Our Top 5 Choices For The Best Kayaks for Beginners in 2017


Beginner? We Chose The Best Kayaks For You!

Shopping for a kayak can be quite overwhelming for any paddler, and if you are just starting out it’s even more confusing.

They are many kayaks for beginners out there, of different types, with different features and extras that it can be really hard to know exactly what to look for. So, what should you look for in a kayak as a beginner? What’s really important? Read on to find out.


The Types of Kayaks

The first step towards picking the best kayak for beginners is familiarizing yourself with the types of kayaks available in the market.

• Recreational kayaks: these are generally affordable and easy to use. They offer the best stability for beginners, though they are not recommended for open waters or places with heavy currents or winds.

• Touring kayaks: these are ideal for beginners who plan on travelling long distances in open waters. They offer a great performance in rough conditions.

• Inflatable kayaks: these are best for people who want an easy to transport kayak. They are versatile and sturdy, and are an incredible gear for recreational use.

• Sit-on-top kayaks: these are mostly used for recreational use in warm climates and are best for kids, beginners, and swimmers. On the top, they have a hull and a molded depression for sitting.

• Foldable kayaks: these are easy to transport, versatile, and convenient to bring along for touring or long trips, since they can fit comfortably in a backpack or carryback.


What To Look At When Buying a Kayak:

When buying a kayak, it’s important to know how much weight it can handle. Some factors that will affect the weight include the amount of gear, length of the trip, and the number of paddlers.

Ease of use
As a beginner, you should look for the kayak that will give you an easy time when using it. The ideal kayak should not only be safe and comfortable, but it should also give you ample storage and an easy time when using it.

This is a very important consideration especially for beginners. You want to purchase a kayak that is very stable, so that as you enjoy your kayaking, it keeps you safe. You don’t want to fall into the water easily with your fast kayak.


Keep in mind that the materials used to construct the kayak will affect both its performance and its durability. Kayaks are essentially designed with different materials such as composite, plastic, and soft shells, to suit different needs. Each of these materials has its pros and cons, so choose the right one based on your personal requirements.

When looking for a beginner kayak, you should consider how easy it is to transport it. How do you intend to carry it around? Be sure to choose a kayak that won’t give you a headache to transport. Ensure that it’s lightweight, so that it is easy to use and carry.

Now that we talked about the things to look for when picking the right kayak, here are the top 5 choices our staff picked when buying a kayak.

Here Are The Top 5 Best Kayaks for Beginners in 2017

1. Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

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The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is our top pick for beginner recreational kayakers. It’s an inexpensive kayak that’s among the most popular models with new paddlers, and has earned impressive ratings across the Internet.

Measuring 10 feet long and 30 inches wide, the Aruba 10 weighs about 40 pounds, with a carrying capacity of 250 pounds. The hull is constructed with high density, durable polyethylene, in a shape that’s ideal for both maneuverability and tracking. It comes with an open design cockpit, which allows for easy entrance and exit. There is also a water bottle holder, a padded backrest, and a storage compartment.

• High quality performance at a very low price

• Has a gentle learning curve

• Has a good balance and reliable tracking

• Lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around

• While it is great for beginner kayakers, dedicated kayakers might need to upgrade

• The design is suited for slow rivers and lakes. Once you have built up some confidence, you may want to branch out to more challenging waters.

• The seat bottom is made from hard plastic, and you may want to purchase extra cushion.



2. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120


For those looking to get started on fishing kayaking, this is a great option. It’s a sit-on-top vessel that allows for great freedom of movement and easy entry or exit. It’s 12ft. long and has carry handles around the bow and stern. At 64 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than similar kayaks.

• The construction is made of durable plastic, and it’s suitable for both saltwater and freshwater

• Behind the seat is a spacious area to store all of your gear

• Incredibly stable and comfortable, with a stadium-style adjustable seat, and molded-in rod holders

• It is easy to steer in both choppy and smooth waters.

• Some users found the Pescador 12 to be heavier than ideal, claiming it was difficult to manage alone. Although the weight factor has a lot to do with its stability, it can make portability less convenient.




3. Sevylor Fiji Kayak Travel Inflatable Pack

The Fiji Kayak Travel Inflatable Pack is a great beginner kayak. It comes at a good price and offers a great performance. It has a rugged 22-gauge PVC construction, making it a great option for lake use. As an inflatable kayak, it has a number of air chambers such that in case one gets a puncture, the other chambers will stay inflated

• Simple to inflate and deflate

• Has a strong PVC construction

• Fixed and removable seat

• It’s air tight system prevents any leaks

• The kayak stays dry

• No negative reviews have been made about this kayak yet.



4. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

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The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is ideal for beginners who want to learn more about kayak sporting. It comes with great features and functionality, and is perfect for calm water conditions and smaller water bodies. It was designed to be durable, with welded materials and eye-catching graphics. In bad weather conditions, it’s much easier for the kayak to be spotted due to its bright colors.

If you need to bring some gear with you, the kayak has you covered with its ample cargo net. It also has inflatable I-Beam floors that boosts its stability. As an inflated model, it’s highly portable and can fit well in the trunk of your car.

• It has an inflatable seat with a backrest

• An overall nice low-profile design

• Very comfortable

• Lightweight and portable

• Safe and stable

• It has low quality paddles





5. Coleman Quikpak K1

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This is one of the cheapest kayak for beginners on the list. It’s essentially a recreational inflatable kayak for one person. The kayak is super easy to inflate and deflate. Thanks to the Double Lock valves with two locking points, it takes around five minutes to fully inflate the Coleman Quikpak K1.

While it’s cheap, it has an incredible durability. It’s made from a 21-gauge PVC construction, making it rugged enough for use in lakes. There are also multiple air chambers that keep it inflated in case one of them is punctured.

• Quick inflation time

• Easy to carry around

• Good durability

• Multi-position footrests

• Airtight system that prevents punctures

• Not ideal for advanced kayakers.




We hope this article helped you pick the best kayak for you,  as a beginner.

One of the things that make beginners buy the wrong product is the lack of information and knowledge.

If you have never tried a kayak, it doesn’t mean you cannot choose the first one successfully.

Once you have learned about how to choose a kayak for beginners in detail, you will find just how easy it is to make the right decision.

Be sure to consider the factors discussed above, as well as our list for the top kayaks for beginners.

They are all easy to use, durable, and will provide you with a fine experience on the waters. More importantly, they do not cost much, making them a great choice for beginners.