7 Best Recreational Kayaks for Beginners in 2024


If you’re keen to dip your paddle into the world of recreational kayaks, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the 7 best recreational kayaks on the market right now for beginners, taking into account all the important factors for beginners like affordability, comfort, ease of use, and stability. Whether you’re looking to conquer calm lakes, explore serene rivers, or even try your hand at fishing, we’ve got you covered. We believe that recreational kayaks are the epitome of versatility, offering a comfortable and adaptable experience no matter where you choose to paddle. So, let’s dive into the best recreational kayaks and find the perfect boat that suits your style and preferences.

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Wilderness Systems Pungo Kayaks

Most Comfortable and Easy to Paddle

When you’re starting out, comfort and eas-od-use are essential things to consider. Luckily, the Wilderness Systems Pungo Kayaks series is the perfect choice for those seeking a comfortable and effortless ride. With their spacious cockpits, adjustable seat, and padded thigh braces, this kayak ensures maximum comfort during long paddling sessions. The Pungo series features a stable and easy-to-handle design, making it ideal for beginners. The exceptional tracking capabilities and efficient hull shape provide smooth and effortless maneuverability on calm lakes and slow-moving rivers. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced paddler, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 105, 120, 125 guarantee an enjoyable and stress-free kayaking experience.[ Also read: The Wilderness Systems Pungo Kayaks Full Review ]

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Perception Hi Life

Best Combo Kayak and SUP

Are you torn between choosing a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard? The Perception Hi Life is the ultimate solution for beginners who can’t decide. This versatile watercraft offers the best of both worlds—a kayak and a stand-up paddleboard combined. The Hi Life’s hybrid design allows you to paddle it like a kayak or stand on its spacious deck and use it as a stable SUP. It features a comfortable seat with an adjustable backrest and footrests, ensuring a relaxed and enjoyable paddling experience. With its stable and beginner-friendly design, the Perception Hi Life is perfect for exploring calm lakes, slow-moving rivers, and even coastal waters. With the Perception Hi Life there’s no need to limit yourself to just one activity![ Also read: Essential Recreational Kayak Gear Checklist ]

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Delta 12.10 Kayak

Lightweight Day Touring at Its Best

When it comes to lightweight day touring, the Delta 12.10 kayak is one of our favourites for beginners. Designed for comfort, stability, and performance, this kayak is perfect for those looking to explore rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Its lightweight construction allows for easy transport and maneuverability, making it a breeze to paddle for extended periods. The Delta 12.10 features a spacious cockpit and an adjustable seat with excellent back support, ensuring a comfortable and ergonomic paddling position. Its stable and responsive hull design provides great tracking and maneuverability, making it suitable for beginners venturing into longer trips and day tours.[ Also read: How To Choose The Right Recreational Kayak For You ]

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Old Town Loon (All Sizes)

The Most Fun to Paddle

Looking for a recreational kayak that delivers pure fun on the water? Look no further than the Old Town Loon in all its available sizes. Renowned for its exceptional stability and user-friendly design, the Loon series is perfect for beginners seeking an exciting and enjoyable paddling experience. Whether you choose the Loon 120 or 126, you can expect a kayak that combines excellent maneuverability with unmatched stability. The Loon features a comfortable and adjustable seat, a spacious cockpit, and plenty of storage options for all your gear. With its unique hull design and responsive performance, the Old Town Loon ensures endless hours of fun and exploration on any waterway. We can guarantee this boat will put a smile on your face, and that’s why we’re voting it the most fun-to-paddle recreational boat for beginners out of the lot!

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Jackson Staxx Sit-on-Top

Best Price Point Sit-on-Top Kayak

For beginners looking for a sit-on-top kayak that offers exceptional value for money, the Jackson Staxx is the clear winner. Designed with affordability and quality in mind, this kayak provides a stable and user-friendly platform for paddlers of all skill levels. The Staxx features a comfortable, adjustable seat, and its open deck design allows for easy entry and exit. With its wide and stable hull, it offers excellent primary stability, making it perfect for beginners getting used to kayaking. The Staxx also comes with ample storage options, so you can bring your essentials on your paddling adventures. Whether you’re exploring calm lakes, slow rivers, or even venturing into light surf, the Jackson Staxx offers great performance at an affordable price, making it the best price point sit-on-top kayak for beginners.[ Also read: High-Back Vs. Low-Back Life Jackets: What’s The Difference? ]

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Dagger Axis 120

Best All-Water Recreational Boat (Up to Class II)

If you’re a beginner who wants to explore various water conditions, the Dagger Axis 120 is the ideal recreational kayak for you. This versatile watercraft is designed to handle everything from calm lakes to mildly moving rivers and even up to Class II whitewater. The Axis 120 features a responsive hull design that offers excellent stability and maneuverability, allowing beginners to navigate different water conditions with confidence. Its adjustable seat and thigh braces provide a comfortable and secure paddling position, enhancing control and stability. With its ample storage space and added outfitting options, you can bring along all the gear you need for your outdoor adventures.

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Delta 12-AR Kayak

Best Lightweight Recreational Kayak

One of the coolest things about the Delta 12-AR is its feather-light construction. Seriously, you won’t break a sweat lugging this baby around. For beginners who value portability and lightweight design, this boat is an excellent choice. The kayak features a comfortable and adjustable seat, providing optimal support for long days on the water. The Delta 12-AR is also built with a stable hull design that’ll have you feeling like a pro in no time. It’s all about smooth sailing and effortless maneuverability, especially on calm waters. So, whether you’re planning a serene day at a nearby lake or a leisurely exploration of slow rivers, this kayak will be your trusty companion, making every paddling adventure a breeze.[ Also read: Where to Paddle in Calgary & Area ]

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If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us below or visit us in store.

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AQ Outdoors Contact

Edmonton: (p) 780 463-4892 (e) info@aquabaticsedmonton.com

Calgary: (p) 403 288-9283 (e) info@aqoutdoors.com

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>