Do you like to explore oceans? And searching for the best ocean kayak? Ocean Kayaking is quite different than your lake or river kayaking.
When you are out on an ocean, things become divergent. You need special equipment and great performance in all ways to improve your mobility and safety, and Ocean fishing kayaks are specifically designed in a way to handle unique conditions such as higher winds and rougher waves.
Focusing on Dimensions, Stability, Weight carrying capacity, storage, equipment’s to carry can be few of the major aspect to consider to avoid any wrong kayak selection.
With this detailed Guide on best ocean kayak you would be able to understand the different selecting criteria and how what to look in a kayak that is strong enough to run on sea.
So, let’s understand how to differentiate ocean kayak from other kayaks.
What Makes an Ocean Fishing Kayak Different (Beginner & Experienced)
Ocean kayaks are very tough and durable to withstand the ever-changing currents and unpredictable weather in the ocean. That’s the reason they are made to be huge. They can extend to an extra 15 feet of length and width can start from 25 inches. They don’t necessarily have to be large or small, but the longer length is important for making the kayak sail in a straight line.
Ocean Kayaks are constructed with more rigid materials than other kayaks, such as rotomolded polyethylene or carbon Kevlar, and the more frequently used fiberglass. Some ocean kayaks are still handmade with wood, however, they are covered with an external protective material, usually fiberglass for expanding their lives.
These kayaks normally contain steering that could take the form of a skeg or a rudder. Rudders are usually joined at the stern with the help of wires within the cockpit and are made to be retractable to more easy beach landings. Skegs are straight blades in the stem of the ocean kayak and these are helpful for smooth paddling when there is a strong ocean wind.
Ocean Kayak Vs River Kayak vs Lake Kayak
When it comes to comparing these three types, river kayak and lake kayak have almost the same kind of characteristics, so when I am talking about a lake kayak it also tells you about a river kayak.
Lake kayaks perform well in rivers and lakes but not in whitewater. On the other hand, ocean kayak is designed for any open water, whether it’s actually the ocean or just the interior of a large lake.
When comes to its lengths, ocean kayaks are often considerably longer. The shortest ocean kayaks come in around 9 feet but they can go all the way up to 24 feet, while you will find lake kayaks normally between 8 and 14 feet. This difference comes because of two reasons. Lake kayaks need to be able to maneuver around obstacles, while ocean kayaks generally have plenty of space and time to avoid any obstacle they might come upon.
While ocean kayaks are not always narrower most of them are 4 to 6 inches narrower. The kayak’s width changes its hull shape, ocean kayaks have a very angular profile and lake kayaks are rounded and bulging a bit around the cockpit.
In open water, the narrow hull helps an ocean kayak to cut through the waves and also keeps tracking straight. The only thing with ocean kayaks is that it can feel very tippy to paddlers who are not accustomed to them. The extra width of a lake kayak slows the kayak down and causes it to ride on top of waves instead of cutting through them. But it will provide you more stability.
There is a difference between Lake kayaks and ocean kayaks in the type of equipment and features they have, with ocean kayaks you will usually have more gear attached to them. As ocean kayaks are typically longer than the lake kayaks, they often come with a front hatch because it can be hard to access things that are stored in front of the foot-pegs on these longer kayaks.
Lake kayaks are generally not packed with nearly as much gear, they come with limited features such as fishing rod holders or carry handles.
Features To Consider Before Buying an Ocean Fishing Kayak
Types of Kayak: Sit on Top vs Sit Inside (Which one to Choose for Sea Ride)
Sot (Sit On Top)
Sit on top fishing kayak has an open cockpit allowing the user to get in and out of the kayak easily while also generating enough space for fishing.
Some SOT has a self-bailing system, which means these are designed to remove water from the cockpit area by the use of gravity, not pumps of any kind. This goes right to the bottom of the Sit-on-top Kayak. It removes unwanted water from your boat and makes it swamp free.
Another beautiful safety feature of this kayak is that if you fall off, it is much easier for you to get back on to the water.
One problem with this kayak is that you will often get some wet while paddling. But still, it makes them great kayaks for experienced paddlers and beginners.
Sik (Sit Inside Kayak)
Sit-inside kayak can be a great choice for the kayakers who will be in cooler water because it allows you to stay dry while paddling. This is a good option for one who needs a fast-moving kayak.
It has an open compartment where the angler climbs in and actually sits inside the hull of the kayak with his legs below the deck. It allows the user to brace the knees off the inside walls of the hull in order to generate more strong and efficient paddle strokes. A sit-in-kayak is often about 12 feet long or less or it could be more and has a bigger cockpit and a broader beam. You normally get more room in the hull for storing equipment.
SIK better protects in rough water and harsh weather conditions. The lower center of gravity translates to better stability and efficient paddling.
The only downside of this kayak is that if it flips, recovering is not an easy process as you are sitting inside the hull of the kayak. So, if you are learning, don’t go deep just try to stay in sheltered water or near to the shore so you can swim out if you face a kind of the same problem.
All these things make the sit-on-top kayak a great selection for nervous anglers or for beginners, and for the warm climate. The disadvantage to sit-on-top kayak is that you will get wet while paddling, while sit-inside kayaks allow you to stay dry and if you are an experienced paddler and can play well in windy and wavy conditions then sit-inside kayaks can be a good choice for you as it can gain more pace while paddling.
Solo vs Tandem Kayak
In a solo kayak, you get the freedom to go wherever and whenever you want. With this type of kayak, you have complete control and that you’ll enjoy an argument-free paddling and always have the option of kayaking when nobody else is available. Your kayak is normally lighter in weight so it can be easier for you to handle while transportation. If you like fishing, solo kayaks can be the perfect setup and can provide you more cargo space for your gear.
The cons of a solo kayak are that if you have a young child that is not very ready to paddle on their own, then single kayaks may not help you in this. Many people do paddle with kids in their laps but it’s not efficient and unsafe depending on conditions. You may lose an advantage to bond with your co-paddler.
While some prefer paddling alone, some kayakers seem to enjoy paddling with their partner.
Finally, if you wanted to share the paddling experience with someone else, you’ll obviously need to get two single kayaks, which will result in spending more than you would if you just bought one tandem kayak.
Tandem kayaks are a great way to spend quality time together with your partner, friend or children. You’ll be involved in a conversation and will be able to share the overall experience. Once you get the hang of it, paddling will be efficient and in some cases quicker also. If one tires out, the other person can continue on. While some tandem kayaks can be more costly than similar single kayak models, you will still spend less than you would if you bought two single models.
The biggest problem in a tandem kayak is the lack of freedom. You run into a condition where one person chooses to paddle in a specific direction while the other may be completely opposed to it.
There is the fact that if you want to paddle alone. Not only you will have an off-balance kayak, but it can also be a little bit difficult to control and potentially unsafe for you. And at last, if you plan to fish on a tandem kayak, just make sure you don’t hook each other.
Weight Capacity of Your Kayak
The weight capacity of a kayak is the “number’ assigned to a kayak by a manufacturer in order to help kayakers know what type of kayak suits them. It also helps anglers know how much equipment and gear they can bring on a kayak. The assigned weight capacity is indicated on every new kayak.
Usually, the weight capacity shows the weight that a kayak can carry and still float. So if a kayak has a weight limit of 300 lbs, it means the kayak will still float a little on the water surface while holding a weight of 300 lbs.
Now, because the boat will float only a little when holding a load equal to its weight carrying capacity, it will lose both its maneuverability and stability when loaded to that range. That is why it’s essential not to load a kayak to its weight limit.
So when a weight carrying capacity is shown, the user’s size for the kayak is not the exact weight limit but always a minus about 30-40 percent of the weight capacity of a kayak that offers a safe zone. For a weight limit of 300 lbs, the angler’s weight ideal for the kayak would be about 200 lbs or less, and that is only possible if the user doesn’t carry any gear along with him.
Stability of Kayak on Sea Water
Stability is where kayaks constructed for the ocean differ from nearly every other type of kayak available in the market.
These kayaks need to have enough stability to withstand wave conditions and extreme surf that the sea brings. This can be difficult to come by because kayaks for the ocean also need to be narrower to move straight forward efficiently. But this is where secondary stability works for it.
A more narrow ocean kayak can easily tip over than a wider one. Manufacturers have figured this problem out and come up with a way of fixing it. Primary stability means when you are simply sitting on the water not paddling much. The secondary stability is when you are moving your kayak at great force and still it does not tip over.
Secondary stability can be seen by looking at the shape of its hull. A sharper or rounded hull will be the ones to look at. The hull is the shape of the curve at the ground of your boat. It is one of the most significant aspects of your kayak that will not only tell its overall stability but also how fast your kayak will travel.
Length and Width of the Kayak
Ocean kayaks normally start from around 12 feet for a solo ocean kayak, there are some shorter ocean kayaks starting around 10 ft and the longest can go up to 20 ft Tandem ocean kayak lengths average about another 1 to 2 ft longer than solo.
You will observe that ocean kayaks are a bit longer than other recreational kayaks since longer kayaks are faster, track straight and cut through the water better than their shorter alternatives. This is because a longer kayak is narrower or slim and can still displace the same amount of water that it can give the same buoyancy as a shorter or wider kayak does.
Ocean kayaks come in different width sizes. Generally telling, choosing a wider ocean kayak will provide better stability and is a better option for the beginners. Widths around 30-35 inches will suit best to your requirements.
If you will go below these given widths with a longer kayak the chances of flipping over can be increased. So, make sure to choose the combination of the right width and length in order to gain good speed and stability.
When you are going out to the ocean with your kayak, having a good amount of storage space can be very useful, especially when you are planning to fish with a lot of gear.
For ocean kayaks, you should search dry storage. Ideally, your kayak should have storage hatches both in front and rear of your seat, so you can store fish in the front and valuable material and gear in the back.
It is always a great idea to have some dry bags to keep your gear from getting wet, even if the hatches are dry. Ocean kayaks will also have bungee cord rigging where you can secure your gear.
If you are fishing offshore you should also look for how much-dedicated fishing storage is available. a kayak designed for fishing will have somewhere to store your paddle while you are enjoying a snack or reeling in your catch and will generally have built-in rod holders, as well as You may also want to look for a kayak that has built-in gear tracks making it able for you to mount other fishing accessories.
If you plan to spend multiple days camping while kayaking, you should also consider the amount of space offered for your camping gear as well as your fishing and paddling gear.
Propulsion Of Your Kayak
A kayak is mainly propelled by a powered motor, paddle or a pedal. Although there are advantages and disadvantages of all propulsion methods, we will discuss below how these methods work.
To the paddlers who want to reach their destination faster, motor kayaks offer affordable transportation that fits on the roof of your car and fits in your garage. This method needs less manual labor and makes the user feel less tired.
The cons of this method are that there is extra weight added because of the motor, deck space is decreased, the expense of power batteries and other maintenance costs. The noise of the motor can scare the fish and thus making it difficult for you to catch a fish.
The paddling method offers you great practical advantages.
This method can be used in much shallower areas and is decent for silent easing on a grass flat. It is more responsive in maneuvering around docks or mangroves as your kayak can easily move front and back. You can store a lot more gears because of a lot of space left behind.
The downside of the paddle is that you can not normally use it when waves and winds are in truly harsh conditions. Another issue with it is that it makes some splashes while paddling and this can inform fishes of you.
The pedal is a great method of propulsion offering affordability, versatility, speed, control.
It generates increased torque which easily overcomes waves and winds, so you can reach your destination sooner in adverse conditions. Because your legs are stronger and provide more stamina than your arms, you are less likely to tire soon. This method offers you good stability and pedals leave your hands free for fishing.
It is powered by a propeller placed below the kayak and a hand-operated rudder is provided for better tracking.
The only disadvantage of this method is that it does not perform well in shallow areas.
Seat Comfortability, Support, Adjustments, and Easy Replacement
When it comes to fishing, the seat of your kayak is one of the most important features. We all know that fishing takes patience and time But if your seat is not comfortable and relaxing both of these things will give you discomfort. Be sure to ensure that the kayak seat should be comfortable. You can do this by making sure it is extra padded or not.
Sitting in one position can cause you a lot of discomfort to your legs and back. Adjusting your seat into a more reclined position can reduce this discomfort and make you able to sit for some more hours. Check whether your kayak has back support and adjustable or a foldable seat.
Some kayaks do not come with an extra-fine seat but they do have the option to replace. There are some extra padded comfortable seats available in the market, you can replace your seat with an aftermarket seat.
Kayak Rod Holders
Fishing rod holders always provide you a more comfortable fishing experience. You have to see whether the kayak you are looking at has rod holders built into the hull.
Some companies incorporate rod holders into the design of the kayak from the very beginning of construction, and these options will usually be flush mounted to the hull, which makes for less snagging lines and a sleeker design gear when you are fishing out there on the open water.
Some other versions are bolted onto the hull of the kayak, and if you are a beginner, you may face a trickier fishing experience when you are out on the water. The final thing to check out is how many rod holders are there so that you and your partner can accommodate all the fishing rods
Kayaks come with a whole range of extra accessories that are designed to make your kayaking and fishing more enjoyable and more comfortable. Some kayaks have far more internal storage than their counterparts, so it’s a good idea to look at how much storage you need. How much gear do you normally take on a trip?
If you like to fish in warmer climates, then choose a kayak that features an onboard cooler to keep your favorite beverages ready to drink. If you need to carry it around a lot, search for the models that have carry handles. If you are on a low budget, check whether the models you are viewing come with paddles, or will you have to buy them separately.
Before choosing a model look for what you need day-to-day and think carefully about how you will use your kayak. There is a whole host of included extra accessories available in the market, so select wisely.
10 Top Rated Best Ocean Fishing Kayaks Review
Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost
Sea Ghost 130 gives you great speed and stability. Users can go wherever they want with less endeavor and they can easily stand and fish once they get there. The well-balanced hull provides you unique performance while the included rudder system tracks well and saves your energy during long day paddling, windy days, and strong tides.
This kayak consists of 4 integrated gear tracks and 2 flush-mount holders It has a 20” oval hatch, a large bungee rear tank well, a rear hatch, and a large center console, The dual-position seat offers you great comfort and back support for you to have a long time on the water.
The Sea Ghost 130 is made with single-piece Rotomolded Polyethylene making it a toughened kayak to rule on waters.
Length – 13 ft
Width – 33 inch
Weight – 75 lbs
Capacity – 550 lbs
- Various storage compartments.
- Contain a rudder for better tracking.
- Great speed and stability.
- Comfortable seats with backrest.
- Rudder and foot control system might occur difficulty to some in shallows.
- The big center console occupies a lot of space.
Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak $899.99
The Elkton Outdoors Tandem Sit On Top Kayak is the wonderful fishing kayak for ocean, rivers, and lakes. It is made with ultra-durable Rotomold providing crack and puncture-resistant properties to the kayak.
The mounted adjustable rod holders permit for an adaptable fishing experience with any kind of water or climatic conditions. The internal storage is fully airtight to ensure your important materials are not spoiled while you are on the water.
Additional storage can be seen at each end of the Elkton, so you can bring all your fishing gear and stuff along with you. The Center of the kayak contains a platform that fits ice chests and coolers to let you bring your favorite and special drinks.
Length – 12.2 ft
Width – 36 inch
Weight – 72 lbs
Capacity – 650 lbs
- Storage available for ice chests and cooler.
- Two carry handles for uncomplicated transport.
- Grand weight carrying capacity.
- Performs well in rough water and extreme weather conditions.
- Sometimes it feels difficult to navigate if driven solo.
Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Sun Dolphin Journey’s compact size will actually bring more thrills to you on the waters. Like other kayaks, it can also withstand calm and rough water conditions. This kayak is not too costly but could provide you equal excitement and fun like the expensive one. It has got enough stability to carry you and your fishing gear.
The kayak includes one swivel rod holder and two flush-mount rod holders. The large open cockpit gives you an adjustable padded seat, storage compartments with water bottle holders. The self-bailing feature adds more good performance to the kayak.
The Journey paddles and tracks well and is suitable for lakes, rivers, and sea.
Length – 10 ft
Width – 30
Weight – 44 lbs
Capacity – 250 lbs
- Adjustable foot braces.
- Comforting seating area with protective thigh pads.
- Portable accessory carrier.
- little bit low carrying capacity.
SUN DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Boss SS Sit-On/Stand On Top Angler Kayak
The Sun dolphin boss SS is designed specifically with keeping fishermen in mind, it is loaded with features normally seen only on high-end expensive models of kayaks.
It is a stable, sturdy sit-on-top kayak that all fishermen could buy easily. This kayak comes with a catamaran hull for better balance. It is maneuverable, tracks well and provides a stable platform for a kayaker who likes to do stand-up fishing.
The Boss SS is included with good front and rear storage wells for milk crate and bucket. You will get non-slip pads and stand-up straps as a safety feature. The twin position fold-down padded seat gives you great support while paddling.
Length – 12.3 ft
Width – 33 inch
Weight – 78 lbs
Capacity – 500 lbs
- Catamaran hull design offers you a flat stable platform to stand.
- Comes with 4 flush-mount rod holders.
- Great storage option given.
- No color choice available.
- A little bit heavier than its alternative
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack | Foot Angler and Recreational
The Skipjack 90 is close-packed, portable and its small size makes it fit in the boot of most SUVs or is easily on the roof of a car. This kayak has a front and rear storage compartments for you to take extra stuff. It has a seat on its top supporting a backrest.
This kayak is built with Rotomolded single piece high-density polyethylene (HDPE) giving the skipjack great durability. It comes with a padded seat, a Journey paddle 4 x flush mount rod holders, leak-proof storage and plenty of compatibility with fishing gears.
Length – 9 ft
Width – 32 inch
Weight – 46 lbs
Capacity – 300 lbs
- It is a great option for beginners.
- The Small size of this kayak does not occupy a large area for storage.
- Handles for easier carriage.
- Seems good.
- The shorter length makes it move relatively at slow speed.
- Not suitable for long day paddling.
- The seat is not completely movable.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two (SOT Recreation Kayak)
The Ocean kayak Malibu is the most popular sit-on-top tandem kayak in the world, it is compact, ready for the ocean and freshwater adventure alike.
It gives you versatility and stability both at the same time. It can be used for solo paddling as well as a tandem. You can even take a third passenger (depending on weight capacity), with seating of one or two adults adding a small child or a pet, makes it a great kayak for tandem users.
The tri-hull construction helps this kayak to accept the paddlers of all skill levels and it is designed to stabilize on calm rivers and moderate waves. It has a good carrying capacity. They have provided two Comfort Plus seat backs with adjustability and extra foam padding for you to not feel tired soon.
Length – 12 ft
Width – 34 inch
Weight – 57 lbs
Capacity – 425 lbs
- Several footrest positions.
- Ideal for couples or small families.
- Can be operated solo or tandem.
- It is comfortable for tall or overweight people.
- Limited color choices accessible.
- You have to buy paddles separately because they are not included with the kayak.
Perception Pescador Pro
The Perception Pescador Pro leads to serious fishing performance, stability, and comfort to its customers. The sit-on-top design offers you a fair amount of storage and accessory mount options make it easy for all-day use.
The versatile and removable camp chair is the most relaxed seat found on any fishing kayak. The lighter weight of the kayak improves transportation and maneuverability, allowing you to fish easily on the waters.
The kayak is manufactured with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) providing great build quality leading to toughness, abrasion, and impact resistance. It comes with fishing rod holders and is suitable for lakes, ponds, and oceans.
Length -12 ft
Width – 32.5 inch
Weight – 64 lbs
Capacity – 375 lb
- Providing comfortable seating.
- Easy to maneuver and to carry.
- Mesh available for securing your material.
- Unstable rod holders.
- Sometimes struggles a little bit in whitewater.
Ocean Kayak Frenzy
The Ocean Kayak Frenzy One-Person Sit-On-Top sea Kayak Offering big fun in a compact hull, it is a versatile choice for ocean, rivers and other adventurers. It is a well responsive and stable kayak that consists of a self-bailing system making it easy and safe for you to use.
This kayak comes with a tri-form hull offering primary and secondary stability. It has a long center keel to keep the kayaker going directly forward. The frenzy contains a four-way-adjustable comfort plus seat to save your strength enough for all-day paddling.
The stern tank with removable bungees and bow deck bungee gives you good storage to store your gears, food and other materials. The molded-in side handles and bow and stern carrying handles allow you to carry the Frenzy easily.
Length – 9 ft
Width – 31 inch
Weight – 43 lbs
Capacity – 325 lbs
- Provides great stability on the water.
- Portable and.compact design.
- Self-bailing holes don’t allow Frenzy to swamp.
- Speeding up is difficult because of the shorter length.
- No paddles and scupper holes are there in it.
Perception Rambler 13.5 | Sit on Top Tandem Kayak
The Perception Rambler is a playful sit-on-top tandem kayak offering supreme stability and enjoyment for a wide range of ages and abilities. Perfect for having fun on ocean bays, lakes, and rivers, the Rambler energizes confidence in a design that is simple to maneuver.
It has a roomy molded-in seat that offers easy to get in and out for anyone. An additional mold-in center seat for the kids and pets. The bungee cord lashes secure gear of any size and shape. This kayak can be configured for a solo paddler with the installation of 4 deck loops that are sold separately.
With one-piece roto mold construction and hand-assembled in the USA, the Rambler offers you great strength and performance.
Length – 13.5 ft
Width – 34 inch
Weight – 78 lbs
Capacity – 550 lbs
- Affordable price.
- Leak-proof one-piece construction.
- You can take a child or your pet along with you.
- No drain plugs.
- More comfortable seats needed for all-day paddling.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak
The Lifetime Tamarack Angler Kayak is a sit-on-top fishing kayak that has a relaxing soft padded seat and backrest support for your long day paddling and fishing adventures.
It is designed to provide you great stability and safety, the Tamarack Angler has a stable flat bottom with deep tracking channels and stability chine rails to make you go straight without any difficulties. This kayak is constructed with blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) making it durable, impact and abrasion-resistant.
The additional components included such as fishing rod holders, two storage hatches, multiple footrest positions, and shock cord straps will exalt your kayaking experience.
Length – 10 ft
Width – 31 inch
Weight – 52 lbs
Capacity – 275 lb
- Very good stability.
- Numerous Footrest Placement for Different Size Paddlers.
- Three-rod holders for you to offer hassle-free paddling.
- Super tracking ability.
- Sometimes faces hardship in rougher conditions.
- Only one Color available.
Well, there we have it. We have taken a broad look at the best ocean fishing kayak and their aspects. I hope now you won’t feel any difficulties to select an Ocean kayak, but still, I will add some recommendations to help you more.
Over all performance – The perfect performer for you will be Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost.
Editor’s Pick – Elkton outdoors tandem 12.2 is my choice.
Affordable – For the paddlers with a tight budget, I will recommend Sun Dolphin Journey.
However, All the above reviewed kayaks are well suited for any ocean ride. you can pick any one from it.
I truly believe that this article has really helped you, and now it’s time for you to go out and explore the huge water bodies.