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Best Kayaks for beginners 2017

Best Kayaks For Beginners 2017 – Your Beginners Guide To Buying Your First Kayak

Buying your very first kayak can be a little daunting. With so many different models that vary in size, weight, design and features, it’s hard to know where to begin your search. You might have done some kayaking on a trip or borrowed one from your friend, either way you may not have kayaked enough to know what you want. We are hear to help you make the right decision and have you out on your adventures before you know it. We are here to help you pick your very first kayak and you will see below a list of what we think are the best kayaks for beginners available in 2017.

For your first kayak, you don’t need to break the bank. They’re plenty of good kayaks available that are more capable of providing you with a great kayak and also be very affordable. Once you decide this is really for you, then you can go ahead and spend the some cash on the premium kayaks. What’s great about kayaking as a beginner is your first kayak purchase doesn’t have to be complicated. There are so many entry level kayaks out there both performance and price perfect for newcomers. Entry level kayaks don’t necessarily mean lower quality. Your very first kayak can serve you will for many years while you make your way to becoming a seasoned kayak user.

What Makes A Great First Kayak?

We have considered the kayak’s that were easiest to use for newcomers, the best kayaks for beginners are the kayaks that are easy to use, comfortable and offer an overall great performance at an affordable price. The best kayaks for beginners are stable, forgiving, and rugged enough to handle the learning curve. Overall, stability and durability are two features we do not overlook. It is important for a beginner kayak to be stable, sturdy and forgiving as it will be knocked about from time to time.  Choosing your kayak will not only be about performance and price but also be about your overall goals. There are different kayaks for different types of kayaking.

Here at Kayaking Guru, we’ve collected and reviewed some of the best kayaks for beginners that we think are available in 2017. We’ve given our review and also some pros and cons for you to take note off. We have outlined the different types of kayaking and the best kayaks for those types of kayaking below.

Types of Kayaks

General Purpose Kayak

best kayaks for beginners

 

A general-purpose kayak is most commonly used by beginners and intermediate paddlers. General purpose kayaks provide an all round service that is capable of any kayaking excursion. A general purpose Kayak is absolutely perfect for any beginner or even intermediate paddler. However, if you are looking to specialize, a general purpose kayak won’t outperform a specialist kayak. However, if you don’t know if you plan to specialize in any particular type of kayaking, the general purpose will give you a good all-round kayaking experience. We recommend General-purpose kayaks to any first timers as they are ideal to try a little of everything and give you a good idea on any specialist type of kayaking, if any, that you may want to pursue. General purpose kayaks are the best kayaks for beginners.

Here are the best kayaks for beginners for general recreational kayaking:

 

 

Lifetime Boyd Sit-Inside Kayak, Yellow, 9'8"

$563.22
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as of September 22, 2018 9:36 am

Features

  • Constructed of uv-protected high-density Polyethylene. Lightweight 44 lb. Design. Stable flat bottom
  • Multiple footrest positions for different size riders. Large Cockpit with seat back
  • Deep hull tracking channels. Stability chine rails. Easy carry handle
  • Sharp keel for speed and tracking. Enclosed compartment with lid and shock cord strap. Paddle Holder shock cord straps
  • Durable high-density Polyethylene (HDPE) construction. UV-Protected - will Not fade, crack, or peel
Color Lime
Construction Type polyethylene
Item Dimensions 13 x 30 x 120 inches
Item Display Weight 40 pounds
Seat Material Type foam
Shipping Weight 85.98 pounds
Size 10-Feet
Sport Type Kayaking, boating, fishing
Weight Supported 250 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10′ Sit In Kayak, is a great kayak for any water enthusiast. There’s no surprise here why it’s one of the most popular and Best Kayaks for beginners available on the market. This kayak is crafted of a tough polyethylene hull and features an adjustable seat with some nice back support and adjustable foot braces. There are carrying handles for easier transport and a convenient storage hatch and water bottle holder. Are the better kayaks out there? Of course there are, but for the price, I’m not sure you can beat this one. The kayak offers a spacious design that will give some additional comfort. The kayak also offers a excellent weight capacity of 250 lbs. The kayak is also quiet light which makes transport a little easier; depending on the vehicle you drive, you should comfortably lift and fit this kayak onto your vehicle roof for your adventure.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Inexpensive
  • Very spacious interior
  • High weight limit

Cons

  • Very Basic but gets the job done
  • Lower quality

 

Color Yellow
Construction Type polyethylene
Included Components Kayak, seat back and shock cords, footrest and cargo hold with cover
Item Dimensions 14 x 30 x 116 inches
Material Type Hard Shell
Seat Material Type plastic
Shipping Weight 44.6 pounds
Size 9’8″

Summary Review

Lifetime boyd sit-inside kayak – the 9′ 8″ adult kayak has a 250 lb. Weight capacity and comes in Yellow. This is “sit inside” kayak and comes with a seat back, front and rear shock cords, footrests and a cargo hold with cover. 5-Year limited warranty. The Lifetime boyd sit-inside kayak is the perfect family kayak that will suit everyone in the family from the kids to the grandparents, this kayak will fit your needs. The lifetime Boyd is one of the best kayaks for beginners. It’s a great starter kayak to become familiar with kayaking before you move on to more premium and specialized kayaks. A great kayak that makes the cut in our best kayaks for beginners guide.

Pros

  • Great weight capacity
  • 5 Year warranty
  • Comfortable with the seat back, footrest and also shock cords to the front and back
  • Paddle included

Cons

  • Lower quality

 

Color Orange
Construction Type polyethylene
Item Dimensions 14 x 30 x 116 inches
Item Weight 44 pounds
Shipping Weight 46 pounds
Size 9 feet 6 inch
Weight Capacity Maximum 250 pounds
Weight Supported 250 pounds

Summary Review

The Lifetime Payaette 116″ kayak is a “sit-inside” kayak that has a large cockpit and a comfortable backrest for your long paddling adventures. Designed for extreme safety and stability, the Payette has a stable flat bottom with deep tracking channels and stability chine rails. The kayak was surprisingly stable, well able to withstand the windy conditions. The kayak is constructed of blow-molded high-density polyethylene making it and durable. The high density mold gives this kayak that extra bit of forgiveness that allows the beginner and intermediate paddler take a few knocks. The lightweight kayak reasonably lightweight only weight 44 pound, this makes it great for transporting the kayak from your vehicle and also carrying it to the waterfront.  The enclosed storage compartment is very handy. It’s perfect for some supplies, lunch or maybe your beer. One of the downfalls is there are no thigh pads surrounding the cockpit edge that can be quiet sharp and graze your legs. However a quick and cost free solution to this is use some insulation from your home and wrap it around the edge. Overall this is a fantastic kayak that at a very reasonable price  that will be very popular for beginners in 2017, for this reason and what we mentioned above Lifetime Payaette is in our opinion of the best kayaks available in 2017.

Pros

  • Storage compartment
  • Very stable
  • Strong and durable design
  • Lightweight with carry cords

Cons

  • No tight padding surrounding cockpit.

 

Sit-on-Top Kayak

best kayaks for beginners

The Sit-on-Top Kayak are made from a solid piece of molded plastic. The molded plastic long with the air trapped inside offers buoyancy to the user. One of the most common kayaks and very commonly used on kayaking tours, and family holiday resorts. Here are our recommendations for the best kayaks for beginners.

Color Lime
Construction Type polyethylene
Form Factor sit-on-top
Item Dimensions 13 x 30 x 120 inches
Item Display Weight 40 pounds
Seat Material Type plastic
Shipping Weight 44 pounds
Size 10-Feet
Sport Type Kayaking, boating, fishing

The Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak is great for lakes and rivers. This kayak tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability. The Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak is a fun, light weight and easy to load and unload kayak. The kayak offers a large, comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads to protect your legs from those annoying grazes and scratches. It is also equipped with a nice adjustable foot braces allows for comfort. The Sun Dolphin Bali SS has a very useful portable accessory carrier that can be used as a tow behind or extra storage compartment; storage and shock cord deck rigging; and paddle holder. It has a couple water tight compartments. A small one for your phone, keys etc. and a bigger one for clothing or other things you don’t want to get wet. One of the main downfalls is the drain holes at the bottom allow you to get wet which will annoy some people. Keep in mind this kayak is an inexpensive, entry-level kayak. Its great for a beginner and/or a leisurely paddle around nice still water. If you’re looking for something more than that, you’d be best spending a little more on a higher-level model, but this is a great option to get you started. This is one of the higher priced kayaks but an excellent kayak and no doubt one of the best kayaks for beginners available in 2017.

Pros

  • Open bow offers more storage and comfort
  • Great price.
  • Very well built for such a reasonable price
  • Strong. and durable,
  • Looks attractive
  • Lots of storage
  • paddle holder
  • Extra storage compartment

Cons

  • Drain holes allow water to also enter
  • Not many handles, makes it difficult to load/unload out of the truck.
  • Foot rests cannot be extended

 

Color Sunrise
Item Dimensions 20 x 34 x 144 inches
Item Display Weight 69.11 pounds
Shipping Weight 63 pounds
Size One Size
Weight Capacity Maximum 375 pounds

Summary Review

The Ocean Malibu Two is one of the best kayaks for beginners. It’s easy to see why. It’s compact, lightweight tandem sit-on-top kayak in the world. This kayak is both stable and versatile while tracking very well. Although this is a tandem kayak, it can easily be paddled solo. The Ocean Malibu Two fits two adults plus a small child or pet.  It features 2 comfy seats, but has 3 molded in seat wells, just enough to make room for your child or pet. The middle molded seat is commonly used when rowing solo of you don’t feel comfortable rowing solo from the back. The Malibu Two is the Swiss Army Knife of kayaks it does just about everything. Although this kayak is a bit on the heavy side. The fact that the basic design remains popular after 20+ years is a testament to this great kayak. If you’re looking for only 1 kayak to fulfill multiple purposes, then look no further than the Malibu Two. It’s has a legacy and has become a household kayak name and remains one of the best kayaks for beginners available in the market.

Pros

  • Carries 2 adults and 1 small child or pet
  • Great carrying handles
  • Very well balanced and tracks very well
  • renowned design for over 20 years.

Cons

  • Not a ton of room for storage with 2 paddlers on the kayak
  • A bit on the heavy side

 

 

Color Yellow
Item Dimensions 18 x 31 x 108 inches
Item Display Weight 42.11 pounds
Seat Material Type foam
Shipping Weight 52.35 pounds
Size One Size

If you’re looking for big fun in a compact kayak, the Ocean Kayak Frenzy might be for you. This little kayak is responsive and stable, sporty in the surf, but behaves excellently on flat still water. The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is well suited both adults and kids. The Ocean Kayak Frenzy glides through the water like a dream. You will really notice how well it cuts through the water when the water is more choppy and you are paddling against the waves. The boats are very stable on the water and track in a straight line even when taking large long strokes. This kayak is easy to maneuver and track very nicely in the water. A nice little kayak and that’s why it’s made the cut in our review of the best kayaks for beginners 2017

Pros

  • Stable and durable
  • Tremendous fun if your looking for sporty kayak for quick manuevering
  • Sporty cool look
  • Handles well
  • Lightweight
  • Easily transported

Cons

  • A little short and snug if you are a tall person or overweight

Touring Kayak

best kayaks for beginners

Touring kayaks are designed for whats in the name. Touring kayaks are are designed for long periods of time in the water. They are designed to travel long distances from small river and lakes to cruising down along the coast. They are very stable strong of moderate length and are designed for speed and also maneuverability.  Touring Kayaks are known to have some storage compartments for food, and some suppliers, this storage compartment can prove to be very useful. Here are our recommendations for the best kayaks for beginners.

Summary Review

With its it’s slender bow and slim deck profile this is a pretty cool kayak. The rudder-equipped Kayak give sit that extra touch of class and efficiency. The equipped rudder makes this kayak track so well and cut through the water at ease. The spacious kayak features some advanced styled seating, adjustable sliding foot braces, and to top it off has some bulkhead-sealed front and rear compartments with a hatch cover to bring along your touring accessories, supplies and food. The touring kayak features a cover, a drain plug which you will likely need at some stage, nice thigh braces to protect your legs from annoying scratches and some safety reflective lifelines. The kayak measures 14.5 feet by 22.5 inches by 12 inches and weighs 60 pounds; cockpit: 36.5 inches by 19.5 inches; hatch: 15.75 inches by 8.13 inches. The seat is not as nice as expected, it might seem awkward if you are a very tall person, with the lowest seat setting still pretty high. One other downfall it has is that the kayak is very heavy and bulky, so be sure you are able to transport it. Riot should be very proud of the kayak they have created. They have provided an excellent kayak that mirrors the features and spec of kayaks priced well over $1300.

Pros

  • Storage in this kayak is very spacious
  • Equipped rudder is an excellent addition
  • Easy to mount
  • Great balance
  • Looks great
  • Easy to maneuver for a big kayak

Cons

  •   Quiet heavy and bulky

Fishing Kayaks

best kayaks for beginners

A fishing kayak is self explanatory really, it’s a kayak that is used for fishing. Fishing kayaks are an affordable means of a acquiring a boat and reaching excellent fishing locations off our from the peer or harbor. Kayak fishing has gained popularity in recent times due to its broad appeal as an environmentally friendly and healthy method of transportation. Kayak fishing blends and enjoyable past time and as well as some great exercise. If you are a regular fisher, then kayak fishing can save you a lot of money compared to an engine powered boat. The most popular kayaks for fishing are molded from polyethylene due to their durability and lower cost. Hard shell kayaks kayaks are more commonly used as inflatable kayaks are more vulnerable to punctures and it’s not ideal for kayak fisherman who maneuver in shallow or rocky waters. Here are our recommendations for the best kayaks for beginners.

Color Brown Camo
Construction Type polyethylene
Form Factor sit-on-top
Included Components rudder
Is Foldable No
Item Dimensions 18 x 28 x 160 inches
Seat Material Type foam
Shipping Weight 62 pounds
Size Brown Camo
Weight Supported 475 pounds

Summary Review

One of the most popular angler kayaks on the market, the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 combines performance with features. it’s equipped with a large bow hatch, an over-sized tank well and several places to mount fishing gear. This kayak may also be suited not only to the fisherman but also perhaps to the duck hunter who likes to change things up a bit. This kayak is an amazing piece of gear. It tracks the water beautifully at ease, and doesn’t get knocked around to easily. The kayak has a large bungee well for storage and at the front a dry hatch. The kayak is really stable so don’t worry so much about tipping. Probably the only concern we have it that you need to have some great balance if you plan on fishing while standing. You are free to try it out but we’d recommend you do it with an empty kayak; removing your fishing tack and equipment.  This is an attractive looking kayak, a real eye catcher if you are looking for something a little different from the standard bright colored kayaks you often see on the market. Overall this Kayak is fast, stable, and tracks well. It’s designed with the fisherman in mind with some really thoughtful fishing features with some plenty of storage for your equipment and… Beer!!

Pros

  • Built for the fisherman in mind
  • Glides and tracks nicely through the water
  • Lots of storage
  • Plenty fishing features built into this kayak.

Cons

  • The look/style might not be to some peoples taste. But we think it’s cool
  • Not very fast

 

Color Green
Item Dimensions 19 x 36 x 120 inches
Item Display Weight 65 pounds
Material Type Hard Shell
Seat Material Type plastic

 

Shipping Weight 82 pounds
Size 10-Feet
Sport Type Kayaking
Weight Capacity Maximum 500 pounds
Weight Supported 500 pounds

Summary Review

The Sport Fisher sit-on-top kayak from Lifetime Products is the ultimate fishing kayak! Up to 3 people can ride high and dry in with the kayak’s balanced seating, but 2 and a small child or pet is more recommended maybe. 3 fully grown adults is a bit of a squeeze. Tunnel hull design of this kayak provides serious stability making it possible to stand up and fish, this is a nice feature and some other fishing kayaks are a little more difficult to stand up on than others.  This kayak has plenty of awesome built-in features that will improve your fishing experience. The kayaj is equipped with paddle clips, up to three fishing pole holders, a cup(beer) holder, and multiple foot wells for some additional leverage when you’re reeling in some bid ones. This kayak has front cargo area with shock cord straps, but unfortunately only has a small 6″ storage compartment. It’s perfect for your keys, phone and maybe a camera/gopro but that’s all that will really fit in there.  We can recommend it to anyone looking for a lower priced but high quality and stable fishing kayak. If you are of a tall or strong built this is the one for you. Being a wide and relatively short kayak, it’s not exactly built of speed but instead it’s strong balanced and sturdy. It sometimes has issues with tracking but’s not a deal breaker. It’s designed for your leisurely fisherman and occasional paddler. If you want a sleek fast cruiser, check out some touring kayaks.  As a sit on top, you’re legs will get a little wet as you paddle. It’s inevitable as you paddle side to side, fear not though as you can simply pull on the plugs in the back and the footwells will drain for you while you paddle. The sport fisher is one of the best kayaks for beginners if you have an interest in both fishing and some recreational paddling.

Pros

  • Fits up to 3 people
  • Excellent fishing features
  • Nicely balanced to improve stability for fishing while standing up
  • Foot wells for standing up
  • Very reasonable for the features offers

Cons

  • The kayak is heavy
  • Small storage compartment
  • Will get wet when paddling
  • Doesn’t track as well as others

 

Summary Review

Sun Dolphin put the emphasis on comfort, tracking and stability. A hull that provides great stability, tracking and easy maneuvering. Designed to move thru the water with ease, they are perfect for short or long trips. The cockpit is surprisingly spacious and easy yo climb into. The kayak is reasonable comfortable with a decent quality adjustable backrest. This kayak is well suited to rivers and lakes.The rear accessory carrier can be removed and used as a tow behind to give you even more storage room for weekend camping trips. Over all this an excellent budget minded kayak. It’s light weight, tracks well, reasonably comfortable, very stable. It also has nicely placed rod holders, and also a nice large open cockpit. There’s a nice removable dry hatch for your more sensitive items.  Some reviewers across have commented on the low ceiling where you place your legs. This may be a nonsense for some taller people but some reviewers have shared pictures of them removing it by hand by simply cutting 1″-2″ below the glove box and sanding the edges. This has only been an issue for some people and in mos cases it’s those who are extremely tall.  The Sun Dolphin Aruba 12′ kayak is one of the best kayaks available right at such a bargain price. This is one of our favorite kayaks and no doubt one of the best kayaks for beginners.

Pros

  • excellent budget minded kayak
  • light weight
  • tracks well
  • reasonably comfortable
  • Nicely placed rod holders
  • Very Stable
  • Looks Great
  • removable rear dry hatch

Cons

  • Low ceiling where you place your legs may be a nonsense for some people

 

Whitewater Kayak

best kayaks for beginners 2017

Whitewater kayaking can range from active, moving water, to demanding, extreme whitewater. Whitewater kayaks come in a range of shapes and sizes. In fact there are a number of different types of whitewater kayaks  but since this is a beginners kayaking guide we will have a more extensive guide to whitewater kayaking in another guide. You will often you the extremely small freestyle boats that are the size of a paddle in length, compared the long river boats built for speed, durability and safety.

Closing Words

best kayaks for beginners 2017

Kayaking is truly enjoyable past time that can be enjoyed solo or with friends and family. We hope our guide helps you purchase your very first kayak. The kayaks we recommend are the ones we feel are the best kayaks for beginners available in 2017. Do your research and happy paddling!

You may also like these articles:

Inflatable Kayaks Vs Rigid Kayaks 

Best Kayaks For Kids 2017 

Best Inflatable Kayaks 2017

 

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