I always remember the first time I used a kayak. It was during those years where the sport is still not as known as what we have today. My first ride was quite awkward. I don't know how to paddle, and I had a hard time finding a comfortable position for me to latch on.
Although kayaking should come simple, it is inevitable that the choice of a kayak can make the difference for amateurs. As for that, there's a need for them to get the best kayak for beginners right from the start. If they have this amenity, learning how to paddle is not a difficult thing anymore.
There are a lot of kayaks that came into my mind when making this list. I suppose that's what you get from kayaking too much. Anyway, I am hoping that this selection of mine will help you decide your first kayak. Let's get started.
Click to View Post Navigation
- Best Kayak For Beginners On The 2022 Market
- #1. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Angler Kayak - Editor's Pick
- #2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak - Runner-Up
- #3. Challenger K2 Kayak - Budget-Friendly Pick
- #4. Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak - Premium Option
- #5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado - Best Beginner Kayak for Anglers
- The Best Kayaks Of 2020
- How To Choose The Best Kayak for Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Which kayak is most stable?
- Q: Are sit on top kayaks more stable?
- Q: Do kayaks flip easily?
- Q: What is the best kayak for the money?
- Q: How much is a kayak?
- Q: Are kayaks dangerous?
- Q: What type of kayak is safest?
- Q: Is kayaking safe for non-swimmers?
- Q: Can you use a sit-in kayak in the ocean?
- Q: What length of kayak should I buy?
- Q: Are longer or shorter kayaks better?
- Q: Can one person use a 2-person kayak?
- Q: Do kayaks need plugs?
- Q: Is kayaking hard for beginners?
- Q: What is the best kayak size for a beginner?
- Q: How should I dress for kayaking?
- Q: Which is better: sit-in or sit-on kayak?
- Q: What is the best type of kayak for a beginner?
Best Kayak For Beginners On The 2022 Market
1. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Angler Kayak - Editor's Pick
3. Challenger K2 Kayak - Budget-Friendly Pick
4. Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak - Premium Option
5. Sevylor Coleman Colorado - Best Beginner Kayak for Anglers
I have to say that Wilderness Systems is one of the most proficient kayak manufacturers today. They are makers of high-quality kayaks. They ensure that their rigs are ergonomic and convenient at the same. Any first-timers will never have difficulties in using their vessels. A good kayak that you should try from them is the Tarpon 100. The latter is designed to maximize the efforts of the paddler.
Right from the start, this kayak ensures comfort to its user. It has a functional hull design that allows quick engagement and disengagement. It also remains stable, which prevents you from panicking especially if you still don't know how to balance. I like how they made the foot brace of this kayak adjustable. Regardless of the size of your feet, the brace can give you a perfect fit.
An inflatable kayak should be an obvious choice whenever we are talking about the best kayak for beginners. This particular option ensures convenience, especially in the aspect of transporting the entire boat. But of course, I will never give you a flimsy recommendation. An excellent inflatable kayak should come in the form of the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak. By far, this one is the most impressive inflatable vessels I have tried.
The design of this kayak is for tandem paddlers. However, you can still operate it by yourself. You have to remove one seat and reposition the remaining seat on the middle. This boat also features a convertible design. Specifically, you can convert the hull from open deck to close deck and vice versa. You shouldn't worry about its durability because this one is made from multiple layers of rugged materials.
It is quite understandable if amateurs are hesitant in buying expensive kayaks. They want to try if the sport is for them or not. Well, if you feel like you want to stay safe and frugal, I do suggest that you check out the Challenger K2 Kayak. Despite its entry-level price, this vessel is lauded with its impressive features and ergonomics. It has been designed to sustain extended usages without wearing off.
This inflatable kayak has been designed for quick and easy paddling. In fact, there are a lot of kayak instructors who are using this watercraft to teach people how to paddle. It struck the perfect balance between tracking and maneuverability. Therefore, you can take it on lakes and rivers without any problems. There's no problem on its set-up either. It is lightweight and can be inflated easily with its high-powered air pump.
For beginners that are not afraid to invest, the Aspire 105 Kayak of Wilderness Systems can be your best bet. This kayak is the latest version of the Aspire series. It is six inches longer than its predecessors, which has improved its tracking ability. One of its key features is its impressive weight capacity. It can handle more than 400 pounds of weight. It can handle kayakers with large frames, too.
The maneuverability of this boat is almost peerless. I had tried it a couple of times in rivers, and it did never fail me. It will prevent you from getting stuck while you are touring with on lakes and other water bodies. Meanwhile, the comfort factor of this boat is quite remarkable as well. The seat is adjustable so that you can find your preferences. The foot braces and padding ensure that your lower body won't get sore while on this boat for extended periods.
I know that fishing is one of the perfect activities that you can do while you are on a kayak. If you are an angler that wants to try this activity, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado can help you out. This one is an inflatable boat. However, it provides stability so that you can cast and retrieve quickly. All the essential ergonomics for fishing are installed on the boat. It comes with mount holders for your rods and storage compartments for your other fishing gears.
Take into account that this kayak is ideal for lakes. I do not recommend that it should be taken on seas because of its broad hull construction. It will have a hard time contending against currents.
The Best Kayaks Of 2020
Albeit the popular belief, there is no single design for kayaks. You can say that there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all for kayaks. There are different types and classes. Most of the variation is dependent on the application. In short, there are different kayaks for your any intended usages.
Somehow, people were able to categorize kayaks based on their design and functionality. I am pretty sure that you are aware of the sit-in kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. Many kayakers classify their options based on these two options.
However, if we are going to be formal and standard, the categorization of kayaks falls under these two: whitewater kayaks and flat water kayak. Obviously, white water kayaks are those kayaks that are capable of conquering the harrowing ordeal of whitewater rivers. Meanwhile, flat water kayaks are those that are commonly used for recreational purposes.
Let us highlight some of these kayaks.
1. Fishing Kayaks
A fishing kayak is designed for paddlers who want to spend their time fishing while on the water. These kayaks are quite different from their counterparts as they have a broad base and spacious cockpit. The structure of a fishing kayak allows it to accommodate various fishing gears. There are fishing rod mounts that are attached to the boat. Some models of fishing kayaks are compatible with motors.
The Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 is an ideal option for all anglers out there. It has a large body, which features multiple compartments and ergonomic functions so that you can fish with efficiency. Specifically, the boat has a length of around 13 feet. Surprisingly, it weighs only around 75 pounds. There are rod mounts included in the body of the boat. It also features four gear tracks that are useful for custom rigging. The flawless stability and tracking of this kayak are among the key reasons why many anglers favor it.
Discover other great fishing kayaks here: Best Fishing Kayaks
2. Inflatable Kayaks
Right from the start, inflatable kayaks are created to address the problem of bulky kayaks. Not all kayaks are lightweight. Some of them require two or three more people to carry. If you don't have the appropriate vehicle, carrying a standard kayak is quite difficult. On the other hand, inflatable kayaks are portable. They have foldable and detachable features so that you can transport them easily. But don't fret. The best inflatable kayaks are durable and resistant to punctures.
The manufacturer Intex is already a reliable producer of inflatable kayaks. But among their opuses, the Intex Excursion 5 definitely stands out. This kayak can fit up to five people without losing its buoyancy. It features three air chambers and an additional air chamber on the hull so that it won't be submerged on the water too much. Because of its wide body, the Excursion 5 offers great stability. Meanwhile, its flooring is definitely rugged. It will never be ripped by sharp and jagged rocks that you encounter on rivers and streams.
Discover other great inflatable kayaks here: Best Inflatable Kayak
3. Kayak for Dogs
Kayaking does not should not only involve humans! You are always free to take your beloved furry friend. Dogs are a great company for any outdoor adventures. But most of the time, we are afraid to take them in the water because of convenience and safety reasons. But don't fret. As long as the kayak that you choose has a dedicated space and seat for your dog, these worries would be eliminated. Of course, training your dog how to ride a boat is also a must!
The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a great option for paddlers that have non-paddling passengers. It has an extra seat where a dog or a child can sit comfortably. Of course, the kayak has enough space for your pet to stand anywhere it wants. It has been identified that this kayak has three seating positions for better paddling flexibility. You shouldn't worry about the ruggedness of this boat. Even if your dog will hover its nails on the hull or cockpit, it will never get damaged!
Discover other great kayaks for dogs here: Best Kayak for Dogs
4. Lake Kayak
Kayaking on lakes is one of the most remarkable recreations that you can do. The vastness of the waters around you will undoubtedly awe you. The serene habitat and the alluring landscapes that surround the lake are also mesmerizing. You can experience these wonders once you are riding on a lake kayak. Fortunately, lakes don't have excessive requirements for paddlers. The kayak just needs to have a decent balance and maneuverability so that you can go wherever you want.
This one-person kayak has all the features that you need to traverse any lakes. It can smoothly glide in the surface of the water. The boat has an exceptional tracking, which allows it to move in a single direction effortlessly. Because of this capability, the kayak is also capable of thriving on areas where the currents are unstable and choppy. Stability is not an issue with the Dagger Kayak. I always enjoy dawdling around while you are on this kayak without experiencing any fuss. I should not also forget that this kayak feels spacious, too!
Discover other great kayaks for lakes here: Best Kayak for Lake
5. Ocean Kayak
On ordinary, it is quite tempting to use the standard recreational kayaks on the oceans. However, don't ever succumb to such an idea. Otherwise, your overall safety will be compromised. You see, oceans offer different settings and conditions. There are various elements that you can encounter there. And most of the time, things are quite volatile there. You need a kayak that has excellent tracking and stability to conquer these odds. The kayak should be able to weather off the elements without sacrificing your convenience and safety.
The Ocean Kayak Trident 15 was created to withstand the obstacles and ordeals of the rough and unpredictable oceans. Among all the Trident series, the Trident 15 Angler is the fastest and longest. It doesn't have any problems with cutting waves and moving across them. It has exceptional stability as well. Even if the situation is seemingly unfavorable, this kayak can remain afloat. The construction of this kayak is definitely resistant against UV rays. It is also an ideal choice if you want to fish in the oceans.
Discover other great ocean kayaks here: Best Ocean Kayak
6. Pedal Kayak
I believe that pedal kayaks are the epitome of recreational kayaks. This one doesn't require you to paddle anymore. Instead, you are just going to use your feet to navigate it. It has a similar mechanism to riding your bike! Of course, there are perks in doing that. It frees your hands from the paddles, which allows you to do other things. With a pedal kayak, you can fish, take pictures, drink, and whatever you want to do! The stability of pedal kayaks is also great. You don't need to be conscious every time there are changes in the water.
If there's a fresh new way to kayak, the Malibu Pedal Kayak should be the one that can offer that. This one features an advanced pedal drive system. Without exerting too much effort, this kayak can take you to great distances. It has excellent maneuverability and control as well. This pedal kayak offers a comfortable and adjustable seat for its user. Even on extended usage, it will never cause a nuisance on your part. There are multiple compartments available on this kayak. There are hatches that can cover your essential amenities.
Discover other great pedal kayaks here: Best Pedal Kayak
7. Recreational Kayak
At some point, the term "recreational kayak" is thought to be varied. Some believe that these are just sit-on-top kayaks while others believe that these are just strictly sit-in kayaks. But the truth is, both of these kayaks can be recreational. It just depends on your view of the concept of recreation. As long as the boat provides you with comfort and leisure, it can be referred to as a recreational vessel. However, it is noticeable that many manufacturers already label some of their kayaks with the term recreational. Maybe that's an indication that the boat is rigidly for recreational use only.
The Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 is directly suggested for recreational use. Primarily, it boasts the perfect balance between maneuverability and stability. It gives you the freedom and convenience to go wherever you want. As a recreational kayak, the Yellowfin 100c can be used for fishing applications. It has multiple rod mounts and even a separate mount for your fish finder. Also, it offers superior comfort to the paddler, thanks to the patented framed set that it has.
Discover other great recreational kayaks here: Best Recreational Kayaks
8. River Kayak
There are several perks while you are kayaking on rivers. Perhaps, the most desired is the chance to see different environments in just a single course. The more rivers you kayak, the more scenery you can see. Before you can enjoy such pleasure, it is necessary that you have a suitable kayak. Because we are dealing with rivers, it is necessary that your vessel has excellent maneuverability. After all, there are a lot of curves and turns that you have to surpass. In here, short sit-in or sit-on-top kayaks should work best.
The Martini Gtx Solo Red is a touring kayak. It has a unique design because it can be detached into two parts. Such a mechanism enables the user to transport and carry the kayak easily. When fully assembled, this kayak offers sufficient room where you can feel comfortable. You can guarantee that this item is versatile and maneuverable. You can use it to journey lengthy and extensive rivers.
Discover other great river kayaks here: Best River Kayak
9. Sit-On-Top Kayak
One should know that sit-on-top kayaks are arguably the most user-friendly recreational water vessel today. These kayaks are incredibly stable and balance; they can't be toppled easily. Furthermore, the kayak doesn't strike fear to all the claustrophobic paddlers. After all, you don't have to sit inside the kayak. Noticeably, most sit-on-top kayaks have self-bailing capabilities due to the presence of scupper holes.
I always admire the Perception Pescador. As a kayak, it didn't compromise any crucial factors that can affect your kayaking performance. It features decent speed stand stability. Specifically, it is designed to track well. However, you can still feel hints of maneuverability with this boat. Meanwhile, the seat of this boat is highly comfortable. It also offers adjustability so that you can find the perfect sitting position while on this kayak. It will also endow you with a variety of compartments and storages.
Discover other great sit-on-top kayaks here: Best Sit-On-Top Kayak
10. Tandem Kayak
Kayaking in a tandem kayak is a thing nowadays. A lot of people already indulge themselves with this application. It offers excellent recreation for couples, friends, and partners. But right now, a tandem kayak is also used by instructors to teach amateurs how to paddle. There are two things that are important for tandem kayaks: weight capacity and maneuverability. You need the kayak to support the load of the passengers without sinking. Moreover, it should be able to maneuver swiftly even with the weight that it carries.
A lot of paddlers today are aware of the existence and prowess of the Sun Dolphin Bali. It is known for its exceptional weight capacity. It can handle up to two people and another extra passenger. While doing so, the boat remains buoyant. All the seats on this kayak are adjustable and comfortable. There are three storage compartments on the Sun Dolphin Bali where you can store your amenities from your kayaking checklist.
Discover other great tandem kayaks here: Best Tandem Kayak
11. Touring Kayak
A touring kayak is entirely different from a recreational kayak. Even if they are always confused as the same, they have respective features that set them apart. A touring kayak offers more compartments than a recreational kayak. Therefore, you can say that touring kayaks are larger and longer than recreational kayaks. Furthermore, the chambers have hatchets or seals so that all of their contents will not be drenched if ever the waves are strong or if the boat capsizes.
The Tsunami 145 Wilderness Systems is a tough guy that you can take wherever you want. It is an ideal choice for extended trips on the water because of the availability of multiple compartments. It has the ideal level of stability that is suitable for both amateur and professional paddlers. It is also a comfortable sit-in kayak, ensuring that you don't feel too cramped and too hot while inside it.
Discover other great touring kayaks here: Best Touring Kayak
How To Choose The Best Kayak for Beginners
Even in the eyes of an inexperienced person, kayaking is undoubtedly a fun adventure. The joy of being able to paddle in the waters is quite an amusing thing already. Bring your friends and family in a tandem kayak and things would get even better.
There are a lot of good things that you can get from kayaking. Not only it is fun, but it also helps the body to unwind and relax. Of course, I always consider this as an exercise. Do you want to do legwork in a kayak? Then you should try a pedal kayak!
These are just among the reasons why a lot of people are attracted to kayaks. But despite the tempting offers, a lot are quite daunted in the process of choosing a kayak. Specifically, there is an existing notion that selecting a great kayak is quite tricky, especially if you are an amateur.
Right now, I want to dispel that idea. Even if you are a greenhorn, choosing a kayak should not pose any difficulty. You just have to know the specific factors that affect the quality and reliability of the kayak. Allow me to explain them here.
Not all kayaks are made the same. That's one of the things that you have to learn. In selecting a kayak, these are some of the fundamental aspects that you need to consider.
The Application (Where You Are Going to Paddle?)
Some boats are designed for a particular application. It could be said that this vessel is for freshwater routes and the other is for saltwater terrains. Either way, you need to have a good idea where you are going to use the paddle.
If you are in lakes, it is nice that you have a recreational sit-in-boat kayak or a sit-on-top if you prefer. These two boats are the most decent option for this particular water body. However, if there are chunks of ice on the lake, recreational boats might not be able to make the cut.
For those who are planning to explore the vastness of the ocean, it is necessary for them to invest in sit-in touring kayaks that feature a stable tracking skeg or fin. It will allow you to cruise on a straight line even if there are waves that are crashing your way. Meanwhile, people who don't mind to get a deep dive can prefer sit-on-top kayaks.
Are you a fan of rivers? If that's the case, then you should get a short sit-on-top or sit-in kayak. Either of these two will work well as long as they are short. You see, a narrow boat has better turning capability than longboats. Rivers tend to have sharp turns and numerous obstacles that you need to conquer. If your boat can't sail pass through them, you'll end up getting capsized.
Meanwhile, you can check out this video that explains the proper paddling techniques for kayaks:
Different Types of Kayaks
You can say that there are multiple types of kayaks today. The kayaking industry has been so varied that we can see various types of kayak designs and structures. However, by tradition, this particular watercraft has two main variations: sit-in kayak and sit-on-top kayak.
The quality of a kayak is quite a complex topic. However, there are baselines that you can refer to ensure that you are getting the right one for you. Let's start with the construction and materials.
The materials used in a kayak dramatically affect its performance. For instance, the polyethylene kayak is said to be the staple of the industry. It is rugged and durable at the same time. It can resist damages like abrasion and corrosion because it is technically plastic. Furthermore, this material is cheaper compared to its counterparts. The only drawback of this material is its weight. This kayak is not something a single person can carry.
Meanwhile, a composite kayak is made from light fiberglass or carbon fiber. These materials are the most modern options that you have considered their efficiency and durability. Composite kayaks are rugged, but they will never burden you with their weight. The only downside is its price. It is the very reason why most of the time, only professionals recommend it.
Even the best kayaks for beginners do vary in dimension. Of course, this factor affects the performance of the vessel. A long boat has better tracking or ability to move on straight directions. It also features a lot of storage spaces which is perfect for extended trips. However, take into account that maneuverability of the boat is compromised the longer it gets. Specifically, it is hard for a long boat to make quick turns as compared to small watercraft.
Don't ever think that all kayaks are designed to carry you afloat. Some models do but some cannot. It is vital that you are aware of your weight before selecting a kayak. You should also include the cargo and gears that you will be carrying in the equation. You don't want to get capsized because of overloading.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which kayak is most stable?
A: Right from the start, we can treat this question subjectively. We have our preferences, after all. But if we exclude the brand or the type of kayak here, we can make some constructive explanation.
You see, the stability kayak determines how well it can "stand" in the water regardless of the condition. Kayaks that are not wobbly and shaky when there are waves prove to be stable and highly reliable, especially for people who are still new to kayaking. Perhaps the epitome of stability is when a person can stand on it without any problems maintaining balance. You should get kayaks like these if you are planning to go fishing.
The stability of the kayak is determined by its length and width. The broader and shorter it is, the more stable it becomes. But of course, such a design would have compromised the tracking and speed of the kayak. But if you are just looking for a stable kayak, then such a design should be your priority. Don't upgrade yet if you are still not attuned with your balancing and paddling skills.
Q: Are sit on top kayaks more stable?
A: Technically, the answer would be yes. The main reason for this is the center of gravity of this particular kayak. The latter is placed higher compared to a sit-in kayak, where the center of gravity is within the cockpit. The higher the center of gravity, the wider the kayak becomes. And just like I said earlier, wide kayaks are generally stable.
Furthermore, sit-on-top kayaks have excellent initial stability. This particular type of stability indicates how stable the kayak is when a person will step on it. Sit-in kayaks then to shake when you ride on them, as there's a need for you to insert your body inside. It is for that very reason why sit-in kayak requires mastery in the part of the paddler.
Q: Do kayaks flip easily?
A: Of course not. Otherwise, they will not be recommended for recreational use. These kayaks have been engineered to ensure that their users will remain safe while riding them. But of course, there are certain things that you have to consider to lessen the chances of flipping over or capsizing.
The first one is checking the conditions. Always be aware of the weather and see if things will be smooth throughout the day. If there are forecasts that tell that the weather will be inclement, postpone your kayaking session. Turbulent waters can make even the most stables kayaks rocky. You don't want to go kayaking in such conditions.
Second, you should also have familiarity with your terrain. Is the water there naturally choppy or rapid? If that's the case, then you have to assess if you have the right kayak and skills to conquer these odds. There are kayaks that are designed for whitewater and strong rapids. They can survive there better than those conventional kayaks.
Third, you need to practice. As a paddler, you should not rely on your kayak all of the time. Even if you have the finest kayak out there, it will not matter if you can't use it properly. You are still susceptible to flipping over if you can't maneuver and handle the kayak pretty well.
Q: What is the best kayak for the money?
A: Again, this is a highly subjective question. For me, the best kayak for the money are those kayaks that can provide the best features and performance. It doesn't matter if they are extremely expensive. As long as they can meet my expectations and preferences, no amount of money can equate to that.
But of course, others would see this question economically. There are those who are trying to be frugal, even with their hobbies. Because of that, their choices are promptly limited to kayaks within a specific price value.
Fortunately for them, this doesn't mean that they are left with shabby choices. There are a lot of kayaks out there that are on the entry-level value but possess exceptional features worthy of taking in the water. You can check the following links to see examples of those kayaks. Take note that these are entries made for fishing kayaks, but you can always use them on other water applications:
Q: How much is a kayak?
A: There are a lot of numbers that we can draw here. Of course, not all kayaks have the same prices. Based on the design, construction, and the overall features, a kayak can sit on an entry-level value or the pinnacle of the price range.
For instance, inflatable kayaks can go as low as $100. However, their general price starts at approximately $200. Despite their low price, these inflatable are surprisingly sturdy and durable. The right ones can even guarantee a puncture-proof bottom, thanks to added materials embedded on them.
You can check some of those exceptional inflatable kayaks here.
Meanwhile, plastic kayaks come next after inflatable kayaks. Generally, they are also cheap options. They have exceptional durability, too, given that they are plastic. However, they are heavy and easily prone to damages caused by heat. Plastic kayaks cost around $300 to $500. But there are instances where some of these commercial plastic kayaks are priced higher than this.
The most expensive ones are either made from fiberglass, carbon, or a combination of both. They are called composite kayaks, and they have all the features that you want for a kayak. They are light, durable, and offer additional stability. But their prices are already sitting at $1,000 minimum. Keep in mind, that figure is just the minimum.
Q: Are kayaks dangerous?
A: Kayaks are not lethal weapons like survival knives. So why call them dangerous?
Kayaks are not dangerous. The danger comes in when you are using them irresponsibly. Kayaking requires precaution. You have to be aware of your surroundings and the atmospheric condition. It is necessary for a kayaker to exercise a myriad of safety precautions to ensure that he/ she will not fall to problematic situations. Familiarity over the terrain and proper observance over the weight load of the kayak can prevent difficulties from coming.
Also, if you want to double up your safety while kayaking, it is recommended that you wear personal floatation devices and life vests. If you are not confident with your swimming skills, then they are a pivotal part of your trip.
Don't forget that there are ways to escape a capsized kayak. You should take the time to learn them.
Q: What type of kayak is safest?
A: The kayak that is the safest is the one that is handled properly. All kayaks are designed and engineered to be safe. You should think of the prior question being asked here. Kayaks are not dangerous. Therefore, they are all made to be safe. It is up to paddler how or where he/ she will use it.
According to some, sit-on-top kayaks are the safest, especially if you are still new to kayaking. Well, that's something that I can't argue about. After all, sit-on-top kayaks are designed to be stable. They have good maneuverability as well. Beginners will not have any difficulty in using them. They are the best and safest platforms in learning the art of paddling a kayak.
Sit-in kayaks, on the other hand, also exhibit safety features. But they have a quirky design that might not be suitable for amateurs. If you are still not adept at using them, they can pose some inconvenience and risk.
Q: Is kayaking safe for non-swimmers?
A: If you are going to take the kayak is shallow waters, then there should be no problems even if you are not good at swimming. Swimming skills are essential when you will kayak on rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water that have considerable depth. Even if you are good at paddling, you can't leave your safety to figurative chance. You need to think of the worst-case scenario. Capsizing is the most deleterious thing that can occur to a paddler. If you can't dive and swim, then your chances of drowning are quite high.
Fortunately, you can still do kayaking even if you are not good at swimming. As long as you have personal floatation devices, your safety is not that fully compromised. But then again, I do recommend that you learn how to swim first before doing any water-based activities. That's basic.
Q: Can you use a sit-in kayak in the ocean?
A: Kayaking is a matter of choosing the right kayak for a specific application. When it comes to kayaking in the oceans, one should consider using sit-on-top kayaks rather than sit-in-kayaks. These kayaks are downright sealed. This design enables them to be rolled back after they get capsized without being filled with water. As a result, the paddler can get back on the kayak quickly and continue paddling.
A sit-in kayak, on the other hand, will suffer water-related problems once they capsized. When you roll them over, their interiors are already filled with water. Because of that, you need to take them back to the shore to drain the water. I am not saying that sit-in kayaks are not for the seas and oceans, but it requires skills and experience before someone can maneuver them properly.
Q: What length of kayak should I buy?
A: Before you head to the shop, you need to consider first the ideal length of the kayak for you. The length of the kayak determines maneuverability. Longer kayaks can speed and cruise more efficiently than their short counterparts. This means that they can travel great distances in a shorter period. However, they are not good when it comes to maneuvering because of their given length. You need to choose short kayaks if you want to make quick turns or venture places that are difficult to reach.
So what's the best choice here? At this point, you have to realize that kayaks that can strike a perfect balance between these two factors are not easy to find. The right move here is to decide which of these things is essential to you. Do you want a fast kayak, or do you want a kayak that has excellent maneuverability? It is only you who can answer this question.
Q: Are longer or shorter kayaks better?
A: Just like I said earlier, there's no such thing as correct kayak length. You need to take a compromise based on your preferences and intended application. Kayaks that have long bodies are great for tracking and speeding. They are useful in vast spaces where there are no visible obstructions like lakes and seas. Furthermore, they offer a lot of storage space, too.
Short kayaks are great when it comes to handling and maneuverability. They are the ones that can give you total control. Moreover, they offer superior stability because of their broad base. They are great for leisure and for terrains that require technical handling.
No kayak length is better than the other. That's the bottom line.
Q: Can one person use a 2-person kayak?
A: The purpose of a 2-person kayak is to cater to two people at once. That's the very reason why it is called a 2-person kayak in the first place. It works better when two paddlers are using it. By default, it has stability and maneuverability that can only manifest if you have a partner.
But recently, these tandem kayaks have been upgraded. Contrary to their traditional design, these kayaks can now be used as a single-person kayak. The only thing that you need to do is to find a two-person kayak whose seats are removable. Specifically, you should be able to configure the placement of one of the seats so that you can place it on the center or somewhere where it is optimal to paddle. By this point, you already have a bonafide single-person kayak.
Q: Do kayaks need plugs?
A: So what's the truth about these plugs--or scupper plugs, to be more specific?
Allow me to do some explanations here. A sit-on-top kayak has scupper holes. They are placed in the kayak to help drain the water that comes inside. Of course, water is an inevitable element here. But if you leave them be, the interior of the kayak will become a small pond. It can result in inconveniences and increased chances of capsizing.
The role of a scupper plug is to seal these holes so that the water won't come in at all. These holes are often sealed, and you are going to remove the plug once you want to drain the water already.
Do not worry if you can see some water that comes from the hole even if the plugs are already inserted. That's completely normal. No plugs can make a seamless seal, after all. As long as it is something that you can ignore, then you shouldn't be bothered by it at all.
Right now, you need to know that your kayak requires these plugs.
Q: Is kayaking hard for beginners?
A: I am pretty conflicted on answering this question. All of us have different experiences when it comes to kayak. I was raised in a family of boating enthusiasts. Every weekend, my father would take me to the closest rivers and lakes to teach me fishing, swimming, and of course, kayaking. I learned to love these activities, so I did not experience any point of difficulties with them.
However, I do consider the fact that some of you are just new to kayaking. Maybe some of you are just first-timers when it comes to paddling. After all the years that you stay on land, getting adjusted to the water setting is not that easy.
Many find it hard to kayak. It is something that I can observe in training centers and camps. But that's okay. You can't be good at a particular thing overnight. What you need to do is to embrace the activity and take things one step at a time. Don't learn everything at once because that will overwhelm you.
Q: What is the best kayak size for a beginner?
A: Based on my experience, the most appropriate size of a beginner-friendly kayak are those that are short and wide. The first thing that amateurs must learn is how to balance and paddle in a kayak. These things are difficult to achieve if the kayak doesn't have inherent stability. You can't practice well if you feel that the kayak is going to throw you in the water.
Kayaks that have long bodies are still suitable for practicing. But before you ride them, make sure that you have already mastered the fundamentals of paddling and balancing. In doing so, you will not be scared anymore of being toppled over.
Q: How should I dress for kayaking?
A: Keep in mind that kayaking is still a sport. Therefore, you can't just go in the water without being clad with the necessary gear and equipment. Aside from being uncomfortable, being bare exposes you to different kinds of risks.
There are different clothing items that you can wear when you are kayaking. Let me give you a breakdown:
Q: Which is better: sit-in or sit-on kayak?
A: I don't want to be biased in this aspect, so I will just give you the objective advantages and disadvantages of these two kayak types.
There's no arguing that sit-on-top kayaks are the most user-friendly types of kayaks. They have exceptional stability, and you will not feel that you are restricted while riding them.
Furthermore, they have a self-bailing feature, too. Do you remember the scupper holes that I've talked about earlier? Their primary purpose is to ensure that water will be drained from their cockpit. Another advantage of sit-on-top kayaks is their accessibility. You can get in and out from them without any trouble.
The only downside of this particular kayak is the certainty that you'll get wet in them. After all, you are exposed to water. But for some, that's not really a disadvantage.
The design of a sit-in kayak allows you to insert your lower body in its cockpit. This is an assurance that it will be protected from the water, wind, and heat. It is an ideal vessel if you are going to venture cold waters and frigid weather conditions. Furthermore, it is an excellent choice for paddlers who don't want to get wet.
One of the downsides of sit-in-kayaks is the feeling of restriction when using them. Your lower body can't move in the cockpit, after all. This is undesirable, especially for people that have certain phobias to enclosed spaces. Another disadvantage they have is accessibility. You can't get out immediately from the cockpit. This is an issue if the kayak gets capsized. The latter is the reason why sit-in kayaks are only recommended for experienced paddlers.
Have you already decided which one is better?
Q: What is the best type of kayak for a beginner?
A: Based on the previous question that I answered, it is arguable that a sit-on-top kayak is the best for beginners. They are stable, open, and free from quirky features. Amateurs can hone their skills as long as they are using this particular kayak.
Deciding on the best kayak for beginners is not an easy thing. That's an honest thing. There are a lot of things that I had to consider. The ones that I featured here are among those that I deem worthy of being great water vessels for those who are still new to this field. I am quite enamored by them, especially that they are very convenient to use. Although they are my personal preferences, a lot of paddlers do share the same opinion with me.
Therefore, if you are looking for a kayak that can help you learn the art of paddling, you better select any of these kayaks that I have listed here. Don't worry. They won't disappoint you at all.
That's it for now. For questions and other clarifications, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.