How Big Should My Kayak Be? Measuring Tips – 2022

As a kayaker, you know that the size of your kayak is important. There’s no doubt that kayaks provide a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. But before you buy your first kayak, you need to figure out what size is right for you.

So the main question is how big should my kayak be? The simple answer is that kayaks vary in size, and the right size depends on your needs.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different sizes of kayaks and help you determine which one is best for you.

How Big Should My Kayak Be?

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a kayak. Once you know how big your kayak should be, decide if you want one with an open cockpit or sit-on-top design. Then think about the type of paddling you plan to do and the type of water on which you’ll be paddling. All of these things will play a role in choosing the right size kayak for your needs.

 How Long Should Your Kayak Be For You?

Kayaks vary in size, but your overall size plays a role when choosing the right one for you. The following are just some of the things to consider when figuring out how big should my kayak be.

When determining the length of your kayak, there are two ways to measure it: bow to stern and waterline to the waterline.

Bow to stern is easy to measure and helps you figure out the length of your kayak but doesn’t give you the actual size of it. If you sit in your kayak at its widest point (the beam) and then measure from bow to stern, that’s the length of your boat. This measurement tells how long your kayak is, but it doesn’t tell you the width of the kayak.

The other way to measure your kayak is by waterline. Waterline length measures how long your boat will be when floating in the water without any weight inside, which is also known as light cruising trim.

To get the waterline length of your kayak, follow these steps:

  • Measure the outer perimeter of your cockpit opening.
  • Subtract 2 inches from this number.
  • Take the resulting number and add it to the bow and stern overhanging lengths (the ends of the boat that stick up higher than the hull) to get your waterline length.

How Wide Should Your Kayak Be?

Finding the right width for your kayak is just as important as finding its length. After all, if your boat doesn’t fit you properly, it won’t matter how long or short it is.

Your paddling style dictates the correct width of your kayak. As a rule, wider kayaks are more stable, which is great if you’re a beginner or have trouble balancing. Narrow kayaks give you greater speed and efficiency but take a lot of effort to keep upright.

The width of your boat can be measured in two ways: bow to stern and beam.

Bow to stern is the same method used for measuring bow to stern. Taking your cockpit opening, measure it from side to side and then subtract 2 inches. That’s the width of your boat.

Beamwidth is also easy to measure and can be done in two ways: waterline beam (see right for instruction on how to get this measurement) or outside beam (the widest point on the hull).

How To Measure Your Body For A Kayak That Fits You Perfectly?

Now that you know how to measure your kayak, take your height and find your size.

Here are some general guidelines for choosing the best fit based on height:

  • If you’re between 5 feet and 5’7″, choose a short kayak or sit-in kayak with an open cockpit.
  • If you’re between 5’8″ and 6′, choose a short kayak or sit-in kayak with an open cockpit.
  • For anyone over 6 feet, get a longer kayak with a closed cockpit.

Please note that these are just guidelines. You should also consider your paddling style and the type of water you’ll be paddling in. For example, shorter kayaks are faster than longer ones because they’re more streamlined. But if you’re paddling in rough water, you should go with a longer kayak for greater stability.


I hope this article about how big should my kayak be will help you to find the appropriate size and style of a kayak that fits your needs. Remember that it’s not just about what size your kayak is, but it’s also about choosing the right style for you.


Q1. How does the length of the kayak affect the way it moves in water?

The length of a kayak is important because it determines how easily the kayak will move. Longer kayaks are faster than shorter ones because they create less drag in the water.

Q2. Why is the width of a kayak important?

The width of a kayak is important because it affects how stable the kayak is. Wider kayaks offer greater stability, but narrower kayaks offer greater speed and efficiency.

Q3. When is the right time to get a kayak that’s longer than it is wide?

Getting a kayak that’s longer than it is wide is good for beginners or people who have trouble balancing because the kayak will be more stable.

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