7 Best Kayaks For Beginners


Looking to dive into the world of kayaking? Don’t paddle around the idea any longer! Finding the perfect kayak for beginners can be a wave of exhilaration! In this guide, we’re revealing who made our list of the 7 best kayaks for beginners, along with our top 5 choices, so you can pick the best one for you.

Best overall

Pelican Maxim 100x

User-friendly and reliable recreational kayak that offers stability, comfort, and versatility.

Best Value

Perception Joyride 10

Offers a good balance of quality, performance, and affordability, making it great for newbies!

best tandem

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

Versatile and spacious enough for two adults and may also accommodate a child or a pet.

best fishing

Perception Pescador Pro 12

Rugged design allows anglers to confidently navigate lakes, rivers, and even some coastal areas.

Best For Sea

W.Systems Tsunami 125

Designed for sea kayaking and is well-suited for coastal waters and open ocean conditions.

Picture this: you’re standing on the shore, gazing at the vast expanse of water before you. The sun’s gentle rays dance on its surface, beckoning you to embark on an adventure like no other.

But where do you begin?

Fear not, intrepid explorer!

With a myriad of options to consider, from stability to maneuverability, we’ll navigate through the sea of possibilities to uncover the gems that will ignite your passion for kayaking.

This guide covers the best kayaks for beginners based on the following:

  • Price
  • Maneuverability
  • Storage
  • Durability
  • Weight and Size
  • And More…

What Are The Best Kayaks For Beginners?

Our #1 Pick
best kayaks for beginners

Pelican Maxim 100X

5/5

The Pelican Maxim 100x is a versatile and compact sit-in recreational kayak designed for paddling enthusiasts of all skill levels.

With its sleek and streamlined hull, the Maxim 100x offers excellent maneuverability and stability, making it a great choice for calm lakes, slow-moving rivers, and coastal waters.

What We Like:
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Excellent stability and maneuverability
What We Don’t:
  • Limited storage capacity


Key Features:

  • Length = 10ft
  • Width = 28 inches
  • Weight = 36lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 275 lbs

The Pelican Maxim 100X is a versatile and compact sit-in recreational kayak designed for entry-level paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Size and Dimensions: The Maxim 100X is a 10-foot long kayak, making it lightweight and easy to maneuver. It has a width of approximately 28 inches, providing stability on the water while still allowing for efficient paddling.

Material: The kayak is constructed using high-density polyethylene (HDPE), known for its durability, impact resistance, and ability to withstand rough handling and outdoor conditions. This material ensures the kayak’s longevity and makes it suitable for various water environments.

Design: The Maxim 100X features a sleek and streamlined design, allowing for smooth gliding through the water. It has a low-profile cockpit, which enhances stability and reduces wind resistance. The kayak’s design focuses on comfort and performance.

Cockpit: The sit-in cockpit is spacious enough to accommodate most paddlers comfortably. It offers an adjustable padded backrest, providing lumbar support for extended periods of paddling. The cockpit also has adjustable footrests, allowing users to customize their leg position for optimal comfort.

Storage: The kayak offers a storage hatch with a quick-lock hatch cover at the front, providing ample space to store gear, snacks, and other essentials for day trips or recreational outings. Additionally, it has a rear storage platform with bungee cords to secure larger items like a dry bag or cooler.

Stability and Tracking: The Maxim 100X is designed for stability, making it suitable for beginners or those looking for a relaxed paddling experience. The kayak’s flat bottom enhances stability, while its multi-chine hull design improves tracking and maneuverability.

Weight Capacity: The kayak has a weight capacity of approximately 275-325 pounds (125-147 kilograms), allowing it to accommodate a wide range of paddlers and gear.

Carry Handles: The Maxim 100X features molded-in carry handles at the bow and stern, making it easy to transport the kayak to and from the water. These handles are ergonomic and provide a comfortable grip.

Drain Plug: The kayak is equipped with a drain plug located at the rear, allowing users to drain any water that may accumulate in the cockpit or storage areas.

Overall, the Pelican Maxim 100X is a user-friendly and reliable recreational kayak that offers stability, comfort, and versatility for paddlers of different skill levels. It’s an excellent choice for individuals looking to explore calm lakes, slow-moving rivers, and coastal areas.

#2

Perception Joyride 10

4.8/5

The Perception Joyride 10 is a reliable and user-friendly kayak that combines comfort, stability, and durability.

It is an excellent choice for leisurely paddling adventures, recreational fishing, or simply exploring calm waters with ease and confidence.

What We Like:
  • Durable High-Density Polyethylene
  • Convenient storage options
  • Comfortable seating
What We Don’t:
  • Limited Open Water Capability

Key Features

  • Length = 10ft
  • Width = 29.5 inches
  • Weight = 50lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 275 lbs

The Perception Joyride 10 is a compact, beginner-friendly kayak that offers excellent primary stability and a range of innovative features.

It is designed to provide a smooth and easy paddling experience, making it an ideal choice for first-time kayakers or those looking for a relaxing ride.

The Joyride 10 comes equipped with unique features such as a selfie slot and Solo Mount recesses, which allow you to customize your kayak to your liking.

Due to its wider and more stable design, the Joyride 10 may sacrifice some speed compared to narrower, more streamlined kayaks.

Overall, the Perception Joyride 10 is a versatile and fun kayak that offers a great combination of stability, comfort, and customization options.

#3

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

4.7/5

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a popular tandem sit-on-top kayak designed for recreational use on calm waters such as lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.

It is known for its versatility, stability, and user-friendly features.

What We Like:
  • Generous front and rear storage
  • Excellent stability
  • Comfortable cockpit
Cons:
  • Difficult to navigate narrow waterways

Key Features:

  • Length = 12ft
  • Width = 34 inches
  • Weight = 58lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 425 lbs

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a versatile tandem sit-on-top kayak designed for recreational paddling. Measuring approximately 12 feet in length, it offers ample space to comfortably accommodate two adults.

The kayak is constructed with durable polyethylene material, ensuring it can withstand various weather conditions and occasional impacts.

One of the standout features of the Malibu Two is its tri-form hull design, which provides exceptional stability and tracking capabilities.

This makes it easy for beginners to maintain balance and maneuver the kayak with confidence.

The adjustable seating positions and padded seats further enhance the comfort level, allowing for long hours of enjoyable paddling.

The Malibu Two offers generous storage options with tank wells located at the front and rear of the kayak. These storage areas are spacious enough to hold gear, coolers, and other essentials, enabling users to bring along necessary items for their water adventures.

Molded-in footwells and handles add to the kayak’s user-friendly design, making it easy to use and transport.

Overall, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a reliable and comfortable tandem kayak that provides stability, ample storage, and a user-friendly design for recreational paddling adventures. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of calm water conditions, allowing paddlers to enjoy their time on the water with ease.

#4

Perception Pescador Pro 12

4.8/5

The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a versatile and feature-rich fishing kayak designed for anglers who want a reliable and comfortable platform for their fishing adventures.

What We Like:
  • Equipped with molded rod holders
  • Removable Pro Seat
  • Good stability
What We Don’t:
  • Not for standing and casting

Key Features

  • Length = 12ft
  • Width = 32.5 inches
  • Weight = 64lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 375 lbs

The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a highly regarded fishing kayak that offers anglers a versatile and feature-rich platform for their fishing adventures.

With a length of 12 feet, this sit-on-top kayak strikes a balance between maneuverability and stability, making it suitable for various water conditions.

The Pescador Pro 12 features a durable construction made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), ensuring longevity and resistance to the elements.

Its rugged design allows anglers to confidently navigate lakes, rivers, and even some coastal areas without worrying about wear and tear.

One of the standout features of the Pescador Pro 12 is its fishing-specific design. It includes a spacious and customizable storage area, including a large tank well at the rear, a bow hatch, and a center console.

These storage options provide ample room to stow fishing gear, tackle boxes, and other essentials, keeping everything organized and easily accessible during fishing trips.

The kayak comes equipped with several angler-friendly features that enhance the fishing experience.

Molded rod holders offer convenient storage for fishing rods, while the accessory tracks provide versatility in attaching additional fishing accessories such as fish finders, GPS units, or camera mounts.

The comfortable Pro Seat, which is adjustable and removable, ensures anglers can find the optimal seating position for long hours on the water.

In terms of performance, the Pescador Pro 12 offers a stable platform for casting and reeling in fish. Its hull design strikes a balance between stability and maneuverability, allowing anglers to navigate different water conditions with ease.

Adjustable footrests provide added comfort and help paddlers find their preferred position for optimal control.

Overall, the Perception Pescador Pro 12 is a highly capable and well-equipped fishing kayak that meets the needs of anglers. Its durable construction, ample storage options, and angler-friendly features make it a popular choice for those seeking a reliable and comfortable platform for their fishing pursuits.

#5

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125

4.8/5

The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 is a touring kayak that excels in tight and twisting environments. It offers impressive speed, stability, and maneuverability, making it an excellent option for both recreational and touring purposes.

What We Like:
  • Very maneuverable and quick
  • Generous storage space
  • Adjustable foot pegs
What We Don’t:
  • Tight fit; not easy to lower body in/out

Key Features:

  • Length = 12ft 9inches
  • Width = 26 inches
  • Weight = 51lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 300 lbs

The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 is a sit-inside touring kayak that excels in tight and twisting environments.

It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and offers high-capacity storage with two hatches and two removable mesh pockets.

The kayak features a Phase 3 AirPro seat for all-day comfort and has a 12-foot 9-inch length. The kayak is swift and agile with a spacious cockpit and deeper hull, which makes it ideal for day trips and tight, twisting environments.

It is suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers, with good stability enhanced by the multi-chine V shaped hull.

The kayak’s sleek hull design contributes to efficient tracking, allowing for straighter and smoother paddling. It maintains a good balance between stability and maneuverability, providing paddlers with confidence and control in various water conditions.

Overall, the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 is a well-rounded touring kayak that offers stability, performance, and comfort for paddlers of different skill levels.

Its durable construction, comfortable seating, ample storage, and efficient tracking make it a popular choice for those seeking a reliable and versatile kayak for their touring and exploration adventures.

#6

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120

4.8/5

The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 is a reliable and comfortable recreational kayak that caters to paddlers of different skill levels.

Its durable construction, comfortable seating, ample storage, and balanced performance make it a popular choice for those seeking a versatile and enjoyable kayaking experience.

What We Like:
  • Easy navigation and turning
  • Watertight console hatch
  • Premium seat with excellent support
What We Don’t:
  • Quick turns are not easy

Key Features:

  • Length = 12ft 2inches
  • Width = 29 inches
  • Weight = 49lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 325 lbs

The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 is a highly popular and versatile recreational kayak that offers paddlers a comfortable and enjoyable experience on the water. With its well-balanced design and range of features, it appeals to both beginners and experienced kayakers.

One of the standout features of the Pungo 120 is its exceptional comfort. The spacious cockpit provides ample room for paddlers of various sizes, and the Phase 3 AirPro seating system offers excellent support and adjustability.

Whether you’re planning a short paddle or a full-day adventure, the comfortable seating ensures you can focus on enjoying the journey.

Storage is another area where the Pungo 120 shines. It features ample storage options to accommodate all your gear and essentials. The rear hatch provides access to a generous storage compartment, while the watertight console hatch keeps smaller items secure and protected.

Additionally, the bungee deck rigging allows you to easily stow items within arm’s reach, making it convenient to access frequently used gear.

In terms of performance, the Pungo 120 strikes a good balance between stability and maneuverability. The kayak’s hull design provides excellent initial stability, allowing paddlers to feel confident and balanced on the water.

It tracks well, maintaining a straight course with minimal effort, making it suitable for both calm lakes and slow-moving rivers.

While the Pungo 120 prioritizes stability, it still offers decent maneuverability. It responds well to paddle strokes, allowing for easy turns and navigating around obstacles.

This versatility makes it suitable for various water conditions and ensures an enjoyable paddling experience.

Built with durability in mind, the Pungo 120 features a rugged construction using high-quality materials. It is designed to withstand the rigors of regular use and is built to last.

This reliability gives paddlers peace of mind, knowing they can rely on their kayak for many seasons of paddling adventures.

Overall, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 is a highly regarded recreational kayak that offers comfort, storage capacity, and versatile performance. Whether you’re embarking on a relaxing day trip or planning a multi-day expedition, this kayak is a reliable and enjoyable choice.

With its combination of comfort, storage options, stability, maneuverability, and durability, the Pungo 120 is a trusted companion for paddlers looking to explore and appreciate the wonders of nature on the water.

#7

Perception Tribe 9.5

4.7/5

The Perception Tribe 9.5 is a compact and versatile sit-on-top kayak designed for recreational paddling and fun adventures on the water.

With its compact size and user-friendly features, it is well-suited for beginners and casual kayakers.

What We Like:
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Excellent stability
  • Comfortable seat and adjustable footrest
What We Don’t:
  • Limited speed

Key Features:

  • Length = 9ft 5inches
  • Width = 31.5 inches
  • Weight = 48.5lbs
  • Weigth Capacity = 300 lbs

The Perception Tribe 9.5 is a recreational kayak that is known for its excellent stability and versatility. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it a great choice for beginners or those who want a kayak that can handle a variety of water conditions.

The kayak is designed with comfortable seating and ample storage space, making it ideal for day trips or weekend getaways.

However, it may not be the best choice for colder weather or advanced paddling techniques.

Overall, the Perception Tribe 9.5 is a great option for those who want a reliable and easy-to-use recreational kayak.

Wrap Up…

Choosing the best kayak for beginners requires careful consideration of various factors.

The type of kayaking, size and weight capacity, stability and maneuverability, and comfort features all play a crucial role in determining the right kayak for a beginner.

It is essential to take the time to research and test out different options before making a decision.

By doing so, beginners can ensure that they choose a kayak that meets their needs and enables them to enjoy kayaking safely and comfortably.

Hopefully, our guide helps you find a kayak to suit your needs. Have Fun!!

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