What is the difference between sit-insides and sit-on-tops?
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Both styles are equally stable and safe but they do have some differences.
Sit-insides: This style kayak allows the paddler to sit inside the cockpit of the kayak. The seat will be along the inside bottom of the boat and your feet will go inside the kayak underneath the deck. Part of your body will be inside the kayak. This style boat is good in cold water and chilly weather conditions because, with the addition of a kayak skirt, you can seal off the lower half of your body from the elements. If you want to get out of this style kayak, you must first take it to shore. It cannot be drained or re-entered from the water.
Sit-on-tops: In this style of kayak, the paddler sits on top of the kayak deck in a shallow cockpit area. Everything from the seat back to your foot rests will be on the very top part of the kayak and nothing will be underneath the deck. You cannot access the inside of the kayak except by hatch openings. This style is popular in warm water and hot weather climates. You will get splashed and very wet on a sit-on-top for several reasons. Any waves or splashes will come up and over the front of your kayak and land right on you. The second is there are self-bailing scupper holes built into the kayak to make sure water doesn’t pool up where you sit. This does cause some water to flow in and out of the deck area making the paddler a bit wet. You can get scupper plugs to cover the holes in the event you will be using the kayak in cold water. The other bonus to this style is that it allows you to jump into the water and get back into the kayak with out taking it to shore.
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