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Outriggers for Kayaks: Do You Need Them?

Kayak Sail Outrigger

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Zoe Mitchell

What started out as an adventurous shore excursion during a cruise, turned into a lifestyle hobby. I started Kayak Info Center to share my passion and knowledge about this exciting sport with others. I hope you enjoy the information on this website and that it helps you enjoy kayaking as much as I do.

 Do You Need Them?

Got Stability? Stability is the main reason to add outriggers to your kayak. Adding outriggers to your kayak can open up adventures you may not have consider. Keep reading to learn the benefits and drawbacks of adding outriggers to find out if Outriggers for Kayaks are needed?.

Turn Your Yak Into a Sailboat

Sound exciting? Before you attach a sail to your kayak, and be on your merry way, stabilization will be of major concern. Sailboats have a keel; the long weighted blade you see under the boats hull.

Kayak Sail

A keel provides a counterbalance to the wind pushing against the sail. Kayaks are not designed with a keel. Anything greater than a slight breeze, your yak is most likely to capsize. Add properly sized outriggers to your yak, and the odds of staying upright improves.

Fishing Yak

Standing while fishing gives the angler a different perspective. A kayak allows you to get into places on a river or lake that may be more of a challenge for a regular boat. However, standing in a yak, trying to fish, can be a tricky endeavor. If you’re a tall and heavy individual, you’ll be instantly presented with additional challenges.

A kayak equipped with outriggers improves stability, and allows an angler to focus on what they came to do, fish.

Kayak Outriggers/Stabilizers System
Stabilizers System

Outriggers on Your Kayak; Not So Fast


Before you install those outriggers on your yak, or purchase one with them preinstalled, there is a drawback, depending on your goals. Outriggers can slow the yak down. This isn’t a science based article, but the simple physics is, the longer the kayak’s hull, the faster it can move through the water.

Adding short hull outriggers to your yak will most likely slow you down. One possibility of keeping your speed from changing negatively, is add a sail. You might even improve it.

What Type of kayak Outrigger is Best, Inflatable or Solid PVC?

Both designs have their pros and cons. The choice is yours.

The inflatables have the ease of portability and storage. They involve a bladder you will have to inflate, and they have a tough outer membrane. The membrane is designed to withstand the rigors of cruising down a river. Unfortunately, they are not indestructible. They can be punctured.

For more durability, the PVC outrigger fits the bill.

 PVC Inflatable Outrigger Kayak
PVC Inflatable Outrigger Kayak

Designed with a solid float for buoyancy, you can rely on them functioning as intended. Those who earn their living on the water use devices of similar material. The durability of PVC outriggers is outstanding. While cruising water ways and pulling your yak ashore, you can be confident in your equipment. The downside to the PVC outrigger is storage, when compared to the inflatable design.

To Sum Up

Outriggers for kayaks can be an invaluable piece of equipment. They will provide the of stability to give a beginner more confidence, and an angler more variation in their style of fishing. Whatever your reasons are for kayaking, outriggers can enhance your experience.

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Kayak Outrigger

Kayak Sail Outrigger

Outriggers for Kayaks: Do You Need Them?

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