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Sit-On-Top Design

The unique Ocean Kayak open cockpit allows the paddler to enter and exit the kayak easily from the shore, dock, or water, and paddle without feeling confined. While we recommend getting some instruction prior to getting out on the water for the first time, in a sit-on-top kayak, you can safely enjoy all the pleasures of kayaking without having to learn difficult self-rescue maneuvers. People of all ages and skill levels can feel like experts in a sit-on-top.

Hull Design

What sets Ocean Kayak sit-on-top kayaks apart is our performance hulls. Many of our hulls were designed by a former Olympic coach who is highly regarded in the paddling community. Some of our hulls feature the Tri-Form hull design which has a distinct keel that runs the entire length of the hull with sponson-like shoulders on either side that make up the majority of the hulls’ beam. This Tri-Form hull design enhances stability as the boat eases through the water. The long center keel area encourages boats to track straight when paddling and coasting. The wider "shoulder" areas of the hull ride high at the surface of the water without compromising speed under moderate paddling conditions. These areas provide significant secondary stability, and result in a very user friendly kayak design. Now adding volume to the bow and adding some rocker gives us a lot of maneuverability, and great surf, rough water performance. In addition, Ocean Kayak hulls derive their stiffness from compound curves rather than sharp lines. These curves have fewer stress points, which makes them less likely to crack than other kayak designs, even under impact.

Big Game Kayak in SurfIt is this hull design approach that differentiates Ocean Kayak from competitors. Although it’s obvious that some competitors have copied our successful designs, they are not equal. The balance of rocker to bow volume etc. is not the same, and this is why they don’t perform as well. An uninformed person may look at the hulls and declare them very similar, but they are not. For example some have very little rocker, and a lower volume, more “locked-in” bow. This is fine for flat water tracking, but limits the hull in bigger conditions. It’s a compromise that Ocean Kayak refuses to make. Likewise, competitor’s designs don’t compare in rough conditions such as surf. Their bows plunge, and sterns skid. Just watch the kayak fisherman coming in through the surf in California! Our locked-in sterns, and high volume bows handle all conditions far better. Our longer models such as the Trident Series and Prowler T Series boats modify the shoulder/keel profile a bit to reduce frictional resistance (drag). The added length allows for extra stability which allows us to flow the shoulders into the keel more thus retaining all the positive Tri-Form Hull attributes without adding too much frictional resistance. This philosophy makes for boats that track well in calm waters via the defined stern keel, yet handle ocean conditions much better. Wind is another reality on all waters, and our hull design performs better. Better because we lock-in the stern of our hulls to a greater extent than the bows. This creates a more balanced hull in side winds and quartering seas.

Most kayaks perform fine on flat, protected water, and ours are no exception. Don’t be fooled by the name “Ocean” Kayak. Our hulls our designed for the changing waters of the ocean but they glide nicely, track straight, and turn with ease on flat and calmer waters.

Some Design Fundamentals of Ocean Kayak

  • Molded-in seat well and extremely comfortable seat backs
  • Roomy and comfortable cockpits
  • Molded-in foot wells
  • Molded-in seat well and seat backs
  • Molded-in tank wells
  • Self-bailing scupper holes
  • Large bow hatches
  • Side-mounted carrying handles
  • Paddle keepers with comfortable pull tabs
  • Rod Pods and Modular (Mod) Pods on our fishing kayaks
  • Attention to detail – molded-in cup holders, deck rigging, molded-in graphics, optimal boat weight for durability without designing a heavy boat
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