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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




Join us for an empowering GIRLS ONLY (aged 13-18) adventure from January 15th to 19th. Experience five days of exploring the beautiful Hauraki Gulf on one of the world's most iconic yachts and in two-person kayaks. Encounter dolphins, orcas, and rays while making new friends. It's time to step out of your comfort zone and embark on an unforgettable journey. Let's go!


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Fun for the whole family down at @missionbaywatersports 🌞💯🤙 offering kayak and SUP rentals. @visitauckland @purenewzealand #kayaking #auckland
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Fun morning on the water taking selfies with the swans @visitauckland @purenewzealand #amwaychina
Running with excitement to get on the mighty Manukau Harbor with @emr_nz
Stunning spring days for some student kayak races. Throughout the year we work with local primary and high schools educating them about how special the Hauraki Gulf is and how to preserve it for the next generation