Best Kayak for Beginners in 2023

Best Kayak for Beginners

It can be confusing to buy a kayak when you are just starting, but it can be even more confusing when you are a beginner. For this, We are presenting best kayak for beginners as there are so many different types of vessels, each with its features and extras, you should know what you need. 

What do the different types of vessels do? Which type of kayak is easiest to learn on? How can beginners choose the best kayak? In addition, you may wonder where you can learn the sport best? 

What to Consider When Choosing Your First Kayak ?

There isn’t always an easy way to buy a kayak for beginners. This is because you want to make sure you get a stable and comfortable boat for your first few years on the water. 

Here are few most significant features and design points that you should consider when shopping for a beginner kayak. 

Solo vs. tandem 

Choosing a solo kayak or a tandem kayak is perhaps your first major decision when buying a kayak. Realistically, this is a personal choice, as it depends on whether you can reasonably expect to find a willing and enthusiastic padding buddy for your adventure. 

As a new paddler, it’s critical to note that single or tandem kayaks have advantages and disadvantages. 

Tandem kayaks, for example, tend to be more stable and better at tracking, partly due to their size and width. Unfortunately, however, this additional width and length make them less portable. 

Furthermore, if you’re starting kayaking, tandem boats can be frustrating and fun to paddle. Having a buddy in the boat can be soothing when you’re feeling nervous. However, it can also be frustrating if you fall behind in circular swimming because the timing is off. 


What does the Best Kayak for Beginners mean for you? 

You might consider a tandem kayak if you would like to spend a lot of time on the water with your friends and family. This is especially true if you want one boat to accommodate two people. A solo kayak will give you the best opportunity to hone your paddling technique on the water if you’re going to do so. 

Sitting on top versus sitting in 

Choosing a sit-on-top or sit-in kayak is the next big step after deciding whether you want a tandem or solo kayak. Discover how each type of boat compares its advantages and disadvantages. 

Sit on Top Kayaks 

Kayaks with sit-on-tops are probably the most popular option for beginners because they offer easy entry and exit and plenty of space to relax. Larger paddlers or those who often feel claustrophobic inside a sit-in kayak may also enjoy the open deck of a sit-on-top kayak. 

In addition, from the point of view of a beginner paddler, sit-on-top kayaks are very user-friendly. OP boats are self-bailing, so if you do happen to capsize, you won’t have to worry about trying to escape the cockpit while submerged. 

Sit-on-top boats aren’t suitable if you don’t like getting wet while paddling. However, most beginner kayaks aren’t designed for harsh weather, so they don’t work very well in choppy conditions. 

Sit-In Kayaks 

Traditional sit-in kayaks enclose most of your lower body in the cockpit area. Most Sit-in kayaks for beginners have fairly wide cockpit openings, unlike expedition and touring kayaks that usually have narrow cockpits. 

Size & Weight of Kayaks 

Kayaks’ weight and size are the most critical factors when it comes to portability, but they can also impact their natural tracking ability. 

Shorter and lighter boats are highly portable, making them ideal for people who have to carry their kayaks frequently to and from a put-in. Portability often comes at the expense of your boat’s tracking ability, which means it’s more challenging to paddle in a straight line. 

Maximum Weight Capacity 

When shopping for kayaks, it’s vital to consider the kayak’s maximum weight capacity. It’s advisable not to load your boat more than 80% of its manufacturer’s weight capacity for maximum performance. 

It is imperative to consider your weight and that of your gear when deciding which kayak is right for you. Furthermore, it would help if you felt your paddling partner’s weight when selecting a tandem boat to ensure that you get a suitable model for both of you. 


First-time kayakers should feel comfortable as they want to feel calm and collected when on the water. A boat that can be comfortable to paddle is ideal for kayakers because no one wants to paddle in an uncomfortable boat. 

Padding on the seat and legroom are critical factors for comfort in kayaks. Generally, sit-on-top kayaks offer the most legroom due to their open decks, but there are plenty of sit -in kayaks for beginners  with spacious cockpits for you to enjoy. 

If you plan on spending a lot of time on the water, you should consider a boat with a well-padded foam seat. It is also beneficial to have an adjustable seat if you want to customize your boat to meet your paddling needs. 

Gear Storage Options 

You may find that gear storage is a unique feature for your kayak, depending on what you plan to use it. Having some gear storage space in a kayak is a must for folks who enjoy fishing or embarking on long paddles. 

Kayak gear storage usually takes the form of an open tank well or a closed hatch. Tank walls are best suited to people who want to pack bulky gear, such as coolers, while hatches are suited to people who wish to store or protect more minor items. If you’re going to cover dry hatches, you’ll often have to pay more for gear storage space on your kayak. 

Our Top Beginner-Friendly Kayaks For 2023 

1. Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 – Best Overall


Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 – Best Overall


  • Weight: 49 lbs (22 kg) 
  • Length: 12’2″ (371 cm) 
  • Capacity: 325 lbs (147 kg) 
  • Type: Sit in 

Among beginner and intermediate paddlers looking for enhanced tracking performance, Wilderness Systems’ Pungo 120 is an absolute classic. 

Wilderness Systems’ Pungo 120 features a proprietary hull design with a broad base and a relatively flat bottom. Furthermore, with a slight chine on both the front and back of the boat, this kayak offers a superior sense of stability on the water. This is without compromising its inherent tracking ability.  

Additionally, Wilderness Systems included their Phase 3 AirPro seating system for enhanced comfort, ergonomic, adjustable, and well padded. The cockpit also comes with thigh pads and a built-in dashboard that holds snacks, water bottles, and other accessories. 


  • There are plenty of options for gear storage 
  • The cockpit has thigh pads 
  • The longer the length, the better the tracking 
  • Suitable for longer paddles 


  • Expensive


2. Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103 – Best for Fishing


 Lifetime Tamarack Pro 103 – Best for Fishing


  • Type: Hard-shell sit-on 
  • Material: High-density, UV-protected polyethylene 
  • Size: 12′ 3″ (312.42 cm) x 31″ (78.7 cm) 
  • Weight: 57.5 lb (26 kg) 
  • Capacity: 300 lb (136 kg) 

If you’re interested in kayak fishing, the Tamarack Angler kayak is an intelligent choice. There is just the right combination of fishing-specific features and comfort on this boat at a nearly impossible price.  

The Tamarack Angler weighs just 51 lbs (23 kg), so it will be easy to load on your roof rack or into your truck. Although this model doesn’t offer a lot of storage space, it does feature two dry storage hatches — one behind the seat and one in front.  

The Tamarack Angler is constructed of UV-protected high-density polyethylene, making it a rigid, durable kayak that performs well on the water. Kayak users often report being able to stand while fishing due to the kayak’s stability. Tamarack Angler’s 10′ (304.8 cm) length makes it a versatile throw-and-go boat for smaller lakes and calm rivers. 


  • Great maneuverability 
  • Lightweight 
  • Good stability  


  • Limited capacity 
  • Seat lacks padding 


3.Perception Drift 9.5 

Perception Drift 9.5 

  • Weight: 40 lbs (18.1 kg) 
  • Length: 9’6” (290 cm) 
  • Width: 28.5″ (72 cm) 
  • Capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg) 
  • Type: Sit in 

A solid entry-level boat for new paddlers that crave a stable platform for enjoying their time on the water, the Perception Drift 9.5 is a relatively budget-friendly option for casual paddles. 

When it comes to beginner-centric performance, the Drift 9.5 doesn’t disappoint. With its soft chine and slightly V-shaped hull, this boat provides forgiving stability in the water without affecting maneuverability.  

Consequently, it is an excellent option for beginners who want to improve their paddling skills while still gaining strength and comes with a primarily rounded-hull kayak. Yak.Furthermore, Perception designed this boat with various useful features, including a padded seat and a large cockpit opening. Consequently, getting in and out of the ship isn’t tricky, and you’ll be able to paddle for quite a while on your local lake or flat river. 


  • Design of a stable hull 
  • Large opening in the cockpit 
  • A fair amount of maneuverability 
  • A reasonable price 


  • No thigh pads around the cockpit 


 4. Old Town Dirigo 106

Old Town Dirigo 106


  • Weight: 42 lbs (19.1 kg) 
  • Length: 10’6” (320 cm) 
  • Capacity: 300 lbs (136.1 kg) 
  • Type: Sit in 

It’s hard to beat the Old Town Dirigo 106 when performance and portability are your top priorities in a kayak. Even though it’s on the more expensive end of the scale for a beginner kayak, Old Town designed this model with features designed to help novice kayakers improve their paddling skills. 

As a result, it has mostly a V-shaped hull and a rounded midship, providing stability for newer paddlers without sacrificing maneuverability—lide Track foot braces for improved control as you turn. 


  • There is a lot of cockpit gear storage 
  • Entrance and exit are easy 
  • Design of stable hulls 
  • Maneuverable 


  • The seat isn’t very comfortable. 
  • Somewhat expensive 


5.Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT 

Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT 


  • Weight: 35.6 lbs (16.2 kg) 
  • Length: 10’ (305 cm) 
  • Capacity: 275 lbs (125 kg) 
  • Type: Sit in 

The Pelican Trailblazer 100 NXT is one of the most popular beginner kayaks because it is simple yet affordable.There aren’t as many features on this boat, but it comes with a price point that’s sure to impress. It weighs just 35.6 lbs (16.2 kg) even though it is 10′ (305 cm) long, making it a highly portable boat, even if you don’t have a friend to help you carry it.RAM-X polyethylene is used to make this kayak, with a mostly rounded hull for improved stability.  

At the same time, The bow and stern have a slight chine, which allows better tracking over longer distances.The Trailblazer 100 NXT does not come with much gear storage, but it has a rear tank well that can hold small gear while paddling. Furthermore, it also has a. Moreover, it features an expansive, comfortable cockpit, which provides plenty of legroom and makes it easier to exit and enter the vessel. 


  • The affordable price point 
  • A large, spacious cockpit 
  • Lightweight and portable 
  • Stable yet decent tracking abilities 


  • It does not have a dry storage area 
  • Reduced weight capacity1 


6.Perception Rambler 13.5 


Perception Rambler 13.5 



  • Weight: 78 lbs (35 kg) 
  • Length: 13’6″ (412 cm) 
  • Capacity: 500 lbs (249 kg) 
  • Type: Sit on top 

This two-person kayak is one of the most affordable tandems available on the market for beginners who like to take to the water together.Despite its broad, mostly rounded hull, the Rambler 13.5 offers exceptional stability in calm conditions, an excellent option for paddlers who prefer sheltered waters.  

Its space with its spacious deck area and high weight capacity, it can easily accommodate two adults, plus a child or dog, making it an excellent choice for adventurous families.The Rambler 13.5 is heavier than many other similarly sized tandems on the market at 78 lbs (35 kg), but since you’ll always paddle this boat with a partner, it’s still easy to load onto a vehicle. 


  • Stable hull with wide, mostly rounded edges 
  • Tandem kayaks are affordable 
  • Dogs and children are welcome 
  • Maximum weight capacity 


  • Tandems are pretty heavy, even if they are lightweight. 
  • The cost of high-end options can be very high. GH. 



Q. What Is the Best Type of Kayak for Beginners? 

Ans: All the kayaks on this list are recommended for beginners. The ultimate best kayak is the one that suits your specific needs and helps you progress as paddling on your lifestyle kayaks are better suited to certain lifestyles, storage space, paddling locations, and other factors. 

Q.What Size Kayak Is Best for Beginners? 

Ans: A wide variety of kayaks available on the make kayaks vary in size and shape according to their purpose. Beginner Kathe length and width of beginner kayaks tend to be between 9 and 12 feet. 

Q.Which Is Better: Sit-on-Top Kayaks or Sit-In Kayaks? 

Ans: Both kayak styles have strengths and weaknesses – neither is necessarily better. 

On the water, a sit-on-top kayak is easier to enter and exit. Sit-on-top kayaks are also. Generally, sit-on-top kayaks are better for kayaking with a dog.s tend to be more comfortable for long paddling sessions as they allow the paddle sessions since they allow the user to stretch their legs and move around. 

Q. What Size Kayak Should I Get for My Height? 

Ans: Kayaks are designed to accommodate a wide range of heights. For beginners, many recrea Recreational kayaks are typically about 10 feet long and will fit most adults up to 6 feet tall. Taller than six feet, you are taller than 6 feet tall, and a recreational kayak around 12 feet long will probably be more suitable. 


To a beginner paddler, I would be happy to recommend any kayaks on this list. List. 

Still, it is possible to find a reasonably priced kayak that offers excellent value. If you consider buying a kayak for yourself and your partner, you’ll also want to weigh the options of buying two kayaks versus buying a tandem. 

Ideally, the best kayak for beginners should meet your individual needs, foster your love of kayaking, and help you progress as a paddler. And depending on factors addition, some kayaks may fit you better than others depending on factors such as your preferred paddling location, your preferred kayaking style, your lifestyle, and the amount of storage available. With that said, I still think the Pelican Sentinel 100X is the best kayak for beginner on the market currently Besides being stable, reliable, comfortable, and lightweight, it is also affordable. You’re good to go! 

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