrow beam makes it possible to ride faster in straight tracks
  • They are ideal for long journeys due to high speed with reduced physical strain
  • Ample storage space that makes it possible to carry additional gear for long journeys
  • Fewer chances of water getting in due to bulkheads and spray deck

Disadvantages of Touring Kayaks

  • Difficult to maneuver in water due to long length and narrow beam
  • Not suitable for small watercourses due to difficulty in making turns
  • Transport and storage may be a challenge due to its bulkiness in terms of length

Which kayak is ideal for you?

If you are starting and do not one to invest more, then the recreational kayaks are the best options. However, it will limit you in terms of where to use. They can only work best in calm waters, such as lakes. They have less storage space but are comfortable to cruise. Ideally, they are suitable for learning and enjoying leisure time in the water.

However, for a more robust option, the touring kayaks are the best. They are more versatile and give you the chance to ride in fast-moving waters.

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