Presented here, for what it may be worth, are recent models of kayaks I have had personal experience with in regards to kayak diving. For some very valuable information on what to look for in a dive kayak see Choosing Your Dive Kayak: Important Performance & Safety Considerations by Rocky Daniels. If you want some good information on outfitting an Ocean Kayak Scrambler for diving see Outfitting & Modifying Your Dive Kayak: Important Safety Tips & Anchoring Procedures by Jim Spears.
The Cobra brand has long been a steady supplier of dependable dive kayaks. Their rugged and stable designs, in addition to the large size bow hatches with rear deck tankwells, common on many of their models, make Cobra a good bet for a scuba kayak. That being said, I am not a fan of the Fish N' Dive model for kayak diving, unless the paddler is extrodinarily large or the cargo extra heavy or bulky...and if a motor is meant to be used with the kayak.
Cobra Fish N' Dive - not generally recommended for divers:
My picks for Cobra kayaks of particular note for kayak diving are the Navigator and the Marader kayaks:
Malibu Kayaks has many models with a tankwell, but also many models that are more oriented to fishing, rater than diving. Although these pastimes often go hand in hand the three most scuba friendly are the Pro Explorer, Extreme and X-Factor kayaks.
Malibu Pro Explorer
Malibu X Factor
Ocean Kayak is the undisputed leader in kayak diving, or at least has been for the last thirty years. The California hull and the classic Niemire inspired designs still flow from the offerings out of Ferndale WA. Probably the two best dive kayaks on the market today are the Prowler 15 and the 13. Add to that, the Zest Two EXP has re-surfaced as virtually the only true two-man dive kayak on the market today. Divers always want to swim with a buddy, why not paddle in the same kayak to the dive site too?
Zest II Expedition
Wilderness Systems has been innovating new sit-on-top kayaks with a tankwell over the past years.
While the Ride is still in productions and is a decent dive kayak, the Tarpon line of kayaks will out perform the stable and slow Ride. The Tarpon line of kayaks come in a wide selection of sizes from very short and slow Tarpon 100 (too small for scuba), to super sleek Tarpon 160i. While the line is very promising to the kayak diver I have to add that the rigid seat back support can be a hindrance for access behind the cockpit and the tankwell.
The Ride by Wilderness Systems
I welcome your input on these choices and opinions or reviews of dive kayaks not mentioned here. Visit our Forum and share your experience. We are a friendly, helpful group.
We hope you've found this information helpful.
We appreciate your feedback & support.
Using these links to purchase or to participate makes TopKayaker.net possible.