Best Kayaks for Beginners Review

Kayaking is a very versatile type of hobby, as often, you can use the same kayak for different purposes. But it is so easy nowadays, to get an anxiety from just opening the site with hundreds of various kayaks, all seemingly good. How to choose one? How to be sure, that you can handle it even with zero experience level? How not to spend all your money on it? All those are very important questions and we’ll try to find the answers together. After a long and careful research, we’ve picked 9 best kayak brands and their products, each and every one perfect to be the first kayak in your life.

Top 9 Best Beginner Kayaks

SKATEBOLT Folding Portable Kayak – Best For Sport Events!

A good beginner kayak is something you will most certainly need at the beginning of your new hobby connected to activities on water. At first, we would like you to check out kayak designed for recreational and sport activities, which any beginner can handle.

The main feature that will appeal to any beginner or person without extra space for storing the 12-feet kayak is its foldability.

It is like perfect mix of strong shell kayak and portable inflatable kayak! Fold it and drop it in the car until needed.

As for other special features, it is a sit-in kayak for a single person. You can safely use it in the sea water. First of all, the material is salt-resistant, and secondly, the shape and length of the kayak allows it to stay stable in the ocean waves.

It is claimed to be suitable for fishing, but we think, it lacks storage space and necessary accessories, like rod holders for such mission.

You can transform a compact package into the long boat less than in 5 minutes!

And as for stability – it shows the best results, which is extremely important, when you are only learning to keep your balance and operate with the paddles.

Please, click here, if you want to find more information on the product.


  • Fast
  • Durable even in the sea water
  • Foldable and portable


  • High price

Perception Kayak Pescador Pro – Best Long Time Investment!

Photo of Perception Kayak Pescador Pro

It can be challenging to pick the best starter kayak, especially if you haven’t decided yet for which purpose are you going to use it. For example, you like to spend the time on water and want to try out the kayaking, but also think about the possibility of kayak fishing. In this case you need something sturdy and easy to handle, as well as versatile, so you could use it for various occasions.

Perception company has several similar kayak models, but we consider Pro one to be the best for beginners, thanks to its solid design and extra stability.
Please, notice, that this model is not lightweight and can be hard to handle by one person with the small frame.

The Pescador Pro is a bit higher in price than simpler models, but it has improved design and much more comfortable seat.

This is a sit-on-top kayak which can be used for recreational activities or fishing with the same great result.

Though the kayak is not the longest one, there will be plenty of leg-space even for tall person. Also, despite the medium size, it can fit decent amount of cargo in three storage spaces along the boat. Two of those have elastic cord to secure stuff in place.

Kayak doesn’t have rod holders, but is equipped with paddle park so you can free your hands if needed. More details on the product here.


  • Versatile
  • Very sturdy
  • Comfortable seat
  • 3 different storage areas
  • Good for tracking


  • Heavy
  • Comes without paddles

Perception Kayak Tribe – Best For Recreational Activities!

Visually similar to previous model, Perception Kayak Tribe is smaller, lighter and is designed to perform best in recreational activities. Simple stable kayak for beginners meets all the safety and comfort requirements.

As it is lighter than Pro model, it will be easier to handle for people with the smaller frame.

For all the beginners we suggest it is better to start training and learning how to manage the kayak in small ponds and lakes. Here the advantage is after the smaller kayaks, as they show speed on short distances and high maneuverability.

With the similar to Pro model form, the Tribe has two spacious bangeed storages and still plenty of leg-room, though we wouldn’t advise it for tall people.

Solid and stable, it can be used in sea waters.

Again, this model comes without paddles, you will need to purchase them for additional price.

Another preference of the shorter sized kayaks, is that it can fit on top of your car and doesn’t require any other efforts for transporting.

This is a great sit-on-top kayak with knee support that will make your recreational activities easier and more fun.

You can find price tags and more reviews here.


  • Maneuverable
  • Easy to carry for 1 person
  • Knee support


  • No paddles included
  • Too light for rough waters

Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Start Up Package – Best Whitewater Kayak For Beginners!

Photo of Sea Eagle Inflatable Sports Kayak Here we have one of the highest rated starter set for whitewater kayaking on the Amazon. Why? Oh, it has tons of benefits, starting from a very low price and up to all of the positive features of a fine-quality inflatable kayak.

The kayak has a very impressive 500 lbs capacity for the inflatable one and it is designed to carry 2 passengers and cargo.

The fact, that the kayak is inflatable brings two undeniable preferences: much lower price and extra portability.

The kayak has 3 air chambers to inflate and with the foot pump, that comes in the pack, you can do it fast and simple. By the way, the whole set is called Start Up Package and has everything you might need to start whitewater kayaking hobby with success.

Of course, we advise you to start little by little, as kayaking in whitewater depend not only on the qualities of the kayak, but on your personal skills to a large extent. Please, be safe and take all needed precautions.

It is a long and wide kayak, which provides additional stability.

Unfortunately, we don’t think, that inflatable seats, provided by the manufacturer can do a great job on supporting you back. So, we advise you to find a way to replace those for a more high-quality ones.

Good 2-person kayak to start a journey into the wild.


  • Designed specifically for beginners
  • Stable
  • Portable and needs less place to store
  • Inflates less than in 10 minutes


  • Provides a lot of noise
  • Non-supportive seats

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH – Best For Fishing!

Kayak fishing for beginners will start smooth with a good quality equipment right from the start. The trick here is to find a good one for the less money. We think, we’ve managed to do so.

Being a tandem kayak, this one has a sturdier construction and all the necessary equipment for you to fish without efforts.

First of all, let’s talk about all the stuff you can get along with the kayak. Lightweight but strong aluminium paddles – always a plus and undeniably demanded thing to have. Two signature adjustable seats – to make you feel cosy.

The kayak itself is equipped with the rod holders and paddle holders – you, basically, can free your hands to have a sandwich at any time!

Sturdy and wide construction allows it to keep stability even in rough wind blows or waves. So, don’t be afraid to use it both in whitewater and in the ocean. Substantially widens the field of usage, doesn’t it?

You get 2 fabric seats with a medium back support, but you can purchase the Pro ones additionally.

The kayak has two tiny compartments near each seat to hold your personal stuff, like phone or wallet, which is really thought-through. Your other equipment can be placed in cargo storages.

Feel free to visit the Amazon page for more details.


  • Removable rod holders
  • High stability even in rough water
  • Comfortable leg position
  • Pro-quality equipment


  • Can collect some amount of water

Elkton Outdoors Cormorant 2 Person Kayak – Best For Your Safety!

The safest kayak for beginners will be the one with the minimum risk of bowling over and protection from punctures. Another great feature would be the easy handling while paddling.

Photo of Elkton Outdoors Comorant 2 Person Kayak

This one is versatile, as it can serve as the fishing kayak, as well as a kayak for recreational activities.

Elkton Outdoors presents not simple inflatable kayak, but a whole package of stuff that might be helpful on water. You will get various rod holders, double-sided oars, the pump and a bag to carry the kayak.

Though, you won’t get the pair of paddles, so don’t forget to buy those additionally.

Elkton Cormorant is pretty wide for an inflatable kayak, which adds extra level of stability. Add here thick inflated borders, large weight and you get a boat which is almost impossible to flip over while it’s on water.

It is a tandem kayak, but, of course, you can use it alone, leaving extra space for cargo.

Talking about the storage space, the kayak has 6 mesh pockets and 2 mesh backs for fishing gears.

This is a nice alternative for big common kayaks. Easy to handle and carry, this is a safe way to spend fun time fishing or paddling.

Click here to find out more.


  • Inflates fast
  • Has great additional equipment package
  • Safe and stable
  • A lot of storage space


  • Can be too heavy to drag on the land alone
  • Not very maneuverable
  • No paddles

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak – Best For The Sea!

This model is one of the most versatile ones in our list. It’s sturdy construction allows to use it, basically, anywhere! Lakes, ponds, whitewater or ocean – it will do great!

Stability and maneuverability – this is what makes the Ocean Kayak Malibu the best sea kayak for beginners.

Long tandem sit-on-top kayak has enough place and stability to carry 2 adults and a child, if needed, which makes it a perfect vehicle for family weekend on the water.

Keeping your balance will be extremely easy while sitting on top of the Malibu kayak. You’ll get enough leg-room and a spare place for cargo.

A bit less maneuverable than shorter kayaks, it can reach great speed while tracking and pierce through ocean waves.

Even though it is designed as a tandem kayak, it can be handled by one person, sitting in the center seat. Which adds to the kayaks’ versatility.

Another example, is that you can freely choose, how are you going to use this one. It will work great for both recreational activities and fishing.

Seats are great in this one and they come along with the kayak! Moreover, you will get straps for securing your cargo and overlapping foot wells, so you can choose the most comfortable position for your legs.

The length and width of kayak, designed for a whole family, affects its weight, obviously. It is pretty heavy, so you can have troubles to manage it alone. Also, don’t expect to win a race on it due to its heaviness.

The design is very simple and, maybe, lacks some extra features like rod holders or mesh pockets, but it compensates with the durability and safety.

Great choice for a good price, which you can check here.


  • Safe for the whole family
  • Extra stability
  • Everything for your comfort from seats to foot wells
  • Safety straps
  • Plenty of space


  • No paddles included
  • Can collect water

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak – Best Sit-In Kayak For Beginners!

Photo of Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak Sit-in kayaks can be less stable than the sit-on-top ones, but they have a lot of positive features. Such short kayaks like Aruba 10 can amaze you with its speed on short distances and ability to take sudden turnings really smooth.

Sun Dolphin Aruba is a recreational type of kayak, designed for flatwater. You can use it for paddling, amateur sport events, fishing etc.
The design here is really simple. You get basic sit-in kayak and nothing more. It is a good option for a beginner, but sooner or later you will need an upgrade.

Despite the compact design, you’ll be provided with lots of comfort: easy sit in process, large space in front part of the kayak for your legs and adjustable backseat to support your back. All this affect the time you’ll be willing to spend inside of the kayak. The only thing that could be better about the seat in the kayak – is that it needs a softer cushion to sit on.

The kayak comes in a very low price for the classic kayak, but please, notice, that paddles which come along by default are not of the best quality. If you tend to use your Aruba often and challenge yourself again and again – the good thing will be to buy better paddles.

Stable and easy to maneuver with, this is a perfect starter equipment for any beginner.

If you are interested in purchasing this product, don’t hesitate to visit the Amazon page.


  • Great for the start
  • Fine quality for a low price
  • Stable and fast
  • Easy to get in and to carry along


  • Very basic
  • Might need minor improvements

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 – Best For Lake Fishing!

So, you’ve decided, that you are willing to try kayak fishing and all you need is the best beginner fishing kayak – pretty simple yes? Well, we can name a few great options for this purpose, and one of them is Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90.

Made for lake and river fishing, it has protective hunter-styled design combined with extra durability.

We wouldn’t recommend to use this one in the ocean, as it is to lightweight for it. But it is still perfect for flatwater.

Being a sit-on-top fishing kayak, it is stable enough for you to change the body position to standing, if you prefer this way of fishing.

Skipjack is very compact and portable – you can carry it with the help of handles almost effortless.

For your comfort as a fisherman you can get two dry storages and the wide storage place for any necessities. In addition, such cool adjustments like rod holders and paddle holders, which always come on hand during the fishing process.

The kayak comes with everything you might need at the start, including paddles and comfortable seat, so we highly recommend it for those, who seek for simple fishing kayak.

Please, check the price and reviews here.


  • A full starter equipment package
  • Stable
  • Cool design


  • Needs better security stripes for the seat

Buyer’s Guide: How To Pick The Starter Kayak?

Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect kayak for beginners. We are all different and have a different vision on things, needs and demands concerning comfort, basic features of the kayak and possible way of usage.

Thus, we wanted to outline firstly, an absolutely necessary features any beginner kayak should have and then we will proceed to more specific features for various occasions.

So, any beginner kayak needs to be:

Stable. Because the lust thing you want is to flip over to the water with all your stuff. Often, great stability can be achieved through the additional width or specific construction of kayak. Helps a lot during fishing, especially, if you tend to fish standing on top of the kayak. By the way, we must claim, that sit-on-top kayaks are often more stable than the sit-in ones.

Durable. Because your safety depends on it fully. If you are thinking on buying inflatable kayak, be sure that it is made from extra strong material and has extra protection from punctures along with the several air chambers.

Common kayaks meet the same demands – extra strong material, solid safety straps, no cracks or flimsy details.

Easy to manage. This one includes the ease of handling it on the water: how does it answers the rudder, turns, stops etc. And the managing the kayak on the land. It most certainly must have carry handles and the right mass, so you can carry it along.

If you get all the three features, mentioned above, in one kayak, be sure, it will do great as a starter kayak.

Nevertheless, we have another few tips on mind, that can make your way into the kayaking easier and even more enjoyable.

Try to look for something versatile. Especially, if you are still not sure, how are you going to use your kayak. Some models are very simple, yet meet every safety and comfortable expectations and can be used for fishing, recreational activities, sport etc. After getting yourself into the kayaking you’ll get an understanding on what you need and will be able to upgrade your kayak in needed way.

Think ahead on how are you going to transport the kayak. At first, it might be the better option to set your eyes in smaller kayaks. Easy to drag or carry on the land or ti fit on the top of your car. Or you could consider inflatable kayaks which are known for their compact sizing.

Consider the amount of passengers. Will you be kayaking alone or with your friend/beloved one? Do you need extra space? These are important questions to keep in mind when purchasing the kayak.

Kayaking is a healthy and soothing way of having a good time which can grow into the cool hobby or a lifestyle. And you have to start with something.

We want you to start with the best.