The 6 Best Beginner Kayaks of 2024


Best Beginner Kayak

Kayaking is an interesting outdoor sport that is both adventurous and full of fun. Just like canoeing, kayaking is excellent for solo use and helps the user go high on surfs. For those starting out to kayak, then they must ensure to choose the best beginner kayak. Choosing the best kayak will help the beginner to fall in love with their outdoor activity. It is possible to go on for kayaking with family, friends and also pet but for beginners, it is good to go with an experienced kayaker.

Kayaks come with double-sided paddles to make it extremely maneuverable. After becoming proficient, it is possible to perform open ocean kayaking as well to take the sport to the next level. To help our beginners we have made a list of top six best Beginner kayaks along with the buying guide to choose the best beginner’s kayak.


The 6 Best Beginner Kayaks – [2024]

  1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Recreational Kayak
  2. Ocean Kayak Scrambler Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
  3. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak
  4. SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak
  5. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Dirigo 106 Recreational Kayak
  6. Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 Kayak

Best Beginner Kayaks

Best Beginner Kayaks Reviews

#1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu


  • Dimensions: 144 x 34 x 20 inches
  • Kayak weight: 57 pounds
  • Load Capacity: 425 pounds
  • Large open cockpit
  • Accommodates Two paddlers and one child/pet
  • Patented overlapping foot wells
  • Side carrying handles
  • Bow/stern toggle handles

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a recreational sit on top kayak that is perfect for an affordable family adventure. It supports solo, tandem or tandem paddling as a family with a child or pet. The kayak features a pair of comfort plus seats for four-way adjust-ability. It generates custom fit and greater slip for a comfortable ride.

Ocean Kayak Malibu

Its overlapping foot wells allow center sitting paddlers to settle and brace the feet comfortably. The maximum weight bearing capacity of the kayak is 425 pounds. There is a lifetime warranty on the hull for the kayak boat.

This recreational kayak boat helps to surf and sun with a friend or family in three seating positions. It is compact and lightweight and is ready for both freshwater and ocean adventures. This tandem accommodates all skill level paddlers, thanks to its tri-hull construction. It is stable for calm rivers and moderate waves alike and can use for both solo or tandem paddling.

 Best Beginner Kayaks

#2. Ocean Kayak Scrambler Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler


  • Dimensions: 138 x 29.5 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 47 pounds
  • One person sit-on-top kayak
  • Load capacity: 350 pounds
  • Tri-form hull
  • Over-sized tank well for storage

The ocean kayak scrambler recreational kayak has a renowned tri-form full with primary and secondary stability. It has a long center keel to help paddlers going straight. Its four-way adjustable comfort seats help with all day paddling and are extremely durable as well.

Ocean Kayak Scrambler

Paddle holders lie on both sides of the kayak and include a pull tab for easy attaching and releasing of the bungee. The oversized tank well stores gear, food, and other essentials. A 6-inch cam lock and hatch with storage bucket secures the storage tank.

This sit on top recreational kayak has the ultimate versatility and is a perfect choice for a confident paddler. The kayak boat is easy to carry and shift from the parking lot to the water source within molded-in handles. The bow and stern carry handle help in natural kayak carrying for greater distances. There is a lifetime warranty on the hull of the boat. Its maximum weight bearing capacity is about 350 pounds.

 Best Beginner Kayaks

#3. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak

Wilderness Systems Tarpon


  • Dimensions: 147 x 30 x 13.8 inches
  • Weight: 66 pounds
  • Excellent versatility and maneuverability
  • AirPro seating system
  • Slide Trax accessory system
  • Self-bailing scupper holes
  • Gear storage pockets
  • Scupper holes

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon Angler Kayak is one of the most popular kayaks among beginners owing to its manageable size. The kayak is known for its excellent glide, versatility, and maneuverability. Its phase 3 AirPro seating system helps in the most comfortable seating arrangement for day-long kayaking.

The kayak is ideal to surf both on the calm lakes and in a tough way bays. Its foot brace system helps to maintain a steady and good position for paddling. There are exceptional storage options with two spots, one at the midship and another at the bow to store plenty of gear.

The gear storage pockets and the tank will help to store ample beverage. Its slide trax accessory system helps to bring all equipment for fishing. The kayak has the best versatility, performance and tons of space and features some of the best accessories such as cup holders, gear storage pockets, self-bailing scupper holes, etc.

 Best Beginner Kayaks

#4. SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba SS Sit-in Kayak



  • Dimensions: 120 x 30 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 43 pounds
  • Load capacity: 250 pounds
  • Unique and removable portable accessory carrier
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Protective thigh pads
  • Electronics console
  • Paddle and water bottle holders

The Sun-dolphin Aruba Sit in a kayak is ideal for beginners as it is equipped with some of the unique and handy features. It features a unique portable accessory carrier that is easy to remove. The kayak accommodates one person and features comfortable seating with protective thigh pads and adjusting foot braces.


It also has a hands free electronics console and holders for paddle and water bottles. The total load-bearing capacity of the kayak is 250 pounds and thus is ample scope for additional gear. This sit-in kayak is great for both lakes and rivers. Its body is for UV stabilized high-density polyethylene.

Thus the kayak tracks and paddles are easy to use with the maximum stability. The kayak features lightweight and retractable carrying handles and thus is efficient for easy transportation. Some unique amenities of the kayak boat are, portable accessory carrier, additional storage compartment, electronic console, shock cord deck rigging, and bottle holders.

 Best Beginner Kayaks

#5. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Dirigo 106 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Canoes


  • Dimensions: 126 x 27.8 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 42 pounds
  • Easy to paddle for beginners
  • Old town’s click seal stern
  • Poly-cushioned seat
  • Glide Track foot brace system
  • Easy grip thigh pads for control
  • Molded cup holder and glove box.

The Dirigo recreational kayaks are the shortest of all the kayak boats available in the range and thus is highly maneuverable. It is the perfect kayak for beginners who are just starting to get on to the water and offers them an easy to paddle ride.

Old Town Canoes

The old town’s click seal hatch renders excellent options for storage. Its seat has excellent contouring and adequate paddle for a comfortable ride. Its Glide Track foot brace system allows for stable and comfortable padding all day.

The kayak features easy grip thigh pads for easy control in calm waters. It renders a number of additional comfort features such as a cup holder and a glove box hatch for securing valuables such as keys, phone, wallet, etc. The total load-bearing capacity of the kayak boat is 300 pounds. It features carrying handles for comfortable carrying to the water source.

 Best Beginner Kayaks

#6. Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 Kayak

Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 Kayak


  • Dimensions: 109 x 28.5 x 14.2 inches
  • Weight: 36.5 pounds
  • Best for flat water cruising
  • Easy carrying handles
  • Easy for car topping
  • Comfortable cockpit design

The Dagger kayaks are one of the best and the most comfortable kayak boats for beginners who are not so proficient in ruling the waters. It is ideal for Flatwater cruising and gives the opportunity for the rider to take complete control over the slow-moving waters of the inlets and the rivers.

Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 Kayak

The 9.0 Dagger kayaks are extremely lightweight making it easy to carry from the parking space to the water body. They are easy to mount on top of the cars as well for easy transportation from home. The kayak is small and has a shorter length for the best control during twisty water movements.

It’s comfortable and dialed in cockpit design has enough room for relaxation without sacrificing on the performance capabilities of the boat. The design features excellent maneuverability making it easy for riding in rivers and water inlets. The boat also offers faster acceleration, so as to not bother the legs and hips of the long duration paddlers.

 Best Beginner Kayaks

Tips In Choosing The Best Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu

Beginners should have a clear idea of their kayaking goals before choosing the best kayak for them. The following are the factors to consider when buying the kayak.

  • Sit on top Vs Sit inside Kayaks
  • The material of the kayak
  • Length
  • Width and depth of the boat
  • Some unique kayak features
  • Stability
  • Durability


Sit on top Vs Sit inside Kayaks:

Beginners should choose a sit on top style kayak as it helps their legs and body from being enclosed. Sit on tops will offer ample storage in the deck for dry bags and scuba gear. But sit in kayaks are more stable and offers a secure feeling for the novice kayaker.


The material of the kayak:

The different type of material of which the kayak is made of will affect its performance. Beginners should choose a boat made of plastic composite or polyethylene as they are durable, lightweight and helps to learn the inside out of kayaking.



The length of the kayak boats can range from 6.5 feet to over 13 feet. Beginners should appreciate a kayak boat of shorter length. This will get them easy to maneuver in the water. They will also be lightweight and easier to carry.


Width and depth of the boat:

Beginners should choose a boat of moderate width and depth so as to avoid events of capsizing in the water. A wider boat will offer the ability to move around without giving the feeling of tipping over in the water. But a wider boat is slower in water and demands more effort to paddle.

Some unique kayak features:

There are some unique features that a beginner should be watchful of in their kayak,

  • The kayak boat should have a paddle clip to free up the hands for fishing, taking photos, etc.
  • It should have a comfortable seating arrangement
  • It is better to have a boat by removing skid plates. They sit at the bottom of the kayak for its protection.


A beginner kayak should be as stable as possible, though it makes sacrifices on speed and turning it, it still allows the beginner to use the kayak with confidence. They are difficult to paddle in water but are great for getting used to kayaking.


Beginners should buy a kayak that is able to withstand the rocky shores and the occasional bump on the road. Boats are of polyethylene substances are extremely durable and are a great material for kayaks.


Different Types of Kayaks For Beginners:

Kayaking is an incredible and safe sport. People of all ages and fitness levels enjoy the sport making it widely popular. The kayak boats are designed with ultimate safety in mind. There are different types and shades of kayaks with each one of them having their own advantages and disadvantages. The two major categories of kayaks are rigid and inflating kayaks. Beginners have to understand the details of both the types of kayaks to narrow down on their most suitable model.

  1. Inflatable kayaks
  2. Hard-shells
  3. Sit in kayaks
  4. Sit on top kayaks
  5. Recreational kayaks
  6. Tandem kayaks
  7. Fishing kayaks


1. Inflatable Kayaks:

These are the ideal choice for beginners as they are durable, inexpensive and are easy to transport as well. They are versatile and can use them in different environments and they do not require a separate vessel for carrying. They can be easily deflated as well so as to fit the car and the backpack. Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and are maneuverable and are easy to maintain.


2. Hard-shells:

These kayaks are available in a different range of materials depending on their design and use. The best hard shell materials for beginners is plastic for its excellent durability, less cost, and strength. Some kayaks are of fiberglass and carbon blends and are expensive. Serious kayakers use them for their ultralight feature.


3. Sit in Kayaks:

This is the most traditional type of kayaks and features a closed cockpit where one can sit with their lower body immersed inside the body of the vessel. This allows the lower body to stay dry and warm. These kayaks are stable and beginners need to know the techniques of escaping the boat in the event of capsizing.


4. Sit on Top Kayaks:

They are popular among beginners for the ease of their use. The seat is present on top of the deck and the movement of the lower body is not restricted. It is possible to get in and out of the kayak easily and thus these boats are ideal for recreation.


Recreational Kayaks:

These kayaks are designed specifically for recreational purposes and are usually stable, easy to use and are a perfect choice for beginners. They are wider than professional kayaks for better stability. They are not very much hydro-dynamic and allows beginners to learn different paddle strokes and techniques.

Tandem kayaks:

A tandem kayak has two seats, so it allows two people to paddle simultaneously and shares the boating experience. They are available in different styles and yield to beginners as well. There is ample space for gear and extra space for a child or pet in the boat. They are larger and heavier and transporting them is a little challenging.

Fishing kayaks:

These are designed with the anglers in mind. They have ample space for additional cargo and feature comfortable seating. They either come with a seat installed else require the user to buy them separately. The boats are wider, larger and heavier to store additional gear on the deck.


Other Useful Gear To Pair Up With Beginner Kayaks:

Kayaking is all about the gear that one pack with their trip, this will also help the first times to learn the sport easy and safe. Irrespective of the skill level of the user, they should always try and wear a helmet and personal floatation device with them. These are essential safety gear that helps save the life of the person in dangerous situations. Other such useful accessories are listed here,

  • Water shoes help to protect the user from sharp rocks if they happen to get out of the boat. Flip flops are not recommended as they can lodge between the rocks.
  • A wet suit will be of much use for that kayaking in cold water. It acts as a barrier between the user and the water.
  • Dry bag or backpack offers additional storage space for sensitive equipment.
  • Dive knives can come handy when one does a kayak trip as well. If it happens to tangle with wet weeds, the knife helps to cut oneself free.
  • A full body vest and some first aid equipment are of paramount importance for a beginner venturing out on a kayak trip.



Kayaking is an incredibly popular sport and it is very much easy to do as well. There are a number of options for beginners to enjoy their kayak sport. Kayaks are a little tricky that canoes as they are hard to steer and one has to propel themselves in the water in a single stroke.

Before getting into the water, beginners have to know what boat to choose, what clothes to wear and what other gear to wear for the first kayak trip. They should also take short trips in calm and stable water before becoming proficient in the sport. We hope our guide helps our readers to choose their best boat for their first kayaking trip.

For more of our top gear recommendations, check out these popular outdoor gear guide links: Best Kayak Carts | Best SUP Paddles | Best Kayak Trailers | Best Kayak Seats | Best Trolling Motor Batteries | Best Kayaks For Kids | Best Kayak Anchors | Best Beginner Kayaks | Best Fishing KayaksBest Recreational Kayaks

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