There are many elements that can be customised and adjusted on your kayak to fit your preferences, but some factors must be of higher priority when choosing your kayaks. One of them is the kayak hull.

Why is kayak hull important? What are the different kayak hull designs and what makes them different? Let’s find out!


Kayak Hull and Its Importance

Kayak hull is the bottom of kayaks and can affect several factors of your kayaking experience, even with minimal differences. There are 4 main types of hulls – round hull, V-shaped, Flat, and Pontoon (tunnel). Another thing to look at is the chine and rocker, and primary and secondary Stability Let’s discuss all these in greater detail:


Kayak Stability: Primary and Secondary

There are two types of stability in kayaking: Primary and Secondary Stability. This can be affected by both the shape of hull and the roundness (or lack thereof) of its bottom and sides, referred to as chine and rocker.

  • Primary Stability refers to the kayak’s initial feeling of steadiness. A kayak with good primary stability like the ones with flat hull will feel stable and solid, making it a good kayak for beginners. This is preferable for fishing or a relaxing stay on the water.
  • Secondary Stability refers to the kayak’s ability to stay stable even when tipped, which is good for rough water conditions. This ability makes it easy for users to traverse choppy waters safely.

While primary stability and secondary stability offers opposing benefits, many kayaks for sale are now being made to offer both at the same time, to increase functionality and versatility.


Hull Designs and Purposes

  • Round Shaped Hull

This hull type has a rounded edge and is a go-to option if you’re looking for manoeuvrable kayaks. Its rounded shape also gives this hull a boost in speed due to less water resistance, and it offers more secondary stability than primary.

  • V-Shaped Hull

The V-Shaped Hull is somewhat like the round shaped hull in terms of its benefits. However, aside from its shape which has a sharper bottom, this hull cuts through water better than other types, making it the fastest. Generally, V-Shaped hulls are good at tracking straight lines and offers more of secondary stability.

  • Flat Hull

Flat hull offers a good combination of manoeuvrability and primary stability. It is one of the most versatile hull types and can be used for many purposes. Its primary stability makes it easier for users to board the kayak.

  • Pontoon Hulls

The Pontoon hull offers a different approach than the previously mentioned types – its bottom is an inverted Round or V-Shaped hull, forming a tunnel-like appearance. This makes for good stability, both primary and secondary. This type of hull may not be for speed-seekers, but it has a decent tracking ability.


Chine and Rocker

Chine – refers to how the sides of the kayak meets the bottom, whether it is rounded or with sharp corners. Mainly, chines can be soft or hard. With soft chines, the side and bottom of the hull don’t have corners, as opposed to hard chines with an angular meeting point around the middle part of the bottom and sides. Harder chines offer great primary stability but less secondary stability. The softer one offers more secondary stability and good speed, but lacks primary stability.

These are the main types, but kayaks today can offer something in between.


Rocker – Rocker refers to the curve of the kayak from bow to stern, or the front and back end, of the kayak. Basically, the more curved the hull of a kayak is, the more rocker it becomes from front to back. The benefit of having a more rocker kayak is it offers better manoeuvrability considering that only a small part of the hull is in the water. On the other hand, less rocker hulls provides better tracking abilities and less manoeuvrability.


These factors, when combined and considered altogether, can help you choose the best kayak that would suit best for the type of activities you plan to do. Carefully understanding each of them leads to having the best kayaking experience you can have.

Want to know more? Contact us today and we’ll find the kayak that’s made for you!