This kayaking – kayak FAQ contains some of the most popular questions that people have concerning the sport.

Is kayaking dangerous?

As with all boating, there are risks associated with kayaking. See this information on kayaking dangers.

Where do I find kayaking safety information?

See this page on safe kayaking.

Can objects in the water puncture the hull of a kayak?

Underwater obstructions typically pose little hazard on their own, but when combined with swift currents, waves or shifting weight, they can immobilize or damage a kayak.

Common obstructions include rocks, tree trunks, branches, cypress knees, shells and other objects. Although its rare to encounter damage, collisions with obstructions can puncture the hull of a kayak, resulting in a leak.

Can kayaks capsize and sink?

Yes, under certain conditions, kayaks can capsize and in rare cases, sink. Most modern craft are equipped with flotation, which usually keeps the kayak from sinking completely.

Do I need to wear a lifejacket while kayaking?


Will I be trapped if my kayak flips over?

The stereotype of a kayaker trapped inside their craft applies to whitewater kayaks, which are equipped with tight-fitting skirts. Although skirts are used in some applications, most recreational kayaks have open cockpits that are relatively easy to exit.

Do I need training to use a kayak?

Some applications, such as whitewater and ocean kayaking demand special training. For the majority of recreational kayaking, only basic boating skills are required.

How much do kayaks cost?

Basic kayaks start at a few hundred dollars. A few high end models retail for over $2000. Depending on region, model and condition, used kayaks range from $50 and up.

Are there kayaks that don’t require paddling?

Yes, foot pedal powered and motorized kayak models are available.

How many people can fit in a kayak?

Most kayak models are designed to carry either a single occupant or 2 occupants.

Are kayaks suitable for fishing?

Kayaks make excellent fishing boats. In some situations, a kayak can be an ideal boat for fishing.

Do I need to register my kayak?

Regulations vary by region. In most areas, no registration is required but each state or province may be different.

How much does a kayak weigh?

Depending on the thickness, hull design and total length, kayaks typically weight between 30-50 pounds.

What equipment do I need for kayaking?

See this kayaking checklist.

Will someone help me if I get lost or capsize while kayaking?

Typically, yes, if you file a kayaking float plan.

What type of maintenance does a kayak require?

Most kayaks need only an occasional washdown, inspection. Storage is important in order to prevent hull deformation and sun damage.

Can a kayak be transported with a car?

Kayaks are typically transported using car top carriers. Many smaller kayaks will fit in the back of a pickup or SUV. Specialized trailers are available to transport multiple kayaks at once.

What are some of the best areas to go kayaking?

Kayaking varies widely by region, with some areas demanding specific hull types. Some of the best destinations to enjoy basic recreational kayaking include lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, creeks and other waterways.

Sheltered saltwater environments are popular areas to enjoy kayaking. Among the most well known are the Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and sheltered areas of the Pacific Coast.