Best Beginner Kayak 2020
It’s not only heavy workouts and dieting that do the trick when you talk about keeping fit. From yoga to cycling, fun activities have been known to make more people subconsciously interested in exercising, one of these activities being ‘kayaking’.
Kayaking is an extraordinary sport that involves using a kayak to move across a body of water. Kayaking is almost similar to canoeing except for a few distinct differences in the structure and location of the paddle. It combines all the rigors of exercising with an exhilarating experience we all crave. From the peaceful experience of Flatwater kayaking to the breathtaking roller coaster that is whitewater kayaking, this activity never disappoints. Kayaking is used as a sport and for recreational purposes.
For a beginner, selecting a kayak is an exciting process but also requires a lot of thoughts and planning to ensure you get what you actually need from a kayak. To ease your decision making, I’ve put together my 5 best beginner kayaks in 2020.
Selecting the Best Kayak
A kayak allows you enjoy all the thrills and experiences accompanied with exploring breathtaking views that we can only hope to see from the beach shores.
Selecting a kayak at first glance would sound really fun, just like shopping for shoes and clothes or selecting the next gaming console to buy. But it actually requires a lot of attention to details and adequate planning to ensure you get what you actually need from a kayak. The decision process becomes easier when such details become more familiar, some of which are;
- Budget: With various choices in the market, it’s necessary to consider your financial stance before selecting a kayak. Prices of kayaks differ based on their functionality and design materials.
- Sit-in or Sit-on-top: This is also quite important as you get to decide if you want the safety of a sit-in or the thrill of a sit-on-top kayak. Regardless of the choice, they both make for a breathtaking experience
- Shape and Size: Kayaking is meant to be fun, but moving the kayak could be quite strenuous. Choosing an inflatable kayak would be a good idea if you stay far from the beach or don’t have a car to get it to the beach easily.
- Additional Preferences: Each choice of kayak is designed to be distinct in preference. Some designs pay more attention to seat comfort, room space for additional gadgets, cockpit size. We advise selecting a kayak which compliments and suits your preference.
Where Will You Use the Kayak?
A very important consideration to make is deciding where you intend to use your kayak. As exciting as the adrenaline rushing experience of the whitewater kayaking, some people prefer the more peaceful environment.
- Calm Lakes: If the location for kayaking adventure is a more modest local calm lake, then a regular recreational kayak would do just fine. A sit-on-top or sit-in kayak can be used since its highly unlikely for the gentle waves to knock you over.
- Rivers: Rivers are also gentle but might possess a lot of curves and bends, thus a kayak with increased maneuvering would do just fine. A smaller recreational kayak will be efficient for kayaking in a riverine environment.
- Coast: Coastal environment are very unstable. With waves, tides and winds coming into play, it’s wise to use a sit-in touring kayak. For divers that are quite familiar with the waves, a sit-on-top would be a good choice as it enhances mobility in and out of the kayak.
- Whitewater: Whitewater kayaking involves paddling your kayak on an actively moving body of water. This sport is done only by trained professionals and shouldn’t be an option for beginners; we all have to learn to walk before we consider running, don’t we?
Types of Kayaks
Kayaks designed by different companies are always modeled based on two types; the sit-in and sit-on-top kayak.
- Sit-In Model: The ‘sit-in’ is mostly used to model recreational and touring kayaks. They are usually faster and are used for paddling to a destination. The sit-in model gives the kayaker more control because the major part of the body is in the kayak.
- Sit-On Model: Mostly used for recreational kayaks for calm lakes and easy flowing open rivers, the ‘sit-on-top’ model does not offer as much control as the sit-in. It’s actually very useful for kayakers that feel claustrophobic inside a cockpit.
Categories of Kayaks
Kayaks are made for different functionalities and are modeled based on the two types stated above but they are categorized based on these functionalities:
- Recreational Kayaks: Kayaks made for recreational purposes usually employ both the sit-in and sit-on-top model since they’re meant for calm, flat water fun.
- Touring Kayaks: Touring kayaks usually employ the sit-in model. This category of kayaks is meant for long paddling in more rough waters. They give more control to the kayaker and normally carry a larger storage space.
- Specialty Kayaks: These kayaks are designed to meet specific need of kayakers like transportation of kayaks, couple kayakers. The inflatable and tandem kayaks were designed to settle certain needs of kayakers.
Best Kayaks of 2020
The Malibu Tandem kayak really stakes its claim as a very good beginner’s kayak with its versatility as it has no less than seven seating options. It has a triform hull which makes it suitable for virtually every kayaking activity. The Malibu Tandem also has a rotatable seat which can be made to face the rear. It can contain about 450lbs weight but remains very stable notwithstanding. The Malibu Tandem comes with four cool self-draining holes that quickly drains water that comes in from the side. It has tons of space for storage compartment and UV resistant seats, it also glows in the dark, really neat yeah?
- Very great stability and tracking
- Versatile storage spaced
- Not the fastest kayak.
Wilderness Systems is a company that makes some of the best kayaks with a sit-on-top hull. It’s 10 feet, 30-inch frame makes it a portable sized kayak, which makes it ideal for beginners as it’s easy to learn with. It’s modest size notwithstanding, it is very stable and also has extra room for storing gear in the cockpit, including a full-size stern hatch which holds clothes as well as foods. Its specifically built for flatwater kayaking, and is perfect for use in lakes and easy flowing rivers. It last longer if cared for and it is relatively economical.
- Really durable
- Quite stable
- Storage compartment opening is quite small
Designed with a modest length of 10 feet, this kayak is very good for beginners as it’s easy enough to maneuver. It also means it can’t contain bigger or taller kayakers as there would be little legroom. It carries a storage compartment in the rear and also has a paddle keeper which ensures paddles don’t fall when you’re hands-free. At 52lbs weight, it can contain 325lbs and also has two dry storage compartments. The R15 Pescadors also has a very comfortable seating system (CSS), which makes paddling very comfortable. It has a lot of storage space too and it is fitted with onboard accessories. Did I mention the seats are adjustable? Well, they are.
- Versatile storage spaces
- Really comfortable seats
- Cockpit could be quite hard to get into
The scrambler 11 is best appreciated for its stability and efficient maneuver, making it one of the best choices for beginners. Its design is such that it could be used for almost any kayaking activity. The versatility of the Scrambler means it can withstand anything, fishing, flat water and rough waters. The Scrambler 11 also pays attention and details to comfort. With its long center knee line, paddling becomes easier especially for long distances. The storage space in the Scrambler makes it ideal for divers and fishermen. The uplifted rocker on the hull allows the nose of the kayak to remain above the waves. The high-density polyethylene material used also ensures it remains virtually indestructible.
- Highly durable
- Very stable
- Not really fast
This kayak is a pretty nice one for kids, done by ‘Old Town Canoes’. It is a very versatile kayak, and also gives great comfort too. An adjustable foot braces design was employed to ensure a very comfortable paddling experience. It’s very maneuverable because of the small length but also means it can’t be used by taller kayakers. It has a tag-along tow system meant for towing your child which is really useful in situations where the child becomes tired. A tired, crying child in the middle of the river is one less thing to worry about.
- Perfect for kids
- Easy to maneuver
- Adults are discouraged from using it
- Not so great for whitewater kayaking
After a fair review of all those great kayaks, I would choose my personal best to be the Ocean Malibu Tandem Kayak. My reasons being that it conveniently holds two paddlers and an extra space for a kid. This makes it a very nice kayak o enjoy with a small family. Also, the kayak has really nice stability and maneuverability.
Its stability and maneuverability makes it a great choice for a thrilling ride on whitewater. Also, it looks cool at night when it glows. Finally, it has a massive weight capacity of 450 lbs. This is enough to carry almost anything that I would want to carry. Great, isn’t it?