Sit-on-top kayaks give beginners excellent experience and comfort. Most of the designs are easy to use. However, you may not know what to look for when selecting a kayak for your adventures.
Kayaks are narrow and mainly lightweight. As a beginner, you fear you may tip over as soon as you set your foot in the kayak. Thus, you want a stable vessel that will give you memorable moments on the water. Manufacturers found it wise to make some beginner-friendly kayaks with increased stability.
The list below has the best kayaks you can use to gain paddling experience. Also, we will highlight the critical features to look at while searching for a perfect kayak.
- 0.1 Emotion Spitfire Sit-on-top Kayak
- 0.2 Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on-top Kayak
- 0.3 The kayak is as beautiful as its name. The blue kayak offers comfort and space to any paddler using the vessel. It’s lightweight and easy to use, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
- 0.4 Perception Tribe 11.5
- 0.5 This kayak is the most popular amongst beginners and advanced kayakers. It’s highly versatile, stable, and comfortable. It has great control, and you can maneuver it through different water conditions. Sometimes, you can use it in choppy coastal conditions without any danger.
- 0.6 Lifetime Triton Angler 100
- 0.7 Pelican Sentinel 100X
- 0.8 Malibu Kayaks X-13
- 1 Sit on Top Kayaks Buying Guide
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
Most time, a beginner needs an affordable kayak to train. Also, they need a comfortable and stable kayak. Emotion Spitfire offers you superb comfort and stability at an affordable cost. It’s a great kayak that’s useful for the whole family.
The kayak is spacious and glides through flat water with ease. It has a slight rocker that helps it have excellent maneuverability. Also, its keel helps maintain limited tracking.
The hull material is blow-molded polyethylene. At a glance, you’d confuse it with an inflatable kayak. However, the material is strong enough to withstand blows and knocks.
The kayak has a molded-in side carry to help transport the kayak from your car to the water body. It also has paddle keepers that hold the paddles in place in the water.
Its multiple footrests allow paddlers of different sizes to use the kayak with ease. It also has holes to drain water from the tank well and cockpit. Besides that, the kayak has a great hull design that ensures stability and excellent tracking.
The kayak is light enough for one person to lift. Also, it has an ample storage area at the back and the cockpit area.
● It’s lightweight.
● It has two storage areas where you can carry your kayaking essentials.
● The hull design is robust and offers stability while kayaking.
● It’s suitable for paddlers of different sizes.
● The footrests are fixed in one position.
● It’s easy to tip over.
● It has limited kayak tracking.
The kayak is as beautiful as its name. The blue kayak offers comfort and space to any paddler using the vessel. It’s lightweight and easy to use, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
The kayak is stable and comfortable. Also, the design suits small water bodies such as lakes and rivers. You can use it at any skill level without the fear of tipping over.
It features a comfortable plush seat and adjustable foot braces. The tank is open that gives you an ample storage area. The carrying handles ensure you can transport the 44 pounds kayak with ease.
The kayak allows you to carry a weight of up to 250 pounds. Thus, you can weigh the luggage you carry after subtracting your body weight. Thus, it’s limiting to larger paddlers who might need to leave behind some essentials. However, the dry storage compartment has some shock cord deck rigging to secure your luggage in place.
● It’s suitable for skilled and unskilled paddlers.
● It has a large and dry storage compartment.
● It has a large and comfortable sitting area with adjustable seat pads.
● It’s lightweight.
● The kayaks tracking is unreliable.
This kayak is the most popular amongst beginners and advanced kayakers. It’s highly versatile, stable, and comfortable. It has great control, and you can maneuver it through different water conditions. Sometimes, you can use it in choppy coastal conditions without any danger.
The padded seats offer comfort even when you spend several hours on the kayak. It also has molded footrests that fit different sizes of paddlers. Other essential features are the tail and nose handles that allow easier lifting of the kayak. Additionally, it has a front and back toggle.
The knee and thigh areas are molded for extra fit and comfort. Also, the rear and front tank well storage area is enough to carry your kayaking supplies. Also, they are secured with bungee ropes. Interestingly, the kayak has an additional center storage area for your beverage, keys, and other smaller personal effects.
● It has a large storage area that allows you to carry your gear, equipment, and kayaking essentials.
● It has great tracking and maneuverability.
● The seating area is comfortable and spacious. Also, the seat pad is adjustable.
● It fits different sizes of paddlers.
● It’s heavy.
● Its plugs are sold separately.
The Triton Angler from lifetime brand offers a highly durable kayak that balances stability and maneuverability. The recreational kayak has an exceptionally high performance. You can use the sturdy kayak for nearly all water sporting activities.
The hull design is comfortable and has excellent features such as molded footrests, adjustable seat pads, bungee storage straps, and a bottle holder. Thus, you can use the kayak for meditation in a lake or a calm river.
The integrated skeg improves tracking and maneuvering abilities. Its features ensure a stable, comfortable, and steady water journey experience. Also, the self-bailing scupper holes drain any water in the cockpit and tank well so that the kayak doesn’t sink.
The lightweight kayak can carry a weight of up to 275 pounds. Thus, you can carry your 4-legged best friend if you don’t exceed the weight limit.
● The kayak is lightweight with a large weight capacity.
● Its integrated skeg improves tracking.
● It has great stability and performance.
● Suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers.
● The storage area is open.
● The storage capacity is smaller than its competition.
If you want a perfect kayak model to cruise around rivers and lakes, then the Pelican Sentinel 100X model is a perfect choice. The kayak is stable and comfortable for all users. You will feel the value of your investment after using the kayak over and over.
The kayak is 9’6″ long. It’s a great design for paddlers with a limited storage area. Also, it strikes a balance between stability and comfort due to its balanced length-to-width ratio.
It has a removable dry compartment area. Thus, you won’t fear our gear and other essentials getting wet in case of sudden rains or unpredicted waves splashing water over the kayak. Also, the storage area is easily accessible, and the bungee system ensures all your luggage is secure.
The seating features a comfortable and adjustable seat with a seating pad and a backrest. The 42 pounds kayak can carry a weight of 275 pounds. If you are a paddler and fear water, worry not since you can add some flotation foam blocks that increase safety and stability.
● It has a large seating area.
● The seat and backrest offer comfort while kayaking.
● The floor mat ensures you have enough grip.
● It has convenient handles that ease transportation.
● You buy paddles separately.
If you want to go on long trips in a kayak, then you need one with a larger storage area than others. The Malibu Kayak X-13 is the king of kayak’s storage compartments. Its large and open storage compartment has a stern and secure bungee system.
You can have several on-water activities with the kayak. However, it’s the perfect model for diving excursions. It also allows you to enjoy several coastal water activities with assured safety and stability.
The bow hatch is perfect for dry storage. The kayak also offers a central hatch and a stern hatch that ensures you can carry enough supplies for your water trips.
The kayak offers an exceptionally high weight capacity of 485 pounds. Thus, large and heavy paddlers can carry their luggage with comfort. However, it’s also heavier than many small kayaks in the market.
● It has a large storage area.
● It has a large weight capacity.
● It can move faster than most kayaks in the market.
● Suitable for paddlers of different sizes.
● It’s heavy.
● Beginners might find it hard to use.
Sit on Top Kayaks Buying Guide
Stability and maneuverability are essential when selecting a beginner-friendly kayak. However, several features ensure you get the two. Also, they should strike a balance between the two to get the best experience.
Length and width
A stable kayak should have a balance between length and width. Advanced paddlers can cruise a long and narrow kayak. However, they are less stable than shorter and wider kayaks. If you need a kayak for fishing, you need a wide kayak to counter any sudden movements subjected by knocks from large fish. Long narrow kayaks are specifically designed for racing.
If you are a tall paddler, you should consider a longer kayak. A short one may accommodate you, but you compromise on the stability while kayaking.
The main hull designs you’ll find in the market are V-hull, flat hull, rounded hull, and pontoon hull. Minor categories are a variation of the four.
V-hulls are best for lengthy trips as they ensure straight cruising. Flat hulls are people’s favorite due to their increased stability. Also, you can use them in white waters even as a beginner.
Experts recommend rounded hulls and pontoons for beginners. They allow you to swing in water as you train on paddling.
Kayaks will have a fixed or removable seat. Each has advantages and disadvantages; a fixed seat is easy to set up. However, you need to select a seat that fits you before buying the kayak. Removable seats are durable. The foam will not eat up when you fold up the kayak for storage. Thus, they are more durable.
You’ll always need some supplies while in water; thus, your kayak should have an ample storage capacity for your supplies. You can use small storage to spend a few hours on the water. But if you need a whole day kayaking, you need more items for the trip.
You should select a kayak with a 50-100 pounds extra weight capacity above your body weight. If you want to carry your luggage, you need extra weight capacity. Please do not fill the weight capacity as it affects the kayak’s stability.
The material of a kayak directly impacts the durability and performance of the vessel. ABS and polyethylene are the main materials that make sit-on-top kayaks. The two ensures that the kayak is lightweight, durable, strong, and withstand knocks from objects in the water.
Polyethylene is durable, abrasion-resistant, flexible, and affordable. However, it is sensitive to UV light – thus, you need to store your kayak in a dark area. ABS is more lightweight and can withstand UV rays. However, it would help if you spent extra on an ABS kayak.
Weight of the kayak
Transporting the kayak to the water body can pause a challenge, especially alone. Thus, it would help if you minded the kayak’s weight while buying. Select a kayak that you can carry alone if you don’t need help.
The material of the kayak will determine the price of a kayak. Also, additional features will raise the price of a kayak above its competition. However, some brands will attach a high price to their brand name than the quality of the kayak.
You can get a kayak as cheap as $300 to as expensive as $1500. However, you should check what you want in a kayak and what different price ranges offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best sit-on-top kayak?
The best kayak is one that meets your needs and skills level. However, you should check the stability, maneuverability, comfort, and buoyancy when selecting a kayak.
What should I use a sit-on-top kayak for?
These kayaks are specifically for recreational use. You can’t use them for professional racing since they are slower than racing kayaks.
Is PFD necessary while kayaking?
It’s vital to take your safety into your own hands. Personal flotation devices are essential whenever you’re in open waters. Also, authorities expect you to have a life jacket while kayaking.
Are sit-on-top kayaks fast?
Kayak speed will depend on the experience of a paddler. On average, a kayaker will paddle at 2.5 mph. However, experienced paddlers can cruise at a speed of 6 mph. However, long and narrower kayaks move faster than short and wide kayaks. However, you need high skill levels to cruise and balance narrow kayaks.
What kayak size is best for beginners?
A beginner should use a short and stable kayak. Experts recommend 9-12 feet long kayaks for beginners. Also, they should be about 2-3 feet wide to ensure balance and stability.