Open Cockpit Kayak
This type of kayak is used for touring and is suitable for those who want to cover distances without going onto rough water. You will get somewhat wet from the water that drops off the paddle or small waves that splash over.
No capsize training drill is needed.
When you capsize you just fall safely out of the big kayak cockpit.
We recommend you practice this anyway, even if it is easy.
Learn how to empty the upturned boat in shallow water.
Closed Cockpit Kayak
Most kayaks have closed decks which you can seal with a spray cover. If you don't use the cover, your boat may fill with water over time and become a submarine. These kayaks are ideal for white-water or sea surfing. They have a relatively tight-fitting cockpit sealed with a spray-deck to keep out the water when you do the Eskimo roll. Practise rolling and the capsize drill regularly. Learn how to exit the kayak safely underwater (wet exit).
Closed Long Cockpit Kayak
A variation with a long closed cockpit is often found in racing kayaks and some boats for beginners.
It is easy to get in and out of.
Your knees don't slip inside the canoe, they are covered by the spray deck.
When you capsize, you simply fall out of the boat when the spray deck comes off.
Pool Training Kayaks
Beginners can learn kayaking in the warm swimming pool, practice the hip flick and then roll the boat. You have a chance to try out various boats and swim in different canoeing clothes. This is huge wet fun.
The next evolution of open cockpit kayaks are boats where you simply sit on top. They are completely sealed and thus unsinkable. You can simply fall off or jump off whenever you want. Then climb back on and jump in again, or capsize. Great fun for beginners.
Slalom is one of the most exciting branches of canoeing where the paddler steers the boat down a set course as quickly as possible, passing through a numbered series of downstream and upstream gates in the process. Each gate comprises two hanging poles at a set distance apart.
There are two boat types, Kayaks (K) and Canoes (C). In a Kayak the paddler sits and uses a double ended paddle. In the Canoe the paddler kneels and uses a single bladed paddle.
These competition kayaks are designed for quick turns, great for wild-water action.
If you're not into competition you can enjoy them for freestyle stunts.
However, Squirt kayaks maybe better for that.
Squirt and Rodeo Kayaks
These kayaks are very low volume fun boats that allow some extreme moves and get you wet before you know it. Make sure you fit inside. They come in various sizes. Try it on.
Once you've squirted enough, simply lean back and relax.
They are long and keep a steady course, great for touring, even on the open sea. Their shape is based on the very old and proven boat designs of the Eskimos. Some have watertight compartments to store dry kit, like more clothing and camping gear. You can easily roll them back up in case of a capsize. Practice this well before you go off on a wet adventure trip.