Top 6 Best Whitewater Kayak For Beginners – Buying Guide 2021

Whitewater kayak in the sea

Last updated on February 26th, 2021

If you’re an adrenaline junkie you do understand the type of kick kayaking has to offer. Beginners need to take special measures for the best whitewater kayak for beginners. Kayaking is a recreational activity for the brave ones and for those who want to enjoy life to the fullest.

Kayaking can be done in various water bodies e.g. rivers, white water, the ocean, etc. This adrenaline-filled blood pumping ride is fun and adventurous but it can lead to tragedies as well if the proper measures aren’t taken before starting the journey.

Beginners need to take special measures. Those waves can offer you fun but also engulf you without leaving a sign of your existence if the best water kayak for beginners isn’t chosen.

White water kayakers understand how important it is to choose the best white water kayak before leaving yourself as a hostage of the waves. Keeping in mind that there’s a variety of kayaks that market has to offer, choosing a top of the line kayak can be pretty stressful.

Don’t worry because our review of the best whitewater kayaks for beginners has got you covered. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy as we elaborate on how to select a kayak.

Image Name Check Price
Ocean Kayak Venus Check Price
Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Ocean Kayak Check Price
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Check Price
Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak Check Price
Sun Dolphin Aruba Check Price
Third Coast Arbor 100 Sit in Recreational Kayak Check Price

Top 6 Best Whitewater Kayak For Beginners

1. Ocean Kayak Venus

The kayak is extremely lightweight and portable. It can be easily moved from place to place without extra help from another person. So this best ocean kayak for beginners gets an extra point for its portable nature. One of the most notable features in this kayak is its property of providing lumbar support. In this way, it helps in maintaining the posture of the consumer.

Lumbar support provided by this best cheap kayak for beginners helps in avoiding the pain that is caused by an incorrect posture while kayaking. Sit on top kayaks are the most widely used type of kayaks amongst other ones.

The reason behind its popularity is it’s an extremely easy operational mechanism. Ocean kayak Venus 10 features a capacity of 175-pound and weighs around 38 pounds. It’s 9 feet 11 inches long and about 28 inches wide.

It includes a drain plug so you can easily remove the water before carrying the kayak back home. This kayak also features a very comfortable hybrid seat. If you find topping the kayak on your difficult don’t you worry because it has got you covered with its amazing car-topping handle system.

The material used in the seat is very ideal and of good quality. It’s pretty easy to set yourself on the seat in a comfortable way because if you’re not comfortable then your ride won’t be great at all.

This promises a comfortable journey which is why this is the best kayak for whitewater and flatwater. Furthermore, this kayak is suitable for various water bodies unlike other ones in the market that are mostly specific for a water body.

The Ocean Kayak Venus 10 works swiftly on flat water, on ocean swells and on rivers with the same ease. The kayak is available in multiple beautiful colors such as; Envy, Fuchsia, etc.


  • Lightweight
  • Includes side carrying handles and toggle handles for ease Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Provides lumbar support
  • It’s very suitable for various water bodies Comfortable
  • It’s available in beautiful colours


  • This is specifically designed for and won’t ideal for usage by men.

2. Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Ocean Kayak

The second kayak on our list is the Malibu two tandem ocean kayak. The cockpit is pretty large and it has the capacity to be comfortable for at least 2 kayakers and a pet or a bag.

It has the capacity to accumulate 425-pounds and it weighs around 578 pounds (3.63 kg). The kayak is about 12 feet (3.66 m) long and features a comfortable seat and footrest for the comfort of the consumer.

It’s not very basic and also not very complicated which is why it’s the best kayak for beginner and intermediate level.

This kayak is the best kayak for ocean waves available in the market if you’re also claustrophobic. It’s ideal for claustrophobic users because it doesn’t feature traditional closed hulls.

So in this way you can enjoy your journey in ocean waves without feeling fearful and suffocated. Furthermore, this kayak also has gear straps so you can easily carry around your gear.

Presence of side carrying handles and toggle handles is another advantage for the rider thanks to this best cheap kayak for beginners


  • Easy
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Comfortable for two people
  • Comfortably adjusts a heavy person


  • Footrests might be a bit less spacious for some people

3. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

The next kayak on our list is the best single person inflatable kayak available in the market. Inflatable kayaks are always preferable because of their extremely portable nature. When you’re going on a trip; whether it’s a recreational or fishing trip, you’re in no mood to carry heavy material.

Inflatable kayaks save you the extra trouble. They are easy to carry anywhere, and they are extremely lightweight. These qualities make them ideal for fishing for traveling purposes.

The length and width of the kayak are around 12.7’ inches and 3.1’inches respectively. The kayak weighs around 34.5 lbs and has the capacity to easily adjust a heavier person weighing around 400 lbs.

These proportions make it one of the best kayaks for large men mentioned in our review guide. You can either go solo on your trip or take another person because this is a 2 seated kayak. The kayak also features multiple accessories such as 2 paddles and inflatable seats.

In case of any kind of damage, a repair kit has also been provided by the company. It also features stainless steel rings on the side so you can easily attach bags with your kayak and carry around the material you need for the trip.

Furthermore, on every purchase, you also get a pump and pressure gauge.

This features a polyester core with tough- laminate material. Usually, the places that are visited for kayaking are pretty sunny. This kayak is also safe from the damage caused by UV rays coming from the sun which makes it the best kayak for the money available under budget.

Now, you can easily enjoy the adventure without worrying about sun damage. The footrest is super adjustable for your comfort and ease while kayaking. It also includes a super adjustable mountain bracket.

Now, you can easily adjust your fishing rods and GPS without facing extra trouble in balancing it which is why it’s the best beginner kayak for fishing.


  • Durable lamination material
  • UV protection
  • Adjustable seat
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Includes high-pressure inflation mechanism\
  • Comfortable for a large person
  • Features multiple accessories


  • The paddles are too short

4. Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak

What if we tell you that you can go kayaking but also save money on the gear? Sounds like an ideal deal right?

Now if you’re looking for a cheap kayak for sale under 150 that is also durable and safe, Pelican Solo 6 Feet Sit-on-top Youth Kayak is the answer you’re looking for. This kayak is the simplest and basic kayak featured on our list of best sit on top white water kayak review guide.

Now, being cheap doesn’t mean that it won’t promise the mobility that an expensive kayak promises. The material used in its construction is impact resistant which promised its longevity.

As the name indicates the kayak is about 6 feet (1.83 m) long. It also includes a safety flag for young kayakers and a plastic paddle for kids. Moreover, extra accessories such as a paddle rester, bottle holder, and a drain plug are also provided on every purchase which makes this the best cheap kayak for sale under 150.

This kayak is ideal for kids who have just started learning kayaking, so we can definitely refer to this kayak as the best white water kayak for beginners.


  • Ideal for beginners
  • It’s very cheap
  • Stable


  • Not suitable for a heavy person
  • Not very long-lasting

5. Sun Dolphin Aruba

The second last runner up on our list is the Sun Dolphin Aruba that weighs around 40 pounds (ca. 18 kg). The material of this amazing kayak features a UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene hull and is protected from harmful UV rays.

Moreover, this best whitewater kayak for beginners includes a spray deflector collar and adjustable foot braces. The seats inside the kayak are padded and are very comfortable so you can enjoy the ride.

The user doesn’t really have to do that much and it’s really easy to operate which makes the audience of the product pretty wide.

So, if you are a beginner this is the perfect choice for you as it’s not only the best whitewater sit on top kayak but also the number one choice while buying a kayak for beginners.

For the protection of your gear this best budget kayak for fishing includes gear storage with shock cord deck rigging. This is the best kayak for all-around use as you can also use it oceans as well as on white waters.


  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for professional use
  • Favors multiple water bodies
  • Provides shock cord deck rigging
  • Material includes UV protectant
  • Shock resistant


  • No seat cushion

6. Third Coast Arbor 100 Sit in Recreational Kayak

The last best sit in kayak on your review guide is the best kayak for river touring. The material used in the making of this best type of kayak for rivers is roto-molded polyethylene. This kayak weighs around 50 pounds (ca. 23 kg) and is considered as the most stable kayak for beginners.

It’s available in 3 beautiful and fresh colors (Citron/Blue/White) on Amazon. The design of this kayak is pretty professional and is very ideal for users who are into water-related sports. The length and width of this kayak are 10′ and 30”’ respectively. The hull is V-Bottom shaped and features an adjustable foot brace system.

While kayaking the kayaker has to carry important stuff like GPS, batteries, and cameras which are prone to water damage while kayaking but the Third Coast Arbor 100 knows the real deal.

It features storage hatches and yak attack mounts. The seats are very comfortable and the footrest is very spacious. Like most kayaks available on our sit on top whitewater review guide this kayak is also impact resistant so don’t worry about some scratches.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is utilized in the manufacturing of this best white water kayak for big guys. The body of the kayak features scuppers holes so you can drain the water out of the kayak with ease. It’s UV protected and shock-resistant so no worries regarding sun damage and scratches in case of an impact.

The reverse chine provides stability over flat white water surface so the kayak doesn’t turn over. It’s suitable for kids above the age of 5.


  • Lightweight
  • Includes a paddle
  • Provides UV protection
  • Promises ultra stability
  • Durable construction materia


  • Not suitable for a heavy person

How to select a kayak?

Now, apart from reading review guides and opting for famous brands, there are certain specifications to keep in check before buying the best kayak for the money you’ll be paying.

If you’re not a trained or experienced person in this particular field you need to know basic things to look for before buying a kayak. Knowing these things is very important so you can judge whether the kayak you’re about to buy is the most stable kayak for beginners or not.

Buying a cheap kayak to save some coins and risking your life is never a smart move. So be smart and opt for the best kayak for river trips. The first thing to check is the primary and secondary stability of the best whitewater kayak for beginners.

If these two aspects are guaranteed then good performance is at least 30 percent guaranteed. Your kayak will remain stable over flat water surface and corners which is the property of some of the best whitewater sit on top kayak. The volume of the kayak matters a lot.

Heavier boats are more preferable thanks to their quality of staying more on top as compared to lighter ones. Furthermore, the volume is measured in gallons. The volume of the best kayak for whitewater and touring will mostly range in-between 45 to 96 gallons.

The next things to take into account is the bow and stern rockers. A certain amount of rockers should necessarily be present on or kayak, but they can also vary on different kinds of kayaks.

Rockers promise the proper mobility of kayak and are one of the most major parts to be taken under account prior to the purchase. The next part that should be noticed is the chines. The only thing to remember is the rule “the softer the chines, the harder the turns”.

So, it’s preferable to choose kayaks with harder chines but you’ll spend lesser energy during paddling. The easier things are the more you’ll enjoy your adrenaline-filled adventure.

What basic things are to be looked for before buying a kayak?

Firstly, you need to check if the kayak is lightweight. Nobody wants to carry around extra weight during a recreational or fishing trip. Isn’t it a big bummer when you’re out to enjoy but now you have to carry around some extra weight because of your kayak?

So save yourself some trouble and opt for the cheaper lightweight best whitewater kayak for beginners. Now that we’ve mentioned “cheaper kayaks” always remember nothing comes before your safety. Always chose cheaper kayaks to save some coins but make sure you’re not opting for quantity over quality.

Moreover, check for the durability of the kayak and read previous review guides of the best rated whitewater kayaks on the internet. Furthermore, check if the product comes with some extra accessories like; a safety kit, paddles or not.

Creek boat VS River runner

Creek boat and the river runner are categories of boats that are designed mainly for downriver paddling. Downriver paddling is different from freestyle paddling and surfing so it requires a different category of boats.

The sole difference between these two categories is that creek boats are specifically made to run in a steeper type of whitewater. On the other hand, river runners are designed for down-river speed for a green wave.

Both types help in paddling downstream without much effort. On average, most paddlers prefer river runners over creek boats.

The reason behind this is those river runners are better for paddling big water because they have more speed and provide more control.

How many variations of kayaks are there?

There are various kinds of best whitewater kayak for beginners, so their specifications and functions also vary. The market offers an excessive variety of different ones. Some are solely for sports purposes while others are for recreational purposes such as; whitewater kayaks etc.

Kayaks can be;
  • Recreational
  • Touring
  • Inflatable
  • Pedalling kayaks.

Now, it’s really important to identify the right kind of best whitewater kayak for beginners for the purpose in question otherwise your trip won’t go as planned. Some kayaks work in various water bodies but some don’t.