What is a Touring Kayak?

Kayak paddling is an excellent means of adventure and relaxation. People who prefer the sea, river, or lake trips always go for it. However, they cannot use the same kayak for every mission. Going through clam water, waves, or aggressive current are not the same things.

And you need a specific kind of kayaks for each of the cases. Today, we are going to share details about a particular one named touring kayak.

Important Facts to Know About Touring Kayaks

Touring Kayak

So, what is a touring kayak? It is a specialized small boat for covering long distances against wind and current. It is mainly for sports activities and sea exploring. That’s why many people call it sea kayak as well. They typically come in sit-inside versions. It covers our lower body from the airflow and water splashes.


Plus, the cushioned seat and adjustable straps make the tiring paddling quite comfortable. Therefore, if you are planning for multi-days’ ocean expeditions, all you need is a touring kayak. Don’t try it if you are a newbie.

Touring vs Recreational Kayaks

Many of us consider recreational boats to be inexpensive touring kayaks. It is true to some extent since you have to pay a lot of bucks for touring kayaks. The cost is for the requirements of better materials. The manufacturers use fiberglass, thermoformed, carbon-composite elements for their construction.


As you can assume, they make the kayaks strong and durable. Even if you travel miles dodging hundreds of obstacles, they withstand the high abrasion. The length lies within 12 to 24 feet range or even longer while the width can reach up to 34 inches.  Such a structure ensures cargo capacity and fast movements. We need intermediate to high skills to guide them.

What is a Touring Kayak?
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On the other hand, a recreational canoe generally consists of polyethylene particles. It is heavy and not too strong enough for long-term use. It barely crosses 12 feet and 30-inches in length and width, respectively. Hence, these models don’t have ample storage for multi-week survival. Their slow speed is also a significant defect. The beginners find them useful for learning the basics of paddling on slow-flowing streams.

Performance Analysis

We have already mentioned some advantages in the previous section. Let’s take a look at overall performance.

  • Stability: Maintaining the right gesture is the key thing while being on sea-water. A slightly unbalanced move may lead to flipping. You don’t have to worry about it with a touring kayak. Its wider shape covers more surface area compared to other models. As a result, the kayak resists side-to-side tipping when moving or at rest. Thus, it provides optimum stability.
  • Speed: Speed indicated the efficiency of a kayak during moving through liquid. The long kayaks are blessed with the most speed efficiency. As we all know, touring kayaks are pretty long; the same thing is applicable. They will take you to the destination faster than the rest of the kayaks.
  • Tracking: it refers to the kayak’s capability to go in a straight line. The sea paddlers usually bring a compass for knowing the direction. They guide the boat accordingly. When it maneuvers randomly, there is a chance of losing the track. For this reason, the touring kayaks have super tracking power.


Touring kayaks has a few downsides. Due to the design, they might not handle narrow watercourses. They also get stuck in places having a couple of bends. The size can be a trouble for transportation and storage. Leading the kayaks needs skills, experience, knowledge of kayak safety techniques. The new learners cannot use it directly.  Most people even need the help of an expert to know how to enter or sit on it.

Use Cases

The touring kayaks are used for the followings:

  • Expedition trips: People use a touring kayak on marine journeys for several weeks. They want to visit new places during these hours. Most of them spend these days by paddling and overnight camping. It is possible because the kayaks can accommodate everything they need. You can fit camping items, foods, first-aid-kits, clothes, and other essentials in it.
  • Surf kayaking: It is a fun sport involving surfing sea-waves with boats. It is almost similar to regular surfing. Instead of a surfboard, the paddlers use kayaks and paddles in surf zones. You can use the same touring kayak for day-trip and surf kayaking. But you have to be prepared very well. The length of these kayaks restricts maneuverability in the surf. You will fail to land them properly without utilizing strategies.
  • Fishing: The users are allowed to take the touring kayaks for fishing, especially in the ocean. Unlike most other kayaks, they feature roomy compartments. The fisherman can bring all carp fishing gear and collect fishes in these areas. Another good fact is that the kayaks remain stable in running and stationary conditions. Consequently, we can cast the net and change position easily.

Suitable Paddles

The performance of a kayak depends on selecting an ideal paddle to move through the water. As you will be in sea-water, you have to face waves, currents, and strong wind. You cannot guide the kayak without a strong paddle. A heavy paddle is okay for paddling some hours. But it can be injurious when it comes to kayaking for extended periods.

The paddle should be lightweight so that you will sense less fatigue. At the same time, it has to be robust and long-lasting. Fiberglass or carbon-fiberglass paddle fulfills both requirements. Then decide whether you want a straight shaft or bent shaft. Bent designs apply less pressure on hands and wrists. Next, determine the kayak paddle size and shape of the blades.

Narrow blades are suitable for long-angle paddling, which might not be appropriate for sea kayaking. For fast and aggressive paddling, get winder blades. Most importantly, choose a kayak paddle blade according to your height and kayak’s diameter.

A short paddle does not perform well with these kayaks because they are quite large. Besides, the tall people need a longer shaft than an average paddler. There are more criteria to judge paddle, such as feathering, adjustable rod, etc. Pick whichever satisfies your demand.

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