Best Kayaks for Beginners

Finest Beginner Kayaks of 2018: Best Ranked Great Fishing, Recreational, and Tandem Options for Folks New to the Sport

Purchasing a kayak for the very first time may be an intimidating experience. With a lot of distinct versions which change in size, weight, layout, and characteristics, it is difficult to know where to start your search.

Your very first kayak buy does not need to be complex, though! There are a whole lot of kayaks available using a simple learning curve and entry cost ideal for novices. Even better, “beginner-friendly” kayaks do not necessarily imply lower quality! Your very first kayak may serve you long after you are no longer considered a newcomer.

As your boating specialists, we have gathered and reviewed a number of those versions which are best suited to new kayakers. We have written our own comprehensive reviews of every version, in addition to a useful guide to choosing between these!

Continue reading to get the ideal one for your experiences!

What makes a fantastic kayak?

We have put a good deal of consideration into the qualities and characteristics which produce a boat friendly to novices. We believed the ships which were easiest to use if we were beginning, and took a peek at what models are most popular amongst leasing companies and instructional institutions. Then, we began breaking down what they had in common:

The top kayaks for novices are secure, forgiving, and hardly sufficient to deal with the learning curve. They ought to be compact than a specialist boat, and they ought to have reinforced hulls that may handle being pumped about.

In general, durability and stability are just two attributes we looked at carefully in our investigation, so as to pin down that versions were pliable of beginner mistakes.

We looked at affordability and ease-of-use to ascertain which models really deserve the tag of “starter kayaks” After all, availability is half of the battle!

Obviously, every new kayaker has distinct objectives. Some desire to go for extended jaunts, but some wish to paddle out easily to some tourist destination and take it easy.

The “best” starter kayak for you depends on how you want to utilize it. Therefore, we have organized our selections into corresponding classes: recreation, fishing and tandem.

Perception Pescador Pro

Quick take: A high quality, versatile fishing kayak offered at an inexpensive price.

The Pescador is a superb illustration of a beginner-friendly kayak which does not skimp on quality. Having a stable layout, lots of storage space, and an inexpensive price, this is a kayak appreciated by both novice and professional anglers. We propose this Pro version because it includes a much better chair and a few premium storage choices, when compared with the normal version.

We propose it to people that are starting out with sailing and also understand they would like in order to fish. Additionally, it is a reasonable entry point for people who wish to kayak completely anywhere. This is as adaptable as anything available on the current market, and has as much to provide weekend warriors since it will to fishers!

It’s really a rebranded version of a old version–the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120–however, the Pescador comes at half the price. The Pescador enables beginners to enjoy a greater degree of quality without spending an arm and a leg.


As stated previously, the Pescador enables beginners to have the standard of a luxury kayak for an entry cost. For what you are spending, you are getting something which lasts for many years and gives you a great deal of space to grow.

Additionally, it is quite a versatile kayak, enabling novices to experience trekking in a huge array of environments. It’s possible to have a sit-on-top version similar to this completely everywhere, whereas the Sun Dolphin below is not appropriate for sea kayaking or whitewater conditions.

People who began with this one stated it was a fantastic version for constructing confidence because it allows a room for a mistake without becoming shaky. 1 key reason is the fact that it’s easy to steer clear of choppier conditions in addition to smooth waters. They discovered that it enabled them to practice and create technique without feeling insecure or dangerous.

There is lots of space to store your equipment from the rear, center and front storage hatch places. The Pescador 12 will come with a single Scotty bracket, and a single flush mount rod holder to maintain your fishing poles. This one is completely excellent for new hands that are interested in being able to fish out of their boat!

The body contour of this Pescador is created for good stability, maneuverability and monitoring (“monitoring” describes how well the ship can travel in a straight line without veering off to a side). The Pescador’s hull shape provides balanced functionality–it is secure with no slow, and simple to move while still monitoring nicely.

The resulting smooth, stable ride is undoubtedly the most striking facet of the plan. It helps novices to grow and grow safely in many different environments. That teaches you how you can address each variation in states, without putting yourself into risk.

The Pescador 12 actually stands out among other fishing kayaks concerning monitoring and maneuverability. Additionally, it is quite stable, therefore it enables beginners to get out to the water without any the fear of tipping.

Though the Pescador 12 is bigger compared to many fishing kayaks, in 12 ft in length, there is lots of space and cargo space contained. You can find hatches to store your equipment in the bow, stern and center of the kayak, in addition to a bungled nicely in front.

There is also ample legroom, based on taller buyers we heard from. Previous buyers more than 6 feet in stature stated that this was among the best options for tall men and women. We can not attest to you, but suffice it to state that height should not be a problem!

The chair is one of the greatest things about this particular model. It is Pescador’s “Pro” part, and is considerably better than any factory-standard chair we have encountered before! It is inviting, cushioned, and as flexible as you could desire!

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

A cheap sit-in kayak with a great deal of bang for the dollar.

Although all kayaks are enjoyable to use, “recreational” kayaks inhabit a distinctive class of their own, and also make up the biggest group of kayaks offered. Recreational kayaks are usually created for flatwater–either lakes or slow-moving rivers.

Our best pick for starting recreational kayakers is your Sun Dolphin Aruba 10. This cheap kayak is presently among the most well-known models among new paddlers and generates high ratings throughout the world wide web. We think that it’s a steal, and provides loads of worth.

For the cost, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is among the greatest recreational kayaks around. Even more ambitious novices might soon outgrow this kayak, it is a terrific starter version for leisurely evenings on the river or lake! And if you are content to adhere to calm lakes and rivers, this is quite a bit less expensive compared to Pescador.


It is extremely inexpensive. This one charges half as far as the Pescador, therefore it needs to be available to any purchaser. Even though there are surely kayaks which provide better functionality, the Aruba provides a great deal of quality for an extremely low cost.

For beginner kayakers keen to get out to the water, the Aruba is a good model using a gentle learning curve. It’s reliable monitoring and a great balance. While it’s not quite as secure as the Pescador for demanding conditions, it is excellent for novices learning on a smooth river or comparatively calm river.

In general, it is among the greatest casual recreational versions on the market. It strikes a superb balance of quality, affordability, and user-friendliness. In its limits, it is very impressive.

Aruba is also easy to transfer. It is lightweight enough that one individual can take this, and compact enough to carry around in the bed of a truck or at the very top of a little vehicle. That is a major advantage over the Pescador, which can be over 20 pounds heavier.

Most people will find it fits easily in their pickups or SUV’s. This means that you don’t need to purchase an external stand or hauling system. You will save yourself a bit of excess cash, and possess a far more convenient experience in general. In the end, most casual boaters do not have dedicated gear.

To have a better feeling of this, below are some specs: that the Aruba 10 is a 10-foot kayak using a diameter of 30 inches. It weighs 40 lbs and has a carrying capacity of 250 lbs. The hull is constructed from a durable high-density noodle, as well as the form is perfect both for monitoring and maneuverability.

It is quite easy to enter, and it’s all of the basic amenities you expect in a boat. The cockpit of this Aruba is an open design for simple entry and exit. There’s a cushioned backrest, a water bottle holder, and a storage compartment.

The plan of this Aruba’s hull is among the principal reasons it is so beginner-friendly. The broader body and horizontal bottom of this Aruba makes for a steady ride, although the brief length makes it effortless to turn. The slim bow and stern and light weight of this ship give it a good tracking ability, along with also the durable strand material is much more forgiving of beginner errors.

It is ideal for effortless lake paddling in moderate or slightly windy conditions. It is possible to take them on a river, also, provided that you are not likely to strike any whitewater spots. We are particularly impressed with the responsiveness of this layout for something so cheap. A good deal of additional funding ships are unwieldy, but maybe not this one!

Paddling Aruba is a comfy ride because of an open cockpit and a good deal of legroom.The flexible backrest is a wonderful feature for kayakers with spine problems, too. It is especially striking given the streamlined design and the cost course. We have seen a lot more expensive models using a less comfy seating area.

Which Beginner Kayak Is Ideal for You?

There are numerous fantastic kayaks available for beginners, and also the very best one for you depends upon what you plan to use it for.

If you’re searching for a fantastic fishing kayak for novices or just an all-purpose boat to go anyplace, we strongly suggest the Perception Pescador Pro 12. This significantly less expensive rebrand of a luxury kayak enables novice paddlers to experience a greater level of quality than is generally available for this cost. With a lot of cargo space, fantastic monitoring, stability, and maneuverability, the Pescador is a top-grade kayak in a cost price.

For Royal amateur paddling, the most effective starter kayak is your Sun Dolphin Aruba 10. This steady and maneuverable kayak is among the greatest bargains around. When it cannot manage anything especially demanding, it is a weekend leisure-seekers fantasy. If all you need is to paddle lakes and ponds rivers, the Aruba 10 is well worth a look.

Tandem paddlers should have a look at the Ocean Malibu 2, a flexible, sturdy and secure recreational sit-on-top kayak. Equally, at home in deserts, lakes and ocean bays, the Malibu Two provides a huge experience for you and a buddy, at an entry-level cost.