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Sit on Tops vs Sit Insides in Hawaii

     Many people who have come from the colder climates will probably be more familiar with sit inside kayaks. They can definitely be an advantage in icy waters since you're inside the kayak enclosed in a rubber skirt and with a dry top you can remain dry for the most part. With practice you can roll them upright if you tip and not have to escape out the skirt and end up with hypothermia and a kayak full of icy water. One of the problems with these sit insides in Hawaii is how hot it gets sweating inside that skirt.

     Here in Hawaii we little reason to be concerned with getting wet and most people actually want the option of being able to hop in or out of the kayak to snorkel or swim without having to beach the kayak to do so. The plastic sit on top kayaks allow this and more. They are self draining, having scupper holes  which drain the water if a wave comes over or if you climb back in after snorkelling. If the boat does capsize, you throw it back upright and immediately have a dry boat to climb into.

     One other difference is many sit insides are made of fiberglass or composite material which has a high strength to weight ratio but will also cost a great deal more.  Our applications here in Hawaii and especially here on the Big Island often necessitate landing on pebbly or lava rock shores and dragging the kayaks up. In these instances the composite boats would be quickly ruined or constantly in need of costly repairs which is another big reason the vast majority of kayaks you'll see in our waters are the sit on top variety.