Best Kayaks Reviewed

Best Kayak

So you’re looking for a kayak.

You’ve done your research, you’ve checked out a few shops but you just haven’t decided how to pick the best one.

We’ve got you covered.

Not only have we picked out the best kayaks on the market.

But we’ve broken them down into their individual strengths.

Want a kayak for fishing? Need a smaller kayak for your child? No problem.

With this comprehensive list of the top twelve kayaks out there, you’ll be out there cruising oceans, lakes, and rivers in no time!

Best Kayaks

#1 Best Overall Kayak: Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable
Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak

  • Perfect for 2 or 3 person excursions
  • Ten foot interior and max capacity of 650 lbs
  • Unbreakable exterior material

#1 Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak: BKC UH-TK181
BKC UH-TK181 Kayak

  • Great for fishing solo or duo
  • 7 fishing rod holders throughout the kayak
  • 34-inch stabilizer beam for a smooth, stable ride

#1 Best Pedal Powered Kayak: Perception Pescador Pilot 12’
Perception Pescador Pilot Kayak

  • Pedal-powered for easy riding
  • 12’5’’ with comfortable seating
  • Capable of both forward and reverse motion

#1 Best Kayak For Kids: Lifetime Youth Wave 6’
Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak

  • Lightweight design for kids
  • Stable and sturdy
  • Large open cockpit for kids to enjoy

#1 Best Folding Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible
Advanced Elements Inflatable

  • Perfect for a quality ride from a kayak that doesn’t take up space
  • Aluminum ribs built in to improve tracking and stability
  • Maximum capacity of 550 lbs

#1 Best Recreational Kayak: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10’ Sit-In
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

  • Great for the on-the-go adventurer
  • Lightweight and simple to get the hang of
  • Ten feet and only 40 lbs

#1 Best River Kayak: Driftsun Rover 120 Inflatable
Driftsun Rover 120 Inflatable Kayak

  • Perfect for whitewater adventuring
  • Handles up to class III and class IV rapids
  • Lightweight only 22lbs

#1 Best Sit On Top Kayak: Ocean Kayak Frenzy Recreational Sunrise
Ocean Kayak Frenzy Review

  • Everyday adventuring kayak
  • No straps or seating to adjusted to, just get in and go
  • 9 feet and 44 lbs

#1 Best Touring Kayak: Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5
Riot Kayaks Edge

  • Great for long excursions
  • Sleek and slender for a fast traveling experience
  • 14.5 feet for great tracking

#1 Best Ocean Kayak: Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12’
Sun Dolphin Aruba SS

  • Perfect for the ocean or light river trails
  • Wide cockpit for increased stability
  • Lightweight and 12 feet in length

#1 Best Fishing Kayak For The Money: Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack

  • Great price for the kayak
  • Dual storage components
  • Maximum capacity of 300 lbs

Lifetime Tandem 2-Person Sit-On 10’
Lifetime Tandem 2-Person Sit-On

  • Partner-perfect kayak
  • Can be transformed to fit one person
  • Easily transported and ready for the water

The Top 12

Best Overall Kayak: Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable

Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable

We begin our list with the best of the best. With regards to all the components that make up a good kayak, we believe the Sea Eagle is everything you want and more. It’s an inflatable, 3-person kayak with a 10 foot interior.

This makes it perfect for group trips out camping, touring rivers, or just a good day trip out to the beach.

Because it’s inflatable, the kayak weighs only 32 lbs and can be carried easily or stuffed into a corner when storing it. All you need to do is pump it up and head out onto the water.

The material is strong enough to withstand paws and claws, meaning you are free to bring your pet on board with you on this kayak.

Also with such a large exterior, you can bring a third person along for the trip. It only comes with two paddles though, so keep that in mind. (Or don’t bother telling everyone else this and you might just be the one who gets a free ride!)

Don’t let a lack of company scare you off of this kayak. The front and rear seat are removable, allowing for a great time even on a solo trip.

For a more in-depth look at the Sea Eagle 370, make sure to check out our Sea Eagle 370 review.

Best Stand Up Fishing Kayak: BKC UH-TK181


The only thing better than a stand up fishing kayak is a two-person stand up fishing kayak. Heading out onto the lake on that early morning glass with a partner to share the moment with is one of the grand pleasures in life.

That’s why the Brooklyn Kayak Company nailed it on the head with this one. This two-seater kayak is great for duo fishing on the go.

With a total of 7 rod holders, the UH-TK181 is just made for catching fish. There are three articulated holders (1 in the front center, 2 in the back on either side) and four flush-mounted holders. No matter the angle or stance, this kayak will have you kicking back, relaxing, and fishing from a great position.

Now you might be thinking that it would be hard to stabilize with two people standing up and fishing in one watercraft. With a 34-inch stabilizer beam, this kayak is going to be smooth sailing through the waters and easy to balance when standing up.

For extra stability be sure to check out some stabilizer and outriggers for you kayak. You can find out more information on these add-ons below.

It has secure cargo areas in two spots so that you can be sure to have all the gear you and your partner needs for a great time fishing.

And with a 440 lb load capacity, you can be sure there’s enough weight for both you, your partner, and all those fish you’re going to catch. That’s why we find this to be the best kayak for fishing.

For a more in-depth look at some other top-notch stand up fishing kayaks, make sure to check out our best stand up fishing kayaks page.

Best Pedal Powered Kayak: Perception Pescador Pilot 12’

Perception Pescador Pilot

If you’re looking to boost up your kayaking game, this pedal-powered kayak is what you’ve been missing. With the ability to switch between paddling with your arms to your feet is a tremendous boost to the day.

The number of instances where it comes in handy is countless. Whether you’re tired and need a break from paddling or fishing and you need to get right into that perfect position without dropping your line, this kayak has you covered.

This 12-foot-5 kayak comes in a little bit heavier at 85 lbs making it a little bit harder to transfer it to and from. But once it hits the water, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is how tough it is to move it around. In the water, this kayak is an all-around great kayak.

The pedal driver allows for both forward and reverse motion paddling which is pretty incredible as many pedal drivers are unidirectional. Reportedly, the pedals are easy on the knees and have an efficient and quiet driver so that you can still enjoy the peaceful calm that comes with kayaking on a quiet lake.

There is plenty of storage space to take all the equipment you need on your excursion and the seat is padded for extra comfort.

For a more in-depth look at some other top-notch pedal-powered kayaks, make sure to check out our best pedal-powered kayaks page.

Best Kayak For Kids: Lifetime Youth Wave 6’

Lifetime Youth Wave

When looking for that perfect kayak for a child, there are a few different attributes you want to look for. The size dimension and weight is a key component and the Lifetime Youth Wave has that in check. Coming in at 6 feet, this plastic kayak has a wide base so that your kid will have easy time adjusting to the rocking of water beneath them.

It has a lightweight design coming in at 18 lbs, making for a kayak even a small child can help carry.

There are molded handles for the fingers on both sides of the kayak allowing for easier transport as well. The kayak can withstand up to 130 lbs of weight before getting harder to paddle, which means it will be perfect for kids up until the day they upgrade to an adult sized kayak.

The backside of the kayak has a lowered flat platform to allow for easy access from the water to the kayak. This is because oftentimes children have a harder time when they tip over into the water getting back into the rocking kayak. With the swim up step, this fixes this problem.

Unfortunately, this kayak does not come with an attached seat, however this is often not a problem as some early riders find the seat actually restrictive. If a seat is requested, one can easily be installed with the eye hooks that are on either side of the kayak.

For this flexibility, and for all the options above, this is why we think this kayak is the best kayak for kids.

Want some more options to choose from? We recommend that you check out our best kayaks for kids page.

Best Folding Kayak: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible

Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak

A folding kayak is exactly what it sounds like: a kayak that can be deflated and folded up into a neat carrying piece.

Out of all the folding kayaks on the market Advanced Elements takes the foldable cake. With aluminum ribs built in and great tracking and stability, this kayak will give you a quality ride every time.

With two adjustable seats and three seat locations, these padded cushions will allow for comfortable paddling all day long. Only weighing 52 lbs, the ease of access is also there. It folds up into roughly a 3 foot x 2 foot package and is easily carried with a handle.

On the kayak itself there are D-rings secured to the sides of the kayak to allow for easy tie-downs of equipment so any activity is possible. The weight capacity is 550 lbs so there’s no problem there. Fit two people on a scuba adventure, no problem.

A great feature of this kayak is how the kayak can be manipulated to adjust to your needs. If you’re riding solo or tandem the kayak can adjust its seating and actually look the part.

When riding tandem, there’s also a formation that allows for a third seat to be added in to take a long an extra passenger. Maybe a furry friend can come along for the ride!

For a look at the Advanced Elements Advanced Frame single-rider kayak, make sure to check out our Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Review.

Best Recreational Kayak: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10’ Sit-In

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Kayak

Perhaps you’re not looking for anything too serious. You don’t want to deal with an inflatable kayak or a foldable one. You’re not trying to do any serious fishing.

Really, you just want a great, reliable kayak to head out onto the water for some easy-going fun. That’s where this Sun Dolphin Aruba comes into play.

Coming in at ten feet and 40 lbs, this solo rider is great for the adventure out on the ocean or on a lake or river. It has an expansive cockpit allowing for comfort to the rider and all the necessary padded spots for paddlers (like the back, seat, and thighs).

There are carrying handles on both sides to make it easier to take to and from the beach. Rigging on the back for storage and a conveniently placed water bottle holder right up front.

So you can be sure to stay hydrated while you’re out working up a sweat. The foot holds are adjustable to fit your height and the seat does have back support.

Overall, this is a classic sit-in kayak that has all the great features necessary to have the experience you want out in the water.

For a more in-depth look at the Aruba 10, make sure to check out our Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 review.

Best River Kayak: Driftsun Rover 120 Inflatable

Driftsun Rover 120 Inflatable

A good river kayak has some special features to aid in the adventuring. When it comes to rivers they can be gentle or rushing and forceful, so it’s important to have a kayak that’s prepared for it all. With the inflatable Driftsun Rover, you get that.

Lightweight at only 22 lbs, this kayak boasts an inflate time of only 6 minutes. This means you can be set up and ready to go as you get down to the water.

This kayak is suitable for class III to class IV whitewater rapids. Anything more and there are some drawbacks that you might want to look at other kayaks for. It can be used for easier rapids as well, of course, but this is the range it was made for.

Padded, comfortable, tough, and durable. Four words to describe the perfect river kayak that won’t let you down out on the water. Throw in stable as well and you’ve got yourself perfection.

With a removable flat water tracking fin and well-equipped rockers, you can be sure that this kayak is going to be a smooth ride (as smooth as possible on rockers).

Do note the different classes of whitewater rapids and educate yourself before just diving in. Whitewater rapids can be very dangerous if ill-prepared for them.

Best Sit On Top Kayak: Ocean Kayak Frenzy Recreational Sunrise

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Recreational Sunrise

A quick distinction for those who don’t know. The two basic types of kayaks are sit-in kayaks which have a deep cockpit and straps to be belted into the kayak.

Then there are sit-on-top kayaks which allow you to easily get off and on from the kayak without feeling attached to the kayak.

For a better understanding of the different types of kayaks check the Choosing Your Kayak section below.

Onto the kayak. This Ocean Kayak Frenzy offers the top of the line, traditional sit-on-top kayak. With adjustable seating, multiple foot holds, side handles, and wire mesh storage spaces, you can be sure you’ll have everything you need on this 9 foot and 44 lbs kayak.

This kayak is designed to be well-equipped for flatter, calmer waters. So if you’re not trying to hit class V rapids or surf some crazy waves, this kayak might just be for you.

Enjoy the comfort of knowing you’re not attached to the kayak and can easily get on and off at your leisure. Plus, you can do it all in a relaxing style with its padded cushioned seating.

Best Touring Kayak: Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5

Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5

When it comes to a touring kayak, keep in mind you’re looking for a kayak that offers speed, stability, good tracking, and comfortability.

In general this means you want a longer kayak that can have some accessories like a tracking fin on the backside. For these reasons we’ve chosen the Riot Kayaks Edge as our number one best touring kayak.

Coming in at fourteen and a half feet, this kayak has a sleek and slender shape allowing it to cut through the current and provide with a fast traveling experience.

With dual storage compartments on both the front and back of the kayak, this will allow you for long days of traveling and maybe even multiple day excursions. Plus these compartments are sealed, so you don’t have to worry about tie-downs or anything.

Comfortability is an important feature when it comes to a touring kayak, because these kayaks are generally used for long stretches of time and space. With custom seat adjustment and foot adjustments, you can be sure you’ll be getting into the perfect comfort position.

Best Ocean Kayak: Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12’

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12

Ocean kayaks are the middle of the road crafts when it comes to traversing the waters. Why? Well because they’re going to be more rough than a calm lake, what with the ocean’s currents, waves, and gentle rocking nature of it.

But it won’t be as rough as some rivers where rapids and waterfalls exist. That’s why ocean kayaks are generally designed to be multi-dimensional, and overall solid kayaks.

The Sun Dolphin Aruba is the perfect sit-in kayak for the job. Sit-in because it makes staying in the kayak much easier when you’re up against the rocking nature of the ocean. It’s twelve feet in length and has good rockers to allow for some give when the waves come in. It has thigh pads which are necessary to balance out the force with which you throw at the sides.

It also comes with mounted fishing rod holders, flush onto the kayak. Allowing for some dynamism when it comes to the activities available out in the ocean. Lightweight, stable, and tracks well. Three important features when it comes to a good ocean kayak and the Aruba has them.

For a deeper look at some of our other favorite ocean kayaks, make sure to check out our best ocean kayaks page.

Best Fishing Kayak For The Money: Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Let’s say you’re looking for a kayak that gives you the best bang for your buck. Well the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack is just that. It’s a nine foot solo rider, sit-on-top kayak and boasts a great range of activities from touring to fishing.

Plus with great storage compartments built right into the kayak, you can be sure any activity will go smoothly on this kayak.

The kayak features two paddle parks, one on each side, to allow for you to set down your paddle when you’re not using it.

The two storage compartments are sealed storage meaning you don’t have to stress over tie-downs and if this is not enough, there’s also bungee area on the back and a great open cockpit to store some more.

With a maximum capacity weight of about 300 lbs, you can be sure that you can fit all the gear you need on this kayak.

Plus, as a benefit this kayak only weighs 46 lbs which is a nice middle of the road weight. For fishing at a good price, it’s hard to beat the Skipjack and that’s why we picked it.

For a more in-depth look at the Skipjack 90, make sure to check out our Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 review.

Lifetime Tandem 2-Person Sit-On 10’

Lifetime Tandem Sit-on Kayak

Many of the kayaks listed above also include the capacity for a dual rider. But not all of them have the tandem kayak specifically in mind. This ten foot kayak does just that.

It is a quality brand Lifetime that weigh about 60 lbs for easy transport. It has two backrests and two standard paddles to make you’re all set to get out in the water and go with your partner.

The seating is considered “High and Dry” meaning it floats about the base of the kayak allowing you to stay completely dry as long as you and your partner don’t flip the boat. With its hull design the kayak has great stability and tracking to add to that.

The point they want to make with this kayak is that you’re going to have a really hard time tipping over. And for a lot of riders out there, this is exactly what they want to hear. Sometimes you just want to kayak without going for a swim as well.

Because of its wide base it has a carrying capacity of up to 500 lbs which is a tremendous amount.

This allows for all the gear you want to bring on board for the trip. It can be taken on a solo trip as well, just need to move the seat forward and you have a standard solo rider kayak.

For a deeper look at some of our other favorite tandem kayaks, make sure to check out our 9 best tandem kayaks reviewed.

7 Best Kayak Accessories 

Best Kayak Outriggers and Stabilizers: Outriggers and stabilizers are great additions for kayaks. Think training wheels for beginners, they’re floating devices that are attached to the side of the kayak that help the kayak stay afloat. Not that they’re used solely for beginners. When fishing on a kayak, these stabilizers help keep the kayak from rocking back and forth so you have a much easier time standing up on the kayak. They come in many different forms from inflatable to solid. Long wide ones, that look more like the training wheel type and some that are small buoyant cylinders. Inspired by Nature and Airhead SUP are two good options when looking for these stabilizers and outriggers.

For some reviews on our favorites, check out our best kayak outriggers and stabilizers page.

Best Kayak Roof Rack: A roof rack allows you to strap on your kayak to any vehicle for easy travelability to and from the water. Most kayaks that aren’t inflatable are just too big for smaller vehicles. You’ll need at least ten feet of free room to fit a smaller sized kayak and even more for a larger one. A roof rack fixes this problem immediately. When looking for good roof racks there are a few different factors to look out for. Some strap the kayak to the side of your car. Some wrap around the entire vehicle and hold it up top. While some are pads that attach to the roof of your car and strap the kayak down up there. The most common is the top straps as it is easy to set up and always ready to go. When looking for roof racks be sure to check out Thule and Malone for some quality brand roof racks.

Best Kayak Trailer: If the kayak rack isn’t for you, another option to carry your kayak to and from the water is to get a trailer that hitches onto your car. This way you don’t have to worry too much about strapping it onto your car and flying off. Most kayak trailers come in a simple two wheel extender that hooks right onto the back of your car, while others can be bigger and more extravagant. Another great feature of trailers is that you can carry much more than one or two (which is the typical maximum for roof racks), some allow carrying up to 4 kayaks at once, perfect for the whole family. When looking for the best kayak trailers, check out some good name brands like Malone or Yakima.

Best Kayak Seats: When you go out kayaking, the one thing you know you’ll be doing a lot of is sitting and paddling. This makes the seats carry a lot of weight (of importance!). When looking for the perfect kayak seat, be sure it is padded and comfortable for long periods of time. Some come with high back support and adjustable positioning. It’s all up to the individual, of course, when it comes to preference. But be sure to check out some good companies like Surf to Summit and Ocean Kayak when looking for quality brand seats. Also be sure before buying that the seat is compatible with the kayak in question. Some can be installed in, others are strapped in.

Best Kayak Paddle: You might not think having the right paddle makes a big difference, but it does. A few different factors to look out for. The adjustable paddle can be shortened and lengthened easily to fit the individual. However some people don’t like how you lose some strength with the adjustable ones. Another feature is how much it floats in the water. Some are very buoyant, others you have to dig out of the top layer of water. Depending on your needs, check out the difference in materials between fiberglass and aluminum and how the different shapes affect the way you paddle.

Best Vertical Kayak Rack: When driving out to the lake or river, sometimes it’s nice to have a rack to can attach to the back of your RV, truck, or Jeep. Vertical kayak racks are great and easy to use but they do take some assembly. It’s another option, however, if your car does not allow for a roof rack. Yakups and Good Life are two options to look into when trying to find the vertical kayak rack for you.

Best Kayak Sails: Kayak sails allow for a completely new experience when it comes to kayaking out on a nice windy day. When looking for the perfect kayak sail for you, be sure to keep a few things in mind. With the wind comes less stability. Often times sails will be combined with outriggers and stabilizers. Be sure to check out both if you’re checking out sails. Westwind and Vision are two great companies that make kayak sails that will ensure a great time out in the wind.

For more information on top-quality kayak sails, make sure to check out our best kayak sails review page.

Choosing Your Kayak

Choosing the right kayak for you means first determining what the kayak is going to be used for. For example, is the main activity going to be fishing or is it going to be cruising a smooth lake surface? Also, the number of riders and height and weight of those riders can oftentimes help you decide which kayak to get. Once you’ve determined your own use, take a look at the following attributes to see what style and size kayak you’re looking for.

Kayak Type: The first step is to determine which kayak type. There are sit-in kayaks vs sit-on-top kayaks which basically mean whether you are strapped in with the kayak or are resting on top of it. There’s also solo and tandem kayaks depending on the number of riders. Also there are fishing kayaks and speed kayaks. So take a look through the different types of kayaks above to determine which best fits your needs.

Materials: The next key component is determining the material of the kayak. Do you want the kayak to be inflatable or rigid plastic. Inflatables allow for a higher level of travelability as they can be deflated and stuffed into corners of storage. If you have a small car and no roof rack, this might be the option for you. What you gain in accessibility, you do lose in performance however. Rigid plastic kayaks will generally be faster and easier to maneuver as they have less give in the water.

Weight: Heavier kayaks have a clear disadvantage when it comes to the act of carrying the kayak to the waterfront and to your garage. If you can park right up close to the water and you’re able to just easily transport it, then weight will not be an issue. Just note that some great kayaking excursions involve transporting the kayak distances upwards of a mile. With this in mind, an 80 lb kayak might not be your best bet. Heavier kayaks in the water will generally be more stable and have higher top speeds. So performance in the water increases, but performance outside the water decreases.

Length: Length, weight, and width all play similar roles in the water. The longer the kayak, in general, the heavier and harder it is to maneuver. However, it will also generally have higher top speeds and if the width is appropriate to the height, it will also hold more weight and be more stable. For a taller person, generally a lengthier kayak is preferred. This is why kids’ kayaks are usually half the size of adult kayaks.

Width: Similar to height, the width of the kayak often speaks to the size and weight of the kayak. The wider a kayak the more stable, however, so when looking for a fishing kayak or a beginner kayak, be sure to note the width of the kayak and look for wider proportioned kayaks.

Weight Capacity: A kayak’s weight capacity often depends on the material and the size dimensions of the craft. It is important to do a little bit of math before heading out on the water as to how much equipment the kayak can handle. If you’re using the kayak for scuba or fishing, for example, both need certain equipment of a certain weight to be brought on the trip with you. For tandem kayaks, this is even more important as you’ll have the weight of two people and the weight of two people’s equipment. So just always be sure that the kayak you’re looking for has an appropriate weight capacity.

Storage: Oftentimes kayaks will have some form of storage. Whether it’s internal, below the seat storage, or a few spots on the front and back to tie down equipment. It’s important to identify the amount of space you’ll need for your activities on the kayaks before purchasing. This will prevent a lot of headache when trying to determine how you’re going to fit all your fishing gear and lunch and there’s only room for one cooler.

Best Kayak Brands

Sea Eagle

When it companies that does it all, Sea Eagle is the one that comes to mind. From SUP to inflatable canoes to great kayaks, they have it all. This brand offers great quality watercrafts made from durable, lightweight material so you can be sure you’re getting a great ride every time. They come with 3-year warranty to back up their word too so you can be sure you’ll be treated well at Sea Eagle.

Brooklyn Kayak Company

Another great company is the Brooklyn Kayak Company. Specializing in kayaks, kayak seats, and kayak accessories, this company was pretty much founded on top of a kayak. The creators spent their life on the water and they keep the end user in mind when they are shaping and developing any new product that’s going out on the water.


Is Kayaking Hard?

Kayaking can be hard, but it can be easy. It’s similar to any sport, there’s a vast range of enjoyment and difficulty levels to check out. When it comes to a gentle, still lake. Yes! Kayaking is easy and so much fun. Kayaks are more stable than stand-up paddle boards and are easier to get the hang of because you’re lower to the water. It can be difficult as well, though. Kayaks are used for whitewater rafting which can be pretty dangerous and extreme. (Think, paddling off waterfalls and through rocky, torrent waters. The ocean is a nice middle ground. With some rocking from the tides and a few waves here and there, the rider can find a good challenge at low risk.

Still don't feel like we've answered your question? Make sure to check out our "How Hard Is Kayaking" with all of the information you'll need before you get out there! 

How Do I Care For My Kayak?

Caring for your kayak is a great investment.

With little work, you can make your kayak last for years to come. Some basic ideas that you want to be careful of are: sun, salt, and dings. Before use, be sure to check along the hull for any damages or leaks that water could get into the material. When not in use, try to keep it clean and out of the sun. Sun exposure will wither away the top layer of the material over long periods of time. Also, kayak accessories should always be replaced with new ones if you think it’s malfunctioning. Doing these simple tricks, you’ll be sure to have a long-lasting kayak in and out of the water.

We also have an in-depth guide on kayak cleaning, maintenance, and repairs, if you are serious about prolonging the life of your yak.

When Was Kayaking Invented?

If you're interested in the long, deep-rooted history of kayaking, we recommend checking out our history of kayaking article.

Kayaking was first invented by an arctic people called the Inuit and were originally used for hunting. Because of the icy waters, it was hard to fish for the ice without also freezing to death. Using a combination of wood and seal skin to keep the water out, the Inuit were able to sit atop the water and spear fish from above.

These kayaks were later brought into the European world in 1845 when John MacGregor designed one off Inuit sketches. In the 1950’s when fiberglass was invented, the landscape of kayaks was changed as they became faster, more efficient, and more durable. Able to handle the great whitewater rapids of rivers.

What are the Best Places to Buy a Kayak?

When looking for where to buy a kayak, there are few good places to start. Think of it in a few different sections. There’s online purchasing and in-person purchasing. Also there’s franchised brands and smaller more specific shops. In person, you’ll find kayak shops anywhere near lakes and rivers. If there’s good places to fish, you can bet there’s probably a good place to buy kayaks as well.

Online your options are expanded but you might have to do a little more research. There’s the social trading sites like Craigslist and eBay to check out. Here is generally a good place to find a starter kayak as you can talk to the person and ask them how they’ve used it before. It will also be much cheaper than purchasing it from a name brand.

What Are the Benefits of Kayaking?

Kayaking has great mental and physical benefits for the individual. First off it’s a great workout. You’ll feel your upper body aching after a good stretch of time out on the water paddling. Shoulders, arms, chest, and your core are all engaged when paddling through the water. Even more so when going from calm waters to torrent waters.

Also, being out on the water with the gentle, calmness of the ocean or lake beneath you, is known for Kayak Vs. Canoe; What's the Difference?. The therapeutic benefits of being out on the water are enough in themselves to warrant getting yourself a kayak, nonetheless all the other benefits that come along with it.

There are a vast number of benefits that come along with kayaking. Interested in seeing some more? Make sure to check out The Top 10 Health Benefits of Kayaking

Kayak Vs. Canoe

It’s not embarrassing to get them confused. Often times people say one when they mean the other, or just say canoe as an umbrella term. But there are some key differences between the two watercrafts. The most stark contrast between the two, or the easiest to see, at least, is with the paddle. A canoe has a one sided paddle that is usually flat and pressed into the water then switched to the other side. While the kayak paddle is two sided and goes back and forth (which usually creates for a faster craft).

Another difference is in the shape. Canoes often have open tops with room to kneel or benches to sit on. Kayaks, depending on if there sit-on-top or sit-in will have a place to sit or be strapped in. Kaykas can be more easily flipped as they’re generally the more dynamic of the two craft as well.

We also have a more in-depth comparison that you can check out at Kayak Vs. Canoe; What's the Difference?

What Are Some Good Kayaking Tips For Beginners?

We have an entire article entitled 35 kayaking tips for beginners if you're interested in getting the most out of your first few runs. If you've got the basic hang of it, keep reading.

When just starting out, there are few good practical tips to think of. These can be broken down into a few different categories: equipment, practice, and safety.

As for equipment. Be sure to be dressed to get wet. Falling is a perfectly natural part of learning. However, you’ll be falling into water so be aware. One great tip for beginners is to use the paddle the right way. The blade should be scooping the water.

Practice, practice, practice. Always practice on calm waters before heading into the rapids. Try different sitting positions. Be sure you’re ready for anything.

Most importantly, safety. Always wear a life vest. And if you’re not a particularly strong swimmer, be sure to stay in calm waters. Don’t kayak out alone when you’re a beginner and don’t be afraid to say no if you’re just not sure about it. Always keep learning, though, so one day you can be out there having fun.

Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?

When it comes to purchasing a kayak, the first question you should always ask yourself is: What do I want to use the kayak for? This will help you narrow down your search to a reasonable degree.

I’m sure you’ve noticed how many different types of kayaks there are out there. There’s sit-in kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. There are kayaks meant for fishing, some meant for the rapids. Some are inflatable and some are rigid. The options seem endless, don’t they?

But once you have an idea of what you want to use it for, suddenly all those other factors seem to fall into place. Looking to do some fishing and you have a small car? An inflatable, wide kayak is probably best for you. One with lots of storage compartments. Or just looking to paddle around and check out the nearby lake? A standard recreational sit-on-top kayak will do just fine…

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which one you get. As long as you do! Kayaking is a great sport that offers many benefits. Plus, once you do get started, you’ll see that it’s a sport that keeps offering you more and more.

should you buy?