A paddleboard and a kayak are similar boat-like 'vessels' used for water sports or for personal recreation, particularly ones that have to do with paddling and/racing. They are both alike in their functions but have some notable differences that mostly determine users opting for one instead of the other.
Physically, they are different in their features, in that a paddleboard is a flatter board and reallymore surf-like. A kayak in the other hand is a bit more enclosed and a bit more boat-like. A paddleboard is obviously meant to be maneuvered while standing, while a kayak is better suited for sitting. Both require a paddle and are suitable for fishing and other water activities
Which is preferable?
Many water sports lovers tend to favour one above the other, and perhaps you need to understand the specialities of paddleboarding versus kayaking.
Although kayaking is more old-school and seems safer and more stable because of the sitting position, people tend to favour paddleboards because they are somewhat more fun and exciting.
Paddleboards are more balanced
The fact that paddleboarding requires, and lets you have a greater balance makes it seem more appealing and challenging. It also is more spacious, and is the number one choice for yoga lovers.
Also, it provides an opportunity for a more intense workout, since you make use of all your muscles. Whereas kayaking just requires you to work your arm muscles in paddling.
Outside the water, a paddleboard is more portable and can be more easily carried and also stored more easily than a kayak. A kayak might seem clumsy to store away, except if it is the inflatable kind which can be inflated and deflated at will. A kayak typically weighs more and is a few feet longer than a paddleboard.
Which is more stable?
However, a kayak seems to give more stability to your body, that is, there's little fear of sliding off the edge. But in fact, a paddleboard is more stable and balanced.
The flat surface prevents you from wobbling or swaying in the water, and in case you even fall into the water, it is typically made of a floating material, such that you can hang on to and climb back on. Also a paddleboard is easier to learn, contrary to the opinion of beginners.
A kayak is more durable and sturdy
A kayak might be a more preferable choice if you want something more durable. Also, a kayak affords you the opportunity of storing your equipment in inbuilt compartments, unlike a paddleboard where all you have for storage is the flat surface. As such, your equipment might get wet and you might have to protect gadgets like a camera or phone
Also, both the kayak and paddleboard expose you to the cold, but the paddleboard, even more so. Note that, for racing competitions, a kayak is more suitable, because you can paddle faster than you can while paddleboarding.
In any case, comparing the options of paddleboard versus kayak depends really on what you need and what purpose you require either of them.