Benefits of Choosing a Sit On Top Kayak

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time beginner, kayaking can be a fun experience. Kayaking is very versatile in that it can be for sport or for enjoyment and can be done in practically any body of water. It can even be paired with other activities, like camping or fishing. Because kayaking is so versatile, there are different kayaks designed to handle specific conditions. One type of kayak, in particular, is a sit on top kayak. These kayaks are actually a great option, and you’ll find there are many benefits to choosing this type of kayak. There are even portable sit on top kayaks which make transport issues a thing of the past!

Sit On Top kayak


What is a Sit On Top Kayak?

A sit on top kayak or SOT allows the paddler to sit on top of the kayak deck. There is not an “inside” that can be inhabited by the paddler. Everything from the footwells to the seat back will be rigged on to the actual deck of the kayak. The only possible access to the inside of the kayak will be through storage hatch openings.

SOT Kayak Design

SOT kayaks are available as singles or doubles, and they also come as hard shells or as inflatables. The top of the kayak is the deck while the bottom is the hull. The front is the bow,and the back is the stem. On top of the deck, you’ll often have deck lines or bungees. SOT kayaks, also, have seats and foot wells as a form of foot support. There are also foot pedals which slide on the track to adjust for different size paddlers. Foot pedals are more comfortable than foot wells because you’ll get a lot more support for them. Additionally, the best kayaks will have a built-in backrest to maximize comfort.

Benefits of a SOT Kayak

SOT kayaks have a range of standout advantages that make them appealing to users. Some of these benefits include:

User-Friendly: SOT kayaks are the most user-friendly especially for beginners. They’re very stable, meaning they are easy to get in and out of. There is, also, no feeling of confinement on them.
Completely Sealed: SOT kayaks are completely sealed top and bottom. This means if you flip your kayak, all you need to do to get back in action is flip it back upright and climb back on. You don’t need any special self-rescue skills to get safely back onto the kayak.
Won’t Overflow with Water: Unless something goes wrong with a hatch, SOT kayaks won’t fill with water. This means they can be paddled again right away in the event of capsizing. You don’t need to swim to the shore and empty them or perform a rescue to get the water out of the cockpit.
Self-Bailing: SOT kayaks are self-bailing, which means they have small holes that allowthe water to drain. These holes, also called scuppers, allow water washing over the top of the boat to drain back out through the bottom of the hull. The combination of easy self-rescue and self-draining design makes sit-on-top kayaks a better choice if you’re looking for a recreational kayak to paddle a little farther from shore.
Low, Flat Design: The low, flat design of many SOT kayaks is helpful for launching and landing. If you walk your SOT out into the water until you’re standing knee-deep, it’s easy to lower yourself onto the seat and swing your legs on board. This makes SOT designs a great option for paddlers who have limited mobility.

Deciding on a SOT Kayak

As mentioned before, SOT kayaks are available in different styles and designs. When you’re deciding on a sit on top kayak, you have to think about which design will suit you best. Whether you are using it is a fishing or a hunting kayak, here are some things to consider when choosing your SOT kayak:

Boat Length: It’s a general rule the longer and narrower the kayak is, the faster it will travel. The wider a kayak is the more stable, but the slower it will be. Most SOT kayaks are considered recreational kayaks because they tend to be wide and ultra-stable.
Material/Weights: Most kayaks have a hard shell made from a durable plastic that won’t require much maintenance. However, there are also kayaks made from composite materials like fiberglass, carbon, and Kevlar. These materials will make the kayak significantly lighter which can be convenient. Yet, the downside is that they don’t take abuse well and tend to cost a lot more money.
Inflatability: You have the option of getting an inflatable kayak. They are very comfortable to paddle, and they can be deflated, rolled up or folded down, and can easily be carried. These kayaks are made with coated fabrics and are quite durable. While inflatable kayaks are not as fast as hard-shell kayaks, they are incredibly versatile.

SOT Kayaking Activities

The SOT kayak guarantees you a great kayaking experience. There are plenty of activities you can enjoy on a SOT kayak. As far as recreational kayaks go, SOT models are a great choice for paddling far from the shore. They won’t fill with water if you capsize, and they are easy to climb back onto if you fall off. Additionally, most fishing kayaks are sit-on-tops. The open deck of a SOT gives the paddler better mobility for casting, fighting, and landing fish than a closed-cockpit design. Wide, stable fishing SOT kayaks is designed with standing platforms, and some models feature pedal drives that allow you to keep both hands free for fishing. Moreover, if you are a fan of tandem paddling, you may want to invest in a SOT kayak. A tandem recreational SOT kayak can be paddled far from the shore, meaning you can even take it out to the ocean.


As you can tell, there are many positives in choosing a sit on top kayak. Because there are different designs, you can have different experiences. But it is guaranteed that you’ll have a great experience with them out on the water!


One Response

  1. realisr3 December 14, 2022

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.