When you’re looking at purchasing a kayak, the chances are that you’re looking for one that you can sit down in, relax, and do whatever you so please. For some, this might be fishing for example, and for others, it may simply be paddling along eating lunch whilst enjoying the scenery. However, the market of kayaks is a whole lot larger than just the traditional old sit-down kayak.
Stand up kayaks have established greatly in recent years, and have become a lot more popular in doing so. A kayaker might want a stand-up kayak for a number of reasons. Perhaps you’re a fisherman that prefers to stand up whilst you cast and reel in fish, or perhaps you’re just someone that prefers standing up to sitting down – each to their own!
In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to take a good look at what types of stand up kayak are available. For the most part, we’ll cover stand up paddleboards and stand up kayaks – yes, there is a difference!
In terms of stand up kayaks, the majority of people that will be looking to buy them will be fishermen/anglers. Standing up whilst fishing can be a very different experience to sitting down and fishing – it allows for a lot more opportunity and scope with regards to how and where you can fish.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the two main different types of stand-up kayaks – stand up paddleboards and stand up fishing kayaks.
What To Look For In A Stand Up Fishing Kayak
If you’re only just starting to learn about stand up fishing kayaks, then you’re in the right place. There are a few different factors that you should consider before you purchase your stand up fishing kayak – as in, those that make a kayak more optimized for standing on compared to others.
Amongst others, the main factors that you should be looking for are a nice wide base and a flat hull. Why?
A wide base – If you’re looking at a stand-up fishing kayak, you should be aiming to find one that has a base width of no less than 32 inches. Due to the simple rules of science and gravity, a wider base means more balance and therefore, in this case, less chance of your kayak wobbling enough for you to fall off whilst standing up A nice wide base also provides more reassurance and thereby makes for a more pleasant experience in general.
Flat Bottom – If the base of your kayak is flat, stability will be increased massively.
A good design – This is slightly more subjective than the others. What one person considers to be a good design another person might not. However, it is important that you select a kayak that has a tried and tested design that you know is going to work. You really don’t want to be out in deep water and have a strangely designed boat fail on you.
A Good Level Of Comfort – Again, another important point to look out for. It’s easy to forget that the small differences in a seat can make a lot of big differences to the level of comfort that you experience all day whilst you’re out on the boat, particularly if you’re sitting down for more time than you’re standing up. Look for raised seats that sit slightly above the deck of the boat.
Storage Space – A good amount of storage space on any kayak is a good thing to have. When fishing, however, it is more of an essential. You’re likely to be taking a lot of equipment out onto the water with you, and it’s important that you have a good secure place to store any equipment that you’re not using. There is absolutely no point in spending a lot of money on a boat to find that you’re constantly being bothered by all of the gear that you’re not using at that point in time!
Size and Weight – When you’re looking at stand up fishing kayaks, you should consider the amount of space that you have to store and transport the boat first. This rule, of course, goes for any kayak that you’re looking at buying. Stand up fishing kayaks, however, do tend to be slightly wider so that stability is increased. It’s also a good idea to look for something that has a good bit of weight behind it if you’re planning on standing up regularly – having more stability is exactly what you want.
What’s So Good About Stand Up Fishing Kayaks Compared To Normal Kayaks?
Now that you’ve got a better idea of what you should be looking for when buying a stand-up fishing kayak, let’s take a look at what’s good about stand up fishing kayaks, in terms of what they can offer you that a more conventional sit-down kayak cannot.
There is no doubt that fishing from a kayak is a fantastic experience and something that we definitely recommend trying out in either a standing up or sitting down position. For now though, here are some of the reasons why we really love stand up fishing kayaks:
Your Point Of View – this is probably the most obvious advantage of a stand-up fishing kayak. You can see an awful lot more from a stand-up position than you can from a sit-down position since you are much higher above the water level. This means that you can see further into the distance, and have a better chance of locating whereabouts fish might be moving and feeding.
Aside from just view of fish, there are many advantages to having a better view whilst kayaking. You are more able to see any obstructions or reasons to change your intended path much earlier if you are standing up too, purely due to the fact that you can see further and make decisions based on this.
You’re In A Better Position To Cast – Casting your fishing line is much easier and much more effective in most cases if you are standing up. When you’re standing up, you have all of the use of your arms, legs, and body to make sure that you get your line to exactly where you would like it to be. Casting is far more accurate when you’re standing up compared to when you’re sitting down. This said casting is only more accurate standing up assuming that you have a good stable kayak to stand on!
It’s Sometimes Easier On Your Body As A Whole – When you’re sitting down all of the time, your body is constantly being strained in exactly the same places for exactly the same amount of time. However, when you’re standing up, the places that your body is getting strained is constantly being changed.
Maintaining Good Balance Can Be Hard To Master – When you’re standing up on a boat, it is an entirely different experience to when you’re standing up on normal ground i.e. on dry land. Whilst you may think this is obvious, it really can be quite tricky.
When you’re starting off your learning, it’s probably best not to try when you are out in deeper waters or in waves. Practice your balance standing up when you’re closer to dry land, and where the water isn’t too deep.
If you struggle to master standing up at first try, you can try sitting on your knees. This is a good in-between of the two, and does in fact offer a lot of the same advantages as standing up does – just without a lot of the added difficulty.
Stand Up Kayaking vs Paddle Boarding
As we mentioned earlier on in our article, we’re going to take a look at and compare the differences between the two main types stand up boards – stand up kayaks and stand up paddleboards.
A stand-up paddleboard is quite literally what it says – it’s a board that you can stand on and do nothing else. Whilst you could sit down on it, it’s just a flat board that isn’t designed for it. Think of it as being closer to a surfboard than a kayak.
A stand-up kayak, on the other hand, is a kayak that has been designed for both sitting down and standing up, both comfortably. When we get into our recommendations, we’ll be looking at mainly the best stand-up kayaks that are available today.
Our Top Picks
Hobie Mirage Outback – If You’re Looking For The Best Of The Best
If you’re even slightly informed on the kayaking market, you’ll know that Hobie are one of the most loved and highest quality brands out there. Even if you’re not clued up on the market you may know this – they’re really that good.
The Outback kayak from Hobie is a pedal-powered kayak that can also be easily powered with a paddle, and can be stood on too. Being from Hobie, this kayak has on offer some of the highest build quality and best features that are available on the market. It has been engineered to provide the kayaker with the very best weight distribution and balance possible – exactly what you need when looking for a kayak that you can stand on.
In terms of fishing luxuries and requirements, we couldn’t identify anything else that this kayak could possibly have. It’s constructed from extremely hardwearing and tough polyethylene that makes for a light weight and sturdy design.
The rudder system that’s fitted into this Hobie doesn’t have to be used if you don’t want to either – it can easily be removed and stored away aboard the boat. The Outback even has a transducer mounting position to cater for those users that would like to use a fish finder or similar device.
- The ultimate kayak for fishing – from transducer mounts to rod mounts, there’s everything that you need here
- Pedal-powered with a built in rudder stearing system that can be removed if you would like
- Lightweight and strong design
- Ample storage – there’s a very good space towards the front of the boat that’s protected with a cover, a bungee-tied area of storage towards the rear of the boat, as well as two water tight hatches
- 4 rod mounts
- Transducer mount
- Lightweight paddle included
Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 – Tandem Stand Up Fishing Kayak
The BKC UH-TK181 is one of the most popular kayaks that’s available on the market today, and that’s not just the fishing kayak market. This kayak from BKC is a great boat if you usually go out as a duo on your fishing expeditions.
It’s a large boat, that has more than enough room for either one adult and an extremely large amount of equipment, or two adults and a good amount of equipment each. Due to the size of this boat, it’s actually possible for two adults to stand on top of it whilst fishing together at the same time.
In the UH-TK181, there are multiple areas for both wet and dry storage of your equipment. For wet storage, there is a good-sized cargo area towards the stern of the boat. For those more important possessions that you’d really rather not get wet, there are a couple of different water-tight storage points on the boat.
This kayak, just like the Hobie, has gone all out on fishing essentials. There are a total of 7 different rod mounts on this boat. It’s a very comfortable place to be too – it’s kitted out with footrests for each paddler, as well as paddle rests that you can simply sit your paddles on at any point during your voyage should you get tired. This is a particularly handy feature for stand up fishing too – when you need both of your hands-free to stand up and fish, you can safely leave your paddle on the rests below you.
- More than enough space for two adults to either sit down or stand up whilst fishing
- Plenty of storage area for both regular cargo and more valuable items that you need to keep dry
- Ready to fish – this boat has a total of seven different rod holders – a pretty high limit in terms of how many rods you can have on the go at any one time!
- High quality and excellently reviewed
- Luxurious features including well-placed footrests and paddle rests
Feelfree Lure 11.5 – One Of Our Personal Favourites
The Feelfree lure is one of our favourite stand up fishing kayaks. Whilst this kayak boasts one of the very best looking designs on the market (in our opinion anyway), it has a lot more to offer than a pretty exterior.
The Lure 11.5 is the ultimate vessel for standing up. It’s extremely stable due to its wide design, and is extremely comfortable for when you’d like to sit down too – it’s got the best of both worlds.
Of course, this kayak has been designed with the needs and wants of anglers being held priority – it’s very easy to see from simply looking at the boat. There are two rod mounts on the boat, as well as a system that ensures the boat retains a good sense of tracking. There’s also space into which a transducer can be installed.
- At only 11.5 feet, it’s very easy to move around. It’s not heavy either, and therefore very easy to get on top of your car or into the back of your van quickly for one of those unplanned trips – they’re always the best!
- It’s ideal if you’d like to sit or stand whilst fishing – with a comfortable seat, both options are very attractive indeed
- Very well-priced
- Fantastic aesthetic design
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 – Another Fantastic Choice
As with our review of the Hobie Mirage, this kayak is of extremely high quality and upholds the highly-held Hobie name very well indeed.
Whether you’d like to sit down or stand up, the Hobie Pro Angler has both covered and very well too. Hobie kayaks are famous for their comfort and refinement – this pro angler is a perfect reflection of exactly why that is.
If you do choose to stand up, the deck of the boat has been specially coated to ensure that water doesn’t cause it to become a slipping hazard – it’s not a hard kayak to stand or sit on whatsoever.
This kayak is fully kitted out with all of the angling luxuries that you could possibly think of. If you’re a fisherman that enjoys the use of technology, you’re sure to like this boat a lot. It’s fitted two H-rails that allow you to mount any devices easily that you would like to.
- It’s a very cool looking boat indeed – yes, of course, this is important!
- A very comfortable place to be whether you’re sitting or standing
- An anti-slip surface that makes for easy and safe standing
- Optimized for fishing – there are a great number of accessories and rails for fishing on this Pro Angler
- 6 different rod holders