The Weight of a Kayak and Other Interesting Facts

These are small watercraft that are generally manually propelled. They can transport one or two passengers depending on the design and size of the vessel.

Kayaks can be easily propelled through the water. They are used for recreational activities and fishing. 

How Much Does A Kayak Weigh?

The average kayak weighs about 65 pounds. These personal watercraft, (PWC) come in different sizes and are made in different styles and out of different materials. That is why a kayak may weigh as little as 32 pounds or as much as 144 pounds.

How Many Sizes Of Kayaks Are There?

different sizes of kayaks

Kayaks range in sizes between 6 feet and 18+ feet. The longest of these vessels are used for sea travel and ocean travel.

Kayak sizes differ in length, weight, width, and volume. 

Weight Capacity Of A Kayak

There is a big difference between how much a kayak weighs and the amount of weight the kayak can transport safely.

The amount of weight a kayak can transport is the weight of the rider and all of the gear that is being placed in the boat.

Choosing Your Kayak

The length of the vessel and the weight of the vessel are very important. 

Different lengths and types of kayaks perform better in different water types.


If you will use the little boat primarily in river waters you will want one that is between 8 and 13 feet in length. 

When riding the river in one of these you will be more concerned with width and stability than you are with speed and agility.


If you primarily play in the waters of lakes, you can use boats that are 8 to 13 feet in length.

Lakes often have bigger waves for the kayaker to face and if your primary lake has these bigger waves then you will want to get a touring kayak rather than a recreational one.

The touring style is longer and sleeker. They cover greater distances in shorter amounts of time. They are typically never shorter than 12 feet.

Oceans and Seas

Sea kayaks

These bigger waters require boats that are at least 12 feet in length.

You will want to select a touring kayak or a sea kayak because of its longer and sleeker shapes. It is easier to navigate the waves in these vessels than it is in recreational and shorter boats.

Things to consider

When you are buying a kayak, you need to consider a few things before you make the purchase.

  • Is the kayak light enough that you can easily lift it?
  • Is the length of the boat too long for you to easily maneuver?
  • Will you be able to transport the boat on top of your vehicle in a rack or will you need to buy a trailer?
  • Is it designed to allow you to sit in it or is it a stand-up only device?
  • Is it designed for one or two people?
  • Does it have storage space?

Think of when and where you will use the vessel the most. Will you be alone or will you have a companion that can help you carry it to the water and get it back out of the water?

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable Kayak and Fins

The weight of inflatable kayaks may be less than 30 pounds. They are affordable, and they are fun.

Pros of Inflatables

  • They are light and easy to lift
  • They do not require a trailer to transport
  • They store in small areas
  • They can be cheaper than the hard shell alternatives
  • They do not require any rigging

Cons of Inflatables

  • They are affected greatly by currents and wind
  • It takes a long time to get them fully inflated
  • They are heavier than you might think
  • The oars need assembly
  • You can puncture them on rocks and hidden objects

Dangers of Kayaking

Kayaking Accident

Drowning is the number one danger associated with kayaking. It is not the only danger that a kayaker faces.

  • When in cold water conditions hypothermia or cold water shock are real concerns
  • Getting lost or losing your bearings
  • Drinking while kayaking increases the possibility of a deadly accident
  • Inexperience increases the chances of a kayaking accident
  • Adverse weather
  • Sun exposure
  • Capsizing
  • Other watercraft
  • Wildlife encounters

Did You know?

  • Longer kayaks can travel faster
  • Traditional tribal users called their version of these boat umiaks.
  • Many kayakers who head out into open waters dehydrate.
  • Kayaks are lighter than animal skin canoes.
  • The oldest kayak is about 4000 years old.
  • It is believed that Eskimos are the people who invented the kayak.
  • Kayaking was introduced to the Olympic games as a sport in 1936.
  • You burn a lot of calories and use a lot of energy while kayaking.
  • Kayak builds muscle strength.
  • Kayaking improves your core strength.


What Is The Best Kayak For A Beginner?

Typically, a 10 ft recreational kayak is a good choice for a beginner.

Can You Flip A Kayak?

Yes, these personal watercraft can be flipped in many different ways.

Can Kayaks Sink?

It can be very difficult to sink a Kayak but it can be done.

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