Are Sit On Top Kayaks Good For Rivers? Benefits – 2022

Are sit on top kayaks good for rivers? This is a question that many people have, and the answer is yes, they can be. However, there are some things you need to know before you go out on the river in one of these kayaks.

In this post, we will discuss what you need to know to safely kayak on a river in a sit on top kayak. Keep reading to learn more!

What are The Benefits of a Sit On Top Kayak? 

Sit On Top kayaks are known for their durability and stability. This is in part because they are made to sit on top of the water, rather than in it as a traditional kayak. Here are a couple of other benefits.

They Are Durable

With a Sit On Top kayak, you will have a durable shell that is going to protect your inside of the boat from impact with rocks, branches, and debris.

They Are Inexpensive 

In comparison to other types of kayaks, these are significantly less expensive. Most people who purchase one do so because it is all they can afford. 

They Are Simple

You don’t need to know how to swim or have any previous kayaking experience with a sit on top, so these are great for beginners!

Easier To Carry

To load your Sit On Top kayak up onto your car or into the bed of a truck, all you have to do is either turn it over or flip it upside down. 

Are Good For Beginners

Again, because of the many benefits of this type of kayak, they are great for beginners to try out before they commit to anything more expensive and difficult with a traditional kayak. 

Are Sit On Top Kayaks Good For Rivers? 

Sit On Top kayaks are good for all sorts of different water situations. Are they good for rivers? Yes! But, there are a few things you need to know before you go out on one of your first adventures in these kayaks.

They Are Not As Maneuverable

If you want something that is easy to maneuver and that is going to go where you want it to, a regular kayak is the way to go. Sit On Top kayaks are not as maneuverable and can be hard to control unless you have experience. 

Are Not Good For Whitewater Rivers

If you plan on going out in a river that has rapids or whitewater, stay far away from these kayaks. Whitewater is not something that they are designed to handle, and you could seriously injure yourself trying to make it through rapids in one of these kayaks. 

Are Not Good For Paddling Long Distances

If you want to paddle long distances on flat water for days at a time, a traditional kayak would be much better for you. Because Sit On Top kayaks are less maneuverable, they are not great for this type of paddling. 

Are Not Suited To Kayak Fishing

These kayaks are not ideal for fishing because they do not have the stability that you need to fish from one when out on a river. 

How to Safely Navigate a River in a Sit On Top Kayak? 

To safely navigate a river in a sit on top kayak, there are some things you need to know. These include being aware of potential dangers, checking the current conditions of the river, and having an idea about how many people can go out on each kayak so that everyone stays safe. 

Are Aware Of Dangers

There are many different dangers that you need to be aware of when navigating a river. An obvious one is rocks or other debris in the water. You also need to know about other boats on the water, since another kayak can cause you just as much trouble as a rock would if it were not alerted to their presence. 

Are Aware Of Current Conditions

You must know what the current conditions of the river are before you go out on it. Are there any dams downstream? Are there any rapids or whitewater areas that you want to avoid? Are there any other things that could affect your navigation of the river that you need to be aware of? Knowing these things ahead of time is the only way to navigate a river safely. 

Are Prepared For The Number Of People In Your Group

This last one may seem obvious, but many people have been hurt or killed because more people were in a kayak than it was intended for. If you are going out on a river with a group of people, make sure that you all know how many people can safely fit into a kayak.


Are Sit On Top kayaks good for rivers? It all comes down to how well you are able to use them. If you are an expert at kayaking, then they are the perfect choice for you, but if you want something easier to use, a traditional kayak might be better. As long as you know what exactly it is that you want from a kayak, then it is easy to decide which kind you should go for! 


Are Sit On Top kayaks safe?

When used correctly, a Sit On Top kayak is safe, but you need to know what you are doing to use it correctly. Are traditional kayaks safer? Yes! Are they more versatile? No. It all comes down to an individual choice about what kind of kayaking interests them the most. 

Are sit on top kayaks good for single-person use?

Yes, Sit On Top kayaks can be used by one person. 

Are traditional kayaks better?

No. It all comes down to what you plan on using the kayak for and your personal preferences.

Do you get wet in a sit-on-top kayak?

It’s a common question we hear all the time. The simple answer is yes, you will get wet when paddling a sit-on-top kayak. But, there are ways to stay relatively dry while paddling and enjoying your time on the water. The best way to stay dry is to purchase a spray skirt.

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