2016 Best Recreational Kayak Reviews & Brands For Cheap

Knowing how to choose the best recreational kayak in 2016 for your type of paddle quest is more important than ever before. Nowadays, the term recreational has evolved into a catch-all phrase for wanting-to-chill kayakers. Its definition has come to comprise sea kayaks, kayaks that look like canoes, transitional touring kayaks, kayaks that look like river rafts, expedition kayaks, even surf skis.

Recreational Kayaks Comparison

ModelRatingTypeSeats
badge-best-seller-miniSun Dolphin Aruba 104.4BeginnerSingle
Pelican Matrix 100X4.4BeginnerSingle
Ocean Kayak Scrambler 115.0IntermediateSingle
Perception Prodigy 105.0BeginnerSingle
badge-best-seller-miniDagger Kayaks 12.0 Axis5.0IntermediateSingle
Old Town Canoes Loon 1115.0ProfessionalSingle
Old Town Vapor 104.5BeginnerSingle
Point 65 Martini4.0IntermediateDouble
Emotion Grandslam4.2IntermediateSingle
Eddyline EquinoxN/AProfessionalSingle
Folbot Recreational GremlinN/AIntermediateSingle
Hurricane Santee 116N/AProfessionalSingle
BIC Sport KalymaN/AIntermediateDouble
Riot Kayaks Boogie 50 WhitewaterN/AProfessionalSingle

Recreational” Can mean many things. In The table above you will see both whitewater and sit-on-top units. We add more reviews on a regular basis and so will update the table as soon as we do!

Recreational kayaks are great for paddling in protected waters such as a small lake, a protected bay, or a gentle river. They are stable and, therefore and easy to paddle. So if you are looking for a great way to spend a day paddling, then a recreational sit on top kayak is the best choice. Otherwise if you are not sure checkout the main reviews page for a more general overview of the kayaks available.

recreational leasure kayaking in river wye

Kayaking in Wye river

Recreational kayak reviews: Recreational ‘yaks have many helpful features and accessories that are designed to benefit casual water sports (Personally, sit on top kayaks are best for recreational use). In fact very few exercises provide the kind of entertainment range that recreational kayaks do offer.

One minute you are sashaying through the water as you to quietly explore an estuary while enjoy the tranquility of your vicinity, and the next minute you are whizzing down a set of rapids. This means that you must be able to choose the best recreational kayak for you. The most necessary considerations when looking for a recreational boat includes amount and type of cargo you expect to carry, sit-in vs. sit-on-top, and the ease of transportation.

On the same note, you must ask yourself the following 5 basic questions:

  • Where do you expect to go (if you want some recommendations check our Missouri River)?
  • Are you going to paddle alone or will kayaking in tandem be better?
  • How are you going to transport and store your kayak?
  • How far do you expect to go?
  • Is it better to look for used recreational kayaks for sale to save money?
  • And, how skillful are you?

The most important reason why you need a perfect recreational yak is because recreational ones have a varying range of features; for instance, the hull shape of whitewater kayaks totally differ from those specifically designed for paddling on smooth water. As you make your choice, the way you are going to transport, and even store your kayak requires keen consideration.

The perfect yak is the one that exactly fits your needs.

Whether you are a newbie to this sea belly sport or a seasoned kayaker, the following kayaks will surely help you wade through the technical jargon, match one to your skill level, and get out and into the water.

Review of Top Recreational Kayaks For 2016

With so many high end brands how do you choose which one to cover? Well, I did the hard work for you. Below is the top ones in their respective category for 2016.

Riot Kayaks Boogie 50 Whitewater Surf Kayak

Riot Kayaks Boogie 50 Whitewater Surf Kayak review

If you are a more adventurous paddler who wishes to take on the challenge of kayaking a whitewater river, then be rest assured there are kayaks specifically designed for that particular purpose.

>> Click here to read what Riot fans have to say

Most often these whitewater kayaks are shorter and much more maneuverable compared to other kayaks. In addition, they have well rounded bottoms make it possible for you to easily maneuver them round obstacles.


Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Old Town Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak review

If you are new to kayaking, then the Old Town Vapor is the best bet for you. It can either be a sit-on-top or inflatable one. It offers some nice advantages such us its exceptional stability.

>> Click here for more Old Town reviewer’s experience 

Most of them are so stable that, in any case you find yourself in water it is so easy to climb back onto your boat without capsizing.


Ocean Kayak Venus 11

Ocean Kayak Venus 11 review

This one comes with a sit-on-top features designed particularly for women paddlers. It offers a much drier ride, more dry storage space for your stuff, ability to use a spray skirt if you wish to, and an increased paddling performance or efficiency.

>> Click here for more star reviews on the Ocean ‘yak 

Even though there are other kayaks rigged for fishing, this one is definitely a good contender when wanting to start with just a sock boat and build upon with your own equipment.


Eddyline Equinox

Eddyline Equinox review

This beamingly yellowish, mid-volume touring boat features the accoutrements that seasoned kayaker would love bulkheads, hatches, bungee cords fore, recessed hardware and aft of the cockpit.

>> Click here and find out what others have to say on the Equinox

Though it lacks rudder or skeg, it has adjustable foot pegs. The hard shines lead you to a well rounded V hull which provides both good initial and final (or secondary) stability. This recreational sea kayak contains a seat and double-layer backrest for maximum comfort.

How Can You Choose the Best Recreational Kayak Brands after 2015?

>> Click here to browser through the best seller list

When choosing a kayak, four factors must swing into your mind. These include:

  • Comfort: Aspects such as seat design, paddling and ergonomics.
  • Bang vs. Buck: Are you getting what you pay for?
  • Weight: How easy it is to lift, carry and maneuver in the water.
  • Details: The quality, not quantity, of the kayak’s features.

Once you are done with the above concerns then you need to look at the exact specifications that each type of canoe has, its features and perfection depending on what, where and how you wish to kayak after 2015.

Regardless of the above provided recreational kayak reviews, make sure to consider the following necessities, as they will help you handle yours in such a way that it doesn’t cause any inconvenience.

Cargo: One of the great joys of recreational paddling is the fact that you are able to take along with you some of the comforts of home to enjoy during your tour. The comforts may include your favorite lunch, beverages and snacks, your dog and of course some comfortable chairs just in case you decide to have a break on shore. So to help you pack all this stuff, a sit-on-top boat will work best for you. However, keep in mind that too much stuff is likely to slow you down considerably.

Transport: You are going to have to move your boat from time to time. So consider the weight of the material used to make the kayak. Is it light enough such that you can lift and carry it alone, if you plan to go outing by yourself? If it’s not light enough for you to carry alone, then you are not going to get much paddling done. If you can’t get a lighter one then you’ll have to buy a sports trailer that you will use to carry yours behind your vehicle.

Lastly, don’t forget to brush up on your safety knowledge before heading in, the American Canoe Association has free courses for you to take online and anytime.

kayaking in alaska waters with buddies

Nothing like the still waters of Alaska to enjoy peace of mind of leisure kayaking