My 10 To Best Kayaks for Beginners (Comparison & Buying Guide)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST KAYAKS FOR BEGINNERS

MY BEST KAYAKS FOR BEGINNERS COMPARISON:

Product:
Features:
Pros/Cons:
Price:
Best for fishing
Best
WILDERNESS SYSTEMS PUNGO 125 RECREATIONAL KAYAK
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Style: Sit-In Recreational
  • Kayak weight: 49lbs
  • Features: Hull made from Rotomolded polyethylene, 475lbs maximum weight capacity, Adjustable seats for maximum comfort
    • highly stable
    • maneuverable
    • great storage space
    • additional accessories
    • comfortable seating
    • Not cheap
    Best for well-rounded performance
    Best
    PERCEPTION PESCADOR 10.0 KAYAK
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Style: Recreational/ Fishing
  • Kayak weight: 52lbs
  • Features: Adjustable seating, Drink holders, Leakproof design, Easy to open hatch
    • Maneuverable
    • stable for fishing
    • great onboard storage
    • durable paddle
    • adjustable seating
    • Not ideal for bigger riders
    Best Tandem for beginners with a child passenger
    Best
    OCEAN KAYAK 12 FEET MALIBU TANDEM KAYAK
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Paddlers:  3
  • Style: Tandem
  • Kayak weight: 57lbs
  • Features: 3 seating positions, Comfort Plus seat for added comfort, Overlapping footwells for extra comfort, Includes a pair molded-in handles for easy carrying, generous legroom
    • roomy
    • comfortable seats
    • Easy to carry
    • Not enough storage compartments
    Best for budget and lightweight
    Best
    SUN DOLPHIN ARUBA 10 SS
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers
  • Style: Recreational
  • Kayak weight: 40lbs
  • Features: Comfortable seating, Portable accessory carrier, Equipped with bottle holders, Includes a paddle, Shock cords
    • Inexpensive
    • portable
    • lightweight
    • durable
    • A bit small for people with long legs
    Best as a beginner fishing boat
    Best
    PERCEPTION PESCADOR PRO 12
  • Length: 12 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Style: Fishing/Recreational
  • Kayak weight: 57lbs
  • Features: Waterproof dry storage, Self-bailing scupper holes, Comfortable, folding seats, Includes accessories like rod holders
    • self-bailing
    • comfortable seats
    • large front, and rear storage compartments
    • Quite expensive
    Best for budget beginner kayaks
    Best
    OLD TOWN CANOES AND KAYAKS VAPOR 10 RECREATIONAL KAYAK
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Style: Recreational
  • Kayak weight: 47 lbs
  • Features: Rotomolded polyethylene hull for durability, 475 maximum weight capacity, Adjustable seating, Molded-in paddle rest, Stern day for storing your items
    • Stable
    • maneuverable
    • comfortable seats
    • additional accessories
    • Limited storage options
    Best for kids
    Best
    LIFETIME YOUTH WAVE KAYAK
  • Length: 6 ft
  • Paddlers:  1
  • Style: Recreational
  • Kayak weight: 18lbs
  • Features: Plenty of foot braces to accommodate any size, Lightweight design for easy handling, Includes a double-sided paddle, Reverse chin for stability
    • Incredibly stable
    • easy to transport
    • lightweight
    • it is not the best option for untrained kids
    Best for portability
    Best
    SEVYLOAR QUIKPAK K5
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers: 1
  • Style: Recreational/ Touring
  • Kayak weight: 25.5 lbs
  • Features: 24 gauge PVC exterior for toughness, Includes a hand pump and a backpack, Rear storage compartment for food and gear, Rugged tarpaulin bottom for heavy duty use
    • Tough
    • great storage
    • multiple air chambers
    • inflates real quick
    • Not self-bailing
    Best for three people in a lightweight package
    Best
    SEA EAGLE SE370 INFLATABLE SPORT KAYAK PRO PACKAGE
  • Length: 12.5 ft
  • Paddlers:  3
  • Style: Recreational
  • Kayak weight: 32lbs
  • Features: 650lbs weight capacity, Comfortable Deluxe seats, Includes Foot pump and carry bag, Two skegs at the bottom for tracking and speed
    • Tracks really well
    • built for speed
    • stable
    • Not designed for high performance
    Best for calm waters
    Best
    INTEX EXPLORE K2 INFLATABLE KAYAK
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Paddlers: 1
  • Style: Inflatable
  • Kayak weight: 35 lbs
  • Features: Inflatable adjustable seat, Removable skeg for stability, Bright yellow color to enhance visibility
    • Easy propelling system
    • versatile
    • maneuverable
    • great storage
    • Not built for speed

    MY BEST KAYAKS FOR BEGINNERS REVIEWS:

    WILDERNESS SYSTEMS PUNGO 125 RECREATIONAL KAYAK 

    • Length: 12 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Style: Sit-In Recreational
    • Kayak weight: 49lbs
    • Features: Hull made from Rotomolded polyethylene, 475lbs maximum weight capacity, Adjustable seats for maximum comfort
    • Pros:  highly stable, maneuverable, great storage space, additional accessories, comfortable seating
    • Cons: Not cheap

     

    PERCEPTION PESCADORS 10.0 KAYAK

      

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Style: Recreational/ Fishing
    • Kayak weight: 52lbs
    • Features: Adjustable seating, Drink holders, Leakproof design, Easy to open hatch
    • Pros:  Maneuverable, stable for fishing, great onboard storage, durable paddle, adjustable seating
    • Cons: Not ideal for bigger riders

     

    OCEAN KAYAK 12 FEET MALIBU TANDEM KAYAK

    • Length: 12 ft
    • Paddlers:  3
    • Style: Tandem
    • Kayak weight: 57lbs
    • Features: 3 seating positions, Comfort Plus seat for added comfort, Overlapping footwells for extra comfort, Includes a pair molded-in handles for easy carrying, generous legroom
    • Pros:  roomy, comfortable seats, Easy to carry
    • Cons: Not enough storage compartments

     

    SUN DOLPHIN ARUBA 10 SS

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers
    • Style: Recreational
    • Kayak weight: 40lbs
    • Features: Comfortable seating, Portable accessory carrier, Equipped with bottle holders, Includes a paddle, Shock cords
    • Pros: Inexpensive, portable, lightweight, durable
    • Cons: A bit small for people with long legs

     

    PERCEPTION PESCADOR PRO 12

    • Length: 12 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Style: Fishing/Recreational
    • Kayak weight: 57lbs
    • Features: Waterproof dry storage, Self-bailing scupper holes, Comfortable, folding seats, Includes accessories like rod holders
    • Pros: self-bailing, comfortable seats, large front, and rear storage compartments
    • Cons: Quite expensive

     

    OLD TOWN CANOES AND KAYAKS VAPOR 10 RECREATIONAL KAYAK

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Style: Recreational
    • Kayak weight: 47 lbs
    • Features: Rotomolded polyethylene hull for durability, 475 maximum weight capacity, Adjustable seating, Molded-in paddle rest, Stern day for storing your items
    • Pros: Stable, maneuverable, comfortable seats, additional accessories
    • Cons: Limited storage options

     

    LIFETIME YOUTH WAVE KAYAK

    • Length: 6 ft
    • Paddlers:  1
    • Style: Recreational
    • Kayak weight: 18lbs
    • Features: Plenty of foot braces to accommodate any size, Lightweight design for easy handling, Includes a double-sided paddle, Reverse chin for stability
    • Pros:  Incredibly stable, easy to transport, lightweight
    • Cons:  it is not the best option for untrained kids

     

    SEVYLOAR QUIKPAK K5

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers: 1
    • Style: Recreational/ Touring
    • Kayak weight: 25.5 lbs
    • Features: 24 gauge PVC exterior for toughness, Includes a hand pump and a backpack, Rear storage compartment for food and gear, Rugged tarpaulin bottom for heavy duty use
    • Pros:  Tough, great storage, multiple air chambers, inflates real quick
    • Cons: Not self-bailing

     

    SEA EAGLE SE370 INFLATABLE SPORT KAYAK PRO PACKAGE

    • Length: 12.5 ft
    • Paddlers:  3
    • Style: Recreational
    • Kayak weight: 32lbs
    • Features: 650lbs weight capacity, Comfortable Deluxe seats, Includes Foot pump and carry bag, Two skegs at the bottom for tracking and speed
    • Pros: Tracks really well, built for speed, stable
    • Cons: Not designed for high performance

     

    INTEX EXPLORE K2 INFLATABLE KAYAK

    • Length: 10 ft
    • Paddlers: 1
    • Style: Inflatable
    • Kayak weight: 35 lbs
    • Features: Inflatable adjustable seat, Removable skeg for stability, Bright yellow color to enhance visibility
    • Pros: Easy propelling system, versatile, maneuverable, great storage
    • Cons: Not built for speed

     

    HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BEGINNER KAYAK:

    WHAT IS THAT YOU REALLY WANT?

    Before you head out in search of the best beginner kayak, you first have to figure out what you really want. Are you looking for a low entry kayak with the intention of upgrading to a more advanced kayak in the future? Do you want something you can go fishing with? Are you buying a kayak you can tag along a friend? There are different types of kayaks we have in the market and it will make a lot of sense if you first have an idea of what you really want to do with it.

    For beginners, a sit on top or recreational kayak will make a lot of sense. These are the options for calm and river kayaking. However, if you are looking at doing more extreme adventures like whitewater paddling, you need to get a boat that is a little bit more specialized and in this case a sea kayak. A recreational boat should never be used in oceans and also big lakes.

    TYPES OF KAYAKS

    We have quite a number of kayaks in the market. Each is designed to handle different conditions. Here are some of the most popular types of kayaks.

    • Recreational kayaks: These are some of the most common types of beginner boats. They don’t come with any serious design and typically made to handle gentle rivers, or flat lakes or any other less demanding kayaking activity. Recreational boats are quite comfortable and easy to handle. They are also incredibly affordable.
    • Fishing kayaks: As the names suggest, these are meant for serious kayakers who also happens to be serious anglers. They come with generous space for your fishing gear and also to make you comfortable. If you know you are going to do some serious fishing, you need this kind of boat. However, ensure it comes with other handy features like rod holders and even an anchor.
    • Touring kayaks: These boats do so well on open water on long trips. They are well designed and they are usually all about speed, efficiency, and long journeys as well. They come with adequate space to store your camping gear. They are also designed to handle some unique paddling situations like sea kayaking.
    • Tandem kayak: These are special designs of kayaks. Unlike the rest, they are made to take in more than two paddlers. Unless it is a sit on top, they often come with two separate cockpits. So for people who want to tag along with a friend, this is the best option. Tandem kayaks are also for those auctioned packed family outings
    • Foldable/inflatable kayaks:  If you are looking for something that is highly portable, you need to invest in a foldable or inflatable kayak. They can be easily folded down or even blow up to fit into your backpack.

    SIT IN OR SIT ON TOP

    Deciding on which one to go for between these two, at times, is a matter of preference. However, as a beginner is it important you know what each one is all about. That will help you make a very informed choice.

    • SIT ON TOP:

    This is quite popular and that is because of a number of reasons including durability, ease of use, self-bailing and also simplicity. Since you sit right on top, you get to enjoy a lot of room for your gear, goodies and also a lot of room to wiggle around. These are the best for fishing and recreational purposes.

    What makes them great: Sit on top boats come with a lot of practical benefits. First, they are more beginner-friendly. They are quite easy to get in and out. They are also self-bailing and with them, you really don’t have to worry about water getting into your boat. They come with one drawback though; they are only suitable for warm weather. You are also likely to get really wet from water dripping off your paddle and splashes from waves.

     

    • SIT IN INSIDE KAYAKS:

    As the name suggests, part of your body is enclosed in the inside of the cockpit. With this option, you get protected from the elements. Plus, you can easily attach another feature called the spray skirt and that gives you greater protection from water and wind.

    What makes them great: These are the best boats for cold weather conditions. Secondly, since you have that low profile, you can easily control the boat for you will experience less wind resistance. Plus, since you get that lower center of gravity, sit-in kayaks are highly stable.

     

    STABILITY

    When starting out, stability should be your first priority.  The last thing you want is finding yourself tipping over. So when looking for the best beginner kayak, take your time and find a stable kayak that can handle a bit of rocky movement.  When it comes to stability, we have two main types; primary stability and secondary stability.

    • Primary stability: This is actually the kind of stability you get when you are on calm water, performing those low motion movements, entering or even exiting the kayak and or even you are just still.
    • Secondary movement: This basically refers to how stable your boat when you are in rough waters, like white water kayaking. It is also could mean that the stability you get when you are traveling at high speed.

    In the end, if you want to achieve these two great stabilities, you need to go for a kayak with a flatter bottom. That alone will allow you achieve the best stability. However, you should be ready to sacrifice some few things. First, you will lose the ability to make a turn real quick. Bottom line; you will have to decide what is more important to you before you could make a choice between these two.

     

    FEATURES TO LOOKOUT FOR

    When getting started out, obviously, you may not be aware of all the features you would need your kayak to offer. Here are some of the most important features you need to ensure your boat comes with.

    • Gear compartments: 

    If you know you are going to be carrying a lot of kayaking items like fishing gear and also food, you need to find out the number of storage options you are getting from that particular boat. Some boats offer better storage space than others; you might want to go for one with a lot of storage space.

    • Portability:

    If you don’t want to have any issues when it comes to transporting your kayak, ensure you go for a lightweight design or one that can be collapsed into a packable size. In this case, you can’t go wrong if you choose an inflatable kayak. They can be deflated and packed into a really small size. That is not even all; most of them are now durable and can handle rough use.

    • Comfort: 

    In this case, we are going to focus on the seat. Since you will be seated on it for the better part of your kayaking, you need to ensure you are getting the highest level of comfort. Designers have in the past tried to refine this part of the kayak and we now have some of the most comfortable seats ever designed. However, other than just looking at the seat, you might also want to ensure you are getting enough space in the cockpit. You need a kind of space you can move freely without feeling like you are a constraint in a corner.

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