Best Kayaks for Beginners

Are you planning to go fishing for the first time? If yes then we will assist you by helping you chose your Kayak by introducing best Kayaks for beginners! First of all, what is a Kayak? It is basically a watercraft that is narrow and small and usually has room for one to two persons. It moves in water with the help of paddle that is double-bladed. It is different from a canoe as it usually comes with an additional feature i.e. a spray deck that makes it water-proof. Spray deck makes it convenient for the kayakers to roll the kayak without water filling inside the kayak. Kayaks are made using different materials including fiber glass and plastic. Some of the modern kayaks use electric motors or gas engines for propelling.

Now, owing to fishing still being a popular hobby, kayaks are high in demand for recreational purposes. So, they are being manufactured in a large number. Consequently, the abundance of kayaks in market makes it difficult for the beginners to choose the best one. So, in this article, we will enhance your knowledge about the best kayaks for beginners by enlisting each of kayaks pros and cons so that it becomes easier for you to choose the best one.

1. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars

kayaks for beginners
Let’s start with this agile Kayak by Intex. This colorful kayak is made up of welded material that lends it great durability. It is extremely light-weight hence agile. This makes it the best starter kayak. Its cockpit is constructed in such a way that it provides convenience and maximum space. Moreover, the inflatable i-beam floor renders it high stability. In addition to that, its seat is inflatable and it also has a backrest. The cargo net provides an easy storage space for extra gear. It comes with a hand pump, aluminum oar (84 inch), and a repair patch. Let have a look at some of the pros and cons:
  • Puncture-resistant due to rugged vinyl construction
  • Two air-chambers
  • Easily inflated and deflated due to Boston valves
  • Lightweight
  • Cost-effective
  • Some of the tall-heighted users may feel discomfort due to less foot room

2. SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak

best kayaks for beginners
Next in the list is this extremely comfortable Kayak with its adjustable and high backrest seat that provides good support for your back while you cruise through the waters. Also, it is quite spacious so if you are 6 feet or above, that won’t be an issue with this kayak. It has a solid construction and the foot braces are also adjustable. Moreover, the spray deflector collar prevents the water from filling in the kayak. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons:
  • Damage-resistant due to Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene
  • Easy portability due to carrying handles and lightweight
  • Bottle holder
  • Ample storage space
  • Spacious
  • Great value for money
  • It is better to avoid using this kayak during the high waves.

3. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak

best kayak for beginner fishing
This multilayered Kayak is one of the most durable kayaks on this list. The aluminum frame in its construction renders it high stability and strength. Interestingly, this kayak looks like a hard-shelled one while allowing easy portability like an inflated one. It comes already assembled from the factory so you just have to unfold, inflate, and adjust the seat and you are good to hit the waters! Additionally, its padded seat provides high comfort for longer duration of paddling. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons:
  • High durability due to triple-layered construction
  • PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material makes it extremely puncture-resistant
  • Multiple aired chambers
  • Includes a duffle bag for easy storage and portability
  • Leg-room might be a problem for 6 feet and above people.

4. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars

Looking for a kayak to go fishing with your partner? Here is one of the best kayaks for couples in our list. The cockpit is designed for comfortably accommodating two persons with two inflatable and adjustable seats. This kayak also has high quality puncture-resistant vinyl. Moreover, it has three separate air-chambers. Another important feature is the bright yellow color; it renders it easy visibility in case of any emergency. Here are some of the pros and cons:
  • I-beam floor that is inflatable
  • Boston valves for easy deflation and inflation
  • Two 86-inch paddles
  • For easy directional stability, the skeg can be removed.
  • It is made for smaller bodies of water.

5. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

best fishing kayaks for a beginner
Here is another best starter kayak if you plan to go fishing with your partner or friend. This high quality kayak consists of thick lamination of PVC with polyester core. The high-pressure inflation makes it more stable than many other kayaks. The two adjustable footrest makes it spacious and convenient even if you are 6 feet and above. It also provides mounting brackets for fishing accessories.
  • 3-ply high impact and abrasion-resistant, puncture-resistant, sunlight damage-resistant material.
  • Two removable skews of shallow and deep water
  • One removable seat booster
  • Storage space in stern and bow
  • Total weight capacity: 400 lbs
  • I-beam floor for stability
  • Efficient drain-plugs
  • Costly but, it is a one-time investment for a long period f time.

6. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

fishing kayaks for cheap
Here is another best beginner kayak for fishing that is quite popular among the beginners. This durable kayak is constructed with high-density polyethylene that renders it high durability. It is a perfect fit for all heights of people as it features multiple footrests. Moreover, its seat is padded due to which it is quite snug. The backrest, that is also padded, is adjustable so that is another plus for all heights of people. Here are some of the pros and cons:
  • 2 storage hatches
  • One top-mount holder and two flush-mounted holders for the fishing rod
  • Front and rear bungee
  • 2 water holders
  • 1 paddle keeper
  • Self-bailing scupper holes
  • Tracking skeg for straight paddling
  • Flat bottom for stability
  • 1 paddle
  • Sharp bow at the front for speed and tracking
  • Its weight might cause inconvenience while carrying it from one place to another.

7. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak (Paddle Included), Blue, 6'

This is another kayak that is made up of high-density polyethylene. It is loved by the kids as well as beginners who weigh below 59 kg. It has an alluring blue color and it is quite stable due to reversed chine. Moreover, it is flip resistant due to its hull design. Like the previous one, this kayak also has multiple footrests. It is quite safe for the kids over the age of 5 as it has finger handles on both sides of the kayak. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons:
  • It includes one youth paddle
  • Swim-up deck for re-entry
  • Self-bailing scupper holes
  • One paddle cradle
  • Impact resistant body
  • Quite practical
  • 5-year warranty
  • Not reported yet by the customers.

8. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak

best beginner kayak for fishing
This kayak can also be termed as the best beginner kayak for fishing. It is a bit different from the others: you can sit on top! This sitting position maximizes the thrill but requires a good control. Its striking color combination makes it quite visible and lovable. Do not be misled by the assumption that it would be any less in comfort as compared to other kayaks. Quite contrary to that, it is very comfortable and makes fishing easier. Let’s have a look at this kayak’s pros and cons.
  • Built-in comfortably cushioned seat with backrest
  • Built-in storage options at the bow and stern of the kayak.
  • Four flush-mounted fishing rod holders
  • Includes one adult paddle
  • The seat can be uncomfortable for some of the users.

9. Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak, The Only Hardshell Packable Kayak

This is one of the best looking kayaks on the list. This sleek and shiny kayak is 14 feet long. Moreover, it is durable because it is hard-shelled. However, don’t think it would be difficult to pack it and take it with you because you can dissemble it and assemble it back in less than three minutes. It is available in three colors: sunshine, chili, and surf. One interesting fact about this kayak: it is designed after one of the fastest fish species i.e. Bluefin Tuna. Another important fact: each model of this kayak is named after an endangered species and some of the profit goes to the funds that are used for saving some specific species! Here are some of the pros and cons of this kayak:
  • Includes a ballistic nylon storage bag with wheels
  • Leak-proof design
  • Fortified and UV-resistant polyethylene construction
  • Fast-surfing
  • Easy-turning
  • Full-control
  • The seat may be uncomfortable for a couple of users.

10. Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak

best beginner kayak with paddle
The last kayak on our list of best kayaks for beginners is Sevylor Quikpak K1. This is one of the most practical options as it is easy to pack and unpack. Its unique feature is that the easy to carry backpack becomes the seat one you set it up. Hassle? Nope, it only takes around 5 minutes to unpack it, inflate it, and set up the seat. Moreover, the high-output air pump that is included in the package inflates the kayak instantly. Its bottom is made up of tarpaulin that prevents it against punctures. Here are some of the pros and cons of this kayak:
  • Multiple positions for footrest
  • Durable PVC construction
  • Leakage-free air-tight system
  • Easy inflation and deflation due to double-lock valves
  • Ample storage area
  • In rare case of puncture, the kayak moves unaffectedly as it has various air-chambers
  • The backrest of the seat is quite comfy
  • Great value for money
  • It may not be suitable for heavy weight users.

Buying Guide For Kayaks For Beginners

Durability/Material: Usually kayaks are made of polyethylene plastic, synthetic (mixed material), and wood. The durability of a kayak depends upon its material and while buying a kayak, you should be aware of your usage and requirements.

Stability: stability of a kayak depends upon the design and dimensions of a kayak. For example, flat bottom or shorter kayaks are more stable as compared to pointy bottoms or longer ones. 

Kayak Length, Depth and Width: kayaks vary in these aspects and all of them have different advantages. For example, longer kayaks allow more seed while shorter ones are better in waves. Similarly, width of a kayak determines the stability and speed. In the same manner, height of a kayak also determines the maneuvering, turning, and speed.

Types of Kayaks: Kayaks come in various types including Inflatable, hard shell, sit-in style, sit-on-top style, recreational, tandem (2 persons), fishing kayak, whitewater, touring kayaks, sea kayak, surf kayak. So, while buying a kayak, your requirement, likes, and usage matters a lot.

Where will the Kayak be used: Body of water, calm pond, lake, ocean, river, rapids, etc? Because, not all kayaks are made for all bodies of water. For example, hard-shelled kayaks would be better suitable for sea while inflatable ones would be better for a calm pond.


What is the best size kayak for a beginner?

This is a relative question because what matters the most is what will be your usage. For instance, if you need it for recreational purpose than a 12 feet kayak would do for you. However, if you are looking for a kayak for fishing, then a longer, wider, and deeper one would be better. I would suggest that as a beginner you should go for a shorter one because sometimes longer ones become tricky to maneuver. 



I hope this list of the best kayaks for beginners has been of some use to you while buying your first kayak. Like I have mentioned above, what matters the most while buying a kayak is your usage and purpose. Do not be confused while buying a kayak because at the end of the day, none of these kayaks would make you regret later. Still, if you’d ask me, I would suggest you to go for the first one on this list i.e. Intex Challenger K1 Kayak. It is a regular size kayak that would be easy to manage as a beginner because of its high stability and lightweight. Also, it is highly cost effective. Happy shopping!

I have a degree in engineering and am passionate in helping people find the best products for the money using my own personal experiences. I'm a father, son, brother, uncle, coach, husband, and engineer who loves to spend time with his two boys and beautiful wife. In my free time my passion is to help others. I love anything and everything technology and spend many hours researching products that I have interests in for myself, my family and friends. My hope is that my time spent researching products will help you save time and money so you can free up your time and spend it doing what you love to do most!

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