Kayak Widths

I'm going to buy myself and my 14 yr. old son a kayak for Christmas. He has a lot of experience fishing from a kayak. My question is what width is good for fishing out of. I've had some people tell me it should be 32" or wider and some say it doesn't need to be that wide. I want it to be stable in case he wants to stand up, but I don't want it to be like a barge either. I would value the opinion of people who actually fish from them and not someone just trying to sell one. Also, what brands/models would ya'll recommend? I would love to get two Hobies, but that can't happen. Sorry if this question was already posted, I did a search and nothing came up. Thanks.

Replies

  • uno--masuno--mas Posts: 346 Officer
    the obvious answer may be too obvious--but try before you buy. while you are searching, get a handful of models in mind and find those dealers with them and try them out. of course, focusing on 'fishing kayaks' specifically will shorten the search. some models are 'also fish' as well, but not fishing specific.

    but, um, hey, kayaks 'like a barge' are typically the best standing platforms available.

    cheers
    drew
    Cathedra Mea, Regulae Meae.
  • 1OzLead1OzLead Posts: 352 Officer
    The thinner the boat will allow for more speed on the water and will require more balance to manage what you are doing. I would say 30" and less would be within that category. The wider a boat will give you more ability to move around and carry more, but you sacrifice speed the wider it gets. Stability is the shape of the boat and the size of the person on it. Flat bottom boats might flip, V hulls may roll if broadsided. Hope that helps. Do research and try them on the water. Don't let anyone steer you towards a certain name brand nor buy the cheapest kayak on the market.
  • Brandon561Brandon561 Posts: 230 Officer
    I'm guessing your looking for a yak that has great stability and tracks great.. Well the yaks with great stability usually track poorly and the yaks that track great are not as stable. It's all about what is more important to you, IMO tracking is way more important than stability. An ideal width is going to be 29" to 32". The wilderness system ride 135 is prob the best kayak that can give you both, but as uno said try out a bunch of yaks and see which ones work for you.

    And BTW the "like a barge" kayaks usually track the worst.
    Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 A.K.A Reel Nauti
  • Lt.FireDogLt.FireDog Posts: 1,112 Officer
    Where are you located?
    Adding the location to your information helps when asking questions like this....knowing where your located would help others recommend local dealers for demoing boats.

    Regarding affordable quality paddle boats, I really like the Hobie Quest 11 & 13.

    If your son is anything like mine (13 y/o), he should be able to stand in just about any kayak.....Jamie has stood, paddled & fished out of a Caster 12.5, Scrambler 11, Prowler 13 & Revo 11 with ease.
  • bnzbnz Posts: 183 Deckhand
    When you say stability you need to clarify more. Will you be fishing inshore or off? Do you want a kayak on which standing is easier?

    For offshore fishing I haven't found a more "stable" kayak than my kaskazi dorado or marlin (25" and 24.5"). I've been in spots where the waves and chop are so rough that it has flipped me in my old tarpon 160i and flipped my buddy's hobie revo. I can be in the same spot in either of my kaskazis and never feel like I'm going over, and haven't. They have low center of gravity, which makes them more stable than poly sots on the open water, even with being so narrow.

    Fishing inshore is different. There is no way I'd recommend trying to fish standing up in a 25" wide kayak. :) I could do it in my old 160i (28") and my hurricane phenix kayaks (29")but if you are in anything other than flooded grass they are a balancing act.
  • PickledvolvoPickledvolvo Posts: 189 Officer
    1OzLead wrote: »
    Stability is the shape of the boat and the size of the person on it. Flat bottom boats might flip, V hulls may roll if broadsided.

    Not sure if serious.
    "I throw empty beer cans at the TV when I'm watching the news.
    I hate republicans, I hate democrats, I hate liberals too!"
  • Guitarshredder1Guitarshredder1 Posts: 354 Officer
    If you are going for a "hey son, look at the thing on top of the car !" Surprise on Christmas morning, go with a ~30" wide kayak. I have researched a whole lot, two years worth of Christmases and birthdays, hoping for one from my parents. I personally like the Ocean Kayak Trident 13, based on the reviews. However, if you want to give your son a card and give him a "guess what you are going to get, let's go try some out!", then definitely find some dealers and demo some kayaks! Make sure the kayaks are angler kayaks, as it is way cheaper to start with those than it is to upgrade a kayak, and less stressful than drilling holes in one.
    www.afrcustomtackle.zxq.net
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  • mapachemapache Posts: 262 Officer
    I prefer long and skinny: 16+ feet by 24 inches. The traditional sea kayak hull designs are very fast, cut through the waves, and are more stable than a lot of new fishing kayaks because they have a low center of gravity. Just because you can stand up and cast in a boat in dead flat water doesn't mean it is less likely to flip in 4' seas (maybe the opposite). Also keep in mind that speed = safety when currents can run 4 knots offshore.
  • krashkrash Posts: 559 Officer
    I think kayak width's and weight's have gotten way out of control in the past 2 or 3 years. IMHO over 60 pounds is heavy and over 30" is wide.

    Not sure maybe its just the new realm of paddlers.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • PickledvolvoPickledvolvo Posts: 189 Officer
    krash wrote: »
    I think kayak width's and weight's have gotten way out of control in the past 2 or 3 years. IMHO over 60 pounds is heavy and over 30" is wide.

    Not sure maybe its just the new realm of paddlers.

    This.
    "I throw empty beer cans at the TV when I'm watching the news.
    I hate republicans, I hate democrats, I hate liberals too!"
  • Ridge RunnerRidge Runner Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Well, my son tried a few out over Thanksgiving. He's can't decide between the Ride 135 and the Ocean Kayak Trident. I think he would be excited with either one. The Ride is 32 in. wide while the Trident is 29.5 in. wide. I guess my question is, will that 2.5 in. make that much of a difference after paddling all day? We will be fishing mostly inshore/flats or fresh water lakes and rivers. On rare occasions we might go further out in the Gulf. Sorry to be asking dumb questions, but I don't want to be shopping for a different yak in a few months. Thanks for any help/suggestions.

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