Choosing Your Kayak

KayakSince there are many factors involved in choosing the right kayak before your purchase, I will address some of the more important ones.
First, decide where you will be paddling. A kayak that might be suitable for flat water such as rivers, creeks, and lakes, is not the best choice for paddling in the surf or in choppy waters.
Next, consider your paddling experience. Some kayaks are more stable than others. Simply put, the wider the boat, the harder it is to overturn. The longer the boat, the easier it is to track. Tracking is simply how your boat steers while you are paddling. Longer boats track better than shorter boats, since they require less correction effort in steering while paddling.
Then, do you prefer a “sit in” or a “sit on top” kayak? Do you need a long or short one? Will you be doing overnight trips, or just short day trips? As you can see, one has many options to consider.
An informed kayak shopper will not shop with the intention to buy the “cheapest boat you can find.” A “great deal” is not so great if you cannot enjoy what you have bought.
Since there is not one boat that fits every situation, some people solve this dilemma by actually owning two or more boats! This enables them to have more paddling options.
Happy Paddling!



If it seems too good to be true, you must be kayaking!


  1. I am now mostly paddling on a lake in Tennessee but plan to do more when I move permanently to Amelia Island. rivers, marshes, surf. I like the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 16 footer that I tried recently. Is that a good boat for down there? I like tracking and the glide per stroke as apposed to the wider kayaks. Is 16 too long? Thanks!

    • ameliaislandkayak says:

      For great tracking and glide per stroke, a 16′ kayak is an excellent choice, and its size is great for easily navigating different waterways in our area, as well. Where one would normally use a wider, shorter recreational boat in lakes and creeks, one can also use a 16′ touring boat in the same conditions. This makes the touring boat more versatile, whereas the recreational boat is more limited in use. While most of our boats for general use are 12′- 14′ recreational/touring kayaks, my current favorite is the 17′ Wilderness System Sealution. With the attached rudder, it handles the waves and windy conditions smoothly. Also, one would not “go wrong” by choosing the 16′ Old Town Cayuga or the 16′ Perception Carolina. We are happy to know you are relocating to Amelia Island! Please “look us up” as it would be great meeting you.

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