Best River Kayak for Beginners for Some Fit Fun in 2018!

Best River Kayak for Beginners for Some Fit Fun in 2018

Buying any type of equipment when you’re a beginner obviously takes a lot of work and a lot of time and research.  You want to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product for what you’re paying, and you also want to make sure that you’re buying something that you, a novice, can use accordingly and learn from.

A lot of stress can come when buying as a novice -- especiallywhen you’re buying something like a river kayak.

And then, there’s the obvious question that everyone has:  if I buy a river kayak for beginners, can I use it later on when I feel more advanced?

There are some great river kayaks out there, but we’ve decided to narrow it down to one river kayak that we feel is the best kayak for beginners -- while also being something that you can use later on down the line, even when you are more advanced.

How to Find a Good Beginner Kayak

There’s a lot of ways you can help narrow down a kayak from “good” standing to a “horrible” standing kayak -- and sometimes, if you’re a beginner, you have to look out for certain aspects.  For example, as a beginner, you’re going to need a stable and sturdy kayak to help you get used to the whole process of kayaking. 

While more advanced kayakers may not need a lot of sturdiness, as they have learned how to go with the flow, beginners do need this added protection.  A sturdy kayak also helps with the overall beginner experience, as you’ll probably be quite nervous the first time around (which is normal, trust us!).

Therefore, if you’re looking for a great beginner river kayak, try and find one that is forgiving, stable, and rugged enough for the learning experience you are about to embark on.  This means your kayak should also be a little less streamlined (compared to an expert vessel), while also having reinforced hulls which do help when you are knocked to and fro.

For this reason, we’ve considered stability to be of the utmost importance when searching for a beginner’s kayak.  Along with this stability, we searched for a kayak that is also affordable and easy to use.

Now, how you use your kayak does depend on what type of kayak you may need.  Do you plan on using your kayak to fish?  To boat around in? To have fun in on the weekends or during the summer?  How much do you plan to use it? 

Think of all of these things as we talk about our favorite beginner’s kayak and get you ready to hit the river!

The Best Kayak for Beginners

Perception Pescador Pro

Perception Pescador Pro 1

​​​​The Perception Pescador Pro is the bestriver kayak for beginners!  Touted as the ultimate kayak for fishing, this kayak has everything you need if you’re a beginner -- and, it’s one of those kayaks that you can keep around forever.  It’s durable and long-lasting, meaning you’ll have this baby for a long time to come.  Plus, it’sa great choice for beginners and those who are more advanced alike!

This kayak is also great because it comes with a great range of storage space.  Even if you might not need the storage for each and every trip you take, it’s still really nice to have.  You never know when you might need it! 

This is the ultimate river kayak to buy if you know you’re going to use it for fishing.  With the ample storage space, the comfortable seating area, and the stability, you’ll find yourself out on the water for hours before you even realize it. 

While it is a bit more expensive than the average beginner’s river kayak, it’s well worth the price.  If you know that you want to put in the time and effort to take your kayak out on the water, this is the one that you need.

To keep things simple, here’s a pros and cons list to break it all down, nice and neat:


  • Long lasting and is a great kayak for beginners and even those who are more advanced kayakers
  • Very versatile -- can be used for any purpose
  • Allows some room for error while still keeping the stability, which is great for beginners
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    Incredible storage space
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    Great kayak for anglers
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    Very comfortable seating area


  • Very heavy; moving the kayak around when out of water can become difficult because of this
  • While cheaper than some other kayaks, it is stillmore than a “beginners” kayak
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

If the river kayak we mentioned above is a bit out of your price range, and you’re looking for something that’s much cheaper, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is probably your best bet.  While it’s not as great as the Perception Pescador Pro, it’s still a very great high-quality kayak that is fantastic for beginners -- and much cheaper.

To keep things simple, here’s a pros and cons list to break it all down, nice and neat:


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    Very affordable
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    Lightweight; very easy to transport
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    Has reliable tracking and stability
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    Results in a very comfortable ride


  • While a great beginning kayak to own, you may feel the need to branch out and buy a better one once you become a more advanced kayaker
  • Doesn’t come with a seat cushion (which can be uncomfortable if you plan on being out on the water for a longperiod of time)

Find a Kayak that is Best for You

There are a ton of kayaks out there on the market that boasts of how great they are for beginners.  We’ve reviewed a ton of kayaks and searched for the best ones, the ones that are great for beginners, and the two models we’ve talked about above are clear winners

While we like the Perception Pescador Pro kayak, we understand that it can be quite pricey for some people, which is why we’ve included the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 kayak. 

However, it should be noted that the Perception Pescador Pro kayak is great for beginners and advanced kayakers alike.  With its long lifespan, you won’t have to buy a new kayak once you get the hang of the whole process.  With the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10, you probably will.

They’re both great options -- it’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs.  Happy kayaking!