How To Buy: Kayak - Recreational Kayaks For Beginners
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How to Buy: Kayak  -  Recreational Kayaks for Beginners

The kayak (which literally means hunter's boat) moves across the water, by being manually propelled forward with a double-bladed paddle. Kayaking is a great sport for those who enjoy being outdoors and out on the water.

If you're looking at owning your own kayak, you will want to consider the following:

  • How many people it fits
  • Where you plan to paddle
  • How long you plan to paddle for
  • What conditions you’ll be paddling in
  • How you plan to transport your kayak

If you're new to kayaking then a recreational kayak is perfect, as this allows you to get a variety of uses out of it. It will give you a great all-around kayaking experience. These boats are usually wide, stable and great for beginners looking for relaxing days on calm water.

Recreational kayaks make up the largest segment of kayak sales. This kayak is about 10-12 feet long, which makes it easier to get in and out of and has more stability than other kayak types. This makes it perfect for photographers, anglers, or casual paddlers paddling on calm waters. It usually includes a small storage area, which is great for carrying stuff on those short day trips.

For those more experienced in kayaking, then you would be looking to perhaps challenge yourself with a sea/touring, whitewater/river or surf kayak.

A recreational kayak is for you if:

  • You like the idea of staying dry
  • Your idea of fun is about relaxation
  • Shorter is better due to lack of storage
  • Extra room is necessary for that child or pet you’d like to bring along

There are a variety of recreational kayaks including:

Sit-On-Top Kayak

  • Perfect for a beginner, youth or angler
  • Great stability
  • So popular that they account for almost 1/3 of all kayak sales
  • Durable so often seen as rentals at tourist destinations

Sit-In Kayak

  • Much drier ride
  • Option to use a spray skirt
  • Increase in paddling performance and efficiency

What is also popular is an inflatable kayak which are much more sophisticated nowadays compared to past models. They are easy to set up, transport and store. Naturally, they are the most buoyant and lightweight of all the kayak types.

Just like when you purchase a bicycle, you require the helmet, a bike lock, maybe a bell and perhaps a comfy seat cover - a kayak also has equipment to go along with it. Some are essential and others are nice-to-haves.


  • Paddle - Luckily, this isn't so hard to choose. The size you require depends on your height, paddling style and width of your boat. Look for one that is light-weight.
  • PFD - A personal flotation device is designed for use in recreational boating and should be worn at all times, even if the weather is nice.


  • Transport Equipment - This could be a roof rack system, trailer, or foam block carrier kit.
  • Spray Skirt - Helps keep the water out of the kayak.
  • Dry Bag - Your personal belongings stay dry on board the kayak, such as your phone, camera and food.
  • Repair Kit - So you don't have to end your trip early.

The best kayaks: beginners are called recreational kayaks and you will have to decide if you would like a sit-on-top or sit-in type. Once you have your kayak and your kayak gear accessories, you can hit the water anytime you want.

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