How do I choose a kayak?

Aquaglide kayaks are lightweight, durable, portable, and performance-oriented. These attributes make them ideally suited for recreational paddling, touring and adventure travel. But with so many types of boats & boards, choosing the right one to fit your lifestyle can feel overwhelming.


STEP 1: Choose Function(s)

The first step to choosing a kayak is to determine what type of paddling you'd like to do. Most boats easily cover different types of paddling, but envisioning how you will use the boat can will help narrow the choices. Start by picking your top functional performance categories from the list below.

ANGLING - Nearly all Aquaglide kayaks are fishing-friendly, but we offer several models, such as the Blackfoot 160, with unique features and attributes that are especially well-suited for technical angling.

RECREATIONAL - Aquaglide Kayaks are all about fun on the water. To be fun in a wide range of conditions, boats like the Chinook 100 offer a well-balanced selection of attributes.

TOURING - Expand your adventures! Touring is all about going places. To accomplish that goal, boats like the Chelan 140 boats favor attributes like speed, tracking and comfort needed for longer outings.

WHITEWATER - What greater rush than finding the right line down a surging river? Whitewater boats such as the McKenzie 125 require a blend of stability, maneuverability and excellent drainage.

ULTRALIGHT – Ideally suited to the needs of mobile explorers and outdoor hunting and angling enthusiasts. For paddlers headed ‘off the grid,’ it has to be an ultralight such as the Purist 65.


STEP 2: Choose Size

The next step is to choose a size. Sizing is a very personal choice, again determined by how you intend to use the boat. Do you need room for two or even three people? Are you a solo paddler? Choosing the right boat means considering how much space you want for paddlers and for gear. A tall solo paddler may choose a two-person model for better leg-room. A solo touring paddler may prefer a tandem size for increased gear capacity and space for the occasional guest. Stepping up in size increases your options because Aquaglide seating can be easily re-configured to suit different needs.


STEP 3: Consider Attributes (optional)

If your choice is already made based on function and size, comparing attributes seem like an unnecessary detail. However, going a step beyond the general functionality and sizing of a boat to compare the specific attributes can help cinch the decision between two similar boats. 

SPEED - How quickly the boat moves through the water.

TRACKING - How straight the boat travels while paddling.

STABILITY - How stable the boat is from side to side.

MANEUVERABILITY - How responsive the boat is to turning input.

GEAR CAPACITY – How much space is available for extra stuff.

DRAINAGE - How quickly does the boat drain in wet conditions.


Taking these factors into consideration should help you decide which Aquaglide kayak is best for you. 

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