Surfboard Kayak Hybrid: Why Should You Get One?

paddle board kayak hybrids

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 8/13/2022

It's unlikely that you haven't seen, seen, or come across a stand-up paddle board in the past 15 years unless you've been living under a rock the entire time (SUPs). And I assume that you are familiar with the concept of a kayak. (If not, don't worry about it — canoes and kayaks are commonly confused, so reading this information on the differences between the two will help). It shouldn't surprise you that you've never heard of a SUP-kayak hybrid, also called a paddle board kayak hybrid.

Even if you've never seen a surfboard kayak hybrid in person, those who are perceptive undoubtedly have a decent idea of what it may look like, even if you've never actually seen one. And I know that quite a few of you are probably rolling your eyes right now at the prospect of another floating craft adding to the congestion on your community's waterways on the weekends. In either case, paddle board kayak hybrids could have more to offer than meets the eye at first glance. There are a few distinct kinds, each of which was developed with a particular purpose. In addition, don't you find that having a kayak and paddle board together cuts down on the number of boats you need in your life?

This page explains what surfboard kayak hybrids are, the benefits and drawbacks of using them, and the many available SUP yaks.

What Exactly Is A Hybrid Paddle Board And Kayak?

What is a paddle board kayak hybrid?

So, what exactly is a hybrid paddle board? It is an excellent idea to respond to this question before we continue with anything else and to ensure that we are all on the same page.

SUP kayaks, stand-up paddle board kayaks, stand-up kayaks, and probably several other combinations of the words kayak, SUP, and hybrid are all used to refer to hybrid SUPs. Other names for hybrid SUPs include paddle board kayak hybrids, SUP kayaks, SUP-yak hybrids, SUP-kayak hybrids, and SUP-yaks.

As you may have already guessed, a SUP-kayak hybrid is a watercraft that combines a kayak with a paddle board. They are similar to paddle boards in that they have a broad and open deck that makes them sturdy, and you can even paddle them while standing up. SUP kayaks, like traditional kayaks, are equipped with a seat for the paddler, who propels the craft through the water using a kayak paddle with two ends. Some stand-up paddleboard kayaks have hearts integrated into the deck, while others have seating mounted on top of the deck. In addition, there are varieties of stand-up paddleboards that are hybrids between kayaks and SUPs. These hybrids have a hull (the bottom of the board) and adopt features similar to kayaks for improved paddling performance.

At first appearance, some SUP-yak hybrids are readily confused for kayaks, while others are little more than paddle boards with seats added to them! The addition of a chair, on the other hand, does not significantly detract from the overall stand-up paddleboarding experience. This accessory enhances paddle boarding with a greater degree of adaptability and comfort. A kayak that can be used and perform well while standing changes its character fundamentally. It is for this reason that hybrids were developed. Combining the two, it creates a particularly well-suited vessel for recreational paddlers who wish to make the most of their time on the water. While it does not excel at its functions, the ship does a beautiful job catering to its target demographic. Later on, we'll have a more in-depth discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of paddle board kayak hybrids.

Types Of Paddle Board Kayak Hybrids

Types Of Paddle Board Kayak Hybrids

Assuming that you now have a clear(ish) idea of what a paddle board kayak hybrid is, it is essential to realize that not all SUP hybrids are born equal, as was previously noted. The following is a list of some of the various available styles:

Inflatable SUP Kayak Hybrid

Inflatable SUP Kayak Hybrid

If you don't require a paddle board kayak hybrid for something specialized, like fishing, the inflatable SUP hybrid is the most popular and accessible alternative. These can be purchased reasonably and are essentially inflatable paddle boards with a seat that removes. However, the installation of this seat completely transforms how a stand-up paddleboard may be utilized, how much fun it can be, and how useful it can be. I believe that if you are looking for an inflatable stand-up paddleboard (SUP), then it is in your best interest to look for one that comes with a kit that allows you to convert it into a kayak. 

Using a conversion kit, you may quickly attach a kayak seat to a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) that is compatible with a kayak conversion kit. SUP seats are often flush with the board's deck, providing minimal elevation increase for the rider. If you have tight hips and hamstrings, you could find it challenging to find a comfortable sitting position in this pose. Those that are adaptable will not find it uncomfortable at all. If you desire a more relaxed seating posture, you can release the adjustable straps that connect the seat to the stand-up paddle board.

As explained, the detachable seat has straps connecting to D-rings or other connection points along the SUP deck's perimeter. The compatibility of the converter kit becomes essential at this point. Not all stand-up paddleboards include D-ring connection points in suitable or exact locations to allow for the attachment of a seat. Therefore, the paddle board with a kayak conversion kit is the most outstanding alternative for you to consider purchasing.

Other Types Of Hybrid SUP And Kayak Boards

There are a variety of designs to choose from, including inflatable SUP kayak hybrids, which may be an alternative that is easy on the wallet, essential, and straightforward.

Hybrid Stand-Up Paddleboard/Kayak With Foot Pegs

Hybrid Stand-Up Paddleboard/Kayak With Foot Pegs

The basic idea of an inflatable SUP kayak has been complicated by the addition of footrests, which Body Glove has done. These aid in offering a more kayak-like feel about the seating position and add a degree of control over the board when paddling seated. Additionally, they contribute to the overall stability of the board. In addition, the fact that the board is suitable for stand-up surfing and touring implies that surfers can use it while the rider is sitting, which is another way to say that the board is versatile. This board has a flexibility rating that is right up there with the best of them!

SUP-Kayak Hybrid With A Cockpit

Aqua Marina Cascade

The Aqua Marina Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is a product that has just been available on the market. Another modification of a standard inflatable stand-up paddleboard, this one has an open cockpit that is roomy enough to accommodate both standing and sitting. You can utilize a spray skirt when seated in the cockpit, providing complete protection. In the meantime, it has not been determined whether this would be beneficial. If, on the other hand, you would instead be seated in a more upright posture, you can easily do this by attaching the plush seat to the upper deck behind the cockpit.

Molded SUP-Kayak Hybrid

Molded SUP-kayak hybrid

When looking for something sturdy and long-lasting, a molded stand-up paddleboard kayak is an excellent choice; this is especially true when paddling with children and pets. The Hi-Life 11.0 from Perception Kayaks is a kayak that offers excellent stability and room for gear and children. The seat is elevated to provide maximum comfort, making it an attractive choice for fishing. Having a molded structure also means plenty of storage and organization spaces.

SUP-Kayak Hybrid For Fishing

SUP-kayak hybrid for fishing

Hybrids of stand-up paddleboards and kayaks are gaining popularity among anglers because of their ability to maintain stability when standing without sacrificing comfort or storage capacity. Another of Cresent Kayaks' molded boards, the SUP+ Paddle Board Kayak offers improved paddle performance thanks to its catamaran-style hull. This form of paddle board kayak hybrid also incorporates an upright seat that is lifted off the deck and can be removed for usage elsewhere. The chair is comfy and offers a lot of support.

Paddleboard Kayak Hybrid Pros

Paddleboard Kayak Hybrid Pros

There is no way to refute that kayaks and paddle boards offer their own benefits when seen as separate watercraft. They are versatile and may be used for various water sports and ways to spend time out on the water having fun. Read our post on the differences between kayaks and stand-up paddle boards if you are interested in comparing the two watercraft from the perspective of how well they would work for you.
Despite this, there are significant advantages to be gained from combining the two rather than relying on each alone. Paddleboard kayak hybrids provide several benefits, including the following:

  • You can paddle in various positions to increase comfort levels, including sitting and standing. Because of this, we will be able to spend more time on the water and have a better experience overall.
  • You only need one vessel in your life unless you wish to specialize in a particular aspect of paddle boarding or kayaking. There might be a need for more than one in that case.
  • When you stand up, not only do you have a better perspective of the landscape surrounding you, but you also get a better view of the water below you.
  • When paddling in windy conditions, it is typically more manageable to do it from a seated posture than standing up.
  • They are not easily turned over, which makes them suitable for use around children and animals. This is possible since the foundation is sturdy, which makes getting on and off the platform simple. There is also a large amount of room available for sitting.
  • Because different muscles are worked, and the capacity to switch from one to the other, paddling in diverse ways can reduce feelings of weariness.
  • While on the board, you can store a large quantity of gear that is not in the way.
  • Because of its sturdy foundation and the fact that they allow the angler to rise from a comfortable seated posture and continue watching the action, they are ideal for fishing.
  • Lightweight, they can easily be carried. Stacking them on a roof rack makes them easy to move due to their low weight.
  • If you find that your posterior is getting wet, you may always get up to let it air dry! It is more comfortable in every way.
  • Taking a seat while paddling makes learning to do so more enticing. This is crucial, and those who don't pick up on it immediately should feel less discouraged.

Paddleboard Kayak Hybrid Cons

Paddleboard Kayak Hybrid cons

With all the fantastic benefits of merging a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and a kayak into a single floating watercraft, it isn't easy to fathom why SUP-yaks aren't used more frequently. To begin with, this is a relatively novel idea, and not nearly enough individuals are familiar with it. However, paddle board kayak hybrids have a few drawbacks, albeit there aren't too many. These are the following:

  • They aren't very skilled in any one aspect of paddling, and they excel only at the most fundamental of tasks.
  • The pleasure of kayaking in a SUP-yak hybrid cannot compare to the experience of kayaking in a traditional kayak. The sit-on-top kayak is the form of kayaking experience most comparable to other types.
  • SUP-yaks are mainly restricted to areas of water that are calm and move at a moderate pace.

SUP Kayak Hybrid Paddle

SUP kayak hybrid paddle

The success of stand-up paddleboards that double as kayaks is heavily reliant not only on the availability of a seating option but also on the versatility of the paddle. Paddles designed for recreational stand-up paddleboarding typically consist of two parts: the paddle and the handle. In most cases, paddlers can adjust the handle's length by adjusting the handle's size, which is constructed so that it can be clicked into position and then locked in place with a button.

It is possible to use such a paddle while seated, although doing so is neither simple nor effective due to the nature of the paddle itself. Fixing this issue is not difficult at all. Place the paddle handle on another paddle piece in place of the grip on the paddle for the stand-up paddleboard. And there you have it! You've got yourself a double-ended kayak paddle!

To Summarise, Should You Consider Purchasing A SUP Kayak Hybrid?

Purchasing A SUP Kayak Hybrid?

Paddleboarding isn't the only activity I've done, as I've also paddled kayaks of all sizes and shapes. They operate in diverse ways and provide access to various bodies of water, paddling styles, and opportunities to enjoy the water in multiple ways.

Suppose you are interested in paddling a more specialized sport, such as whitewater or ocean kayaking. From a performance standpoint, the best choice would be to purchase a kayak specifically designed for these types of paddling. In addition, stand-up paddleboards are suitable for these two paddling styles.

If you buy a paddle board or anything similar, it seems evident that you should pick one with a seat that removes. In this way, you will have more options available in terms of comfort and effectiveness. In addition, the presence of a heart that is detachable from the paddle board does not detract from the pleasure of paddle boarding or the performance of the paddle board.

Suppose you are looking for a recreational watercraft for enjoyable days out at the beach or lake with family and friends. In that case, I recommend a surfboard kayak hybrid over a traditional paddle board if you are trying to decide between the two options. They provide an incredible amount of mobility, enjoyment, and comfort, in addition to the ability to stuff them full of kit and take them on infrequent overnight camping trips.