Before going out and purchasing a boat you should consider the different craft on the market and what you want to get out of your new boat. Boats range in shapes, weight, volumes, stability, and construction materials. Each discipline of kayaking has specific weight, and shape requirements in order for you to be eligible to compete.

Most disciplines have 2 options – short distance/sprint = heavier, long distance/marathon = lighter.

K1 = Kayak, 1 person

C1 = Canoe, 1 person

TK1 = Touring Kayak, 1 person

k1

Description: K1’s are the most unstable and therefore the hardest to paddle. It generally takes paddlers many months to master and it’s therefore suggested you start with either a touring kayak or start early in the summer months (your likely to fall out several times).

Disciplines: Flat water Sprint, Marathon, and Recreational.

Locations: Best for rivers, lakes and inlets.

Requirements for competition:

Discipline Minimum weight Maximum length
Sprint 12kgs 520cm
Marathon 8kgs 520cm

k2

Description: K2’s are a 2 person version of the K1. Unlike the K1, people of all abilities can enjoy paddling a K2 so long as there is 1 experienced doubles paddler in the boat.

Disciplines: Flat water Sprint, Marathon, and Recreational.

Locations: Best for rivers, lakes and inlets.

Requirements for competition:

Discipline Minimum weight Maximum length
Sprint 18kgs 650cm
Marathon 12kgs 650cm

K4

Description: K4’s are the 4 person version of a K1. They are the fastest of all Canoes/Kayaks with competitors able to complete 200m in 29.023 sec (24.81 km/hr).

Disciplines: Sprint

Locations: One a sprint course.

Requirements for competition:

Discipline Minimum weight Maximum length
Sprint/Marathon 30kgs 1100cm

c1

Description: C1’s are a kneel in Canoe that are operated with a single blade paddle. These are particularly popular in Europe. There is no rudder and therefore the back paddler uses their blade to steer the craft.

Disciplines: Sprint, and Marathon

Locations: Best for rivers, lakes and inlets.

Requirements for competition:

Discipline Minimum weight Maximum length
Sprint 16kgs 520cm
Marathon 10kgs 520cm

c2

Description: C2’s are the 2 person version of the C1. The competitors paddle on opposite sides. There is no rudder and therefore the back paddler uses their blade to steer the craft.

Disciplines: Sprint, and Marathon.

Locations: Best for rivers, lakes and inlets.

Requirements for competition:

Discipline Minimum weight Maximum length
Sprint 20kgs 650cm
Marathon 14kgs 650cm

tk1

Description: Touring Kayaks are unique in Australia. They are more stable than both the K series boats and surf ski’s. They are generally slower as your pulling more boat through the water with each stroke.

Disciplines: Sprint, and Marathon.

Locations: Best for rivers, lakes and inlets.

Requirements for competition:

Maximum length Minimum Waterline Beam
457.2cm 50.8cm

tk2

Description: TK2’s are the 2 person version of a TK1. They are very popular option and many people start out competitions in one. They are generally stable and can be enjoyed in varying conditions.

Disciplines: Sprint, and Marathon.

Locations: Best for rivers, lakes and inlets.

Requirements for competition:

Maximum length Minimum Waterline Beam
548.7cm 53.3cm

ski-surf

Description: Surf Life Saving Australia Ski’s are designed for competitions for life savers and Ironman events. These craft are designed to be rigid enough to sustain breaking surf conditions while keeping a slim enough profile to keep a high level of performance.

Disciplines: Surf Life Saving events. Competitors race around 3 buoy’s and then catch the runners on the way back into shore.

Locations: Set courses.

Requirements for competition:

Minimum weight Maximum length
18kgs 579cm

ski-ocean

Description: Ocean racing is becoming very popular form of competition. This is the marathon version of ski’s with distances ranging from 20km-60km. Navigating the surf is important – raw speed may not win you the race.

recreational-fishing2

recreational-fishing

Description: Recreational  kayaking is extremely popular, given the stability and low cost materials used. Fishing kayaks are especially gaining in popularity. These are perfect for those who would like to get on the water with the least fuss and enjoy what paddling has to offer.

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