I know when I started kayaking I was overwhelmed by how many different kayaks there were and just wanted to know what the best kayak for beginners was.

Your first kayak purchase doesn’t have to be as difficult as mine was! There is loads of kayaks out there with an easy learning curve and entry-level price 🙂  perfect for beginners. Better yet, “newbie-friendly” kayaks don’t necessarily mean minor quality! Your first kayak can aid you well long after you are no longer regarded as a beginner.

Here we do all the onerous research for you to save you time and provide you with knowledge which would have taken hours of research. We have collated and reviewed the models that are best suited for totally new kayakers.

The MISTAKE I made was to buy an expensive kayak meant for slow rivers because I thought they were all the same and took it to a fairly fast flowing river it ruined my kayak and I had to buy another one. Bottom line is  buy the kayak for the activity you want to use it for. Whether that be fishing, racing or just to have a calm relaxing ride.

Generally as a newbie you will looking for a kayak with good durability and in general be looking for the most stable kayak for beginners, this will enable you to handle the bumps you will take and keep you balanced. Our review prioritize kayaks with those features

The best starter kayak relies on what you are going to use it for.  In our beginners guide it explains all the different types of kayaks

5 Best Kayak for Beginners 2019

Short Answer


 Old Town VapourSun Dolphin BaliOcean Kayak FrenzyOld Town Heron 9XTSun Dolphin Excursion
Boat Weight47lbs70lbs44lbs39lbs41lbs


Detailed Answer

Best Kayak for beginners for the money


Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-on-top

This Kayak is sit-on-top kayak which means more stability, which I regard as quite essential for beginners, it has padded seats which give cushioning support and prevent you from a sore back after kayaking.

This model has holes for drawing water which will stopbest starter kayak the kayak from filling up and causing you to capsize! The ocean kayak brand are known for making stable boats and they cut no corners with this model

Both the front and back storage areas of the kayak have bungee cords. That’s an important feature if you want 

to do other activities such as fishing, scuba diving, or anything else that would need you to be carry and access some gear.

At just 44 pounds it won’t be a burden if you have a lot of things to pack in your SUV for your trip. Overall it is the most stable kayak for beginners making it our editors choice kayak!


Dashed Line

 Sun Dolphin Bali

This kayak is slightly on the large side however, it needs to be to carry up to 2 people. Once the kayak is on water it’s a pleasure to paddle. It’s great for one adult and two children with plenty room. It needs no more water to float then the related 10” Sun dolphin good beginner kayakand in my opinion it handles quite well for the large size.

It has 2 interior storage compartments with interior pouches which keep contents from sliding around inside the kayak very useful!

This is an excellent kayak for anyone seeking to take children with them or if for taking two adults with them with plenty of room for to store all your items essential for beginners. Plus its very wallet friendly!Customer Reviews Button


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 Old Town Heron 9XT Frenzy 

It is mainly made as an entry level kayak to ease you into it without being too expensive. The Old Town Heron 9XT is Incredibly versatile, tracks well, very sturdy and most importantly stable. this boat bodes well in calm lakes, windy lakes,choppy oceans,rivers,small waterfalls and more! being small its great for maneuverability if this is what you are looking for as your first kayak.

It has adjustable foot supports are amazing and inOld Town Heron 9XT Frenzy crease stability for more intense paddles.

The cockpit is another plus point about this kayak, it is big enough for a person regardless of size to exit and enter with easier, which is vital for beginners as you need to get the hang of it a first. The cockpit rim is made so you can use spray skirt if you’d rather stay dry, or if you are going to use this in colder weather where keep warming is Customer Reviews Buttonimportant.

The only drawback that i would say and it would really be nitpicking is that the round cup holder in the middle is not adjustable which can bother some people.



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 Sun Dolphin Excursion

The dolphin is an ideal beginner kayak for those who particularly want to use it to fish, which make this the best beginner fishing kayak. It comes with two road holders, a swivel rod holder, carry handles, shock cord deck, top quality thigh pads and adjustable foot braces and waterproof accessory carrier than can be use as extra cargo space.

As it’s a fishing kayak its very stable and perfectly suited for calm waters. The dolphin excursion can withstand heavy usage with little best fishing kayakor no maintenance to worry about. The tracking is very good and goes wherever you point it.

Customer Reviews ButtonOnly small drawback is with it being a sit in kayak it prevents some movement which can prevent you from fishing standing up, but that’s only if you wanted to. In summary this if fitted perfectly for anyone is a new to fishing and wants to take a boat to do so.




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 Old Town Vapor 10 –

best kayak for beginnersThis is a single person kayak aimed for recreational paddling on calm quiet water. This would be perfect for slow rivers, lakes, ponds, and other recreation friendly water.

It’s a sole layer polyethylene boat which means it is very cost friendly which while also being light and strong. A great kayak for learning the ropes.

This Kayaks has an adjustable seat in coupled with foot pegs comfort is quite vital when spending long trips on the kayak and this one definitely has that.


Customer Reviews ButtonOld Town are well known for making good kayaks and the new  model has continues to build on that.

In summary the Vapor is the best recreational kayak under $500.



 Old Town VapourSun Dolphin BaliOcean Kayak FrenzyOld Town Heron 9XTSun Dolphin Excursion
Boat Weight47lbs70lbs44lbs39lbs41lbs