Kayak width, depth and length and what they mean

Kayak sizes

The width, depth and length of a kayak asserts themselves in memorable, if not unforgettable ways. Let’s make sure you go down to the sea all measured for the day.

Your high-school physics class applies. 

Short Kayaks

Short boats maneuver better than their longer brothers. These shorter kayaks are naturally preferred for recreational uses. Longer kayaks track better (tracking the ability to move in a straight line without wayward, tiresome, pointless veers to one damned side or the other). They travel long distances easily.

Kayak Widths

John Howard Hughes served in the Nav (lieutenant-junior-grade, USNR, ret.) and, what you might call “width”, he calls “beam.” The salty old dog knows that wider hulls mean more stability in calm waters, at the sacrifice of the speed he loves so very much. Narrow boats may prove more difficult for beginners to keep upright and dry but, for an experienced paddler such as JHH, look out. We have ourselves some acceleration, some velocity right here.

Kayak Depth

Depth slows a boat too, but here comes more room for storage, more space for daylong comfort. A long old drink-of-water is J. Howard, and he seeks deeper yaks so that he can stay on the water peacefully, profound for once. Yakkers perhaps shorter than 6’3” might well choose a kayak pulling less draft, all for its consummate mph. For less wind resistance too.