What You Will Get Here
- What Types of Beginner’s Kayak Are Available?
- Sit in vs. Sit On
- How Do You Choose the Right Size for You?
- How Did We Pick the Best?
- Things to Consider While Buying Best Inflatable Kayak
- Our Top 10 Best Beginners Kayak
- Best Overall: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
- Our Runner-Up Choice: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak
- Best for Kids: Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle
- Best for the Money: SevylorQuikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
- Best Recreational Kayak: Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
- Best for Lake Water: SUN DOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Excursion 12-Foot Sit-in Fishing Kayak
- List of 4 other Kayak for Beginners We Reviewed
- Final Words
What Types of Beginner’s Kayak Are Available?
Let us talk about beginner kayaks! Since you have a keen interest in learning and mastering this adventure activity, it is best to learn about the types of kayaks in the market. Learning how to kayak is one complicated task, but choosing one should not be as hard.
You may want a kayak for fishing, exploring the natural surroundings or just stepping out for a workout. Well, let us skim through the different types of beginner kayaks.
Tandem kayak - Fancying a couple ride? Tandem kayaks are built for two paddlers. It could be a sit-on-top one or has two separate places for the users. This could be a romantic ride for both of you!
Recreational - If you want a kayak for flat rivers or shallow waters, then this type is perfect. You can also try pedal kayaks for this purpose because they are affordable and pretty easy to use. This was the type of boat my father got for us children! Guess what? I bought the same for my teen kids!
Touring - If the whole idea is to explore the open waters on a long journey, then the touring kayak is a good choice. The best beginner touring kayak usually has space for storing camping gear as well.
Inflatable/folding kayak - Easy to fold and carry, inflatable kayaks are considered to be convenient for those who are always on the move. You can take it for camping trips or even drive to another city and carry this with you. It can be blown to full size for proper usage.
Let us cut to the chase, my friend! Most people are unaware that the kayaks are of two major types.
Sit in vs. Sit On
Now there is a clear distinction between the traditional sit in vs. the contemporary sit on top kayaks. Which one is the best starter kayak?
It is best to take a look at both the kayaks separately. I have mentioned everything that you need to know about the sit on top and sit in kayaks.
Sit on Top Kayaks
These are recreational kayaks used for easy flowing and calm lakes and rivers. People in warmer coastal areas use this type. Some of them have storage space for longer trips. There are some individuals who get claustrophobic inside a sit-in. In case you are one of those, consider getting yourself a sit on.
Here are some benefits of using a sit-on:
- It is easy to get on and off the sit on.
- Great for kids and families
- Ideal for warm water and air. This is because the chances of getting wet are more!
- Scupper holes for easy drainage. You do not need to pump out any water.
- Heavier than most of the sit-in kayaks.
Sit in Kayaks
These are recreational kayaks which are ideal for touring and day touring. They are faster and have a covered and secure cargo compartment. If you are paddling to a specific destination, then this seems like the right fit. The sit-in kayaks may have a number of seats for other members. Do you want it for yourself or you want others to join in? The choice is yours and you can decide it on the basis of the members and comfort level.
Why Do We like the Sit-In Kayaks?
- Comfortable for cruising
- Fewer chances of getting wet
- Highly efficient as compared to the sit-on-top
- You have greater control as your body stays inside the kayak.
Which is the best type of kayak for beginners? For this, we have the next section for you. Buying a kayak for beginners can be tricky. If it is an expert, they would find it easier to pick one because they have already tried different products.
What about the beginners? How do you choose the right one for you? It is important to pick the right size as well.
How Do You Choose the Right Size for You?
We mentioned that experienced kayakers find it easy to choose one for themselves. However, choosing the right size can always be problematic. Never rush into the decision of buying your first kayak because you should always read reviews and check out the buying guide.
Before asking yourself the question - ''Which size should I choose?'', you need to first ask ''Why do I need it?''
Yes, that's correct. You may require it for touring, fishing or just having a good time with your family. For example, if the purpose is fishing then you require a wide kayak. A wide kayak will not flip over easily. Even if the purpose is not fishing, consider buying a wider beam because you are still a beginner.
You need to consider another factor which is the type of water you would be cruising on. For an ocean, you would require a kayak which measures up to 13 foot. It should not be less than 11 foot for ocean use.
Since we are talking about the size, consider buying a product which is suitable for your weight and heights. Some people are extremely tall and need leg room. Some are overweight and the boat should be able to carry their weight. The 13-foot kayak is ideal for tall people and also those who have a heavier weight. The best size kayak for beginners depends on the usage, weight, heights and even the purpose. We shall dwell more on this later!
How Did We Pick the Best?
I have never suggested a product to anybody without doing proper research or using it for myself. When I read buying guides, people are blindly recommending products which may not be great in terms of safety point of view. I can call myself an expert in terms of kayaking because my childhood has been flowery, sweet and adventurous.
I took special care while selecting the products for the readers. The basic aim of the buying guide is to help you understand the factors and compare the different products available in the market. With the help of some expert kayakers and volunteers, I was able to test different products and get feedback as well.
Since I live in an area where kayaking is supposed to be a popular sport among tourists, I was able to get reviews from the adventure junkies. After a lot of research and checking out online reviews, me and my team listed the best products for the readers.
Also, we checked certain specifications such as the type of kayaks, stability, material, turning, tracking, etc before creating a list. When a buyer invests in a product, they should have a checklist of whether the product has the features or not. By combining expert reviews and experiences along with thorough research, this list is safe to be termed as the best kayak for beginners.
It all boils down to the things you should consider while buying the best kayak for beginners.
Things to Consider While Buying Best Inflatable Kayak
Most of the kayak boats out there have similar specifications. The length and the capacity of the boat could vary. How about checking the basic specifications and factors that you must consider before investing in a product. It is possible that you would be using the product for a long time! Once you are a pro at it, you can gift it to someone you know or your kids can enjoy it!
Your Age - How old are you? If you are a child, then you cannot use the same type of kayak as an adult would. The best starter kayak would be ideal for you! Also, an adult will be taller than a child and the measurements of the kayak would be different.
Where you will perform kayaking (water type) - The next question is whether you are going to kayak in shallow water or a trouble-maker water body. The kayak needs to be tough and stable for fast-moving water. Beginner kayaks are best for calm waters.
Number of People - Some kayaks can accommodate two people while others are ideal for just one member. If you are going to sit alone, go for a single-seat kayak. In case you want your spouse or kids to join you, buy a multi-seat kayak.
Turning vs. Tracking - How does the kayak stay in a straight path? This is known as tracking. It is believed that the kayaks which track really well cannot turn that well.
Stability - There are two types of stability. There is a Primary Stability and a Secondary Stability. The primary stability is for calm water situations and the secondary stability is for tense and fast waters. Secondary stability is needed in cases of speedy activities such as white water rafting.
Material - Kayaks are made of different materials. They can be made from wood, carbon fiber, hard plastic, plastic which is inflatable, fiberglass and Kevlar. The inexpensive kayaks for beginners are the ones which are made of inflatable plastic. You would need to choose the material on the basis of the purpose you are buying it for.
Purpose of Kayak - Relaxation or adventure? If you want to go white water rafting in the kayak, go for a durable material and the measurements will be different. If the whole idea is kayaking for fishing or chilling, then a good beginner kayak will be ideal.
Rigging - Most of the kayak brands will give you accessories for rigging. These can be used in certain instances. The deck netting can be utilized for storing little items. The shock cord can be utilized for keeping vital tools close to your hand.
Hatches - Everyone hates the idea of stepping into the kayak and getting their phones or precious objects wet. This could cause damage, and that's precisely why you need hatches to store these precious items. Hatch covers are mostly waterproof but there can be some moisture.
Rudders & Skegs - Rudders and skegs may not be needed for a leisurely or casual kayak. You need it for the type which goes into turbulent water. This equipment help in steering the kayak efficiently. If you know how to control your kayak such as steering it, then you would not need rudders and skegs.
Portability and storage - If you travel a lot, it is best to buy an inflatable kayak. You can easily carry it and inflate or deflate. There are other kayaks which are portable and you can easily store them in a garage or backyard.
Price - If you are a new kayaker, buying a kayak for beginners would be ideal. These are comparatively lower in price. Most of the beginners are baffled because they want to invest in something which is of a lower price. It makes sense because you may not want it for daily use or you are just beginning to learn the sport.
Our Top 10 Best Beginners Kayak
Selecting the best products for you was not as easy as it seems! After thorough online and offline research, I gathered the list and thought that it would be wise to segregate the best kayak for kids, an overall kayak and even the best for your money. This would make it easy for you to judge the kayaks!
This will further narrow down the choices for you. The rates are not similar and the features are much the same, but one might be superior over the other. That's precisely why I made a list of 10 products. Find the best beginner touring kayak for yourself! In fact, you will find an adventure kayak on this list!
Take a good look, read thoroughly, compare and choose the finest one for you as per your budget and requirement.