Kayaking has been garnering popularity among the womenfolk in recent years due to which kayak manufacturers have started doling out kayaks having special features so women can ride kayaks too. Yes, they have diverted from their earlier approach of building kayaks with only male-oriented or unisex designs.
Among the newly-added aspects in kayaks are lighter weight and shorter lengths ones, to cater to women, of course. That said, the women can find the newer kayak models easier to wade in the waters.
Women have wide hips, lower gravitational centres, and smaller builds. Thus, keeping in mind their sizes and shapes, they require kayaks that would keep them comforted when paddling in the waters.
Also, you must consider some other important aspects when choosing kayaks for women, as seen below.
Best 8 Kayaks for Women
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Ocean Kayak Venus 11 One-Person Women’s Sit-On-Top Kayak is probably the finest kayak that has ever been made while taking into consideration of the special needs of a woman paddler. It just weighs around 44 pounds and that means, you can easily carry it around. Use its grab handle to move it around. Controlling this kayak is as easy pie. Even paddlers who don’t have much experience can get the hang on it within a matter of few hours of practice.
Ocean Kayak Venus 11 One-Person Women’s Sit-On-Top Kayak has ample storage space where you can keep all your gears and they will stay safe and dry there no matter how extreme the situation gets at the end. The seat is something that deserves a special mention. The seat has got a unique design that will accommodate your center of gravity. To make this kayak more suitable for women, a low deck profile is maintained intentionally. It comes with a lifetime warranty on its hull.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak is another great kayak that is just perfect for women paddlers. High-Density Polyethylene is mainly used in the making of this kayak and it is UV resistant as well. If you are suffering from any back problem, you need to check this SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak immediately.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak has got a large cockpit area and therefore, you hardly find it restraining in one way or the other. The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is around 113 kg which is more than enough for an average American woman. The thigh pads and the footpegs allow you have to greater control over your kayak.
The seat is very comfortable and adjustable in nature. The paddle holders and the water bottle holders work just fine at least for me. However, don’t even think of opening the rear compartment while you are on the water because that could lead to a disaster. Around the rear compartment is a rubber seal. Bungee cables are mainly used to secure the rear compartment.
Ocean Kayak Venus 10 One-Person Women’s Sit-On-Top Kayak is one of those kayaks that are advertised as – ladies’ kayak and it seems like it has managed to live up to its reputation of being the perfect kayak for all women paddlers out there. Weighs around 37 lbs and that means you can easily carry it around. Ocean Kayak Venus 10 One-Person Women’s Sit-On-Top Kayak is quite stable and it has also got speed.
The seat is designed to accommodate the center of gravity of women paddlers. The seat is hybrid and will last long unless it gets abused heavily. Ocean Kayak Venus 10 One-Person Women’s Sit-On-Top Kayak can be maneuvered easily and is perfect for the lake or calm river. The maximum weight capacity of this kayak is around 175 pounds.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak is extremely easy to paddle and since it is incredibly stable on the water, it is ideal for beginners. Cozy and compact, Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak is ideal for women who are looking for a lightweight kayak without making sacrifices on the performance front. You can take it with you in a river or a lake, Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak will not disappoint you.
AirGo molded-in seat is extremely comfortable and it can be adjusted at will. It has got ample legroom. If you love to ride waves, you should put your trust in Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak. It has got a spacious storage space where you can keep your precious items and accessories safe. The storage is itself splash resistant. Conveniently placed between the legs of the paddler, QuickStash dry hatch can be open and closed with one hand.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Recreational Kayak is basically a great option for those women paddlers who love to go out and feel the thrill.
Perception Pescador Pro 12 is well known for its legendary level of stability and performance. It is ideal for a day-long kayaking trip as it has got ample storage space where you can store all your gears and gadgets. Extremely comfortable, Perception Pescador Pro 12 steers great. It is compliant with U.S. Coast Guard rules and can be transported easily and effortlessly. The most amazing feature of this Sit-On-Top kayak is that it has got built-in buoyancy and that means, you don’t have to stay on your toes all the time while paddling. You can even on it and it will not destabilize the boat in one way or the other.
The cockpit area of this kayak is extremely spacious and thus making it extremely easy for you to make an entry or exit. The seat is highly adjustable and can be removed from its position if you wish so. The use of breathable mesh on the seat has made it perfect for those women who want to fish all day long. You have the option to raise the seat while casting and lower the seat while paddling.
Perception Pescador Pro 12 is ideal for coastal waters, slow-moving streams, and rivers. The maximum weight capacity of 375 lbs which is more than enough for an average American girl.
Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak is the ultimate recreation kayak that you can get your hands on at this price point. It is resistant to scratches and UV rays of the sun and that means, it is going to last really long. It has got three layers –
- The first layer is coated with a UV resistant color.
- The second layer is made from high-density plastic.
- The third and final layer is designed to add more stiffness to the kayak.
Moreover, just like any other Pelican model, Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak is also made from high molecular weight polyethylene – code-named – RAM-X. This RAM-X allows the company to make kayak while using fewer materials and that means, Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak is incredibly lightweight yet it is extremely strong.
Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak weighs just around 37 lbs and I don’t think strong woman, as you are, is going to face any trouble carrying it around. Take it with your next adventurous trip and you will not be disappointed for sure. Pelican Maxim 100X Sit-in Recreational Kayak tracks really well and can cover long distances easily without putting too much force.
Pelican Sit-on-Top Sentinel 100X Kayak is known for its exceptional stability. It is ideal for those women paddlers who just want to have relaxing kayaking experience. Storing and transporting this kayak is as easy pie. Since it has got multi-chine flat bottom hull, it will remain incredibly stable while reeling in fish or while casting lines. Inclusion of Ergoform™ padded backrest makes it super comfortable for long fishing trips.
ExoPak storage compartment can be fitted easily inside the tank well and it has got enough room to store all your gears. Pelican Sit-on-Top Sentinel 100X Kayak weighs just around 44 lb and that means, you can move it around easily without straining your back.
ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak is a lightweight inflatable kayak that can put other kayaks to shame when it comes to performance. Inflating and deflating is just a walk in the park. ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak is extremely stable on the water and it is durable too (which most people don’t realize).
If you take my advice, when you get the kayak for the very first time, you should try to spend some time with it. Try to inflate and deflate it a couple of times before making your maiden voyage with otherwise, you will end up looking like a total noob before other women paddlers.
ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak is definitely not something to be messed around. Contrary to what you might have been thinking, it is super durable and extremely strong built. It can take a lot of abuse and the chances of developing punctures during your trip are next to nothing. Take it with you on class 3 rapids and you will be just fine.
ADVANCED ELEMENTS StraitEdge Angler Inflatable Fishing Kayak has got built-in aluminum ribs that help to improve the tracking. It has also got multiple air chambers and it can be customized with a fish finder, rod holders, or any other common kayaking equipment for that matter.
How to choose a kayak for women?
In the case of women, their body shape, knowing what kind of kayaking they want to indulge in, and their knowledge about watercrafts, and the weight of kayaks, are important considerations when selecting among the various options in kayaks.
If you know the kind of paddling you want to do, you can avoid making mistakes such as purchasing 16 feet kayaks when you’re going to be riding in narrow-sized rivers and windy conditions. When riding long kayaks, you may hit banks often because you will not be able to manoeuvre your boat fast enough.
More so, if you want to cover long distances in water but to save money you opt for kayaks having less storage space, then you will have less space to store your gear and will get tired soon when traveling in your boat.
1. Composite Materials
Plastic boats are heavier as compared to kayaks that are composed of light material like fiberglass. Though, boats that are made of lighter materials have one drawback that is they are delicate and costly.
On the other hand, plastic boats are advantageous to many paddlers because they do not break if they’re dropped or dragged. More so, they do not need much maintenance and are inexpensive. So, you need not worry if you roughly handle your boat at times.
Further, some kayak varieties contain durable, lightweight materials like ‘Duralite’ and ‘Airlite’ and are considered to be a good investment. They are a viable option because boats that are constituted of such materials may not be as durable as standard plastic boats; though, as compared to fiberglass kayaks, they are lighter, more durable, and cheaper.
2. Go with Your Preferences
We all have different goals and the kind of kayak you choose must reflect your individuality and not of anybody else. This is an important consideration particularly when you perceive that somebody is trying to influence your kayak purchase decisions.
A good example is a husband who sure may seem to be buying a boat for his wife when actually he intends to use it as well.
Surely, if people are of similar build, they can buy a boat that is suitable for both of them. Though, if both persons differ in size, then maybe getting separate boats is the best way forward.
Nevertheless, many women always put their desires on the back burner for accommodating others. Now, if you have any plans of doing so, then remember that you may not get kayaks that are the best for you. Also, your kayaking expeditions may not be as fun as you may think.
3. Honesty is indeed the best policy
You can, possibly, consider some information provided by other people you find trustworthy without letting yourself be talked into something you’re not interested in. Albeit, be honest with yourself about your interests and abilities. Now, you sure do not want to be drawn into fast-moving rivers if you’re petrified of waves. You will have a terrifying time and might never want to go kayaking ever again.
You could land up with similar problems when choosing the wrong kayak. No, you will not get scared when selecting the wrong boat, but you could be discomforted when seated in the watercraft and may decide that kayaking is not for you.
Rather, you should be honest about your preferences to make the right choice in kayaks.
Kayaks that are developed for small-sized paddlers and women are light-weighted. Also, more commonly, the weight of the kayaks is one of the most important factors that women consider.
This is particularly true for women who want to carry and load their boats on their own.
In the case of plastic kayaks, most of them weigh in the range of 38 lbs and 70 lbs.
Not all women can carry boats that weight 40 lbs, though a good suggestion is to become familiar with the correct technique and try to build your stamina slowly so you can carry your boats.
However, if you’re not keen on carrying your kayak by yourself, then also do not fret. You can avail a variety of carts, racks, among other tools, for easily carrying and loading your kayak. Surely, if you can carry and load your kayak, then you can benefit from the body exertion. Additionally, you can have your friends help around when going paddling along with them.
5. Know Thy Body
Another important factor for making the right selection in boats is to know your body.
For now, the kayak producers have been designing some kayaks, but only for small-sized women. Sure, such boats are suited for small women, but larger and curvier women may seem uncomfortable when riding in the boats. The parts of a woman’s body that should be comfortable when sitting in a kayak are feet, thighs, butts, and hips.
Besides, some seats can comfortably accommodate your hips, though the fitting of the thigh braces and the width of cockpits could feel restrictive for your thighs. As such, you may want to consider kayaks with fancy outfitting. Or, maybe, you would be more comfortable in vessels having standard seats, large cockpits, and only little outfitting for additional space.
The experience is similar to trying on a pair of jeans. They could feel comfortable at the waist but you could be bursting at seams across the butt and thighs. Instead, you must look for a pair of jeans that fit right from all sides and not only a particular portion of your body. The same rule applies when choosing kayaks.
When you’re sitting in kayaks on the showroom floor, ensure that you consider the two most aspects; fit and comfort. If you’re not comfortable sitting in the kayak, you can only imagine how discomforted you’ll be when riding the boat in the waters.
Moreover, do not assume a boat will work for you only because they are designed for women.
Bear in mind that we all are different and what suits your female friend does not have to necessarily suit you too. Take your time and study the different kayak models before your purchases. If a particular one feels right, then go for that one.
Taking into account factors such as length of kayaks is important during your kayak purchases as well. The length of the boat determines their heaviness and how difficult they will be to carry.
In a nutshell, if you are going shopping for a kayak for women, then a good strategy would be to consider all related aspects and thoroughly. Do not make haste or you could go wrong in making your decisions. Always take your time for getting the maximum from your money’s worth.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.