Water recreational activities include surfing, swimming, sailing, snorkeling, waterskiing, rafting, canoeing, diving, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Kayaking involves using a kayak, a small narrow watercraft that is moved by a double-bladed paddle to move across the water. There are various types of kayaks. They include inflatable kayaks, sea kayaks, folding kayaks, Aleutian kayaks, and sit on top kayaks, among many others. Sit on top kayaks lack an enclosed cockpit, as seen in sit-in kayaks. Therefore, the paddler gets positioned on the Kayak rather than inside the Kayak above the water surface. Sit on top kayaks are well suited for those who want to venture into kayaking for the first time bProsecause they are easy to learn and offer much comfort when it comes to paddling. Sit on top kayaks can be designed to support more than one person, which makes them ideal for kayaking with family and friends. Sit on top Kayak has got its great advantages over sit-in kayaks. However, they can have their limitations too.
Pros of sit on Kayak
1. Easy to self-rescue: Sit on top kayaks are much easier to rescue and recover from capsizing. They are inherently buoyant and have a complete hull design. Sit on top kayaks with self-bailing scupper holes that let water drain out of the cockpit. It makes them a good option for paddling in the surf zones, and you won’t have to carry a bilge pump.
2. Stability: Sit on top kayaks are more stable. They have a wider hull that enables a better surface for stability. As a result of larger width, sit on top kayaks have a higher center of gravity, therefore, have a much higher degree of initial stability. Initial stability about Kayak is the ability to remain upright when the paddler is sitting inside with the keel underneath.
3. Easy to use and favorable for beginners: They are a perfect choice for those who are starting to paddle on a kayak because they are easy to use.
4. Easy to get in and out and easy to launch: The open, flat deck makes entering the Kayak as easy as getting out. They are also easy to launch on the water as compared to sit-in kayaks
5. Supports more people: Sit on top kayaks can support more paddlers than sit-in kayaks. They have a spacious open cockpit design.
6. Cost: Sit on top kayaks are relatively cheaper than sit-in kayaks, making them a good option to purchase.
7. Can be used for fishing: The open deck and easily accessible storage, often paired with built-in rod holders and other kayak fishing accessories such as kayak coolers or fish finders, makes it the best choice for kayak anglers.
8. High weight capacity: Sit on top kayaks have a higher weight capacity, making them the best choice for paddling duos and those who would like to kayak with their kids or pets.
9. Best for paddling far from the shore: Sit on top kayaks are normally a good option for those who wish to go far from the shore without any specialized performance of a touring kayak.
10. Favorable for those with leg problems: Sit on top kayaks enable free movement for people with long legs or who may experience claustrophobia in a confined cockpit.
11. Less likely to drown: You are less likely to drown while sitting on a top Kayak. the drain holes on the sit-on-top Kayak allow water to drain out. It is normally helpful in the event of high waves.
Cons of sit on Kayak
1. Speed: Sit on top kayaks are relatively slower than sit-in kayaks. The broader beam makes them a poor choice for long-distance paddling.
2. Load capacity and weight: Sit on top kayaks with a higher load capacity. They can handle about 350-400 pounds. They are generally heavier than sit-in kayaks, making them difficult to transport.
3. Unsuitable for rough waters: Sit on top kayaks are not suited. There is limited control over the Kayak, which can be dangerous in difficult open water conditions.
4. Weather challenge: The open cockpit leaves paddlers exposed to elements such as wind, rain, and waves. It also makes it difficult to kayak during cold weather.
5. Limited storage: Sit on top kayaks have limited storage. It is because more space is used for tie-down and tank wells.
6. likely to develop hypothermia: The exposed seating position of a sit-top Kayak makes one more likely to develop hypothermia. Also, exposure to weather elements such as cold can lead to hypothermia; therefore, one must wear appropriate water temperatures.
7. Limited control: The paddler has limited control over a sit-on-top Kayak. The open cockpit does not allow one to place his knees against the underside of the deck, therefore, limiting the paddler’s control and maneuverability of the Kayak.
8. More effort is required: Sit on top kayaks have wider beams that force the paddler to use a longer paddle; therefore, more effort Is required to paddle due to a long momentum arm. It would be less likely with a narrow sit-in Kayak that uses a short paddle.
9. Challenge in a rescue mission: If a sit on top Kayak capsizes, there could be a challenge in rescuing the victims. The scupper holes that are meant to drain water off the Kayak and make it easier during rescue mission could also allow water back into the Kayak from beneath.
10. Challenge staying dry: Staying dry in a sit-on-top kayak is a challenge. It isn’t easy to attach a spray skirt to the cockpit rim.
11. Limited secondary stability: Sit on top kayaks have reduced secondary stability. They have a wider beamwidth and a higher center of gravity. Secondary stability regarding kayaks is the ability of the Kayak to stay upright when the Kayak is leaning on its edge for turning and when paddling in rough waters.