Kayaking has long been a favorite sport for water enthusiasts. From a peaceful day out fishing to long term camping trips, it is clear to see why kayaking has remained so popular over the years. With seemingly endless places to explore, many kayakers are taking their rig to the sea to rough the wild rapids and explore the beautiful open ocean. A sport better left for advanced paddlers, taking on the ocean requires the skills to maneuver through changing tides and the strong currents. If you’re planning on venturing out into the deep blue, having the best ocean kayak is essential!
As kayaking is such a popular sport and maintains such high standing, the market for kayaks is heavily saturated. Due to the large selection out there, finding the best sea kayak for you can be quite the challenge! Models built specifically for the ocean will have some different features than regular kayaks. To help you on your journey, we have found the best ocean kayaks on the market so you can make an informed decision and pick the perfect kayak for you. Choosing the perfect kayak will help you to improve your kayaking skills, guaranteeing you endless hours of fun kayaking through the ocean waves.
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How To Choose An Ocean Kayak – Buying Guide
While you may think that your lake kayak can be used for ocean kayaking, this is unfortunately not always the case. Ocean kayaks need specific features which may differ from those available on your lake kayak. Below is a list of factors you should consider before purchasing an ocean kayak.
Ocean kayaks are generally longer than kayaks intended for other recreational use. These kayaks should not come any shorter than 11.5 feet in length, unless they are specifically designed for the ocean, like the ones on our list. This added length is important in keeping you more stable in the ocean water. It also makes your kayak much easier to paddle, which is a welcome feature when battling ocean currents!
Pro Tip: Make sure that you have a way to haul this longer kayak, as kayak trailers often have length restrictions.
Ocean kayaks will come in a variety of different widths for you to choose from. Generally speaking, opting for a wider sea kayak will provide better stability and is a better option for beginners. Widths around 35 inches will best suit your needs as a novice kayaker. You will want to ensure that your ocean kayak is at minimum 19.5 inches to drastically lower your chances of flipping in the ocean water.
While maneuverability is not as high concern in ocean waters, having an ocean kayak that is easy to control is incredibly important. Be sure to pay attention to past reviews of how your kayak tracks through the ocean water.
Strength & Durability
When you’re plowing through some rough ocean waves the last thing you want to worry about is that your kayak won’t hold up. Having an ocean kayak that is durable enough to handle the changing ocean conditions is very important.
Low in the water
For all ocean kayaks, you will want one with a relatively low center of gravity. This will work to provide superior stability. When paddling in the ocean water you are vulnerable not only to the currents but also to the winds. A low riding ocean kayak will ensure that you are able to get back to shore safely despite any crosswinds that may come your way. Being able to handle changing conditions when paddling through the ocean is of great importance. This will also help to keep you safe out on the ocean water.
Ocean kayaks tend to have much smaller cockpits than other kayaks. While this may seem less desirable and far more claustrophobic, there is a reason for this. If you find yourself crashing through the waves, you will want to limit the amount of ocean water spilling into your kayak. For this reason, most often the cockpit of your kayak won’t be much larger than the waist of the user.
Matches your purpose
Your kayak style will vary depending on your use. If you are planning on riding massive swells your kayak will need different features than one that will be cruising through flat ocean waters. Some people love to scuba dive or snorkel with their kayaks, so make sure you check which features your kayak has to ensure you stay safe on your dive. This will require a sit on top version rather than a sit inside as you’ll need a place for your gear. It is important to figure out your use before purchasing a kayak.
Q: How To Kayak In The Ocean
A: First and foremost you should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) no matter where you plan on kayaking. If you are planning on kayaking in the ocean you should be completely comfortable with your rig and have some experience in the ocean water. We strongly suggest you maintain a distance that allows you to swim to shore if necessary. This way if you run into trouble you are not left stranded in the middle of the ocean. You should also know the conditions before heading out. For example, if the water is below 32 Fahrenheit you could get hypothermia if you spend too long in the water, so knowing the water temperature is vital.
Being able to navigate the large swells is an essential skill you’ll need for ocean kayaking. Understanding the ocean tides and currents will also ensure you remain safe and don’t get pushed out to sea or put yourself in danger. The topography of the ocean’s floor can also play a key hazard. If you are paddling by the shore rip currents can pull your kayak far from shore and even capsize your vessel.
Q: What Is An Ocean Kayak?
A: Ocean kayaks are those that are specifically designed for use in the sea. While you may be tempted to use your recreational kayak in the sea as well, there is a very real difference. Sea kayaks are longer than your regular kayak, tend to have a lower center of gravities and have superior tracking in the ocean water. They also tend to have smaller cockpits that are designed to keep ocean water out.
Q: What Size Kayak For Ocean Fishing?
A: When looking to buy your next sea kayak you will want one that sits a minimum of 11.5 feet long. In an ideal case, having a kayak longer than 15 feet works well. You will also want your sea kayak to be a minimum of 19.5 inches in width. More commonly 35 inches will provide better stability.
Q: How To Anchor A Kayak In The Ocean
A: It may seem like a simple enough task but can be tricky if you’re not used to it. In fact, there is a special process to anchoring the best saltwater kayak. You will need an anchor, an anchor rope and a foam float to complete this. The smaller the anchor the better as you will have limited room to store it. Attach a nylon rope that is between 50-100 feet in length to your anchor. Typically the rule of thumb is to attach 7 feet of anchor line for every 1 foot of ocean water. You will then want to hook your foam float up to the other end of your anchor line. This will make it so that you can dump your anchor if needed and then later retrieve it with ease.
To start setting your anchor up, first position your kayak to where you would like to anchor. Open your anchor so the flukes are sticking out and then cast it away from your sea kayak. Let the line run until it sinks all the way to the bottom. Then pull at your rope to make sure it sets properly.
Next, you will want to tie your kayak off. To do this you can use a cleat hitch or an outrigging anchor. Attach this to either the bow or the stern of your kayak in a figure 8 pattern. Pull the cleat hitch tight in order to ensure that it is secure.
You may want to install a shuttle system on your sea kayak which will help you to decide whether to tie your anchor to the bow or stern of your kayak. This is a set of pulleys attached to opposite ends of your sea kayak that is looped on pulleys and attached to your anchor line. This allows you to effortlessly move your line between the bow and stern as you please.
It is essential you know the topography of the ocean floor if you plan on anchoring your kayak, as anchors can damage precious coral reefs. In order to ensure we protect our marine habitats, research the best place to anchor before leaving the shore.
Pro Tip: You will never want to anchor your sea kayak on the side as this can put you at a far greater risk for capsizing. Be sure to always wear a life vest when venturing out into the ocean as you will be managing tougher environments.
Globo Surf Overview
Taking to the open ocean can be incredibly rewarding. There is something about the salty air that has a therapeutic touch. With that being said, ocean kayaking takes a lot more skill than your average kayak trip. This is because of the currents, tides and the vast size of the water. Having the best sea kayak for beginners designed to specifically handle these changing conditions is important. Sea Kayaks are designed to be long and stable to give you everything you need to tear through the ocean water with ease. Having the best one for your use will help to ensure that your fun day on the ocean water stays enjoyable.
If you are traveling to tropical locations, you may want to bring along your snorkel gear. This way if you find a good spot in the ocean water, you can throw down an anchor and jump in for some snorkeling.
More Kayak Reviews:
- Recreational Kayak
- Lightweight Kayak
- Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Beginner Kayak
- Kayak Seat
- Motorized Kayak
- Fishing Canoe
- Folding Kayak
- Kayak Anchor
- Kayak Cart
- Center of Gravity, Explainthatstuff.com
Have you ever tried ocean kayaking? Do you use one of the best ocean kayaks that made it on our list? Tell us all about your experiences in the comment section below.
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