Kayak Hull Types – A Complete Guide

Kayak Hull Types

She was shouting for help when suddenly a swimmer helped her to get out of the deep water. Last Sunday, I went for a kayaking exercise with friends on the lakeside. I was enjoying our sport when suddenly a noise came nearby us.

The girl was about to drown when I somehow managed to call an emergency. The girl was saved but after seeing that life-threatening accident everyone was a bit afraid and confused. Management reached the matter somehow there was an issue with the kayak hull that spins her out of the border and the girl got imbalanced while kayaking.

Every learner and pro needs to do some research on the types of kayak hulls. So, I am going to share a complete guide containing information about hull types.

Why Do You Need a Perfect Hull for Kayaks?

The purpose, weight, and shape of the Kayak hull play a crucial role when kayaking. Selecting the correct weight capacity of the hull keeps you safe from many mishaps. You need to choose a bigger kayak, if you are carrying weight or more people with you.

The most important fact about kayak hull is that the performance of your kayak will highly depend upon the shape and size of the kayak hull. If you are looking for a fast-moving kayak then go for the taller hull while for the more stable option, a wider kayak hull performs best.

When you are kayaking or fishing with family or children, you can check out various options designed. The right kayak and hull will help you Take full advantage of your adventure.

What are the Different Types of Kayak Hulls?

The bottom piece of a kayak is its Hull. Its design shape and size is a very important consideration for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the movement of your kayak through the water. When you are deciding to go on an offshore venture you will face big waves toward fishing spots. At that time you should have a sleek hall bow for cutting waves.

There are different types of Kayak hulls. Let’s jump to the section to find out more knowledge!

  1. Planning Hull
  2. Displacement Hull
  3. Flat Hull
  4. Pantoonized Hull
  5. Rounder Hull
  6. V-shape Hull

As you know, the importance of the hull shape lets go through some of its types:

1. Planning Hull

The planning hull is a flat and square-shaped bottom with harder corners. This hull smoothly floats over the water’s surface. You can simply glide over the water surface in a loose sequence.


  • A planning hull of a kayak is super maneuverable. 
  • It is capable of holding the edges well which makes it easier for the kayaker to make stunts.
  • It also helps do a curve cross and to accelerate down a wave.


  • A planning hull is not good at keep holding a line well.

2. Displacement Hull

A displacement hull of a kayak means a rounder bottom. This kind of hull sets a little in the water levels instead of the surface. It is named displacement hull because it displaces under water which makes it hold a line. It performs very well where the kayaker needs creaking not twitching.


  • It helps the kayaker to chase its line with minimum effort.
  • Good speeds and stability levels.


  • A displacement hull displaces the water to follow a line it’s not good for twitching.

3. Flat Hull

This kind of recreational kayak hull is designed flat. Most of these boats are made for recreational paddlers.  


  • A flat hull is a good composition of balance between the stability and speed of a kayak.
  • Perfect choice for recreational paddler spots.


  • Sometimes a flat hull of a kayak slows it down and imbalances its stability.

4. Rounded Hull

A White water kayak has usually a rounded hull which keeps it away from water waves current. They are not much easy to be handling for beginners. It is a good choice for kayakers looking for a stable ride over flat waters that carry no currents in white water. 


  • They are superfast and easy to tackle over white waters as they don’t carry current.
  • A bit stable on some kinds of water.
  • Highly versatile hull


  • Unpredictable sometimes.
  • Difficult to control if got imbalanced.

5. V-Shaped Hull

A V-shaped kayak hull is very hard to find and manage. It will help you to move super-fast over water. Its sharp-edged shape cuts the waves very easily. Some manufacturers have added a hole to make it a bit more stable.


  • Good for paddling over rough waters.
  • Moves faster.
  • Lots of secondary stability.


  • It can be less stable at higher speeds.

6. Pontoon Hull

When you are looking for a kayak with the most stable hull type, it’s a Pontoon hull. It has a w-shaped bottom which provides complete space for fishing and standing in your kayak. It is sometimes known as a Tunnel hull kayak too.


  •  A pontoon hull keeps the kayak more stable even on rough waters.
  • It can easily chop the waves and get through the water more efficiently.


  • They are stable but not fast.
  • The best pontoon style moves slower if sometimes you try it to be fast it may spin you out.

Now, let’s see what kind of kayak hull you should select for fishing.

Also Read: Types of Kayaks for Fishing – A Complete Guide

What is the Best Kayak Hull for Fishing?

A kayak’s hull design is a key point to keep it aligned when fishing. You don’t need a completely soft curved hull for this purpose. When selecting a kayak hull for fishing must see does it have any primary or secondary stability. This helps you to figure out how far you will rock using this kayak.

Based on my personal experiences, I recommend a pontoon hull for fishing. Stay around the hull of 13 feet if you want to stunt but if you are looking for a speedy kayak go for a hull of length 15 or 16 feet. Another thing is that it’ll be hard for you to maneuver a 15 or 16 ft. hull.

After all of these facts and figures, it’s obvious that you cannot rely on one kind of kayak hull for fishing. You need to go for multiple options to enjoy your fishing safely.

As if that’s not enough, I will make it more clear to you!

What is the Best Kayak Hull for Beginners?

Now, I am going to tell you about the best choice for beginners.

A Flat Hull Kayak is known to be a good match for starters. It is a safe option as it floats smoothly on the water. When people feel that they need to get out of their comfort zone they mostly get over to the other kinds of boats. This shows their interests are changed now.

After the beginner level kayakers start looking for their mindset and needs during fishing. Based on these factors they usually decide what they need for their next adventure.

Peter once said that people become very fond of kayaking after their first kayak session even if they are not comfortable they keep on paddling for their interest.

If you are the one who loves to have some adventurous kayaking then the next section is for you. Keep reading!

What is the Best Kayak Hull for Adventure?

There are many options for having crazy kayaking fun but I am going to expose the best choices for you.

A V-shaped sports kayak hull features a noticeable spinal keel line an extraordinary choice for adventuring. You can take it on any adventure as it is very easy to handle even at faster speeds. This v-shaped kayak hull will help you kayak and surf well over grade 4 waters.

But if you are looking for other options, you can give a try to Cross over kayak with a bit flatter hull as compared to a conventional D-shaped hull. This selection will not disappoint you on moving waters. Many surfers choose this hull for a sea adventure.


After going through thorough research I concluded that the Stability of a kayak is a core element and it plays a vital role in safe kayaking. The stability of a kayak is directly related to the wideness of the bottom or hull.

Only considering the stability is not wise. You also need to focus on other factors like the degree of primary stability, degree of secondary stability, length-to-beam ratio, hull shape, and design, the center of gravity, etc.

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