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Fastest Sit On Top Kayak

Kayaking is one of the most loved recreational activities worldwide that anyone can enjoy regardless of age. You can participate in many kayaking activities like kayak fishing, touring, kayak racing, and many others.

The best part about kayaking is that there are many types of kayaks suitable for each event, from the sit-inside kayak to touring, pedaling, inflatable kayaks, and sit-on-top kayaks.

What is a Sit on Top Kayak?

A sit-on-top kayak is one of the most popular designs for beginner paddlers and fishermen and is the fastest recreational kayak. They have better paddling experience and enough space to accommodate bigger paddlers.

Telling apart sit-on-top kayaks from other kayaks is easy because they have an open cockpit, positioning the paddler on top of the kayak above the water instead of inside the kayak. Sit-on-top kayaks have many advantages, including stability, comfort, and flexibility. However, they require more effort to propel.

That said, here are the advantages and disadvantages of sit-on-top:

Pros of Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Here are some of the advantages of sit-on-top kayaks:

1. Spacious

One of the advantages of sit-on-top kayaks is that they’re spacious, with enough legroom even for larger paddlers looking for the best fishing kayaks or a recreational kayak they’ll be comfortable in.

Also, they’re one of the best camping and fishing kayaks, as they have enough storage space for your fishing and camping gear.

2. Safe and easy to use

As discussed, sit-on-top kayaks have an open cockpit, making it easier to get on and off. You can quickly salvage the situation if the kayak flips over because you’re not confined within the kayak.

3. Comfortable

The sit-on-top kayaks have a state-of-the-art seating system that provides comfort for all paddlers, including big kayak paddlers. Another factor that adds to the comfortability of a sit-on-top kayak is that it has an adjustable seat that is breathable and well-customized for beach bums.

4. Stable

Sit-on-top kayaks have a higher center of gravity and are wider, making them more stable than sit-inside kayaks. The stability of a sit-on-top makes it the best kayak, whether you want to go for an expedition on flat water or calm water or just looking for a sea kayak.

5. Unlikely to capsize

Another advantage of sit-on-tops is that they’re unlikely to capsize. They have a completely enclosed hull design that makes them unsinkable when you hit rough waves.

6. Have self-bailing scupper holes

As mentioned, sit-on-tops are unlikely to capsize, but if they do, they have self-bailing scupper holes that drain the water out of the cockpit. Therefore, it’s the best ocean kayak for a wet ride or surfing because you don’t have to carry a bilge pump.

Cons of Sit-on-Top Kayaks      

Sit-on-tops aren’t all good; they also have some cons, and it’ll be best if you know them before buying one. They include the following:

1. Slower

The broader beam of these kayaks gives them initial stability and slows them down. This means you have to paddle two times harder than when using a sit-inside kayak. They’re, therefore, best for shorter trips and kayak fishing and not an excellent option for kayak racing.

2. More exposure to the elements

Another disadvantage of the sit-on-tops is that you’re more exposed to the elements like cold weather, wind, and rain because of the open cockpit. This means there may be better recreational kayak options than this if you plan on kayaking in lousy weather.      

3. Scupper holes

While the scupper holes help the sit-on-tops drain water faster, they may also allow water into the kayak from underneath.  

4. Need for longer paddles

If you’re planning to use a sit-on-top kayak for your fishing expedition, you should note that you’ll need a longer paddle, and the longer the paddle, the longer the Moment Arm and the more effort required to propel the kayak.

5. Limited control

Another con of sit-on-tops is that they limit your control of the kayak. You can’t place your knees against the underside of the deck due to the open cockpit, which limits your ability to control and maneuver the kayak.      

Sit on top vs. Sit Inside Kayak: Which is Faster?

One of the biggest questions among paddlers is which kayak is better between the sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks. Well, the answer to this depends on your preferences and requirements. A sit-on-top can be an excellent kayak for one paddler but may not be the best for another.

Here are a few pointers to help you decide on your perfect fit:

1. Performance

One of the factors to consider when trying to choose between a sit-inside and a sit-on-top kayak is their performance. The sit-insides perform better than the sit-on-tops for the following reasons:

  • Sit-on-tops are made of heavier molded plastics, while the sit-inside are made from lighter high-end materials, which makes them faster and easy to control.
  • The sit-insides have a lower gravity, allowing them to be narrower, much faster, and more efficient than the sit-on-tops.
  • The sit-ins are the winner when it comes to better and more body connection with the kayak. You sit lower inside the kayak, allowing your feet, knees, and thighs to be engaged when paddling.

Therefore, if you want a better performance, consider the sit-inside over the sit-on-top kayak.

2. Stability

Sit-on-tops are more stable than sit-ins because they’re designed for stability in their width and are an excellent option for you if you prefer stability to performance. On the other hand, a sit-in kayak is customized for edge stability, meaning you can roll it onto its edge, and it’ll remain there. However, some sit-inside kayaks are designed for stability and are an excellent option if you want something with stability and performance.

3. Comfort

Another way to choose between a sit-inside and a sit-on-top is by comparing their comfortability. There’s no denying that the sit-on-tops are more comfortable as you’re not confined inside the kayak.

You have enough room to adjust your seat and move your leg, and you can even stand up during your trip. A sit-inside also may have a padded seat that is downright luxurious, making your fishing or recreational kayaking more enjoyable and less exhausting.

4. Kayak features

You should also consider the various kayak features when trying to figure out the best kayak for you between the sit-inside and sit-on-tops. The features of both kayaks are subjective, and deciding on the crucial features for you, like the paddling type, will help you decide on your best ocean kayak.

Generally, sit-on-tops have the best fishing features and are your to-go kayaks if you’re planning a fishing expedition. The reason for this is outright: they have an open deck that you can customize to your preference and fit all your fishing gear.  

On the other hand, sit-ins offer the best features for long trips, recreational paddling, and touring unique sites in various attractions. These features include a covered hatch with enough storage space for the gears you need for the trip.

5. Safety

Sit-on-tops are safer than sit-ins, especially for beginners. The main reason is that it can’t swamp or fill up with water because of the scupper holes. And if it does flip over, you can easily rectify it and climb back on.

However, there are particular situations where the sit-inside kayaks are safer, especially if you’re a skilled kayaker. It includes large lakes, oceans, seas with tides and weaves, or rivers with heavy currents.

It’s vital to note that your kayaking safety is partially dependent on the type of kayak or its stability. There are also a few safety guidelines you must follow for safe kayaking. They include the following:

  • Know your limitations and paddling skills
  • Always wear your personal floating devices (PFD) and other protective gear when kayaking
  • Watch out for water temperatures and weather conditions
  • Never surpass the kayak’s maximum weight capacity
  • Learn proper paddling first aid, water safety, and paddling techniques

6. Portability

Another crucial factor to consider when deciding between the two kayaks is their portability. You would want something you can easily transport from one location to the other.

A sit-in is a much more lightweight kayak and an excellent choice if portability is your main objective. However, it’s also vital to consider other factors like comfortability, safety, stability, and the kayak’s speed.

Fastest Sit on Top Kayaks Buying Guide & Review

There are certain factors to consider if you want to choose the best sit-on-top kayak. They include the following:

1. Hull design

One of the significant factors to consider when buying a sit-on-top kayak is the kayak’s hull. The hull’s shape can help speed up or slow down the kayak. It also impacts the amount of control and maneuverability you have over the kayak.

Therefore, consider buying a longer kayak as it’s likely to have a narrower hull which will help the kayak cut through the water efficiently and minimize drag.

2. Kayak’s weight

Knowing the kayak’s maximum weight when fully loaded is crucial when deciding on the best sit-on-top kayak for your adventure. The kayak’s maximum weight capacity impacts the kayak’s water speed.

Heavier kayaks require more effort and strength to paddle them forward, and as a result, they’ll have less average speed over longer trips. However, because they sit lower in the water, they’re less affected by currents, crosswinds, and waves, achieving higher average speed in less favorable paddling conditions.

On the other hand, lightweight kayaks allow for high-speed paddling as they don’t require as much effort to paddle and float on the water. However, they’re susceptible to negative currents, winds, and waves and are not the best kayaks for adverse weather conditions.

3. Paddle design

The paddling style will also boost or reduce your paddling efficiency. Therefore, consider a blade design on high-end paddles as they’re more efficient, allowing you to make each paddle stroke and reduce energy lost between the strokes.

High-end paddles are also made from lightweight materials requiring less effort and energy to move and hold. This results in less exhaustion and fatigue, allowing you to retain a strong and consistent paddle stroke.

4. Kayak’s anatomy

Another factor likely affects the sit-on-top kayak’s average speed is its anatomy. The beam or width of your kayak is a vital anatomy party to consider when choosing a fast kayak.

Most fast kayaks are about 22′ wide or thinner to offer less resistance and drag. However, they’re unstable and not an excellent option for beginners. The length is also vital when considering the speed of the kayak. For instance, touring kayaks are longer and have higher average speeds than shorter river fishing kayaks.

5. Length

Another crucial factor to consider is the length of the sit-on-top kayak you’re about to purchase. Generally, longer kayaks are faster because they can take longer strokes and have an adequate surface area to displace water.

These are the main features to consider when choosing the best kayak. However, there are other factors you may want to consider for sit-on-top kayaks. They include the following:

  • Adjustable foot braces: The footrests can affect the kayak’s average speed, and you would want to consider a sit-on-top kayak with adjustable footrests that’ll allow you to customize it to fit your height.
  • Tracking fins: Kayak tracking fins are also crucial to the kayak’s average speed because they ensure the kayak stays on course, making it easier to control in choppy water.
  • Long waterline: Another factor to consider when choosing a fast sit-on-top is its waterline. You’d want to consider one with a longer waterline because it improves the kayak’s speed and reduces the drag rate.
  • Low drag hull design: It’s crucial for reducing kayak drag and improving the kayak’s average speed.

Best Fastest Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Deciding on which sit-on-top kayak to purchase can be pretty challenging, as you have many factors to consider. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of the four best fastest sit-on-top kayaks for you. They include the following:

1. VK-24 NOVA: 10.5 ft Single Flap Pedal Fishing Kayak

VK-24 NOVA is one of the best sit-on-tops you should consider for your kayaking trip. It’s 10.5 ft long and 33.1′ wide with a 5-star rating for its speed and four stars for stability. It has an excellent flap-drive system and stand up paddle board that allows you to accelerate from a standstill with lesser effort and perfect paddle position.

It also has a V-shaped sweeping flare bow with a flat haul design, making it more stable. It also provides a dry ride experience even in choppy weather conditions. On top of this, it also has an open, clutter-free cockpit and a bow-to-stern rail mount system that allows you to customize it to your liking.

It comes with the following features:

  • A paddle
  • A comfortable adjustable aluminum frame seat
  • One fishing rod holder
  • A flap pedal drive
  • Seven scupper plugs
  • A drain plug
  • Four plastic handles
  • Six flush rod holders
  • A round hatch
  • One square hatch
  • One triangular hatch
  • Six H-Track
  • One black bungee
  • One full rudder system
  •  A fish finder hole
  • Two foot pads.

It also has the following specifications:

  • Size: 320 x 84 x 38 cm
  • Hull weight: 33 kgs (73 lbs)
  • Weight capacity: 150 kgs (330 lbs)
  • G.W weight: 43 kgs (95 lbs)
  • Durable LLDPE/HDPE
  • 3 years Limited warranty
  • Anti-UV: 8
  •  Usage: Fishing, Surfing, Cruising
  • 20ft: 30 pcs 40HQ: 75 pcs

2. VK-25 TAM: 12 ft Two Pedal System Fishing Kayak with Pedals

Another excellent option for a fast fishing trip is the VK-25 TAM. It’s 12 ft long and 34.7′ wide with a recommended 5-star rating. It has an interchangeable pedal drive system that allows you to change from propeller-drive style to fin-style drive in seconds without losing your speed.

It offers excellent stability in rivers and dams and is among the most preferred sea kayaks with less agitation. The best part is that it’s customized to fit just about any fishing expedition, whether stalking bass or hunting for monster gamefish in your favorite freshwater spot.

It has the following features and specifications


  • One paddle
  • A comfortable adjustable aluminum frame seat
  • One fishing rod holder
  • A flap pedal drive
  • Eight scupper plugs
  • One drain plug
  • Four plastic handles
  • Four flush rod holders
  • One round hatch
  • One triangular hatch
  • Six H-Track
  • One black bungee
  • One full rudder system
  •  A fish finder hole
  • One cup hole
  • Two foot pads


  • Size: 365 x 88 x 33 cm
  • Hull weight: 38 kgs (83 lbs)
  • Weight capacity: 200kgs (440 lbs)
  • G.W weight: 50 kgs (110 lbs)
  • Durable LLDPE/HDPE
  • 3 years Limited warranty
  • Anti-UV: 8
  • Usage: Fishing, Surfing, Cruising
  • 20ft: 22 pcs 40HQ: 68 pcs

3. VK-27 TANGO: 13.5 ft Double Flap Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

VK-27 TANGO is also an excellent sit-on-top kayak for your fishing expedition, with a 5-star rating for speed and stability. It is fast with a robust carrying capacity for a camping weekend or fishing trip that requires more fishing gear.

It is also the best kayak if you plan fishing with a companion or pass the family tradition to your kids. It is comfortable with ultra-adjustable seats and an effective smooth handheld rudder system designed to maximize the turning radius with a simple wrist turn.

Another factor that makes it an excellent choice is that it’s portable. You can easily transport it to and from the water body. Other features include the following:

  • Two paddles
  • Two comfortable adjustable aluminum frame seat
  • Two flap pedal drive
  • 11 scupper plugs
  • Two drain plugs
  • Eight plastic handles
  • Four flush rod holders
  • Two square hatches
  • Eight H-Track
  • Two black bungee
  • One full rudder system
  •  A fish finder hole
  • One cup hole
  • Four foot pads
  • Two paddle packings

Its features include the following:

  • Size: 410 x 90 x 39 CM
  • Hull weight: 47 kgs (103 lbs)
  • Weight capacity: 225 kgs (496 lbs)
  • G.W weight: 70 kgs (154 lbs)
  • Durable LLDPE/HDPE
  • 3 years limited warranty
  • Anti-UV: 8
  • Usage: Fishing, Surfing, Cruising
  • 20ft: 18 pcs 40HQ: 55 pcs

4. VK-32 MARIUS: 10.5 ft Single Propeller Pedal Fishing Kayak

VK-32 MARIUS is one of the most stable kayaks, and among the fastest sit-on-top kayak options you must consider. It’s a 5-star rafting kayak for speed and stability and an excellent choice for long fishing trips. It offers first-hand experience with functional forward and reverse pedal propulsion.

This kayak doesn’t compromise on comfortability either. It has an aluminum alloy 360-degree swivel adjustable seat, offering comfortability, breathability, and durability with mono mesh.

It’s 10.5 ft long and 33.5′ wide, meaning it’s stable with a flat deck and wider cockpit. It comes with the following components:

  • One paddle
  • A comfortable adjustable aluminum frame seat
  • A single-propeller paddle
  • Ten scupper plugs
  • One drain plug
  • Four plastic handles
  • Four flush rod holders
  • One round hatch
  • One triangular hatch
  • Four H-Track
  • One black bungee
  • One full rudder system
  •  A fish finder hole
  • One cup hole
  • Two foot pads.

Its specs include the following:

  • Size: 320 x 85 x 37 cm
  • Hull weight: 37 kgs (81 lbs)
  • Weight capacity: 250kgs (550 lbs)
  • G.W weight: 50 kgs (110 lbs)
  • Durable LLDPE/HDPE
  • 3 years Limited warranty
  • Anti-UV: 8
  • Usage: Fishing, Surfing, Cruising


Generally, sit-on-tops are the best fishing kayak for anyone wishing to paddle fast and still have the advantage of getting on and off quickly. These kayaks are designed with adjustable features you can customize to your liking. Get your sit-on-top today and have a kayaking experience of a lifetime!

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