What are different Parts of a Kayak (Bow to Stern)

Have you ever wondered what all the different parts of a kayak are called (bow to stern)? There are many names for the different parts.

I have spent some time researching the anatomy of a kayak to provide clarity on the different parts of a kayak.

The basic parts of a kayak are Bow, Stern, Starboard side, Portside, Hatch, Deck, Hull, Cockpit, Coaming, Footpegs (pads or braces),

If you are confused or have not heard these terms before, that’s okay. I am going to sort that out right now.

Kayak BOW

What is the bow of a kayak? The bow is simply the front of the kayak. The bow has a pointed front that cuts a “path” through the water. The term “Bow” is universal for all types of watercraft, whether is a canoe, kayak, or boat.

Kayak Stern

What is the stern of a kayak? The stern of the kayak is the back of the boat. The opposite of the bow. Like the “bow”, the stern is the universal term of the rear of a boat.

Kayak Keel or centreline?

What is keel or centreline of a kayak? The keel or centreline on a kayak is the part of the kayak that runs from bow to stern.

Kayak Starboard Side

What is the Starboard side of a kayak? The starboard side of the kayak is the right-hand side of the kayak. This is a universal term for all watercraft.

Kayak Port Side

What is the Port side of a kayak? The port side of the kayak is the left-hand side of the kayak. Again, this a universal term of all watercraft.

Kayak Deck

So what is the Deck of a kayak? The deck of a kayak is the top of the kayak. The purpose of the deck, besides making the kayak streamlined it serves the purpose of keeping water out. This is especially important when going through rough seas or down rapids.

Kayak Hull

What is the hull of a kayak? The Hull of a kayak refers to the whole underside of the boat. The term hull is a universal term used for all watercraft

Kayak Cockpit

What is the cockpit of a kayak? The cockpit of a kayak is the area where the paddlers sit in. Sounding more like a plane or racing car, the cockpit situated somewhere near the middle of a kayak.

Kayak Coaming

What is a coaming of a kayak? The coaming on a kayak is the rim or lip at the top of the cockpit. The coaming is where the skirt attaches.

Kayak Hatch

What is a hatch on a kayak? The hatch on a kayak is a compartment for storing gear. Not all kayaks have a hatch. Hatches come in handy for storing gear such as food, clothing, water, etc.

Kayak Foot Pegs, Pads or Braces

What are footpegs, pads, or braces in a kayak? Footpegs, pads, or braces are used to secure or footing inside the kayak. Every kayak is different and will have different types of footpegs or braces. These should be adjustable.

Kayak Toggle or grab handle

What is a toggle or grab handle on a kayak? A toggle or grab handle on a kayak is the part normally at the front (bow) and stern (front) of the kayak. It is used to rope for tying down and securing for transport.

Further Information

If you enjoyed this article you will enjoy our other articles. Below are some of our other popular resources;

How hard is kayaking? (for beginners)

Can 2 person kayak be used by one person?

How to paddle a kayak, basic strokes

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