We took a total of 6 popular sea kayak models into consideration and reviewed them thoroughly for over 8 hours. Finally, we can say with full confidence that the Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak is the best of the lot. It comes with style, comfort and every other feature you desire in your favorite sea kayak.
Make the most of the sun and the ocean with the help of Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak under the 780 dollars price mark. You won’t have any complaints and even your budget will thank you if you are really strapped for money.
Scroll down to know the main factors to take care of while buying the perfect sea kayak for your upcoming vacation or weekend getaway.
Main Factors to Consider Before Buying
Kayaking is hard to put in a box. Some people kayak to seek the thrills of white water rafting. Then there are others who love the agile flow of a calm river as it takes them and their kayak into an oasis of solitude. It can be a family adventure or you can make it your personal hobby.
Whatever your requirements may be, you always need a good quality sea kayak to string together those remarkable moments. Below are the main factors that will help you in making the right choice every single time.
The first thing to go out of the window in a budget cut is the quality of the build material. You will encounter this problem the most in case of the budget-friendly options from both big and small brand names alike. The polyethylene and the Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) plastics are the gold standards of the sea kayak’s build material.
Keep an eye out for the unsealed wood block and the exposed steel segments. These will be the first to give up when the weather conditions start getting difficult to manage. If you are a beginner, try the soft shell kayaks. Being lightweight and easy to paddle around, kids and beginners thrive with a kayak like this.
The plastic sea kayaks are the best choice as they are highly durable and lightweight. The composite ones are a bit on the expensive side. However, they offer next level durability and ruggedness to make up for the difference in a way.
Today you have the option of maximizing the benefits you derive from your choice of sea kayaks. The seven main types of kayaks present in the market help you get the best fit for your requirement. The sit-on-top kayaks are a good choice for warmer climates. Go for the fishing kayaks for wider and taller seats.
Whitewater rafting is no joke. That is why you need the no-nonsense whitewater kayak that makes minimal contact with the water. The rounded bottom and upto 10 feel long size makes it perfect to take on the powerful rapids any day of the week. Surfing kayak is a similar model for playing around with the roaring waves.
The PVC-coating and rigid frames make the inflatable kayaks a hassle-free option. Its compact nature and portability might be best for people who struggle with space issues. Somewhat similar to it is the folding kayak. You can easily dissemble and fit it in a backpack.
Get the best in terms of powerful and balanced performance with the modular kayak. For a calm time out in the ocean, go with the solitary stability and paddling efficiency of the touring kayak.
The place when you sit inside the kayak is known as the cockpit. It should be snug without interfering with easy entry and exit. The three main types of cockpits are recreational, keyhole and ocean cockpit. A good quality sea kayak should have a spacious cockpit that allows easy manoeuvring even during rough weather conditions.
A recreational cockpit is square or oval in shape for easy entry and exit. It is more than 36 inches long and 20 inches wide in size. Keyhole cockpits are around 32 inches in length with adjustable seating arrangements. Ocean cockpits are 20 – 26 inches in length. They keep you snug in the kayak and help is rapid movements through the water body.
You will find the weather-proofing, padding and other comfort-enhancing features in various latest models. The overall size and shape of the cockpit will decide your comfort in it and consequently determine how often you use your latest purchase.
You need to take into account the dimensions of your kayak and your body for selecting the best match in terms of paddles. The usual length is between 210 and 260 cm for kayak paddles. The two main paddling styles are high-angle and low-angle paddling.
Low-angle paddling is focused on stability and navigation and hence required paddles with slim blades. Professionals prefer the high-angle paddling style for speed and precision. Hence it requires shorter and wider blades to support the required paddling style.
Go for the fiberglass paddle blades for the variety of colors and lightweight feel. They pair perfectly with the recreational and touring kayaks. The nylon aluminum paddle blades are low maintenance and support all kinds of weather conditions. Carbon fiber blades will deliver optimum performance even in rough terrains.
Preferred Kayaking Location
Some people are all about enjoying the moment as their kayak leisurely glides on a lazy river. Other like to grab life by the horns as they paddle their way through the challenging white waters. You need to keep your choice of kayaking location in mind while buying a kayak.
This way you won’t be in for a rude awakening as the water current messes around with you when all you wanted was a little harmless fun. The easy on the budget, sit-on-top kayaks are best suited for the calm water bodies only. No matter how skilled you are, never underestimate the power of choppy currents. Get the high-end kayaks with V-shaped hulls and waist cockpits for taking on those feisty tides.
My early memory of cartoons is of goofball Goofy being stuck in a kayak and rotating non-stop like a windmill around it. You don’t want to unintentionally recreate this scenario and get hurt and embarrassed in the process. So be smart and pick a kayak with high sinkage level!
The weight required to make it sit an inch lower in the water is known as the sinkage level of a kayak. Higher the sinkage level, the better the stability of that kayak will be. You don’t have to sit perfectly still at all times in a kayak like this just to keep it properly balanced. You can stretch your legs, take the rejuvenating full-body yawns and just relax completely with that high sinkage level.
These are few of the factors that will help you in making the right choice. Next, get to know our top picks and a brief review of each one of them.
Best Sea Kayak For Beginners Reviews
We have shortlisted a total of 6 kayak models and reviewed them properly to come up with the following observations.
1. Eddyline Sky 10 Kayak
The overnight popularity of the Eddyline Skylark model led to the ultimate launch of the Sky 10 model. People were seeking lighter and smaller kayaks and hence they readily welcomed this kayak. Priced safely under the 1000 dollars mark, you can get a good deal on it if you know just the right place to buy it from.
- It is a sit-in kayak and weighs around 41 pounds while easily supporting approximately 295 pounds of gross weight.
- This 12 feet long model is majorly made up of the ABS plastic.
- Boasts a good level of primary and secondary stability with the additional option of thigh braces.
- The seat might be a bit uncomfortable and also lacks the adjustability option.
2. Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak – High Performance for Fishing, Sailboats and Backcountry Trips
The many features of the folding Oru Kayak BayST kayak make it perfect for all kinds of kayakers. You can assemble it easily in no time and then fold it back to fit it in your backpack when not in use. With just 1600 dollars, you can practice and develop your kayaking skills in it, year after year.
- You get full one year of manufacturer’s guarantee from the original shipping date.
- A custom polypropylene with 20 thousand folds rating and a decade-long UV treatment is used in the development of its hull.
- It offers plenty of room to sail around with your fishing gear and stay steady even in choppy currents.
- You will be stuck with only three months of warranty if you don’t buy from a credible online/offline store.
3. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
You will get the most use of this kayak by surfing and in ocean swells. Its stable and efficient design has been serving people in a glitch-free manner for over two decades now. It works great in both flatwater and challenging rapids which further equips it for all kinds of adventure. You can score one of these under the 540 dollars margin as of now.
- The bow-stern carrying handles and the molding-in side handles will help you carry it easily to the desired place.
- Its famous tri-form hull offers you long center keel for straight movement and combines the benefits of both primary and secondary stability.
- The durable and four-way adjustable Comfort Plus seat gives you all the more reason to paddle around all day.
- The seat might be a bit uncomfortable and the overall weight of the kayak might be too much to carry around easily.
4. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
Priced within the 780 dollars range, it is one of the most popular sit-on-top kayaks in the world. You can paddle it in both solo and tandem format depending upon your preferences. It can easily seat two fully grown adults with a pet or a child.
- It is 34 inches wide and 12 feet long in length with sufficient load bearing capacity of 425 pounds.
- The hull comes with the lifetime warranty to make you all the more carefree during its usage.
- The center-seated paddlers can settle in and comfortably stretch their feet thanks to its patented overlapping foot wells.
- The water seepage problem might bother you in few of the faulty models.
5. Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Dirigo 106 Recreational Kayak
This is the shortest and hence most forgiving kayak in the Dirigo-series. The beginners can count on it for being helpful when as they gear up for their practice. And the seasoned paddlers can enjoy the ease and comfort that comes with this kayak. The reasonable 750 dollars price range further increases its appeal among the kayakers.
- The kayak comes in 4 attractive shades, namely Sunrise, Black Cherry, Photic and Cloud.
- Modeled around a savvy car, enjoy similar benefits in it such as the waterproof glove box hatch, molded cupholder and many more.
- The combination of a Glide Track foot brace system and the contoured Poly cushioned seat gives you a stable and comfortable seating arrangement.
- The small glove box might not be able to accommodate the bigger smartphones or tablets.
6. Riot Kayaks Brittany 16.5 Flatwater Touring Kayak with Skeg and Rudder (Yellow/Orange, 16.5-Feet)
This fast and agile British style sea kayak is made for kayakers of all experience levels. With a price well below the 1260 dollars mark, you get to enjoy the best in sea kayak technology without going too off the budget. A number of additional safety and comfort features present in it assures a safe and sound kayaking experience.
- It weighs just 50 pounds for easy transportation to and from the sea.
- The retractable skeg and pilot rudder system give you better control of the kayak during your trips.
- Custom-fit and high-performance seating system takes care of all your seating requirements.
- The thigh braces and seatback adjustment has room for improvement.
These were our top 6 picks in terms of the latest sea kayaks present in the marketplace.
Kayaking is a wonderful sport/leisure activity. The quality of this experience relies heavily on the kayaking gear. So you need to make the perfect choice to have an enjoyable and comfortable experience. We suggest the Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak which is the best choice for a number of people when it comes to kayaking.
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