HomeOutdoorsFirst Kayak Buyers Guide

First Kayak Buyers Guide

by Jacklyn Krol
First Kayak Purchase
Filip Mroz, Unsplash

So you want to purchase your first kayak, where do you begin?

Choosing which type of kayak can be overwhelming with the sheer number of kayaks out there. New buys have to consider the types, features, models, accessories, and sizes. To start off, you want to consider is if you want a portable inflatable kayak or a classic kayak. Then you’ll need to consider if you want a one-person or two-person (tandem) kayak. Should you go with a sit-in or sit-on-top? In truth, it can be a lengthy process.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider what type of activity you’ll be doing with the kayak. Similarly, you’ll want to figure out what types of water you’ll be in. Finally, you’ll want to figure out how sturdy and durable your kayak should be with your exercise. You’ll also want to consider how much cargo you’ll take with you on the vessel.

Here’s our list of some of your best beginner kayaks.

Inflatable Kayak Option

If you’re looking for something portable and easy to store, an inflatable kayak could be your best bet. Aside from the obvious overall sturdiness compared to a typical kayak, it typically doesn’t come in a two-person style. Amazon sells an inflatable one for $137.18 with Prime free shipping. You can set it up in five minutes or less.

Additionally, you’ll receive a travel backpack, paddle, and air pump. The backpack even turns into the seat. The bottom is made of Tarpaulin that has multiple air chambers to prevent punctures. The vessel boasts double lock valves to easily inflate and deflate the watercraft.

Classic Kayak Options

If you’re looking to make an investment, the Wilderness Systems PUNGO 120 may be your best bet. The sit-inside design comes in three colors: Breeze Blue, Fossil Tan, and Mango. It retails for $999 with the option to pay in twelve payments. The design is for the smaller or medium-sized person, as it is 12′ 2″ long. You can adjust the footrests to accommodate your height, and it even comes with thigh pads. You’ll also have two cupholders, a removable dry box, and sidetracks. If you’re looking for something with larger storage, look no further. The rear hatch has a sealed bulkhead to store your gear.

If you’re looking for something more versatile, the Sit on Top Kayak/SUP Paddleboard Hybrid is a great option. You can both kayak and standup paddleboard with its unique design. However, if you’re looking to go in faster and more rigorous waters, this would not be your choice. It has a built-in cooler underneath the seat along with a drink holder. It’s 11′ in length and 34″ in width. It weighs 55 pounds with a maximum capacity of 280 pounds. It has over a 4.5-star rating with glowing reviews. Overall, it’s a great purchase for your money.

The Orange Lifetime Kokanee Sit-On-Top Kayak retails for $902.40 on Amazon. The 10’6″ foot vessell is made of polyethylene and weighs 76 pounds. The Kokanee has scupper holes in the cockpit area to drain excess water. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about the position of your legs, it has numerous footrest positions for every size of explorer.

This model also features handles to easily carry it along with two storage hatches. As for storage, it isn’t the most spacious, however, it does have two ditty trays and shock cord straps that you can use to secure larger items.

Kayaks For Fishing

The Emotion Stealth Pro Angler 118 Fishing Kayak retails for an overall price of $683.77. It has adjustable seating for fishing, paddling, and reclining. This features adjustable foot braces for almost any height. It also has a high stability hull to cast your line while standing up. It also has a deck channel draining system, no bailing out water with this model. This model even comes with 2 Flambeau Tackle Boxes and 2 Flush Mount Rod Holders so you’ll be ready to go fishing.

For $795 you can purchase the Vanhunks Manatee 9ft Single Fishing Kayak in the color blue. Altogether, this model weighs a mere 51 pounds and can hold up to 330 pounds. It’s a less-expensive option to get started with kayaking if you’re looking for a sit-on-top model. The craft includes a seat, paddle, and a swivel fishing rod holder. It is designed for lakes and rivers but the company says that it can tolerate certain oceans and small surfs. All in all, this could be a great option for the more versatile kayaker.

The Vanhunks Whale Runner 9ft Fishing Kayak is similar to the Manatee model. This model has a cheaper cost compared to the Manatee, this retails for $695. Similarly, this model is 9 feet long and can hold up to 330 pounds. Besides having the same amenities as the Manatee, it has the same amount of storage.

The Olive Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak sells for $1,000. Though it has a somewhat hefty price tag, it is worth it for most people. The sit-on-top watercraft is made of Polyethylene for durability. It also features an adjustable footrest to accommodate different heights. The craft features front and rear shock cord straps for storage in the front and rear. his model also has two flush-mounted fishing rod holders, one top mount fishing rod holder. You’ll also have a 5-year limited warranty.