Buying a Touring vs Recreational Kayak

by frank on May 8, 2014

More into Fun or Looking For a New Challenge?

We decided to write the following since we sometimes do forget beginnings who might be confused when buying their first kayak. The following information will cover the main differences between Touring vs Recreational kayaks, as well as a few suggesting on which models within these two classes are best suited for beginners.

If you are new to the sport, thinking about buying a kayak for the first time then you may have noticed there are many different types, classes and sizes of kayaks with various features to choose from. All these different styles do exist for a reason: To meet individual paddlers needs and to perform best in different water conditions.

Understanding the type of kayak you need to satisfy your intended use can be somewhat confusing. However, there are a couple things you can do to help you along the way in making your final purchase decision. The #1 thing you can do is keep reading this post. You can also:

Read online reviews on different models (we have 100′s of reviews on our site), you can talk with experienced paddlers about what’s best for you.

If you have no experienced paddlers at your disposable. We would recommend visiting a forum online where you can leave a question and no doubt someone will come along and give you an answer. You can also leave a comment on our site which we will answer.

There are more than few good online forums to visit and ask questions, two our favorite are the Yakangler and kayakforum.com.

Touring vs Recreational

There are many differences in the builds and designs of these two styles, Touring and Recreational. If you are confused which is best suited for you then all you need to do is ask yourself a couple simple questions.

Are you or do you intend to become a serious paddler? Or are you more looking for fun in the sun? 

  • If you answered, just looking for occasional fun in the sun out on the water. Then recreational kayaks are for you.

Recreational styles are the most affordable kayaks on the market. These are simple kayaks which are mainly used in calm waters.

  • If you answered you want to become a serious paddler then touring kayaks are for you

These kayaks are designed for more challenging water conditions, longer paddling and have better maneuverability and tracking in the water. Great for people who want to improve their paddling skills. These Touring kayak models are usually more expensive compared to Recreational prices.

What Models Are the Best

Keep in mind the following models are recommend for beginners.

In the area of recreation for beginners:

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Feet – We like this one a lot and think it’s perfect for calm lakes. This is a sit-inside model and has received many complimentary reviews from previous customers. Read our review and tell us what you think about this Sun Dolphin Model.

Old Town 10 Vapor – Highly rated by current customers and priced just under $400. 

Ocean Kayak 9-Frenzy Sit-On-Top - This model as received almost a 5-star rating from the buyers over at Amazon.

Twin Heron Angler Recreational – This is a tandem recreational model that’s also set up for fishing.

Emotion Temptation – Very high rating for customers. Comes in bright colors for added safety out on the water.

Best Touring models for beginners:  

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145

Elie Strait 140 XE Kayak with Rudder

Current Designs Double Vision Roto

Perception Tribute 12 Kayak

If you are still confused on what you should by concerning, touring vs recreational kayaks please leave us a message in our comments section below so we can help you. If you haven’t seen any models that interest you on this page, visit our home page where you will find links to reviews on 100′s of different models available

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