Best Kayaks For Beginners: Reviews and Comprehensive Buying Guide [2021]

Kayaks are great for both pleasure and sport, plus they give you good exercise. With that being said, if you have never kayaked before, you might want to start off easy. Let’s take a look at some of the best kayaks for beginners out there right now.

Best Kayaks For Beginners

Top 5 Best Kayaks For Beginners Reviews

01. Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

This is an inexpensive kayak for children, one that will teach them how to kayak safely and allow them to add to their ease being in the water.

​The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is ideal for any child up to 130 pounds, so not for kids that are getting up there in age, but for younger ones. It has a bright orange color so it is always easy to spot out on the water. This kayak has molded fingers handles on each side and weighs only 18 pounds, making it very easy for mom, dad, or even a child to transport.

 What is nice here is the sloped rear section with a step-up feature so kids can easily get back on it from the water. The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak has multiple footrest positions for comfort, although the seat is just plastic without padding. This kayak also comes with a reverse chine for greater stability. It is 6 feet long and fairly wide, thus making it quite stable.


  • Stable
  • ​Bright
  • ​Easy to get on
  • Lightweight


  • ​Limited weight capacity
  • ​Limited durability

​02. WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Pungo 120 Kayak

This is a good beginner kayak for adults, not for kids. It is fairly pricey, but it is a durable and convenient kayak to consider.

​The WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Pungo 120 Kayak comes at 12 feet long and about 2.5 feet wide. This means that it is fairly quick and agile, but also wide enough so beginners cannot tip it over too easily. This kayak weighs roughly 50 pounds. It is not very lightweight in the grand scheme of things, which makes transportation a bit inconvenient.

 However, being a bit heavy does allow for greater stability, plus it is reassuring in terms of durability. The WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Pungo 120 Kayak comes with a fully adjustable seat for comfort, one that is made of mesh fabric for good airflow. The stern features a sealable compartment to keep various goods dry.


  • Quite stable
  • ​Very durable
  • ​Fairly maneuverable
  • Comes with some storage space
  • Adjustable ventilated seat


  • ​A bit on the heavy side

​03. Ocean Kayak Tandem Kayak

If there are two beginners looking to get some kayaking in, the Ocean Kayak Tandem Kayak is another good option to investigate further.

This kayak is 12 feet long and 34 inches wide, which is quite impressive; it has more than enough room for 2 people. Its length makes it fairly agile and fast moving. Being nearly 3 feet wide is also a bonus because it helps keep it stable and upright, a big deal for beginners. The Ocean Kayak Tandem Kayak can handle up to 425 pounds, which should be more than enough for average people.

The hull of the Ocean Kayak Tandem Kayak is made to be fairly durable. It is a sit-on-top design, so it is easy to get in and out of. It also comes with handles to make transportation easier, although it is fairly heavy. The comfort seats are soft, well-padded, and highly adjustable for comfort. You also get foot wells for each passenger to really hunker down.


  • ​Stable and agile
  • ​Durable
  • ​High weight capacity
  • Comfortable seats and foot wells


  • ​Heavy
  • ​Water easily gets in the top

​04. Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak

This is a very affordable kayak for beginners. Yes, it is pretty basic, but it gets the job done and should be fine for most kayaking novices.

This is a kayak with a large cockpit. It is a sit-in kayak, as opposed to a sit-on-top. This can make it a bit harder to get in and out of, but it does allow for a lot of stability due to the low-profile design. The interior is quite roomy and should be more than large enough for most people.

In terms of comfort, the Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak comes with an adjustable padded seat that has good back support, plus adjustable foot rests. It is made with UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene for durability. It comes in at 10 feet long, making it easy to maneuver. It is fairly wide and weighs roughly 40 pounds, making it quite stable and easy to transport.


  • ​Fairly stable
  • ​Durable
  • ​Roomy
  • Comfortable


  • ​Not the best for storage


​If you need a quality kayak for beginners, we would recommend going with either of the Wilderness Systems Pungo Kayaks we reviewed here today, although they are both quite expensive. If you need something a bit less expensive, we would recommend the Sun Dolphin. If you need something for kids, the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is also a good option to keep in mind.

​You ​May Also Like

Leave a Comment