Best Recreational Kayaks

Best Recreational Kayaks are meant for those who really intended to explore the marvels of water sports by experiencing breathtaking adventures of kayaking. If you are also one of those real adventure lovers who desire to discover their inner strengths by experiencing the challenges of nature. Then Kayaking is an amazing way to quench the thirst of your adventurism.

Kayaking is basically considered as a recreational activity which is performed on a specialized boat named as a kayak. You can try kayaking on any water body which might be from a small pond to a running river and to the ocean. Because It does n’t require any advanced skill in flat water. But it is always advisable to try your hands on kayaking in large water bodies after accumulating some experience from professional kayaking trainer.

10 Best Recreational Kayaks

Products Name

Picture

Type

Main Highlights

Sit on top

Heavy duty anti-puncture Body, RAM and Vibe mount accessories.

Sit Inside

Lightweight, Mesh fabric adjustable seat

Sit on top

Foam-based padding and adjustable backrest.

Sit on top

Both side Paddle holders and molded seat.

Sit on top

Durable and comfort plus seat.

Sit on top

Stable hull with heavy load bearing capacity.

Sit inside

Adjustable footpegs, additional thigh, and knee pads.

Sit inside

Additional Carrying handles and plenty of storage.

Sit inside

Inflatable and portable.

Sit on top

Superior speed and strength.

1.Vibe Skipjack 90 - best for all kind of water bodies

The Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90 is the biggest and strongest in comparison to others. One of the things that make this sporty kayak different from others is: It has a taller profile on the sides that always keep it higher out of the water. These higher curves at the bow(front) and back(stern) side allow it to perform perfectly in rough water as well as in whitewater.

It also has a tough plastic covering in bow and stern that reinforces against crashes and disallow water to come into the boat. A single adult can easily enjoy kayaking and explore the amazing rivers and whitewater. Due to its sturdy structure, it can be easily cross over the rocks underwater without damage.

Its long paddle allows comfortable paddling. Adjustable deluxe Seats provides you comfortable sitting. It comes with double side bungee paddles, cup holders, fishing accessories. 

The major downside of Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90, its sitting capacity that it can’t bear more than 300 lbs. Moreover, its uncomfortable seat cannot allow longer journeys for kayaking.

     Pros

  • Comfortable and adjustable seats
  • Tough and Durable construction
  • Spacious and ample storage
  • Easy to carry
  • Affordable rate

     Cons

  • Slow speed
  • Can’t bear above 300 lbs
  • Non-adjustable paddles
  • Uncomfortable seat for the long journey

2.Pungo 120 by Wilderness Systems - for high speed and stability.

Well, this piece of perfection is for those adventure lovers who casually plans for kayaking and don’t want to compromise with speed and comfort at all. It is best suitable for any sort of lake and running stream.

Pungo 120 comes in two categories lightweight 49 lbs and Ultralite 40 lbs, due to its light weight it allows the performer to swift fastly over the water. Moreover, its sitting comfort is unmatchable because of maximum adjustability feature provided by the manufacturers.

In addition, its storage capacity at the stern is much better than others recreational kayaks. In the cockpit, it has an ample space for long legs movement.

As the construction of Pungo 120 meant to keep it light weighted and sturdy, its padding material is cushy enough which allows kayaker comfort while going through rough water and high currents.

The only issue with Pungo 120 it has no drain plug anywhere in it and it is a bit expensive. If you have to empty your water filled kayak manually, then it may annoy the user after investing in such an expensive kayak. But if you can manage this little issue then it’s a perfect recreational kayak for a kayaking fan.

     Pros

  • Comfortable and adjustable seats
  • Tough construction
  • Spacious cockpit with multi-chine
  • Easy to carry
  • Lightweight

     Cons

  • No drain plug
  • Costly for beginners

3.Dagger Axis 12 – best for beginner to experienced kayakers

Everyone tries to experience kayaking once they are familiar with its fun and fitness benefits. This model is more comfortable for beginners as well as experienced level kayakers. Dagger Axis 12 model was launched by Confluence Outdoors and it was recognized as the best adventure gear by the National Geographical Adventure in 2009.

Dagger Axis’s manufacturing is incorporated by polyethylene which allows kayakers to move quickly in rough water. Its 12 feet long length makes it more stable in rough water bodies. Its bow is a little higher than the stern which allows kayaker superfine cutting in high currents. This model is highly recommendable by many kayakers because its weight carrying capacity is somewhere around 340 lbs as compared to its own weight i.e 55 lbs only. You can comfortably outstretch your legs in the spacious cockpit without restraining your mind.

As the Foam-based material is used in padding it reduces the chances of minor injuries caused by hard padding in other kayaks. You can also readjust its keen pads into thigh pads if required during paddling. Moreover, you can carry it anywhere as it has soft handles attached on each side.

Unlike Pungo 120, in Dagger Axis, you need not worry about water leaks. This model is designed in a way that its hull and the cockpit is separated from each other and make sure leakage proofing.

Lack of storage capacity restricts its limits to the recreational kayaks. For robust kayaking experience, it is not recommendable this is the only downside of Dagger Axis 12 kayak.

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Adjustable Foam Seats
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Adjustable Skeg
  • Lightweight

     Cons

  • Less storage capacity
  • Not for robust kayaking

4.Ocean Scrambler 11 – for beginners, fishing and Surfing lovers

If you love fishing and surfing and looking for a stable maneuverable recreational kayak? Then this sit-on-top Ocean kayak Scrambler 11 might be the final destination of your long search. Its ample storage and comfortable paddling provide you a perfectly productive day if you are on fishing with your family-friends in your favorite place.

Most of the touring companies prefer this exceptional piece of the recreational kayak because of its high stability and durability. Its 18” wide seat with four molded foot wells makes it really spacious for people of different sizes. Its uplifted rocker keeps the bow a bit above the water which supports in surfing on high waves. If you want to take some drinks, eatables and any kind of accessories Scrambler 11 have enough storage and space where you can install a temporary hatch also.

Its bow area is equipped with GPS holder, small hatch and bungee belts which is really helpful in emergency conditions. You can easily drag your partner with its extra handles fixed on each side of the kayak.

Even the price of this recreational kayak is also reasonably affordable by anyone.

Scrambler 11 has an issue with its speed and uncomfortable sitting that’s why it is not advisable for long treks. Even sometimes it has a leakage issue with its central hatch.

     Pros

  • Useful for fishing and Surfing.
  • Large Tankwell
  • Durable foam based model
  • Lightweight

     Cons

  • Leakage in the central hatch
  • Low speed
  • Uncomfortable seat

5.Ocean Frenzy - all-purpose best recreational kayak

Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a sit on top recreational kayak which is widely popular among sea surfing and fishing loving kayakers. Its long length and width make it really stable in all sorts of waters and comfortable for tall size kayaker. Moreover, it weighs just 44 pounds attached with a pair of extra carrying handles at bow and stern that reduces it carriage problem.

The frenzy has a four-way adjustable padded seat that allows long sitting with lesser back injuries. In addition to this, it has removable bungee chords at both the ends plus a cup holder for your drink while you are enjoying fishing and normal paddling in the plain water.

The Ocean Frenzy comes in three colors envy green, sunrise orange and yellow. All these color combinations are perfectly visible if you reached away from the sea coast. To make it more durable its manufacturer added rear skid plate. You will be amazed to know its maker designed it so immaculately that it cannot be flooded in high current waves because it has self-bailing scupper holes.

Extremely light aluminum paddles allow the movement of your hands so swiftly that you enjoy comforts during your kayaking journey.

Ocean Frenzy has two downsides, firstly, it does not come with paddles and secondly, uncomfortable sitting that’s why it is not advisable for long treks.

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Adjustable foot pegs
  • Easy to carry
  • Lightweight

     Cons

  • No Paddles
  • Not for robust kayaking

6.Lifetime 10 Foot – for short time fun with family and friends.

The main highlight Tandem kayak is its sitting capacity, which is extendable up to three persons. if you are planning for kayaking with your family and friends add it on your priority list. Its features are similar to sit-on-top kayaks. Those who wish to sit dry while fishing its higher seat solves the purpose for them. It comes with two cushy backrests and double side paddles.

Tandem kayak with 60 lbs lightweight and both sided attached handles at bow and stern, they are easily portable. Lifetime provides a warranty of five years plus two free paddles that save your spare expense and you can invest that in other kayaking accessories.

This Tandem Kayak has an issue with its speed because of its polyethylene material and uncomfortable sitting that’s why it is not advisable for long treks.

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Adjustable foot pegs
  • Easy to carry
  • Lightweight

     Cons

  • No Paddles
  • Not for robust kayaking

7.Old Town Dirigo 106 - for still water and slow-moving rivers.

This Old Town Dirigo 106 kayak is best suitable for beginners level and casual kayaking. Manufactured with a combination of lightweight and single layer polyethylene and unfoldable tough body. For the best experience in still water, fishing pond, lakes and stagnant rivers this might be the best recreational kayak for you.

At the rear side of the cockpit, here is an additional gear storage facility. Its modified seats and foot pegs provide comfortable sitting in the cockpit. In addition to that, they’ve also incorporated some thigh and knee padding to give more comfort. It is just 42 pounds, compact and lightweight structure that provides hassle-free portability.

This kayak, with soft padding on the edges of the cockpit, provide safety from unnecessary rubbing.

On the whole, I’d say this boat has sufficient features for all recreational user.

Vapour 10’s negative aspect is its sitting comfort, initially, you may not feel that but after one or two hours it becomes irresistible. That’s why it is not advisable for long treks.

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Heavy-duty Polyethylene
  • Easily portable
  • Lightweight and stable

     Cons

  • Less storage capacity
  • Not for long water trek

8.Sun Dolphin Aruba – High quality and inexpensive.

This is really an amazing 40 pounds lightweight sit-in kayaks, constructed from UV-stabilized polyethylene. Highly durable and adjustable seat and a water bottle holder in the cockpit provide you the complete package for kayaking. Both side sharp endings of Aruba 10 support quick movement with normal paddling.

There is also a gear which is well situated after the cockpit with some supplementary webbing to guard your cargo. Generally, this kayak comes in as one of the lower priced models but carries on to feature a high rating. A variety of colors are accessible to select from. There is also a built-in water bottle container or drink container right in front of the cockpit which is a pretty good accumulation for hot days on the river. 

If you are color cognizant, there are 5 dazzling colors to choose from. It is inexpensive and suitable for beginners, kids, and inexperienced casual kayaking lovers.

The only downside of this kayak is plastic made hard sitting that is really uncomfortable for long kayaking journey. It also lacking drainage option which may trouble if filled with water.

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Adjustable Foam Seats
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Lightweight

     Cons

  • Missing Drain plugs
  • No cushion in the seat

9.Advanced Element - for inland water kayaking enjoyment.

Advanced frame kayak is meant for mild-rivers kayaking fun. Its construction does not allow it to explore high rapids and currents. This inflatable kayak is can be easily portable. There are seven chambers in all that takes hardly ten to fifteen minutes for filling. As it is designed for leakage proofing. Its manufacturing consists of two layers Denier Polyester’s sturdy PVC Tarpaulin and polyurethane coated 30 gauge PVC.

The material incorporated in its making provide waterproofing and dried up easily. If I talk about its storage capacity, which is normal you can keep your eatables and a few drinks with you but not more than that. Its aluminum frame supports its structure at both the ends of the kayak which provide its hull a solid base that moves swiftly on water bodies.

This is a partly inflatable kayak. Though it is inflexible but supports the portability of an that makes it most preferable for many people.

The integrated aluminum bar frame augments tracking and control in a way that isn’t normally found in an inflatable kayak.

In addition to this, it has a three-layered anti-puncture base that guards you against rocks under the water. You can easily unfold and inflate the kayak and then attach it with the seat. Roof racks and trailers are not required for the transport of this 36-pound kayak. The added adaptability of this kayak seems to increase the price to some extent when compared to further models.

This has an issue with water filling in the cockpit if you are in the rough water and facing rapids and high waves then you might face a tough situation, as first, you have to drain your cockpit with a hand pump

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Easy to carry
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Rugged built

     Cons

  • Less storage capacity
  • Water filled easily in the cockpit

10.Vibe Yellow Fin 100 – for those who love longer kayaking journey with stability.

Vibe kayaks-Yellow Fin 100 is one of the most recommendable options suggested for those who prefer fishing. It has a huge storage capacity which doubles the enjoyment for the kayaking experience with your friends. Its balancing is just amazing. You can imagine now how enjoyable it can be on this kayak.

Its hull design is like a tunnel which enhances its stability if you have to stand on it for fishing.
These kayaks are made up of extremely durable stuff which is dense enough so that it can also protect it from UV effect. These models come up with two double-sided paddles, four integrated gear tracks plus 2 flush-mount rod holders. 

This has an issue with its speed and uncomfortable sitting that’s why it is advisable to install cushion padding on seats for long treks.

     Pros

  • Useful for beginner to experienced
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Adjustable footrest

     Cons

  • Plastic seats without padding
  • Slow speed

Buyer’s Guide

At this point, you might have realized how many options are there in the market and how no one is bigger or better than any other. But the problem is that all humans are different and have their own preferences including, comfort, speed, stability, and the robustness of kayaks.

Before buying your favorite recreational kayak, you need to acquire a proper knowledge of all the basic aspects of kayaking. Where do you want to do kayaking, whether in a still river, inland pond, and sea-coast? Here I am providing you informational guide that will assist you in finalizing your selection of kayak. The basic difference in the designs of recreational kayaks is sit-on-top and sit-inside. Just take a quick look at the difference given below:

Sit On Top

Sit Inside

In Sit-on-top kayaks, the paddler sits on the top of the kayak.

In sit-in kayaks, the paddler has to sit inside the cockpit.

Stable and easy for the beginners. In case you fall off, you can easily climb back onto the kayak.

Whereas, in sit-in kayak, paddlers legs are under the cockpit so it becomes difficult to come out once your kayak got upside down.

These kayaks are great for warm weather.

While these are best suitable for cold weather.

Also, consider the other important features of kayaks:


Displacement

A kayak cannot resist in water and can be drowned if its displacement and weight carrying capacity is not properly incorporated while manufacturing these recreational kayaks. If it is overstuffed its stability will be lost and required more force to move.

Length

Length is the deciding factor for the speed simultaneously it reduces its maneuverability. Moreover is become difficult to carry long kayaks. Kayaks are basically made for longer distances. Like, kayaks for the experience of rapids and high current in rivers are generally short, to give it a maximum natural push for maneuverability. Recreational kayak designers prefer to provide more stability than speed.

Rocker

The additional factor that supports the maneuverability of a kayak is rocker shape. The shape of rocker comes from an arc. These rocker features make it easier to maneuver through sharp turns.

Spray Skirt

This is mainly found in whitewater and some touring boats. They prevent water to come inside the cockpit which reduces the risk of sinking. Therefore this is one of the essential inbuilt features required in all recreational kayaks.

Skeg

They are adjustable and detachable, these are found below the hull which stabilizes the kayaks during heavy windy. Skeg keeps its flowing straightly which is best suitable for long journeys.

Rudder

It supports paddling and direct the direction of the recreational kayaks.

Different Category Of Kayak Materials

You might know the fact that approximately all the recreational kayaks are made up of polyethylene and plastic ABS material. Here is the difference between the various materials.


Polyethylene

They are less expensive that is why most of the boats choose this stuff for making their boats. Though its cost is low it is a heavy stuff. By the time it becomes fragile if exposed to UV otherwise they are durable. Hence, keep your Kayak composed of this material into the shade.

ABS

Generally, this material refuses to accept the sunlight which is better than a poly boat. It is made up of expensive material that allows more durability to the kayak. And you can easily get repaired this manually.

Composite

The composition of most expensive kayaks consists of carbon fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass. They are lightweight and provide outstanding performance in comparison to other kayaks of the same category. Finding a kayak made up of composite materials at a reasonable price is not an easy task to accomplish. It takes a hell lot of time in searching for the genuine and best kayak.

safety tips to avoid injury while kayaking.


Avoid drinking before kayaking

Kayaking demands your total body efforts for its proper functioning. In normal conditions, if you are not moving your body symmetrically for paddling. You would be easily exhausted. For instance, when you are taking your forward stroke than don’t just move your hands. Rather move your shoulders too to make your move more comfortable.

But what happens when you are drunk? Do you think, can you manage your kayak in tough condition?

Well, there is no difference between driving and kayaking. The emergency situation never comes with an invitation, they just erect surprisingly. Drinking may slow down the reflexes that restrict you taking decisions quickly.

Wear a Life Jacket

You might have several questions in your mind. Like, I know am a great swimmer! I am swimming since my childhood! Why should I wear a safety Jacket? Re-entering kayak is not a risky task for me. I can carry it in my boat but will not wear it as it’s too bulky. But all these overwhelming statements are useless in front of natures force. In a research, it was revealed that: Even if you are an expert swimmer never forget to wear a safety jacket. After all, they are meant for this purpose only.

Be prepared for the Weather conditions.

Just before the day of your planned kayaking adventure, take a glimpse of weather condition on your android, it will help you in a numerous way. You would be alert and confident if you find any minor change in the weather.

Select location that matches your kayaking Skills

Kayaking for beginners is a daunting, whereas experienced guys tackle surprising situations easily. Best kayaking experience for beginners is when they have proper training and knowledge of various factors that affect kayaking.

Never select those locations where the flow of winds and waves are always high. It hardly takes a few seconds to turn your direction by the wind; once your direction is changed further turning back could be a challenging task for you. It is always advisable to flow near the shore even on the calm days. As it would be easier for you to head towards the shore. 

Practice Entering and Re-entering the Kayak

Sometimes we are overconfident about the fact that re-entering the kayak is an easier task. Instead of directly entering your kayak. Your first duty is to check all the necessary features to avoid any mishap. Secondly, check out your paddles strength, because only they can help you in moving and direction changing of your kayak. Thirdly, always face forward and keep your body weight onto the dock. Adjust your footpegs comfortably inside the cockpit.

Now come to the Re-entering skill. If you have just started kayaking try to pick a sit-on-top kayak as this is much simpler than a sit-inside kayak. As some sit-inside kayak requires your manual efforts to empty water filled inside the cockpit. Though it is a matter of practice, once you acquired the skill it will be easier further. In case you haven't developed re-entering skill, try sailing kayak around the bank of water body so that if you get off from your kayak you can move to the bank.

In my verdict, Advanced Element Inflatable Kayak is one of the best options I recommend. This is really inexpensive that suits to your pocket. Its lightweight and inflatable property make it always on top priority as you can carry it anywhere. 

Overall this is a piece of perfection in comparison to other recreational kayaks.

Conclusion

Kayaking is really fascinating and personal effort. The proverb that you don’t sit in a kayak, you wear it is true. But the selection depends upon how you wish to use the kayak. If you are really interested in kayaking, start with a beginner sit-on-top recreational kayak, which is user-friendly, easy to get in and get out of, do not give enclosed and trapped feel, and are easy to paddle. 

After you reach an intermediate and advanced level, you can use sit-in touring kayak, for a more in-control feel and which can resist high currents.

Now, there might be various questions popping up into in your mind regarding the recreational kayaking. So, few of the essential common questions that every one of you might be searching here and there on the web are discussed below:

Questions & Answer

Q: Do I really need any prior experience before diving into kayaking?

Well, if you know a little bit of swimming, your job is done, if you can assist yourself swimming to the bank of the river if you fall off the kayak. Basically, kayaking is not a rocket science, you just need to care for few things like: avoid going too far from the shore, wear safety jackets, keep water with you, practice re-entering your kayak.

Q: Can I take my kids for kayaking?

Yes, why not! If your kids understand your commands and physically active you can definitely take them for kayaking experience. It will be really fun, sit-on-top kayaks allow sufficient space to carry your kids along with you.

Q: What is the difference between Recreational Kayaks and Touring Kayaks?

Recreational Kayaks

Touring Kayaks

Recreational kayaks are constructed from Polyethylene and composite material inclusive of plastic ABS.

Touring Kayaks are constructed from carbon fiber and other lightweight components.

They are inexpensive and provide the best performance in the quiet water.

Best suitable for sea experience. As they are capable to resist and support in strong currents and heavy winds.

Best for short trips with family and friends. As they can be adjusted according to the requirement of space and storage.

Useful for long trips and for professional and passionate kayaking lovers.

Q: Which are the highly recommendable recreational kayaks available in the market suitable for all-purpose kayaking?

Well, aforesaid list of 10 products that I have shared is among the best recreational kayaks in the market. But, it depends on person to personal preference, what kind of adventure they want, a short family-friend trip or a pro level kayaking.


Demi.outdoorsdoc

Hi! I'm Demi and welcome to my blog. Here, I will share everything I know about enjoying and surviving the outdoors. Whether you love to go outdoors, you will find interesting and informational articles on this blog.

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