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Sit On Top kayak vs Sit In Kayak

What is the differences and advantages to a Sit on Top Kayak vs a Sit in Kayak?

This is a question I get asked quite a bit so below is what I think are the advantages to each type of Kayak. 
For fishing, scuba diving and surfing, I would recommend a Sit On Top. For recreational paddling covering some distance and camping trips, I would recommend a Sit In Kayak. My reasons are below, but every has difference preferences.

Advantages for Sit on Top

  • They are virtually unsinkable. If your sit on top kayak gets tipped over, it will not sink. You can just flip them over and get right back to paddling. When water gets inside the cockpit, it will drain out through the scupper holes.
  • They provide quick access to gear. 
  • Sit-On-Top kayaks are less expensive than Sit-In-Kayaks.
  • They provide an easy way to get into the water.

Sit on Top Kayak in Auckland New Zealand





Advantages of a Sit in Kayak

  • A paddler can remain dry and out of the water. The enclosed cockpit keeps water from splashing onto the kayaker. There are no drain holes in the bottom of the cockpit so the entire compartment remains dry.
  • Offers more stability. Since the cockpit is inside the kayak, the paddler remains on the water line. This keeps the kayak stable and makes it less likely to tip over. Can handle rough seas with ease.
  • There are more storage areas for camping
  • Are generally a lot faster

Nic Mead Auckland Sea Kayaks




Skills training before next week's multiday trip with Mahurangi College. @burto1 you legend!
It's just Autumn in Auckland today #rangitoto here we come @visitauckland
Finishing the day with an epic sunset from Motuihe island. We are staying here for a multi day trip with a local high school. Amazing place to stay with kiwi, tautara to name a few 📸superguideeric
Sun's out, guns out. Stunning weather for three days of exploring the Cavalli islands in the tropical far north.
Great paddle past the Candy Cane tower (Mackenzie bay light house) while heading to Rangitoto Island. Stunning paddle with a great group of local high school students  @visitauckland
So nice to float up Williams stream in Parau on the Manukau harbor @visitauckland  thanks to @emr_nz for another amazing event
Motukorea /Browns island twilight tour. Stunning evening with a group of local friends @visitauckland @purenewzealand
Amazing adventures with a Duke of Edinburgh group last weekend. We explored loads of sea caves, learnt about sustainable journeys and the 7 steps of leave no trace @dukeofednz
Stunning morning with flat water as we got set up for another @emr_nz day. Loads of locals learning about how amazing Lake Rototoa is. For those that don't about this amazing sand dune fresh water lake which is located at the northern end of the south head of the Kaipara Harbour should go and check it out. Or even better wait until EMR runs another of their legendary experience days @visitauckland
Gift New Zealand's #1 rated guided experience this Christmas. Sunset sea kayak tour to Rangitoto Island. Escape the city to a volcanic island and see why it's a sea kayakers paradise.