Choosing The Best Recreational Kayaks

Written by David Rivera

A recreational kayak is a type of kayak that is made for and used by the casual kayaker who is interested in recreational activities on a lake or flatwater stream.

When compared to other types of kayaks, recreational kayaks have larger cockpit openings which allow for entry and exit. They also have a wide beam, and this can range from 27 to 30 inches. The beam maintains the stability of the kayak on water. Its length is usually less than twelve feet.

This makes recreational kayaks slower than a longer boat, but they are also lighter than a longer boat. This makes recreational kayaks less expensive, and easier to handle.

Intex K1

intex k1


  • Very portable
  • Inflates quickly
  • Oars + pump included

Due to it wider beam and hull, a recreational kayak will not maintain a straight line on water, as well as a narrower kayak, or boat, would. Also, they have a limited carrying capacity. Recreational kayaks are made out of polyethylene plastic; a less expensive material that makes the kayaks inexpensive.

To maintain the structural integrity of the kayak, the polyethylene plastic has to be made very thick in order to remain strong. This adds to the weight of the kayak, but it will make it sturdy and more stable. However, despite this, recreational kayaks are lighter when compared to bigger kayaks.

Check out this list of some top notch recreational kayaks that you can purchase.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set

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This kayak is a product of Intex Recreational Corp, and it is suitable for two people. It has a streamlined design that makes for easy paddling. The kayaks in this series are a bright yellow, making them highly visible in the water. It is inflatable; this makes it light weight and buoyant.

The use of Boston valves enables easy and quick inflating and deflating of the kayak. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak comes with grab lines which help the paddler maintain a grip on the kayak, both in and out of water. It also includes paddles, a pump, and a repair patch. A detachable skeg provides directional stability, and there are adjustable backrests.

The K2 kayak is built with SUPER-TOUGH 30-gauge vinyl over a 1200 denier nylon-shell with internal tubes. This feature lends the kayak its stability and durability. The maximum weight of the kayak is 400lbs (180 kg), owing to the fact that its passenger capacity is two fully-grown adults.

This does not mean that children, or pets, cannot accompany an adult on the kayak. On the contrary, this kayak is perfect for children who want to kayak. It is sturdy, and clearly visible. The dimensions of the Intex Explorer K2 kayak are very convenient: 3 feet wide, 10.3 inches long, and it weighs 35lbs.

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1 Person Inflatable

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This sporty kayak has a streamlined design for easy paddling. Its bright green color makes it clearly visible in the water. this kayak is perfect for solo kayakers who wish to go on adventures on mild rivers and lakes. It is made of lightweight materials that are easy to assemble and disassemble and, with the Boston valve, the kayak can be deflated and inflated in mere minutes. The Challenger K1 comes with a paddle, a hi-output pump, and a carry bag.

The kayak has an inflatable seat with a removable and adjustable backrest. A skeg, although detachable, provides direction for the kayak – should the kayaker decide to make use of it. A cargo net is attached to the kayak, and it can be utilized by the paddler if they decide to fish. The weight capacity of the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is 220lb (100 kg), but it weighs a mere 23.9lb. It spans 2ft 6in (76cm) across, and it is as long as 9ft (2.74m).

Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Sports Kayak

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These kayaks can be used by beginners, and highly experienced paddlers. Its lightweight design and hull shape make it a swift paddling boat, perfect for sports, and easy to handle by young people. It is however recommended that children are supervised when they use the kayak.

At just 32lbs, this kayak seats 3 people, although it has only two seats. With the maximum weight capacity at 650lbs, the kayak was made out of heavy duty 440 denier nylon fabric. It has two skegs which aid in direction, and it comes with two AB 30 4 part paddles, an A 41-foot pump, two inflatable seats with back support, a nylon carry bag, a repair kit, and a pressure gauge. All these features are worth every penny of the 370 Pro’s worth.

The kayak takes less than ten minutes to inflate, or deflate. The floor of the Sea Eagle is made from an I-beam construction floor that ensures rigidity and firmness; the hull is extra thick, and made from 38-millimeters of Polykrylar; a self-bailing drain valve that is mostly handy out on whitewater rivers; and a removable inflatable front and rear seat.

Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-person Kayak

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This is a good choice for a kayaker looking to have recreational fun. It is stored in a backpack and, when needed, the kayaker sets it up. It is a single person kayak, and it is very stable.

This makes it ideal for beginners. The Seyvlor Quikpak K1 has a multi air chamber design. The implication of this is that, should the kayak be punctured while kayaking, it is only the air chamber with the air puncture that would deflate. This keeps the rest of the air chambers inflated, and the kayak remains afloat.

The kayak has a weight capacity of 400lbs. This is advantageous, especially if the paddler wants to bring along heavy equipment. The kayak is 8ft 7in long, and 3ft wide. Its measurements are such that the paddler would be comfortable on the kayak, with sufficient space for themselves, and their equipment.

The manufacturers of the Sevylor Quikpak K1 provide a paddle, and a manual hand pump. Although it is not adjustable, the paddle breaks down, making for effective storage. It is made of 21-gauge PVC fabric, and has a durable reinforced tarpaulin bottom.

Lifetime Youth Wave (kayak paddle included)

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The 6 feet Youth Wave kayak is designed for children of 5 years, and above – or up to 130lbs. It is as wide as 24 inches across, and this feature provides a stable paddling platform for children and adults, for beginners and experienced paddlers. With a length of 6 feet, this kayak is appropriate for both younger and older children who are under adult supervision.

The following features of the 6 feet Youth Wave kayak make it even more appropriate for children: its sloped back end and swim-up step allows the paddler to easily enter the kayak from the water; the molded finger handles on both sides of the kayak make transportation easier, as well as provide a handle that children can grip should they lose their balance in the water; and multiple footrest positions. These are a few features of the kayak.

At just 18lb, the 6 feet Youth Wave kayak is lightweight, and this makes it easy to cart around. The cockpit is designed ergonomically, in order to enhance the kayaker’s balance and motor skills. This kayak does not seek to limit or inconvenience the paddler. There are scupper holes specifically designed in the kayak to drain the cockpit area. This kayak is highly recommended for children, and it is very stable and balanced. Its stability is as a result of its special design, but the designers used reverse chine to increase the stability of the kayak.

It is built from durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) construction, a material known for its flexibility and resilience. This alone makes this kayak a good long-term choice. The kayak is protected from ultraviolet rays, and it will not crack, fade, or split. The Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak is good for tracking; some kayakers have even used it for surf riding. It is the twin fin design that makes this possible. It maintains the direction of the kayak by countering the drive of the motor.

Conclusion: Choosing The Best Recreational Kayak Made Easy!

If you carefully access all five recommendations for recreational kayaks, you are sure to find the best fit for yourself. You need to consider: who will use the kayak?

What do I want to get out of recreational kayaking? How much do I have? All these are very important questions you must ask yourself before you purchase any of the recommended kayaks.

You also have to consider how safe it is. How safe is a particular kayak? Can it be used on this kind of water? The most important priority of kayaking, even more important than having fun and entertaining oneself, is one’s safety.

As a beginner, you have to consider purchasing a kayak that is more suitable for beginners; one that makes adjustments in order to accommodate the inexperience of a beginner paddler. But as an experienced paddler, such a restriction is practically nonexistent, all that matters is that you have knowledge of where and when you may go out on the water.

About the author

David Rivera