Best Beginner Kayaks – Top Models to Start Kayaking!

You might be excited when you are buying your first beginner kayak, but the whole process can be difficult bearing in mind that you haven’t boated a lot. Many first time buyers are afraid of making the wrong decision, and you also don’t want to spend a lot of money buying a kayak.

Even though there are various types of kayaks that differ in size, weight, and design, purchasing your first kayak should not be complicated. The fact is that you do not need any prior experience in buying kayaks. With the right information, you can choose the right kayak that will give you a nice experience on the waters.

Being a kayak enthusiast, I have collected and reviewed some of the best kayaks for beginners. If you read our reviews of each product that we have covered and our buying guide, you will find it very easy to pick your first kayak.

Comparison Chart for Top 9 Beginner Kayaks

If you are a beginner looking for the best kayak, I have shared some of the best beginner kayaks on the market that are perfect for novices. Read more to find the reviews of every kayak, and it will be pretty easy to select the right one.

​Looking for a nice recreation kayak for you and your family? The Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is an ideal pick for exploring, light paddle, swimming, and casual fishing. The kayak is specifically designed for beginners who want to have an easy to use a kayak.

It works well on flatter waters and mild rivers, and this makes it a perfect selection for families. Many people love this kayak because of its tri-foam hull that gives it stability, tracking, and easy maneuverability.

The kayak features a durable padded comfort plus seat that provides you with the best cushioning and support. It also has four-way adjustability for all paddling comfort to suit people of different body types.

It features multiple footwells that give you a perfect sitting position depending on your height. You can choose from the four sets of footwells to suit your needs and requirements.

Transporting the kayak is not a hectic task. It measures 9 feet long and weighs 43 pounds, so you will not experience a hard time moving the kayak from home to the waters. Additionally, it has carrying handles on the sides, bow and stern ends that make it easy for you to lift the kayak and keep in the back of your car.


  • Designed with an adjustable padded seat for comfort
  • The kayak is great for adults and kids
  • It is made with multiple footwells
  • It is easy to transport
  • The kayak is very stable


  • It might not be wide enough for extra-large kayakers

Are you a beginner looking for a compact and lightweight kayak? The Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak is a stable and versatile kayak that will serve you for many years.

The kayak can be padded solo or tandem, and it can fit two adults and a child or a pet. The best thing with this two seat kayak is that it has accompanying footwells at the center, so it is very easy for a single singer to paddle it. Anybody will enjoy using this kayak no matter the length of your legs.

The hull and the deck design of the kayak bring about easy stacking of multiple hulls for easy on dock storage. It also has other incredible features that make floatation, balancing and movement through the water easy.


  • Designed with stern and bow carrying handles
  • It has a patented overlapping footrest
  • Features two plus size seats for adults
  • Very comfortable and enjoyable
  • Offers you with multiple padding positions


Kayaking is fun, and you will only get the best experience when you purchase the best kayak. The Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak is a nice kayak that takes less than five minutes to setup and offers you the chance to spend most of the time on the water.

It comes with an innovative backpack design that allows you to carry everything that you need, and it also folds out into a kayak seat.

The kayak is designed with 21-gauge PVC construction and a rugged tarpaulin bottom that work great in dealing with the rigors of the lake. If you hit a snag, many air chambers will help you get back safely on the shore.

Exploring on the waters with this kayak is enjoyable. It has a backrest and multi-position footrest that make the whole experience enjoyable. There is also a drink holder and bungee storage area where you can keep your drinks and access them with ease.


  • It comes with a hand pump and a handle
  • Carry handles make it easy to transport the kayak
  • It has a durable construction
  • Easy to carry backpack system can be converted into a seat
  • It takes less time to setup
  • It is designed with a cup holder
  • The multi-position footrest allows you to find the most comfortable position


  • Complaints about the durability of the kayak

The whole experience of kayaking or fishing is fun. It becomes, even more, fun when you have the right kayak for beginners. If you are buying your first kayak, it is great if you do not overspend. You need an inexpensive vessel that will help you learn then you can move to a more advanced option.

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is perfect for novices who want to learn more about kayak sporting. This kayak offers you with great functionality, and it works well in smaller water bodies and calm water conditions.

The kayak is durable, and it is designed with welded material with eye-catching graphics that enhance your safety when on the late or in slow moving water. During bad weather conditions, it is easy for other vessels to spot the kayak because of its bright colors.

At times you need to carry some gear with you during a kayak adventure. The kayak has a cargo net to store the extra gear. It is also designed with a cockpit that provides comfort and maximized space. On top of that, the kayak has inflatable I-beam floors that add stability.

This unit being an inflatable model, it is highly portable, and it will fit pretty well into the trunk of your car. This makes the kayak very portable, so you will not have any trouble transporting it.


  • It has a nice low profile design
  • Has an inflatable seat with backrest
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Very comfortable
  • The kayak is safe and stable


If you have never had a kayaking adventure, then you are missing a lot. There is great fun out there especially if you buy a quality kayak for novices.

For the most fruitful experience, buy the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak, and you will enjoy the benefits of a tandem kayak and much more. This kayak is common among many people because it provides them with so many benefits.

The first thing you will notice when you see this kayak is its quality design. It has two softback seats that are spaced such that every person has ample space for leg and also reaching other items with ease. The seats of the kayak are fully adjustable to provide you with comfort and a nice fit.

The durability of the kayak is something that gets people talking. It features 18-gauge PVC construction that is rugged for lake use. The kayak also features quality tarpaulin bottom and nylon cover that provide protection against punctures.


  • Build with quality materials
  • The kayak is easy to use
  • It has a high degree of stability
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • The seat is adjustable to fit you


  • It doesn’t come with pump and paddles

​Sun Dolphin is one of the most recognized brands that produce the best kayaks and other water accessories. The Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is one of their best kayaks that help you enjoy a wonderful day on the water.

You can use the kayak in lakes and rivers and for accessing secluded fishing. The tracking mechanism of the vessel is great, and it remains stable all the time. The kayak is designed with retractable handles that make it easy for you to carry it from one point to the other.

It has a large and comfortable seating area that will fit any user. The seating area is also comfortable because it is designed with protective thigh pads and adjustable foot braces. The cockpit is also open to allow you achieve an easy entry.


  • Designed with adjustable foot braces
  • Retractable carrying handles make transportation easy
  • Has a large and comfortable seating area
  • The Kayak tracks and paddles with ease
  • Lightweight making it easy to carry


  • Stability issues
  • A little expensive

The Sun Dolphin Aruba is another amazing kayak that is ideal for beginners as well experienced kayakers. It is an amazing kayak that you can use for river and lake trips. You can get the kayak in a wide range of color from green, red and yellow, so it gives the best visibility when you are on the water.

As compared to inflatable kayaks, tracking is easy with this unit because it is designed from a plastic material. The kayak has a narrow bow and stern that greatly helps in keeping it on track. The kayak is also very easy to transport. It will fit perfectly well on any car-top carrier or the bed of the truck.

Comfort is also another great thing that you will enjoy when you purchase this kayak. It has a high back support and adjustable foot braces that improve comfort. It is also designed from a high-density polyethylene that withstands any obstacles underwater. In as much as you can experience dents on the shell which is rare, it will be easy for you to repair them at home.


  • It tracks easily
  • Compact to fit in your car
  • Lightweight so it is easy to carry
  • The kayak is stable and durable
  • Comfortable when using it


  • It doesn’t have drain plugs
  • It has limited storage

​Teaching your kids how to can be a very rewarding activity. You can buy them the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Heron Junior Kids Kayak, and this will help them learn how to paddle with ease.

This kayak is designed to hold kids from 50 to 100 pounds. It has a large cockpit that makes it easy to enter and exit. It is designed with a kid-sized seat that ensures young paddlers are comfortable when they are squiring around.

The kayak is lightweight and glides easily and smoothly in any direction. It also has a tag along tow system that lets your child to tow when they need to. The system is great because it helps parents and guardians to tow their kids when they are exhausted.


  • Excellent kayak for kids
  • The kayak is lightweight
  • Very comfortable for smaller bodies
  • It is easy for kids to paddle


​Kayaking is not only for adults, and you can allow your kids to enjoy a great time outdoors when you purchase the right kayak for them. The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is the best for kids and youths who want to have adventurous moments on the waters.

The kayak is recommended for kids from 5 years with adult supervision. It is designed with a swim-up deck that helps the paddler to re-enter the kayak while you are in the water.

With this kayak, back kayaking is easier and safer because it has a back that slopes down into the water making the rider to have a grip on the sides and pull themselves back on to the kayak.

The kayak is lightweight and hence gives users easy storage. You can easily move around with the kayak for simple storage. It features a blow-molded polyethylene design which is perfect for small paddlers.

This kayak is also self-bailing featuring scupper holes that drain the cockpit area of water. When you are on the water fishing or having a great time, you don’t need to get stressed about the kayak filling with water, and this makes paddling easier.


  • The kayak is lightweight
  • Has a reverse chine for enhanced stability
  • Made with high-density polyethylene material
  • Features a nice twin fin design
  • Its surface is UV-protected
  • Footrest position accommodates different riders


  • Some accessories come missing, so it is important to check when you are buying

There are so many best beginner kayaks out there and picking the right one highly depends on how you intend to use the kayak. If you want to pick the best fishing kayak, it is great if you familiarize yourself with this buying guide.

Types Of Kayaks

Before buying your first kayak, you need to know that there are different types of kayaks available on the market. Here are the most common types of kayaks available on the market.

Recreational kayaks –  These types of kayaks are affordable and very easy to use. The kayaks provide the best stability for beginners, but they are not recommended for use in open water or where there is heavy wind or current.

Touring kayaks – These are the best beginner kayaks for people who love traveling long distances in open waters. The kayaks also offer great performance in rough conditions.

Modular Kayaks- The kayaks are ideal for those people who want an easy storage and transportation with the performance of a hard shell boat.

Sit-on-top kayaks – These are kayaks that are best suited for recreational use in warm climates. The kayaks are best for kids, swimmers, and beginners. They are designed with a hull and molded depression on the top for sitting.

Inflatable kayaks – For those people who want a kayak that is easy to transport, an inflatable kayak is the best. They are also best for recreational use, and they are also versatile and study.

Folding kayaks- Folding kayaks are great because they are easy to transport and store because they fit in a backpack and carry bags. They are also best for touring.

Weight of a Kayak

Before you buy a kayak, it is great if you consider the weight that the kayak can hold. Every kayak has a maximum weight capacity so you need to know how much weight it can handle.

Other factors that affect the weight include the length of the trip, number of paddlers and the amount of gear.


Safety is an important feature that you need to take note of when you are buying the best kayak for beginners. You need to purchase a kayak that is very stable so that you can enjoy using it while still keeping you safe.

This is because you do not want to fall in the water easily when you are using your first kayak.

Ease of Use

Because you are new to kayaking, looking for a best beginner kayak that will provide you with an easy time when you are using it is important.

Not only should the ideal kayak be safe but it should also provide you with an easy time when you are using it. The kayak should be comfortable, and it should also give you easy storage after using it.


Another great thing that you need to figure out as a beginner is a kayak that is easy to transport. How do you want to move your kayak from one point to the next?

As a beginner, you should select a kayak that will help you transport it with ease. It should also be lightweight which makes it very easy to carry and use.


It is also worth knowing the materials that are used to construct the kayak because they affect the durability of the kayak. Kayaks are designed with different materials such as plastic, composite and soft shells.

Each of these materials has their advantages and disadvantages, so you just need to select the right one depending on your requirements.

Final Words

Lack of knowledge and information is one of the greatest things that lead beginners in buying the wrong product. Even if you have never tried a kayak, this doesn’t mean that you cannot buy your first kayak effectively.

Knowledge is power, and once you have every single detail about choosing the best kayak for beginners, you will find it very easy to make the right purchase decision.

After considering the above factors and other selection criteria, the above kayaks are among the best that work well for beginners. They are easy to use, durable and they provide you with fun moments on the waters. Most importantly, the kayaks do not cost much, and this makes them a great selection for novices.

Compare their reviews, and I believe it will be now easy to choose a perfect kayak for a beginner that will serve you for many years. Happy Kayaking!

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