Kayaking For Beginners

By Jeff Bogle

Aug 21, 2023

Kayaking for beginners is all about getting your feet wet and choosing the best kayak for beginners that will keep you steady and dry!

Whether it’s yoga classes or CrossFit, watercolor painting or water sports, starting something new can be intimidating. But just because there are things you need to learn before you start doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Just take kayaking for beginners as an example! You are going to love the freedom, calm, and joy derived from cutting through the still water of a local lake and, as you get more confident, the thrill of paddling through the waves on the open ocean. And then you can start to fish from a kayak!

Kayaking for beginners is all about getting your feet wet, literally, and of course, choosing the best kayak for beginners that will help keep you steady and the rest of your body dry! Let’s go over some kayaking tips for beginners to keep you safe, and look at the gear and kayaks for beginners you’ll need, maybe even finding the best fishing kayak for beginners if you dream of someday casting a line from the middle of your neighborhood lake.


Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Kayaking is a full-body workout and may help you lose weight through its low-impact cardio. Even before you start shopping for kayaking gear for beginners, it’s important to understand that while getting started with kayaking as a beginner more be stressful right now, eventually, being on the water alone and feeling the serenity of time spent outdoors may actually help to improve your mental health by reducing your overall level of stress you deal with on a day to day basis.

Speaking of gear, it’s recommended that before making the financial commitment to buying the best kayak for beginners and other equipment, try kayaking first by renting, borrowing from friends, or going on organized kayak tours where all the gear is supplied for you. You’ll be able to get comfortable with how to get into a kayak for beginners, learn how to paddle, and get familiar with hand signals to communicate with other boats on the water, without sinking a lot of money into the activity. So, try before you buy, like when you test drive a car or a sample of fancy cheese at the grocery store!

The Best Kayaks for Beginners

It will be very tempting to buy a shiny, bright, and colorful new kayak as you get into this amazing recreational activity, but before you purchase a kayak for beginners, there are several things you should consider, including:

• Kayak type

• Structural design

• Material

• Size

• Weight and weight capacity

• Brand reputation

• Storing

• Transporting

That’s right, the best kayak for beginners will not only hold your weight and keep you afloat perfectly but be able to be stored securely and easily transported to the water. If you buy a hardshell kayak, for example, you may need roof racks, a truck bed, a kayak trailer, or a kayak cart. If space is a concern, an inflatable kayak may be the best kayak for beginners for you.

Pelican Sentinel 100X Sit On Top Kayak for Beginner

The advantage of a sit-on-top kayak is better back support and the feeling of being able to swim away from the kayak should it flip over in the water, eliminating one of the biggest fears associated with kayaking for beginners. This Sentinel Sit on Top kayak for beginners has plenty of storage, a bottle holder, and two paddle tie-downs to keep everything secure on board. This is also the best fishing kayak for beginners who need the utmost stability for casting their lines into the water. Learn more about the wide variety of fishing kayaks and learn how to find the best fishing kayak for you.

Sevylor QuickPak K1 Inflatable Kayak

When it comes to portability and ease of storage, there’s nothing better than an inflatable kayak for beginners. Not only does this Sevylor have a backrest, but it shrinks down into a backpack you can wear walking to the water and then sets up in 5 minutes. While on the water, its 21-gauge PVC construction is rugged enough to keep you safe and sound while kayaking.


Additional Kayaking Gear for Beginners and Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Having the best kayak for beginners is just the beginning of your adventure on the water. There is more gear needed to keep you safe while in a kayak, including:

1. Life Jacket

A must-have whenever you are enjoy recreation on or near water, whether you are a great swimmer or not.

2. Water shoes

You should dress for the water not just the weather, so at the very least have water shoes on to help you walk on the shoreline and feel confident in the kayak.

3. Dry Bag

An extra change of clothes in a dry bag that’s securely bungeed down inside your kayak is a must, just in case you end up in the water unexpectedly.

4. Reflective tape

In low light conditions, it is essential to be seen on the water. Even if you start your journey during the day, be prepared for the unexpected with reflective tape on your clothes and kayak.

5. Duct Tape

While high gauge PVC is extremely sturdy, accidents do happen. Having Duct Tape on board your kayak will help you quickly repair damage while on the water.

6. Bilge Pump

Even the best kayak for beginners can take on water. If you are in a sit-in kayak, this pump will allow you to remove excess water that gets in, keeping you safe.

7. Reusable Water Bottle

You’ll be surrounded by water while kayaking, but many people forget to stay hydrated while in the sun and exercising. Always have a good reusable water bottle filled when you start out on your kayaking adventure.

This extra kayaking gear will keep you hydrated and safe on the water, making kayaking for beginners less intimating and so much more fun.


Whether you are searching the internet for “kayak lessons for beginners near me” or want to know what you need for kayak fishing for beginners, these tips, kayaks, and gear will get you started on this new activity. Learn how to start kayaking today!

Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle
Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion