Best Kayaks for Beginners Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2023

If you’re looking for the best kayaks for beginners? You’ve come to the right place! A kayak trip allows you to experience total freedom while enjoying nature. Newcomers will be looking for something unique when they start out. It’s important to have a reliable model to progress and improve your technique.

The decision to buy the best kayak can be confusing, even for experienced paddlers, but starting out is even more challenging. There are many types of kayaks in the market that you can choose from. In addition to various features and extras, it’s not always clear what exactly you are going to need.

The kayaks you’ll find vary according to the type of water you’ll be paddling, making them suitable for beginners and children. There are some very good starter kayaks among the most highly rated kayaks on the market. We’ve also listed a few cheap kayaks for your consideration.


Our Top Picks


Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

  • Great quality material & comfortable seats
  • Comes with a quick inflation time
  • An adjustable footrest for all type of paddlers



AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak

ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak

  • Top Rated Tandem Kayak
  • Inflatable and lightweight
  • 3 Layers Construction
  • Lightweight Frame and Comprehensive Capacity



Wilderness Systems Tarpon kayak

Wilderness Systems Tarpon kayak

  • Phase 3 Air Pro Seating System
  • The Product is Made From High-Quality Vinyl and PVC
  • Family-Friendly and Affordable


Top 8 Best Kayaks for Beginners

ModelKey FeaturesRating 
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105
Very fast speed
4.4 out of 5 stars
Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Recreational Touring Kayak
Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Recreational Touring Kayak
Easy to set up,
Plenty of storage
space onboard
4.6 out of 5 stars
Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass 13ft Fishing Kayak
Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass 13ft Fishing Kayak
Very durable,
Stylish Looking,
Suitable for
big bodies
4.1 out of 5 stars
Pelican Recreational Sit-in Kayak
Pelican Recreational Sit-in Kayak
footrest, Comparatively
faster, Extra
4.3 out of 5 stars
Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Easily removable
Great stability
4.4 out of 5 stars
Driftsun Rover 120-220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak
Driftsun Rover 120-220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak
and compact
design, Sturdy
and durable,
Spacious and
4.6 out of 5 stars
AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak
AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak
Bungee deck,
Duffle bag
4.8 out of 5 stars
BKC PK11 Angler 10.5 Fishing Kayak
BKC PK11 Angler 10.5 Fishing Kayak
Fully loaded
Provide excellent
stability, Built-in
fishing rods
3.7 out of 5 stars

1. Wilderness Systems Tarpon kayak for beginners

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105


Are you looking for the best kayak for beginners? This is a versatile kayak that you can use in rivers, lakes, or the ocean; the Tarpon is undoubtedly the most versatile boat offered by Wilderness Systems. In order to be able to provide you with boundless paddling perfection, everything is carefully engineered and executed flawlessly.



If you are a beginner and looking for a stable yet premium-looking kayak, this is for you. In addition to the fact that the Phase 3 air Pro seating system is extremely comfortable and adjustable, the best sit on top kayak for beginners also comes equipped with a cool touch feature that ensures that your seat stays cool for long periods of time. The lock lever makes it easy to adjust the height to provide stability to the paddler.



High-quality material is used to protect your sit-on-top kayak from damage. however, this best sit on top kayak is being stored or transported, so its lifespan is extended, and you can enjoy your kayak for as long as possible. So, if you are looking for a functional yet durable best beginner fishing kayak inside out, this is the best option.


Main features:

  • It has a phase 3 air pro seating system
  • Overall weight is 55 lbs
  • It can carry up to 325 lbs of weight
  • Available in four different colors
  • Rigid carry handles available at the front side


Pros & Cons

  • The seating system is extremely comfortable
  • Excellent paddling performance.
  • Very fast yet stable for a 10’5″ sit-on-top kayak.
  • Available in 4 different colors
  • Best beginner kayak
  • Less internal storage
  • Rod holder not included
  • Some plastic bits might break over time.

2. Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Recreational Touring Kayak

Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Recreational Touring Kayak


This Driftsun Almanor Inflatable Kayak is everything you need for outdoor adventures as a beginner. You’ll get on the water faster thanks to its lightweight design. This is the kayak for beginners because excellent craftsmanship is evident in this piece. It is easy to inflate this kayak with a complimentary high-pressure pump—Driftsun kayak. You will never forget your kayaking experience with this best beginner fishing kayak.



The seat and backrest are made from EVA, and the footrest is adjustable. You can use a removable skeg to improve tracking. This is the best touring kayak that provides you stability. With the removable skeg, you’ll be able to improve directional stability and go paddling properly in a straight line.



The high-quality Reinforced Layered PVC material is used to provide extra durability to this beginner kayak. This Durable 600d polyester hull protects this kayak from UV rays and ensures long-term fun on your tours.


Main features:

  • It is designed for two adults and one child
  • Extremely rigid i-beam PVC floor
  • It can hold up to 600 lbs of weight
  • Three chambers construction
  • Reinforced carry handles


Pros & Cons

  • It’s easy to set up
  • Plenty of storage space onboard
  • It has everything you need.
  • Generally stable.
  • Durable material
  • It’s considered as lightweight kayaks for recreational use.
  • Windy days make the trackless stable

3. Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass 13ft Fishing Kayak

Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass 13ft Fishing Kayak


For fishing enthusiasts, Vanhunks’ Black Bass 13’0 Fishing Kayak is specially designed for you. The kayak fishing kayak’s design takes into account every aspect of your fishing trip. It is a long kayak that is suitable for only some beginners. With deluxe mesh fabric and an aluminum frame, Black Bass’s seating system is adjustable.



In order to cast your line and stand up in your kayak, you’ll need a high level of stability. The Vanhunks Boarding Black Bass has a rock-solid construction, both in terms of stability and strength. As the parts of your kayak are held together with marine-grade brass inserts, they are protected against corrosion, providing maximum longevity and stability.



Weight and durability were prioritized when designing Vanhunks kayaks. High-density polyethylene is used to make it. Rotomolded construction provides outstanding UV, impact, and abrasion resistance.


Main features:

  • With 3 adjustment positions, two paddles are available
  • The maximum weight capacity is 250kgs/ 550lbs
  • high-density polyethylene material is used
  • Kayak dimension is 13ft long, width is 81cm/ 32inches
  • It is equipped with recessed tackle boxes for storage


Pros & Cons

  • Very durable
  • Stylish
  • best kayak for beginners
  • Suitable for big bodies
  • Too long for beginners

4. Pelican Recreational Sit-in Kayak

Pelican Recreational Sit-in Kayak


SPRINT Marine has recently developed a collection of affordable sit-in boats for recreational use. Specifically for beginners who are looking to better their kayaking.



Suppose you are looking for a stable kayak to improve your stability. This is one of the best kayaks for beginners in this area. This beginners kayak is a more responsive shape with regard to changes in body position and weight and gives a greater return on effort. The faster hull design and improved tracking of the boat will maximize each stroke.



In this kayak, multi-layer material is used. A high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE) material makes it exceptionally durable. As a result, boats can more readily resist impacts and breakage. Ultimately, this kayak becomes more durable and easier to handle.


Main features:

  • The overall weight of this kayak is 55 pounds.
  • Multi-layer high-quality polyethylene is used in manufacturing
  • An adjustable backrest cushion and padded seat provide greater comfort.
  • Provide excellent maneuverability.
  • It can hold up to 300 lbs.


Pros & Cons

  • Adjustable footrest
  • Comparatively faster
  • Provide extra stability
  • Durable kayak
  • Sit in kayak
  • Affordable for beginners
  • Not suitable for a big body
  • Water drain plug not present

5. Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak


If you are looking for the best beginner fishing kayak, this is one of the best options in the market. With Pelican’s best kayak for beginners, not only beginners but also demanding fishermen can enjoy a relaxing fishing trip. Perfect for new kayakers looking to relax on calm and slow-moving waters during the cool or warm months of the year.

It is specifically designed for amateur paddlers. Due to its stunning design, both men and women can enjoy this kayak. The seat is also highly comfortable, so sitting for long periods will not cause any stress to a paddler.

So, you’re new to kayaking and want a most stable kayak option to start with. Well, look no further than our Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak!



Flat bottom hulls with multiple chines provide great stability on the water. It is an excellent choice for anglers who are new to fishing and favor stability over speed. A better support system for the backrest also is provided by an adjustable backrest cushion.



A multi-layer material exclusive to Pelican is known as RAM-X is used in manufacturing, which is made of highly durable high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE). Therefore, less material is required to build kayaks that are more resistant to impact and to break. This creates a more durable and easy-to-transport kayak.


Main features:

  • The maximum capacity is 325 pounds.
  • Flat Bottom Multi Chine Hull
  • Suitable for paddlers of all sizes
  • Product dimension 120″ X 30.5″ X 16″
  • The overall weight of this kayak is 50 lb
  • A padded backrest cushion and a seat cushion are present


Pros & Cons

  • One of the best kayaks for all type of paddlers
  • Easily removable storage compartments
  • Great stability
  • Beginners may consider this uncomfortable.

6. Driftsun Rover 120/220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Driftsun Rover 120-220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak1


Driftsun’s Rover 220 Air Float Whitewater Kayak is good beginner kayak for any adventure you have in mind. The inflatable boat weighs only 28 pounds, takes 9 minutes to inflate, and you are ready to go in mere minutes. The reinforced layers make it suitable for most water conditions. With a weight capacity of 600 pounds, it is capable of holding 2 adults and a child, a pet, or fishing equipment.



For greater comfort and stability, the footrests are removable and adjustable. If you are not using your paddles, you can secure them with the side straps. The wide EVA foam padded seats provide hours of comfort and help you in your stable kayaking.



The Bottom side of this kayak is made up of heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin for durability against punctures. Using high-pressure drop stitch floors gives this floor exceptional rigidity, which provides excellent tracking and great stability. Halkey Roberts valves provide high pressure with minimal leakage. Durability for an extended period of time is ensured with corrosion-resistant hardware.


Main features:

  • The product dimension is 12 feet 5 inches x 38 inches x 13 inches
  • Overall, kayak weight is 28 pounds
  • It can hold up to 600 lbs.
  • PVC tubes with reinforced layers


Pros & Cons

  • A lightweight and compact design
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Spacious and heavy-duty
  • An all-inclusive kit
  • A bit expensive
  • Tie-down storage

7. ADVANCED Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak


The AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite is one of the best kayaks for beginners that is perfect. It was designed with rib-frame and drop-stitch technologies for maximum durability and performance. So, if you are a beginner and looking for an inflatable kayak, you must consider this one. And if you are looking for the best cheap kayak, the Advanced Elements Kayak is also perfect for you.



Because of its drop-stitch floor, this best beginner kayak is very stable on the water. For a beginner, rushing on the water is not a great idea. The first thing you need is a kayak that is as stable as this one. High support and adjustable padded seat give abundant comfort during lengthy kayaking sessions.



It is a very sturdy kayak that provides extreme durability. The polyester material is sandwiched between layers of vinyl to form the PVC Tarpaulin Hull Material, which makes this kayak a durable and robust hull. This is a very lightweight inflatable kayak that offers exceptional durability and safety at an affordable price.


Main features:

  • Puncture-resistant material with three layers.
  • Drop-Stitch Floor
  • Multiple air chambers
  • It can hold up to 550 lbs.
  • Overall weight is 52 lbs.


Pros & Cons

  • Extremely fast
  • Affordable
  • Very durable
  • Stable but not very reliable

8. BKC PK11 Angler 10.5-Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

BKC PK11 Angler 10.5 Fishing Kayak1


Best sit on top kayak for beginners are not as easy to find as they appear. You will be able to keep track of your place while using the manual rudder controls on this best kayak for beginners. Additionally, it will provide you with a sharp and quick turn, enabling you to move more quickly and accurately. These are important things to take note of as a beginner. This is also a great best beginner fishing kayak.



It is specially designed to provide you stability on rivers and lakes. You don’t have t worry about weather conditions on this good-quality kayak. It contains comfortable seats made up of aluminum frames to provide support. If you are looking for a kayak with superior stability and the best sit on top kayak for beginners, then this one is for you.



If we talk about its material, that is exceptionally durable. It is manufactured with high-density HDPE, which provides it UV protection and abrasion-resistant. The seats are also durable, made up of an aluminum frame.


Main features:

  • The overall weight is 60 lbs.
  • It can support up to 420 lbs.
  • It contains built-in fishing rod holders.
  • Designed for novice kayakers
  • Ergonomic aluminum frame seat


Pros & Cons

  • Fully loaded accessories
  • Provide excellent stability
  • Built-in fishing rods
  • A bit expensive

Kayak Buying Guide For Beginners

If you are looking for a kayak, you should first decide what type of kayaking you will be doing. People who purchase kayaks usually have a little experience with kayaking and know what kind of kayaking they like. But if you are unaware, we are here to help you.

Sea kayaks are not worth much if you are not planning to go kayaking in the ocean. If you have determined what kayaking choices are available in your area, you can narrow down what kind of kayak you want to buy.

Beginners Kayak: What You Should Consider

you should consider some other factors in addition to the price. Here are a few frequently ignored features:

Kayak size:

The length of many best beginner kayaks is essentially the same. In addition, Kayaks with a longer length usually glide more smoothly; kayaks with a shorter length tend to be more stable. It is a good idea for newbies to consider the kayak’s width when getting started kayaking since this will influence its stability. There are many important factors to consider when choosing a kayak.



In order to buy your best beginner fishing kayak, stability is crucial. Beginners are generally new to kayaking; it is important to buy a kayak suited to their experience level. In a kayak that is stable and easy to operate, this does not imply that it is boring or slow; it only means you’re less likely to fall into the water when you shift your weight in the kayak. Ideally, you want a kayak with good basic stability, meaning that you can sit in it in a normal kayaking position, and it will remain stable.



There are many types of top kayaks with different colors. It might be more crucial than you think to pick the right color for your kayak. A kayak with a bright color will make you more visible from far away. As a beginner, you need a kayak of bright color if you need assistance.


Transport and Storage:

As you gear up to buy your first best beginner kayak, it is easy to forget that you will have to store and transport the kayak once you have purchased it. There is no point in purchasing a long touring kayak if you don’t have room to store it. It may require you to attach your kayak to your vehicle to bring it home. Sometimes you need to bring this kayak to your trip. So, transport and storage are also very important to consider.


Weight Capacity:

It doesn’t matter whether you are buying a kayak for a family or just yourself; its size is important When evaluating the lifting capacity of the kayak. Also, verifies the kayak’s weight capacity before you decide to buy one to make sure it will support your weight and that of your gear. There are some people who like to paddle with their dogs! Sit-on kayaks are the best option, but your dog will increase the weight of your kayak. So, you must try to buy a kayak with good weight capacity because it’s not something you can modify later on.


Cockpit Opening:

You also have to consider the size of the cockpit when choosing the best touring or recreational kayak with a cockpit opening. Wider cockpits are advantageous for taller people, as they will make it easier for them to enter the kayak.

Which is better for you: single or tandem?

As a beginner, the size of your kayak is one of the most important things to consider when choosing one. However, it’s also important to choose between a single or tandem kayak. You will see a wide range of kayaks in the market, but the choice is yours.


Tandem kayaking:

Kayaks designed for tandem use are the best choice if you plan to paddle primarily with your friend or family. While sharing the load is an option when traveling and carrying, you can also increase paddling power. Thus, you can move faster. If you have young children, tandem kayaks are also a great option. It is also important to note that tandem kayaks are heavy and oversized as well. In other words, if you are considering a tandem kayak but will find it difficult to store and transport, you might want to consider an inflatable kayak. Tandem Kayaking is the kayaking store for beginners.

Single kayaks:

When you’re traveling with others on paddling trips, single kayaks are best. In comparison to tandem kayaks, they are lighter and smaller, making them easier to transport and store. You can also get single kayaks if you enjoy exploring the waterways a little bit independently. However, it’s everyone’s personal choice about what type of kayak is suitable for them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions:

1.What Is the Best Type of Kayak for Beginners?
The best kayak is the one that suits your individual needs and helps you progress as a paddler. Depending on lifestyle, storage space, preferred location for paddling, and other factors can make some kayaks better than others.
2.Is kayaking hard for beginners??
No, many people think kayaking is hard because it involves being outside in the water but at first sight that’s not true. The skills required to kayak are almost all self-taught and anyone who has ever paddled a canoe is already a proficient kayaker.
3.Should I get a 10 or 12 foot kayak?
When thinking about length of kayak, one thing to consider is your height. Taller people need longer boats so they’ll have room for their legs and feet inside the boat where it will be most comfortable; otherwise you’re going to get sore after a few hours on the water! A good rule of thumb is that taller paddlers should buy kayaks two inches longer than themselves in order make sure there’s enough space for them if they plan on participating in long expeditions or tours around different areas.
4.What size kayak should I get for my height?
Determining the correct size of a recreational kayak can be tricky. Manufacturers often provide charts that will help you determine which one would work best for your height.

Final words:

When looking for good kayaks for beginners, people usually have many different needs and considerations. The type of paddling they plan on doing, the size they need, and how much money they want to spend are all important factors. Some things to consider when deciding which kayaks are best for beginners is whether or not you will be able to store it in your home or if you need something that can be transported easily. We’ve reviewed various types of boats that can accommodate different styles of paddling: fishing boats, recreational boats, whitewater boats, and sea touring boars. Which one would work best depends on what you’re planning on doing with it.

It is not easy to choose kayaks for beginners. Thus, we spent many hours researching the best kayaks for beginners available online. You can select any of the options from the list according to your requirements.

There are a lot of different factors that go into buying a kayak for beginners, so we recommend doing some research on which would be right for you before heading out to purchase one. And don’t forget about safety! We hope this information has helped answer any questions or concerns you may have had when it comes time to buy your first kayak. If there are still things about purchasing a beginner’s kayak that confuse you after reading our blog post, please let us know in the comments below.