10 Best Kayaks For Beginners

10 Best Beginner Kayaks
Best Overall 🏆
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Best Hardshell Kayak
Pelican - Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak - Sit-on-Top Kayak - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 9.6 ft
Best Runner Up 🥈
Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe w/ Paddles
Intex Challenger K1
Pelican Sentinel 100X
Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Quick installation: 12A and 120V outlet with 36-37" cord plugs for independent installation
  • Excellent thermal efficiency of 98%
  • Multiple mounting options: wall, shelf, or floor
  • Compact and lightweight
  • High water efficiency
  • Multiple safety protection
  • Automatic temperature safety shut-off
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Stable
  • Ample storage
  • Relatively lightweight
Cons
  • Only recommended on calm waters
Pros
  • Portable and inflatable kayak
  • Dual skegs for the tracking
  • Deluxe kayak seating
  • Versatile and lightweight
Cons
  • Not faster enough
  • Not a rigid construction
Best Overall 🏆
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Intex Challenger K1
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Quick installation: 12A and 120V outlet with 36-37" cord plugs for independent installation
  • Excellent thermal efficiency of 98%
  • Multiple mounting options: wall, shelf, or floor
  • Compact and lightweight
  • High water efficiency
  • Multiple safety protection
  • Automatic temperature safety shut-off
Best Hardshell Kayak
Pelican - Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak - Sit-on-Top Kayak - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 9.6 ft
Pelican Sentinel 100X
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Stable
  • Ample storage
  • Relatively lightweight
Cons
  • Only recommended on calm waters
Best Runner Up 🥈
Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak Canoe w/ Paddles
Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak
Pros
  • Portable and inflatable kayak
  • Dual skegs for the tracking
  • Deluxe kayak seating
  • Versatile and lightweight
Cons
  • Not faster enough
  • Not a rigid construction
Table of Contents
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    Which Are The Best Beginner Kayaks?

    Over the past few years, kayaking has seen increased popularity due to the direct result of the activity’s many benefits and widespread appeal.  Recreational kayaking, just like canoeing, is not just an amazing sport but an active way to get out on the water, meet new people and intimately enjoy the outdoors.

    When you are starting on a kayaking adventure as a beginner with the interest of purchasing a kayak of your own and advancing your skills, a lot of the more technical kayaking gear (a paddle and a personal flotation device), is optional, but one thing isn’t: your kayak!

    For beginners, choosing from the wide range of kayaks can become a daunting task, and could lead you to bear the immense stress varying by models, accessories, sizes, and prices.

    There are many different types and styles of kayaks, each designed for a specific purpose and best suited to a specific kind of paddler but doing some back-end research and having full knowledge of what your needs are can help make a better choice.

    Our Top 10 Picks at a Glance

    1. Intex Challenger K1 (Best Sit In Kayak For Beginners)

    Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

    The Intex K1 challenger is a good purchase for paddlers who are more concerned about fun than performance and those in need of an affordable vessel.

    Best suited for beginners and not advanced paddlers with racing or expeditionary aspirations.

    With a narrow profile, multiple air chambers, and I-beam to add stability, this boat handles impressively well on the water and because it rides low, it is quite stable and less vulnerable to being pushed around by the wind or fast-moving currents.

    Made from venture-resistant vinyl, and comes with everything you’ll need to get out on the water in one pack including, an 84-inch aluminum oar, a repair patch, a carrying duffel, and an inflation pump. 

    You can simply set up this boat by inflating the two separate chambers until the included gauge tells you that the boat is good to go and it usually takes less than five minutes.

    Ensure you take care to keep the boat away from sharp objects as well as wear a personal flotation device when using this kayak because one of the air chambers will not provide you much buoyancy if the other pops.

    The Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak features a long skeg for good tracking in a straight line, at 27 pounds is easily person portable and at 9 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, it turns and maneuvers well.

    Included in this kayak is an inflatable seat that is comfortable, removable, and adjustable. On the boat’s upper deck, is a cargo net that can easily handle a water bottle, a small tackle box, and some snacks.

    One downside of the craft is that it does not have a scupper hole and as a result has a high likelihood of taking on water. Draining the water needs you paddling to shore where you can flip the entire thing upside down.

    After your paddling session, ensure you carefully dry the boat and its components with a towel and fold it back into its carrying duffel and have it stored in a closet or garage.

    With a normal price tag of $147, the Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak is cheap and more than capable of providing you with many hours of fun on the water.

    Pros

    • Affordable
    • Low weight for transportation
    • Easy to inflate
    • Packs down into an included duffel bag
    • Comes with a paddle and pump
    • Tracks and steers well
    • Removable and adjustable seat
    • Lightweight
    • Portable

    Cons

    • No drain plugs
    • Not the most durable
    • The included pump inflates slowly
    • Not enough storage space
    • Tracking suffers in high winds

    2. Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak

    Sea Eagle 370 (3-Man Inflatable Sport Kayak)

    Certified with NMMA, this sporty beginner kayak from Sea Eagle 370 Pro is not only versatile but lightweight and can be used for a camping trip or fishing. Sea Eagle 370 Pro is also one of the kayaks that are rated for up to Class III whitewater rafting.

    As an inflatable, you might not have rigid construction, but its design brought the weight to the lowest end of about 32 lbs and has a seating capacity for up to 3 people as it can conveniently accept the maximum weight capacity of 650 kg with the minimized chance of flipping due to overweight. 

    Made from an extremely tough Polykrylar hull, it hardly gets punctured. Integrated with Sea Eagle 370 Pro is a dual fixed skeg that provides you with better tracking ability and maneuverability to make the hard turns in a limited time. 

    It also features over two movable and delightfully comfortable Deluxe Kayak seat technology with the improved back support, a foot pump to get it inflated within minutes, a duffel bag of only 31” x 19” by 8” high, that can easily fit into a closet for storage, a repair kit and dual paddles attached for dual kayakers.

    Pros

    • Portable and inflatable kayak
    • Dual skegs for the tracking
    • Deluxe kayak seating
    • Versatile and lightweight

    Cons

    • Not faster enough
    • Not a rigid construction

    3. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle

    Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak with Paddle, 6 Feet, Green

    If you intend to introduce your child to kayaking, the Youth Wave Kayak is an ideal option as it is custom-built to allow younger paddlers to use it with ease. The wave is one designed specifically with young kayakers in mind with adult supervision.

    Included in this boat are huge features that make life in water easier for a budding young kayaker. 

    Its ergonomically designed cockpit enhance balance, and reversed chines serve to trap water under the boat, making it hard to capsize as well as keeping the children safe and comfortable while they learn their kayaking skills.

    A specially designed swim-up step at the rear of the kayak combined with mounded finger grooves for extra grip makes re-entry very easy and self-bailing scupper holes drain out water from the boat.

    The twin fins mounted on the bottom assist in tracking and even surf riding while the multiple footrest positions provide comfort for a range of different-sized paddlers

    At only 6 feet in length and 18 pounds in weight, getting the Youth Wave to the waterline is not a problem and is comparatively easy to store. Once in the water, it is stable and easy to use.

    The only downside to the Youth Wave is that its use is only limited to the beach or at the edge of a lake. Invest in a tandem kayak if you’re on the lookout for a suitable kayak that can transport children for longer journeys on rivers or at sea.

    Pros

    • Specifically designed for children
    • Multiple footrest positions
    • A swim-up step for re-entry
    • Self-bailing scupper holes
    • Stable and durable
    • Sloppy at the end
    • 5 years warranty
    • Lightweight design

    Cons

    • Not suitable for longer journeys or rivers
    • Do not try to stand on

    4. Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Convertible

    Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite

    The Advanced Elements Convertible Tandem Kayak is a high-performance inflatable kayak that can be paddled by either one or two people depending on how you set up the seats. Packed with practical features, it is comfortable and durable.

    When configured for a single paddler, this kayak could feasibly be used for overnight expeditions since the tie-down points, bungees, and integrated pockets offer adequate storage for quite a lot of gear.

    When paddling in a tandem mode, there’s ample space for both paddlers to move freely without getting in each other’s way and high seatbacks offer sufficient back support and comfort throughout a full day on the water.

    The configuration keeps the boat from feeling tippy and reduces wind resistance. While paddling, the low-lying seats keep your center of gravity close to the water.

    The AE Convertible tandem features a 3-layer PVC outer shell for puncture resistance and built-in aluminum ribs to keep the kayak’s shape. Its durable and rigid floor is designed with a “drop stitch” technology and included in the bow and stern of the kayak is a deck rigging for gear storage.

    At 15 feet long, the relatively narrow 32-inch hull provides excellent tracking without giving up too much stability and its 550-pound capacity is plenty to accommodate two paddlers plus additional gear. 

    A small skeg and multiple tracking fins see to it that you have a straight, smooth, and speedy ride.

    Inflating and setting up the AE Convertible tandem efficiently needs a few times practice and takes some getting used to. 

    For structural integrity, three out of the six air chambers pumped up are important and each chamber has specific pressure requirements. Ensure you don’t overfill the watercraft when inflating.

    Impressively, Advanced Elements Convertible Tandem handles more like a rigid-sided kayak and despite being an inflatable vessel, it offers you supreme durability with three outer layers of ripstop material. 

    On the performance side, it offers tracking and speed that most other inflatable tandems cannot. The downside of this boat is that it is bulky and cannot be easily packed into its duffel for easy transportation. Also, at $980, AE Convertible is expensive.

    Pros

    • Durable
    • The capacity of 550 lbs.
    • Can be paddled solo or tandem
    • Extreme tracking and control
    • Foldable
    • Handles speed with ease
    • Ample storage space
    • 3 layered puncture-resistance inflatable kayak

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • More expensive than other options
    • It is difficult for one person to set up
    • The pump is purchased separately

    5. Pelican Sentinel 100X (Best Hard-shell Beginner Kayak)

    Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak - Sentinel 100X - 9.5 Feet - Lightweight one Person Kayak

    The Pelican Sentinel 100X kayak is a recreational roomy sit-on-top kayak stable enough to hold you and your canine companion as you paddle and fish without issue or tipping.

    The Pelican Sentinel 100X kayak is a great beginner kayak that is relatively lightweight and features a handle on the ends and sides for easy transportation.

    Although it is a sit-on-top kayak, there is enough room to relax and move your legs with plenty of storage space in the dry well behind the cockpit. 

    The bungee cords are used to lash down coolers, jackets, fishing gear, or anything else for a day of paddling and the removable storage compartment makes for easy access to storage.

    Included also in this recreational boat is an anti-slip carpet in the front for your furry friend to sit on, an amply padded molded foam seat with a wide shoulder that wraps around to fully support the paddler plus a cup holder for your drinks. 

    Ensure to put your phone in a ziplock before storing it in the hatch since it may not be perfectly waterproof.

    This kayak is not only a top contender as the best kayak for beginners but also an all-around quality boat from a great manufacturer. However, many customers and users complained their kayak was damaged during shipping after ordering from Amazon.

    Pros

    • Affordable
    • Stable
    • Ample storage
    • Relatively lightweight

    Cons

    • Only recommended on calm waters

    6. Perception Flash 9.5 Kayak

    Perception Flash 9.5 Kayak

    If you need an affordable and functional beginner river boat that tracks well on flat water and can perform decently in low-level rapids, look no more than a Perception Flash 9.5 kayak.

    Perception Flash 9.5 features enough room space to adjust in the cockpit and additional storage in the back. The seats are cushioned, but they are not very comfortable. So it is not a good choice for a long-distance journey or even for a long day of fishing.

    At 41 lbs it is lightweight and easy to transport and for the price, it performs very well in the water, and it is easy to maneuver in a variety of conditions.

     

    An excellent watercraft for flatwater, slow-moving rivers, and coasts but if you are looking for a kayak that you can use strictly for whitewater, you may want to look elsewhere.

    Pros

    • Affordable
    • Great stability
    • Excellent tracking
    • Easy to maneuver

    Cons

    • Not comfortable for night trips and long days on the water

    7. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105

    Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105

    The Wilderness Systems ATAK 105 is one of the best sit-on-top kayaks that offers impressive versatility. 

    As a recreational boat, the Tarpon 105 can perform well when used for various kayak-based activities such as fishing, exploring, bird watching, camping, and even surfing waves.

    The Tarpon 105 is a wise choice if you’re looking for a single kayak that is both beginner-friendly and adaptable. This updated model is built on the success of previous Tarpon iterations and comes with various features for on-the-water support. 

    So, whether in flatwater or flowing creeks and rivers, this kayak is stable, sporty, and downright fun. For anglers, the Tarpon 105 is compatible with fishing pole holders, fishfinder screens, and GPS units. 

    At 10.5 feet long, its shorter length gives the Tarpon a boost in portability, and at 55 pounds, it can be carried around without too much trouble.

    The Tarpon 105 is best suited for paddlers who wish to prioritize stability and comfort over speed. Built for stable cruising but not a wise choice for speedy racing and it does not glide through the water outstandingly well.

    Built with Wilderness Systems’ exceptionally comfortable Phase 3 AirPro seating system, you can comfortably stay long on water and the contoured backrest is ergonomic and supportive.

    While paddling, the 105’s flat hull allows the boat to turn quickly and easily and the entire boat changes direction smoothly and with minimal effort.

    The Tarpon 105’s impressive features include large waterproof storage wells, a magnetic water bottle strap system, a built-in paddle holder, rigid carry handles, and a dog-friendly deck for your pup

    Although pricey at $1,000+, the feature-packed, durable design makes Tarpon 105’s a good-value buy.

    Pros

    • Comfortable seat
    • Going in and out of this boat while on the water is easy
    • Makes smooth turns, impressively maneuverable
    • Useful for lots of activities
    • Packed with thoughtful features

    Cons

    • Glides slowly
    • More expensive than other options

    8. Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5

    Hobie 2019 Mirage Passport 10.5 - Pedal Fishing Kayak

    For several years, Hobie’s been making kayaks and this updated model is one of its newer ones recently released that maintains the tried-and-true design while adding a new rotomolded hull construction.

    The Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5 R is a pedal kayak that provides you with more accessory features and room for gear storage. It also allows you to paddle hands-free to fish, watch birds and snap photos.

    No matter the weight on board (150 or 200 pounds), this boat offers great tracking in the water. The Mirage Glide technology refers to the pedal, fins, and rudder components.

    Included in this boat is a stowable rudder with steering control located by your left hand next to the sea and the aluminum frame seat that it’s way more comfortable than standard kayak seats, an 8-inch twist-and-seal hatch for storing gear, kick-up fins that automatically recess upon impact to protect both you and your equipment as well as two cargo storage compartments with bungee straps located on the bow and stern. 

    Also, this kayak features enough storage space for your tackle kit, rods, camera equipment, a small cooler, or any other thing you would like to bring on board. 

    Despite being measured 34 inches across, it accommodates the seat and steering control and even with the extra weight of this kayak, it’s stable and feels streamlined moving through the water.

    For the price ($1,649), the Hobie cat model is a great-quality kayak that is worth investing in, especially if you’re looking to pedal.

    Pros

    • Very comfortable seat
    • Waterproof gear storage with hatch
    • Rod mounts and accessories included
    • Kick-up/retractable fins
    • Good price
    • High-tech rotomolded construction
    • Two-piece aluminum paddle included

    Cons

    • Lots of individual components
    • Heavy and bulky

    9. Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak

    Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler

    The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a hot and trendy, dual tandem sit-on-top beginner kayak that gives you the option to take up to one other person and one child or pet.

    The 12-foot-long Ocean Kayak Malibu can also be paddled solo from a central seating position, giving you the option to go at it alone and enjoy all the legroom you could want on the open water.

    Designed with durable material, it is strong enough to withstand the impact of the open sea without flipping due to the massive tides or even hitting the rocks on the shores.

    The Malibu features a large open cockpit for gear storage, three molded-in seat wells, and attached gear straps to load in your gears. Slip-prevented molded seats from the Comfort Plus system allow for the comfortable seating of a range of paddler sizes.

    Its weight capacity as a tandem-suited kayak is over 425 lbs or 192 KGs, which is quite enough to support the weight of two folks along with the gears loaded On the water, the length of the Malibu gives it good stability and tracking, but is weight can make it difficult to maneuver if you are paddling alone.

    Pros

    • Seats from the Comfort Plus system
    • Center-seated paddles
    • Best works in salt and freshwater
    • Fits two adults and a child or pet
    • Can be paddled solo
    • Multiple footrest positions

    Cons

    • No storage compartments
    • A little heavy for one-person transportation

    10. Oru Kayak Foldable Kayak

    Coast XT by Oru Kayak

    Are you living in tight quarters, a van, or a studio apartment? The Oru Inlet folding kayak is a brilliant tool that offers you all of the benefits of owning your watercraft without the need for large storage space.

    The ideal user is someone who prioritizes easy storage and compact gear as well as enjoys mellow on-the-water trips.

    The 30-inch width hull provides enough stability and comfort for beginner paddlers as well as a great feature for fishing. The Oru Inlet weighs only 20 pounds and when folded up, it can be slung over a single shoulder for effortless carrying. 

    The Inlet has been manufacturer-rated for 20,000-fold cycles since the folds in the kayak do create weaknesses in the 5mm double-layered polypropylene exterior.

    Compared to the often-convoluted process of inflating a kayak, several owners and testers have attested to the fact that the inlet can be assembled in 3 minutes, and inflating this kayak is very simple.

    Although this is certainly a niche kayak, it’s simple to set up, simple to paddle, and efficient enough for regular use. 

    The cockpit is large enough to store a small dry bag or a bit of fishing gear but it has limited overnight gear storage space, and there is no water-proof cargo area. At $925, the Inlet is cheaper compared to other offerings from Oru.

    Pros

    • Super light
    • Easy to set up and fold down
    • Folds up for easy transportation
    • Padded seat
    • The open cockpit makes re-entry and exiting this boat simple
    • Beginner-friendly
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Maximum weight capacity of 275 lbs.
    • Expensive
    • Does not track especially well

    The best beginner kayaks have the adjustability and stability to help just about anyone gets started on the right foot, unlike the low-quality and poorly-performing kayak that may hinder your overall kayaking experience.

    To learn and grow in the sport without having to buy multiple boats, it often works best to get a versatile one, since you can always upgrade as you advance or change interests.

    To help you get in on the fun, we’ve narrowed down the best beginner kayaks for the novice paddler, and what you need to know to better inform your decision.

    Beginners’ Buyer’s Guide for Kayaks

    Before investing in a beginner-level kayak, far beyond some recommended products, it is important to take a lot of factors into consideration so that you don’t end up regretting your choice.

    Among the few key things to consider when deciding what your kayaking needs are, the first factor is to determine what type of kayaking you want. Once you identify what kind of attributes you are looking for in a kayak, it will become much easier to choose. 

    The market is full of well-made and high-quality kayak brands and most brands offer options for a wide range of paddling pursuits. These are the different categories of kayaks with their strengths and drawbacks.

    Sit-On-Top Kayaks

    Sit-on-Top Kayaks are the most common and very approachable beginner type of kayak you will find in the market, especially for recreational purposes. 

    Just like stand-up paddleboards, this style of kayak allows you to sit right on top of the boat and since it has an open cockpit, your legs will be exposed to the open air, and getting on and off is quite easy compared to sit-in kayaks.

    Sit-on-top kayaks are the perfect kind of kayak for warm weather because the user is likely to get wet and new paddlers who are getting used to the water, tend to feel more stable than sit-ins.

    For anglers, this style of kayak comes with extra attachments to keep your fish finder and a fishing reel in a place where they can be easily accessible. It also features a self-draining mechanism so you won’t have to take the water manually.

    Sit-In Kayaks

    Available for recreational purposes and long trips, sit-in boats are designed with a cockpit and a deck that you have to climb into to paddle. It offers you speedy and accurate tracking and can be paddled easily through the serene nature. 

    Unlike sit-on-top kayaks, this type of kayak does not feature a self-draining mechanism and the users are likely to experience less wind resistance. 

    Sit-inside kayaks offer much better control because of the way you adjust yourself to them and make longer journeys feel like a breeze. If comfort is your priority, going for a sit-in yak would be a much better option. 

    Apart from these two above-mentioned kayaks, kayaks are further divided based on different categories which include:

    Inflatable Kayaks

    For users who do not have enough storage space, an inflatable kayak can be a fantastic solution. 

    They have a more portable option that is easy to store, deflate when not in use, and easy to maneuver. However, don’t expect it to track well and last long since they are vulnerable to punctures.

    Inflatable kayaks typically have multiple compartments that must all be filled with air like a balloon before use and they’re less comfortable on the water than other types of watercrafts and you won’t be able to go far with them. So we recommend you use it close to home.

    Folding Kayaks

    A folding kayak is a much more feasible option for kayakers who don’t have a lot of available storage space to store a full-fledged yak. These boats are very lightweight and easy to transport. 

    They are easy to store and use as well as often perform far better than inflatable options. However, folding kayaks are not as durable on the water as solid plastic kayaks, and assembling and setting up these kayaks properly will require some practice.

    Recreational Kayaks

    These boats are built to prioritize fun over high-end performance. Included in this kayak are practical features that maximize comfort and allow you to enjoy your paddling experience.

    They are very easy to use, highly stable, affordable, and come in as sit-in and sit-on-top boats. They are best suited for use on still water and won’t take you for a long trip.

    It can store a few gears due to the limited storage space. Recreational kayaks will not be the fastest or lightest boats on the market, but they are worth investing in.

    Tandem Kayaks

    Tandem kayaks have two seats and paddling positions which means they can be paddled by two people at once. Longer than single-user boats, it has ample cargo space so you can even take a longer route and have all the gear on the deck. 

    Tandem boats can be inflatable or made of solid material and instead of buying two kayaks for your partner and yourself, it saves you a lot of money. 

    However, the process of learning how to paddle in sync with your partner can be a fun and tricky challenge.

    Day Touring Kayaks

    Day touring kayaks mostly come as sit-in yaks and they’re meant for single-day excursions.

    They’re versatile, more efficient, can go through water for a longer period, are easily transported from one place to another, are very accurate at tracking, and give you complete control even in rough water. 

    However, they’re very sleek in design, more expensive than a recreational boat, and lack adequate storage space for overnight trips or expeditions.

    Pedal Kayaks

    Pedal-powered kayaks have a propeller or flippers that you can use to help move forward as you pedal. If you have a condition that doesn’t allow you to use your arms in a paddling motion or don’t have the strength to paddle, this kayak is for you. 

    They leave your hands free to cast out and tend to your fishing rod thereby making it an excellent option for fishing. 

    You can still use a paddle with pedal kayaks, but it isn’t required since it can be operated using your legs, either by pushing or rotating the pedals to generate thrust. These kayaks are expensive and complex as well.

    Whitewater Kayaks

    Whitewater kayaks like River Runners, Creek boats, Playboats, Old School, and Inflatables (Duckies) are comfortable and approachable kayaks for beginners wanting to test out whitewater. 

    They are built to maneuver through fast-flowing water and most whitewater kayaks utilize a spray skirt to keep water out of the cockpit. You will find them mostly as sit-in kayaks, with a short length and minimal storage space.

    Touring Kayaks

    Touring kayaks or sea kayaks are the sturdiest and fastest yaks built for long-distance travel but aren’t the easiest to transport because of the length. They are very sleek in design, have a small cockpit area, and are equipped with thigh braces.

    Since they’re such long kayaks, they come integrated either with a skeg or a rudder to make it easier to turn when you’re on flowing water or there is a harsh wind blowing. You will have great space for your gear and a higher price tag to follow.

    Material vs. Weight

    Another thing that you need to keep in perspective when choosing a kayak is its material. You can find kayaks made from all sorts of different materials but most kayaks on the market these days are made of solid plastic, thin foldable plastic, fiberglass, and inflatable abrasion-resistant PVC.

    While solid plastic boats tend to be the most durable, foldable plastic and inflatable PVC are lighter and easier to pack down and store in a small space. 

    A lightweight boat like inflatables gives you the benefit of having an easy transportation system since you will be able to pick it up yourself as well as enough storage space for your gears since the boat itself weighs quite less.

    However, If you plan on paddling with a dog on board, it may be wise to steer clear of inflatable kayaks that are vulnerable to punctures. It is important to check the kayak’s weight before purchasing.

    Weight capacity

    Before you purchase a kayak, make sure that the watercraft will be able to handle the total weight of the anticipated user along with the weight of your gear. A kayak that cannot accommodate you and your gears is a recipe for disaster. 

    Also, it’s good to stay on the conservative side of a boat’s capacity limit to ensure that it will perform safely and as intended. Always consider the weight capacity of the kayak before buying.

    Durability

    How long a kayak lasts is determined by the overall quality, frequency of use, and how it is stored. All kayak manufacturers use the same terminology but their build quality varies when it comes to durability. 

    While inflatable sit-on kayaks are an affordable and easy-to-store option for beginners, they are not the most practical for long-lasting use since they are prone to leaks and punctures.

    Solid plastic watercraft are sturdier and more durable than inflatable ones although they can still have faults.

    As a beginner, look for products that have verified durability claims, reliable track record, repair policies, and lifetime warranties and the best way to do that is by going through the customer’s reviews.

    The lifespan of your kayak can be maximized if you don’t drag it along jagged rocks during loading and unloading. 

    Ensure to keep it out of the full sun and away from potentially harmful objects and substances during storage. You can as well follow PSI recommendations to prevent overinflation.

    Portability

    Kayak storage and transportation significantly affect your choice of a kayak. The excitement that comes with getting your first kayak can make you forget that you have to both store and transport whatever kayak you’ve bought. 

    While shopping for your kayak, you need to have a good understanding of your physical limits and the available storage space.  Due to the lack of roof racks or storage space at home, so many beginners get inflatable kayaks. 

    Take stock of the size and weight of the kayak you are interested in and ask the following questions; Can I lift it onto the top of my car? 

    Do I have a truck to make things easier for loading and unloading? Can I easily carry it from home to the paddling destination without assistance? A good answer to these questions will help you make a better choice.

    Stability

    When purchasing your first kayak, stability is an important factor. Don’t just look at getting into the sport but rather go for a kayak that matches your level of experience.

    A kayak is stable and easy to paddle when it doesn’t dump you into the water at the first shift of your body weight. 

    Before investing in any kayak especially as a beginner, ensure that it has good primary stability, this means the kayak should remain stable while you sit in it in a normal kayaking position without tipping.

    Versatility

    Generally, most beginner kayaks are best suited for calm waters, but some can be used on coastal waters or slow-moving rivers. As a beginner kayaker, a versatile kayak introduces you to various types of water.

    Length, Depth, and Width of the Kayak

    The size and design of the kayak should be considered because as far as we know and have experience, a longer kayak tends to glide more smoothly and are more efficient while a shorter boat is more stable. 

    A wider kayak offers more rotational stability and stability is something to think about as a beginner. 

    There’s a need for a kayak to have appropriate legroom and comfortable seats to lay back and having an efficient depth is also important because it will give enough room for kayakers who have longer legs. 

    The right kayak for you should energize you instead of making you feel tired.

    Price

    Kayaks vary in price which is the reason why you need to decide on a specific budget before shopping for your kayak. 

    While kayaks made from Polyethylene plastic are inexpensive but you need to be prepared for a shorter life term, the ones built with ABS plastic are durable but do have a higher price tag.

    Consider going for a tandem kayak if you intend to buy yourself a boat for you and your partner instead of buying two kayaks.

    Advantages of Using a Beginner Kayak

    There are lots of kayaks in the market and a beginner’s watercraft is relatively safer and easy to use. Apart from the fact that they’re built while keeping first-handers, here are a few benefits you will be getting out of your kayak.

    • A good beginner kayak provides you with all the basic features needed on the water and is quite durable.
    • These kayaks are easier to use and understand especially for those who have never used a kayak for fishing before, an exclusive beginner kayak gets things going.
    • Beginners’ kayaks are very affordable. But once you’re on an intermediate level of yakking; you can invest in something more feature-oriented. As a first-timer, it is not recommended for you to go for an intermediate-level kayak. There’s a need to keep things as simple and easy as possible until you master how to handle yourself and your kayak on the water.

    Safety Tips for Beginners

    Before you purchase a kayak, you probably want to know why kayaking is one of the most appraised sports. 

    Whether you’re heading out on the river or a lake, kayaking is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy nature. 

    It is affordable, very entertaining, and safe compared to other water sports. Kayaking also strengthens your core and improves your cardio health as well as reduces stress.

    Despite being loaded with a lot of benefits, keep in mind that it can get very serious and sensitive since you’re on the water already. So there’s a need to take as many precautionary measures as possible.

    Compiled here are a few safety tips that we would like to give to our beginners out there so they can have fun while ensuring there isn’t a danger incoming,

    • Drinking and paddling is a bad combination that need not be practiced at all. When you’re ready to step onto water, ensure you’re in your right senses and that they are functioning effectively. It is always disastrous and life-threatening when you’re under the influence of any drug or drink while on the water.
    • If you’re a beginner, cultivate the attitude of wearing a life jacket whenever you are out on the water. No matter how comfortable you are with their kayak and water, a life jacket is one of the most important precautionary measures you need because anything bad never happens with prior notice.
    • Dressing appropriately right according to the weather is another important thing to do as a beginner. If you intend on paddling in cold water, you must wear warm clothes so you can stay comfortable while kayaking. Also, in case your boat slips off, having a dress that is according to the condition keeps you a bit safe.

    Kayak Features

    Spray Skirt – Spray skirt is common among touring boats and whitewater. The skirt keeps you protected and warm while preventing waves and water from entering the cockpit

    Rocker/ Waterline – This is one of many design considerations to consider in a kayak. The amount of rocker a kayak has indicates how much the kayak’s hull rises at both bow and stern. 

    It is easier to turn the kayak that rises at its bow and stern with less of the hull in the water.

    Kayaks with a high rocker are easy to maneuver and agile but have less tracking ability and speed while kayaks with a longer waterline often track well and can achieve higher speeds but maneuvering is quite difficult.

    Skeg/Rudder – A skeg is a detachable or retractable fin that adds to the stability and tracking of the kayak. Similar to a skeg, a rudder is a mobile fin attached to the underside of the kayak that is used to control the direction of the kayak.

    When it comes to the best kayaks for beginners, the type of kayaking you intend to pursue is the first place to start, and then consider your budget. 

    However, as a beginner, it is best to start your paddling experience by either borrowing the equipment, renting it, or buying used ones. 

    Not only are they the most affordable and sustainable options, but they also give you a chance to try out the sport without feeling like you need to buy everything new. 

    As you begin your kayaking hobby, there are many details to learn, but beginner kayaks aren’t particularly complicated. Also, we recommend you try out the solo beginner’s watercraft before going to use the tandem-styled kayaks. 

    Always wear your swim jacket no matter how skillful you turn out after a few days of kayaking. So, win the water from your first day at the water with one of the selected beginner kayaks!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Beginner and recreational kayaks are designed to be very stable so you can't find them flipping out easily.

     

    The risk is much higher when paddling through rapids or fast water and as a beginner, it is best to start paddling on still water and work your way up.

    With $400 or higher, you can purchase a good quality kayak for a solo paddler. But if you intend to go for a kayak made with lighter and more durable materials, it will cost you a token.

     

    These kayaks typically come with better seats and more features like sealed storage which makes them pricier.

     

    The good news here is that even if you're on a tight budget, you can still find high-quality and affordable kayaks. You can even get used kayaks or rent them a few times.

    This depends on several factors like storage space. Longer kayaks of course give you more storage options while shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver but hard to keep in a straight line.

     

    In general, a 10ft kayak is long enough for most paddlers.

    A sit-in kayak is more efficient and stable when paddling since you have a lower center of gravity and as such work for beginners.

     

    However, sit-on kayaks tend to be more approachable for beginners since they're much easier to get into and get out of, stable, and easy to paddle.

     

    Sit-on-top kayaks have no leg braces or spray skirts and the users are not limited. It all depends on the type of kayaking you’d like to pursue.

    There are kayaks of all shapes and sizes on the market and they vary depending on their intended function.

     

    Beginner kayaks tend to be between 9 and 12 feet long and are 2 to 3 feet wide which provides a good balance between smooth tracking and maneuverability.

     

    Before purchasing a kayak, check to make sure it is stable enough to can accommodate a paddler of your size without tipping over.

    This all depends on your lifestyle, preferred paddling location, storage space, and other factors like durability, stability, and versatility.

     

    However, the best type of kayak for a beginner is one that meets your needs and helps you progress as a paddler.

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