• Home
  • Learn
  • What Color Kayak Should I Buy, And Why?

What Color Kayak Should I Buy, And Why?

What color kayak should you buy?

If you recently started the search for a new kayak then you know there are a lot of factors to consider. There are dozens of different kayak designs that are meant for all the various ways that people use these paddling vessels. Some are great for fishing, others for casual paddling, and still others are built for touring and speed racing.

In addition to the shape of the board, you also need to consider how the kayak looks, and this includes its color. A kayak’s color might be an afterthought when you are searching for the perfect kayak, but the color of your kayak matters.

Some of the most common colors for kayaks include red, yellow, and orange. These colors are great at contrasting with the natural green and blue hues of the water and nature, making it easy to spot your vessel. When selecting the best color for your kayak, the type of kayaking you plan to do, where you kayak, your climate, and your personal preferences should all factor into your final decision.

Choosing the best color for your kayak might not be the most important decision when it comes to procuring a new paddling vessel, but it is still something to think about. The color of your kayak can impact how safe the boat is, how easy you are to spot, and even how hot the boat gets when exposed to the hot sun. Keep reading to get a better idea of what the best and worst kayak colors are.

What Are The Most Popular Kayak Colors?

As you start to consider the ideal kayak color for you, it’s also a good idea to think about the most popular kayak colors on the market. After all, if you choose a specific and rare color your kayak options are going to be very limited unless you are willing to spend the extra money for a custom build. Red, yellow, orange, and even blue are all popular colors for kayaks. Below are four of the most common kayak colors, and a little bit about why they are so popular among paddlers and manufacturers.

Yellow: Yellow is one of the most popular kayak colors and for good reason. For one thing, almost nothing in or around the ocean is yellow. This alone helps your boat stand out. Further, the color yellow contrasts with blue better than almost any other color. This helps your boat stand out. It is also lighter on the color spectrum, which means it will stay cooler in the sun.

Orange: Orange is another very popular kayak color. It is a bit darker than yellow so that it can blend in a bit, but it still offers great contrast. This allows your boat to be seen from afar, making it a safe option when kayaking in busy waters.

Red: Red is the other most common kayak color for those looking to stand out. They are fantastic at standing out in crowded areas. This is quite helpful if you kayak in shipping lanes or in harbors where there is boat traffic, as you are much more likely to be seen by boaters.

Blue: On the other side of the spectrum, some kayakers want to blend in. This includes those who want to try kayak fishing or enjoy spotting wildlife from a kayak. In this case, blue is a great option. It helps your boat blend in well with the surroundings and also makes you less attractive to large predators, as it acts as a camouflage.

What Color Should You Choose When Buying A Kayak?

If you want to know the best color for a kayak, the answer is - it depends on the kayaker. In general, safety should be every paddler’s top priority. For this reason, red, yellow, and orange are three of the best colors. They provide great contrast from the paddling surroundings. This makes it easy to spot your boat, even in rough waters and when paddling at night or dusk.

There are, however, some instances when you might want different colors. If you paddle in very hot conditions, white might be best, as you don’t want your vessel to overheat. In other conditions, you might want to blend in. This might involve purchasing a blue or even a green kayak. To help you understand the ideal kayak color for you, you need to know the factors to consider when making this decision.

Four Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Kayak Color

1. The Type Of Kayaking You Plan To Do

One of the main factors you need to think about when deciding on the best kayak color for you is the type of kayaking you plan to do. If, for example, you plan on purchasing a kayak for pure pleasure near the shore, or in harbors and bays, then a high-contrast color is ideal.

Red, yellow, and orange are great kayak colors for those who plan to kayak in busy waters, or even kayak in challenging conditions - as it makes you easy to spot. If, however, you are trying to remain incognito, you will want to choose a kayak color that matches your surroundings. This is particularly true for those who kayak to view elusive wildlife or enjoy kayak fishing.

2. The Waters And Surroundings Where You Kayak

Another important variable that will impact the best kayak color for you is the type of water you kayak in, as well as the surrounding shoreline. It should come as no surprise that not all water is the same color. Some water is pure blue, while some is more emerald green. You may even paddle in very dark water, or even muddy waters that resemble chocolate milk.

The shorelines can be equally diverse. They can vary from black volcanic rock to lush green forests, and even white glaciers and gray cliffs. These colors should factor into your decision, as they will impact what colors will contrast and compliment the surroundings.

3. Your Climate

One aspect that factors into many paddling purchases is your climate and weather. Climate can impact how things look on the water. This means certain colors may blend better than others, especially if there is desert, fall foliage, or other unique orange and red hues that are often absent.

Moreso, the climate will impact how hot your kayak gets. There is a reason that black is not a popular kayak color. This is because a black kayak will get incredibly hot, especially in warm climates. As a rule, the hotter the climate, the further away you should stay from dark-colored kayaks. If you live near the equator, consider a white or light-colored kayak to avoid overheating, or even burning yourself. After all, when kayaking there is no hiding from the direct rays of the sun.

4. Your Personal Preferences

Lastly, make sure you take the time to consider your preferences. Sure, it is important to be practical and always put safety first, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun making some stylish choices. Remember to consider your paddling personality, your favorite colors, and the color that best represents the type of paddling you plan to do when selecting a kayak.

If you plan to paddle in a group you may want to match your group, or perhaps you want to stand out.

Remember that your kayak can be an extension of your personality, so it’s fun to choose a kayak that reflects your personality in the way it looks. Always make sure you factor in the practical and safety reasons when choosing a kayak color, but if you are debating between a few different colors that offer the same safety and practical benefits, go with the color that will bring you joy.

Final Thoughts On What Color Kayak You Should Buy

While the design, style, and price of a kayak are likely the major factors you consider when purchasing a kayak, there are other details you need to think about. Even things like a kayak’s color are worth considering, as not all colors offer the same benefits to kayakers. Some of the most common and safest colors to consider for your kayak include orange, yellow, and red. Not only are these popular colors, but they also offer great contrast to the water, making it easy to spot your vessel on the open water.

Blue and green kayaks are great options for those looking to kayak fish or spot wildlife incognito. A white or light-colored vessel is a wise choice for those taking long kayaking journeys in hot climates. Remember to think about your climate, surroundings, and the type of paddling you plan to do when you are selecting the best possible color for your new kayak.


Related Articles

We've all been there. The dreaded portage. Sure, we knew there'd be a brief portage here and there, but…

Spring is here and the air is warm.  But just because the day is beautiful doesn't mean the water…

When it comes to canoes, it's important that the shape suits the use. Learn how hull shape, rocker,…

Paddle boards come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and it's important to choose the right one,…