JAKE'S OUTDOORS

What is the Best Kayak for Beginners

May 5, 2021

BEST KAYAKS FOR BEGINNERS

INTRODUCTION - BEST KAYAK FOR BEGINNERS

Best Kayak For beginners

Kayaking is one of the best outdoor activities for people who love to be in nature. It is a great way to spend time outside and get exercise while you do it. However, because kayaks come in such a wide range of shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to find the best type of kayak for beginners. In this blog post, we will discuss what features are important when looking for a beginner's kayak and give recommendations on some models that might work well.


WHAT IS A KAYAK?

A kayak is a small boat that one person rides in and paddles with two blades, called "paddles," which are on each side of the kayak. The best type for beginners is usually determined by what they will be using it for; fishing, touring or racing. A recreational kayak tends to have an open cockpit so people can easily get inside from land or water. While a fishing kayak should have extra rod holders as well as space below the deck for storing gear like buoys, netting and food. 

Touring models often come with built-in storage compartments since their primary use would be carrying things along rivers or lakes where cars cannot go. Racing kayaks are designed specifically for competition and are not the best choice for beginners! Also, people often don't know the differences when it comes to a canoe vs kayak. So here is an article highlighting the differences between the two CLICK HERE. 


TYPES OF KAYAKS

Different types of kayaks for beginners

Here I have listed seven main types of kayaks groups that I can think of at the time: 

  • Recreational Kayaks: This are the most common type of kayak. They are usually wider and shorter than a whitewater or racing style, which makes them easier to paddle in calmer waters like lakes.
  • Fishing Kayaks: These types have been designed with the fisherman's needs at heart so that they can get close enough for an easy catch. Without having their boat be too wide  or long on top water fish such as bass who could easily swim away from you if your fishing vessel is not properly equipped.
  • List Touring/Sea Kayaks: Slim and long to go fast and cut through the water, sea kayaks are designed for speed and distance. They're perfect if you want to go long distances or just need a boat that can get up on the water quickly. But they aren't as stable when fishing because of their design so it's not recommended unless your goal is solely catching fish in deep waters where stability doesn’t matter much
  • Whitewater/Racing Style: These types of kayaks have been designed short to increase maneuverability and speed. These are the types of kayaks that you would use if your goal is to get as far ahead in a race or competition, but they can be used for fishing too because their design makes them more stable. This type has been designed with one thing  in mind-speed! You will need some experience before using these boats so make sure not go into anything beyond what's comfortable until then!

OTHER OPTIONS

  • Inflatable kayak: Inflatable kayaks are becoming increasingly popular with the advent of inflatable kayaks. These boats are very stable and easy to maneuver, but they're not as fast or long-lasting. They are increasingly popular because they're easy to store and transport, but they are also more expensive than traditional kayaks.
  • Sit on top Kayak: These are great all round kayaks. They are great for fishing because they have a large cockpit and you can sit on the top of them. These kayaks also tend to be more stable than traditional ones, and as fast and longer lasting. They are very durable and will pretty much anywhere unless you want to win a a race.
  • Racing kayaks: These are the fastest kayaks you can buy. They will only be used for racing and they're not very good at anything else because of their lack of stability. If that's what your looking to do then these boats have a lot going on with them like footrests which make it easier when paddling in long distances or sprinting short ones. They sit very low in the water and are long and slender.The best thing about these kayaks is that they are very fast and can be used for long distances. They're not the most stable, but if you want to race then this boat will work well with your needs!

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN MY FIRST KAYAK PURCHASE

What is your primary use for the kayak? If you will be using it primarily for fishing, then a sit-in model may not necessarily be best. For a fishing kayak you should be looking for stability and durability! It's got to be stable enough to be able to handle catching a fish in rough conditions, and durable enough to handle all your fishing gear being thrown into it!

If you plan to do touring with your kayak (on lakes and the sea), then a specifically built touring kayak will be best for you here! A touring kayak is designed to cut through the water with ease. Which makes it much easier to cover much more ground. But touring kayaks normally aren't as stable as your open top kayaks or fishing kayaks.

The best kayak or beginners should be one that best suits their needs and lifestyle. It doesn't matter if you are looking to get into fishing or just want to enjoy some time on the water with your family; there is always going to be a perfect kayak for you from this list! And if at any point in your equipment selection process you have questions don’t hesitate ask us below or email [email protected] ! We’re here to help all day every day 🙂


THE BENEFITS OF KAYAKING 

Sea kayaking

There are many benefits to kayaking, for example:

  • - It's a great way to get out of the office and into nature.
  • You're outdoors enjoying your day! The sun is shining, you've got the wind in your face, and all that stress from work just melts away as you paddle down some river, lake or the sea.
  • You're getting a great workout! Kayaking is not just about sitting in the boat, it's more of an upper body work out.
  • You can get up and close with some animals on water that you would never be able to do otherwise because of the noise from an engine!
  • It's a really relaxing way to spend your day.
  • Meet new people. You're out on the water, you might meet some new people who are also kayaking or fishing for example...
  • If you've never been kayaking before and want to find a hobby that is both fun and healthy then try it out! It's not hard to learn at all really 🙂

TOP 3 KAYAKS FOR BEGINNERS

The inflatable kayaks are great because you can deploy them pretty much anywhere very easily! Storing them isn't a problem either, you can pack them down in your shed and save a lot of space! Just be aware they arent quite as durable as a plastic one.

These open top kayaks are made from hard plastic which makes them super durable. I have had mine now for 15 years and have abused it, they just don't break! The stability on these kayaks is brilliant as well. They are quite heavy though compared to other types that you can buy.

The touring kayaks are brilliant and have some great compartments for storing bits of equipment in! They cut much better through the water than your standard open top kayak and are often much lighter. 

Let's get down to business then:

While we could list many kayaks that would work well as beginner models, there's really no "best" model out there - except the one best suited for your needs and skill level. That being said, the above kayaks are our top picks!


WHERE TO BUY YOUR FIRST KAYAK FROM 

Now that you've settled on a model, it's time to buy. Keep in mind where the best place is for purchasing your kayak from - some places will offer more services than others might. Also, you can purchase directly from the links I have provided above, they are three really good options for beginners!

  1. 1
    - Local Kayak Shop: This one may seem obvious but at least look through their website and see if they have what you're looking for! If not... go down the list of options below 🙂
  2. 2
    Online Retailer: Some people prefer buying online because it can be cheaper or simply easier (no big crowds). But before ordering something make sure there are reviews available so you know what kind of quality service will be provided when the product arrives.
  3. 3
    Department Store: Again this suggestion may seem like an oddball but department stores. 

WHERE CAN I FIND REVIEWS ABOUT DIFFERENT KAYAKS

Lake kayaking

What are your kayak needs? This is a question you should be asking yourself before looking for reviews. Do you need something that's durable and heavy-duty, or do you just want something light and easy to carry on the water? Reviewers generally will talk about how well they perform in different conditions, sometimes including both whitewater and non - whitewater environments.

However, reviews are very good at giving you a general idea of how a kayak is performing, but it's not the best way to determine whether a kayak is "the best" or not. Amazon is very good at showing reviews, especially with beginner equipment because they have such a large client base! If you would rather buy from your local shop then I would highly suggest ringing them up and asking them their opinion. Or an even better way would be to contact a Facebook kayaking group which there are several of!


OTHER ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

Essential equipment for kayaking

Other essential equipment that you should be taking with you will depend on what environment you are in. Most of the added equipment you will need will be safety equipment! 

 Life jacket or buoyancy aid (rivers, lakes & sea)

  • A life jacket or buoyancy aid will be essential no matter where you will be kayaking! This is especially true if you are a beginner, there is very few instances where one will not be required. The difference between a buoyancy aid and a life-jacket is as follows: A life-jacket will turn you over in the water if you land face down unconscious. Where as a buoyancy aid will not. Which one you get will be determined by how confident a swimmer you are or whether you have someone else with you.

EPIRB (sea) 

  • An EPIRB is an incredible piece of equipment that will transmit your position from anywhere at anytime to emergency services in the event of an emergency! This means you can feel very safe if you find yourself struggling and getting pushed out to sea. You can simply activate this emergency beacon which is easily done and wait to be rescued. It's position that it transmits is extremely accurate too and the batteries last for years. They are only a very small device in nowadays too, small enough to fit inside your pocket!

Small anchor (sea, river)

  • A small Grapnel anchor is another necessary piece of equipment if you're out at sea. It can stop you from drifting into danger in an emergency or hold your position when you need a well earned rest. Using an anchor on an unstable kayak in fast flowing conditions is however not recommend as you will find yourself in the water! HERE is a great article produced by the cornish kayak angler explaining how to use an anchor when kayaking!

Helmet (Rivers) 

  • A helmet is often used when traversing fast rivers where there is a high risk of you been flipped out! The helmet will stop you from hitting your head on rocks and causing serious damage. Here's a great selection on amazon.

Flares (sea)

  • Flares are always very handy and can grab the attention of any passerby rapidly! Very hand, especially if you find yourself getting into trouble inshore.

Water & food (sea, river & lake)

  • Always take plenty of water and food with you, kayaking can be strenuous stuff! Over exhilarating yourself is a common theme when kayaking. Having water and food to hand can be very helpful!

Paddle (sea, rivers, lakes)

  • This is obviously an extremely essential piece of equipment otherwise you will struggle to move anywhere with any control. There is a range of paddles that you can purchase, you don't need an expensive one to start off with!

SAFETY TIPS WHEN USING A KAYAK

Kayaking dangers
  • Don't paddle around in the dark. It can be a lot more difficult to see obstacles and other boats on the water, so always try to stick with daylight hours.
  • Keep your distance from other boats when you're kayaking near them - it's not hard for an inexperienced person to get drawn into another boat's wake and thrown out of their kayak! Remember that if someone is being towed behind another vessel they are likely unable to manoeuvre themselves back onto course without assistance. Always allow this sort of boat plenty of room as well...
  • Be aware of currents: Currents move fast-moving water away or towards shore/downstream at a set rate (depending on weather). If you forget about these current directions while kayaking they can move you into danger zones pretty quickly so be aware.
  • Do your research about the area where you are going to be kayaking. If it's a river you are better asking for some knowledge off someone who kayaks it regularly or even better going with that person. Things you'll want to look out for are, weirs, overflows and behavior of the river particularly after a heavy down pour. Every river behaves so differently to one another. The sea can be very unforgiving too, things to look out for here is, swell, tidal range, currents and so forth. 

ABOUT JAKE'S OUTDOORS

 

Jake's Outdoors is a blog for all of your hunting, fishing and general outdoor needs. Jake's Outdoors has created this space to help beginner level enthusiasts find their way into the world of outdoors and will provide advice on how to get started. We'll cover topics like what gear you need, where to go hunting or fishing in your area, how to cook fish/game animals you've caught as well as other general outdoor tips.


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