Best Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners – Reviews in 2020

In recent times, whitewater kayaking has grown to become a favorite form of sporting activity for many. In fact, it has become obvious that people are increasingly settling for the delightful; entertainment derivable from the out there. And to really get the most of the kayaking, there is various information you need to equip yourself with. However, this piece will be opening you up to relevant details through this review.

Best Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners

Pyranha Machno Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners

best whitewater kayaks for beginnersThe Pyranha Machno Kayak is a unique kayak and a rare one.

Its design gives a delightful perception of unconstrained fun and safety. To start with, this comes with an innovative wave detector to better ready the rider for action.

And aside from that, the structure of the Pyranha Machno Kayak, which consists of the overall size, cockpit dimension, paddle weight among others are exceptional features of the Pyranha Machno kayak that makes it the preferred one among its peers.

For enhanced safety, the kayak comes with 5 aluminum grab handles that can help brace and secure experienced and beginner kayakers alike.

Its soft and modest edge is also a plus as it helps in holding lines in big waters. It’s indeed one of the cheapest whitewater kayaks one can find out there.

Though, irrespective of how affordable the kayak might be, it might still not be a preferred choice for some. And this is not because it can’t provide what is needed but because different people have different preferences when it comes to making a decision.

Despite its affordability, Pyranha Machno still has one of the comfiest kayak seats that help aid riders balance while enjoying their ride. Its top-notch responsiveness can as well be attributed to its stout shape, and this, of course, gives it the lightning movement of a light-weighted kayak that offers an excellent experience for riders.

What we liked

  • Wave detection for enhanced security
  • It’s a perfect fitness platform

What we didn’t like

  • Some might see its affordability as reduced efficiency

Dagger Mamba 8.1 Kayak

Dagger Mamba 8.1 KayakAs its name implies, the Dragger Mamba 8.1 is a kayak that glides effortlessly on the water with an astonishing balance that booster riders’ confidence.

When it comes to usability, it’s a kayak that gives professional kayakers an edge.

One of the Dagger Mamba 8.1 whitewater touring kayak features a contour Ergo outfit design that makes it attractive.

Likewise, quite a considerable amount of innovation has gone into its production as everything about it talks about safety. It has a safety step-out wall, security grab handles as well as precision thigh braces that keep you where you want and enhance your balance on the water.

One might want to say the cost of the Dagger Mamba might not be affordable for all users, but it does give value for money. It’s the perfect choice that eases your movement through the creeks and various water rapids without giving you much concern about the injury.

This kayak is designed to offer more volume and also enhance ideal distribution for freestyle moves. However, its array of irresistible features does not in any way hinder its unique speed. Likewise, its capacity to move fast also comes along with its great balance and crisper control for excellent maneuvering. And talk about comfort, its multi-adjustable contour hips pad, and back pad, coupled with its stylish seating with leg lifter says it all.

What we liked

  • Comes with safety features
  • Great design
  • Great convenience

What we didn’t like

  • Might not be affordable for some

Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 Whitewater Creeking Kayak (Red, 8-Feet)

Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 Whitewater Creeking Kayak (Red, 8-Feet)The Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 is a Whitewater Creeking Kayak that has the capacity to withstand both mild and extreme whitewater kayaking.

Quite a handful of innovative consideration has gone into making the kayak one of a kind.

To start with, this kayak comes with firm thigh and foot braces that keep you steady, safe, and convenient while getting the most out of your kayaking escapade.

This kayak also comes with enhanced convenience through its unity seating system that features a comfy and relaxing backrest that makes you want to go an extra mile kayaking.

Aside from the unique Kayak seat, the Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 also comes with a top-notch contour fix that helps enhance the effortless torso range of motion for optimal efficiency.

Its dimension which consists of 8 feet, 45 pounds, and also 4 inches by 26.5 is a rare composition that gives the Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 an outstanding balance on the water. Likewise, to further enhance perfect balancing and maneuvering, it also comes with front and back flotation bags that undoubtedly deliver as expected.

Due to a lot of features infused into this Riot Kayaks Magnum 80, it might not be affordable for some users as its features really speak high values. Nonetheless, the kayak still comes with an anti-theft bar, isn’t that wonderful? One would say.

As if those weren’t enough in one single kayak, yet it possesses four heavy-duty creeks handles and drains plugs among others.

What we liked

  • Enhanced safety
  • Enhanced convenience
  • Anti-theft security

What we didn’t like

  • Maybe above some users budget

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak PaddleWhen it comes to the different types of kayaks, this one known as the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle is definitely a unique one among the array of kayaks.

It comes as an inflatable kayak which offers enhanced convenience as well as buoyancy.

Its inflatable feature of the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle also boosts its capacity to maneuver effortlessly on the water.

Looking for kids whitewater kayak? The simplicity of this kayak makes it a suitable choice for kids.

This kayak also comes with an ergonomic cockpit structure which aids perfect balancing and a faster kayaking experience.

The downside of this simple but effective kayak is the fact that you have to get a kayak seat for it separately. However, this still comes with the advantage of getting your desired kayak seat in case you want to change the previous one. With this, users are allowed to go for a better, more convenient, and stylish seat depending on their taste and financial capacity.

The overall structure of Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle coupled with its handles among other unique features such as the light-weighted paddle undoubtedly makes it a perfect one for beginners and also for kids.

What we liked

  • Suitable for beginners and kids
  • Enhanced convenience
  • Perfect balancing and buoyancy
  • Enhances speed
  • Comes with paddle
  • Can be easily taken anywhere

What we didn’t like

  • You will get its seat separately

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational KayakThe Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak comes in a new style contrary to the conventional ones with a single kayak sit.

The tandem sit-on-top kayak graces the kayaking platform with a two-user seat kayak which brings about the possibilities of combined efforts and fun.

Its dimension of 144/34/20 inches and 12 feet length further aids its capacity to conveniently accommodate two individuals.

And aside from that, its comfy seats which are properly fitted in its seat hole enhance the convenience experienced while riding on waters.

Talking about versatility, the Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak sure gives users various options as it can be used mutually or solo. Its overlapping footwells also enhance users’ stability and convenience while riding.

Some actually see its double user capacity as a drawback that might affect the kayak’s speed. But on the contrary, some still see its double capacity as an edge over a single-seat kayak when it comes to speed. However, it all comes down to the taste or preferences of different users.

The kayak comes with handles that help brace yourself and conveniently carry it when necessary. With the Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, draining of water from it becomes so easy without any plug-ins.

What we liked

  • Double and individual user’s compatibility
  • Suitable for training kids and beginners
  • Can conveniently accommodate three people
  • It is fairly affordable

What we didn’t like

  • Might be too big for some users
  • Might be slower than others having a single kayak seat

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with PaddleThe Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak happens to be a unique one that several users have testified to its effectiveness in various whitewater kayak reviews.

It is also one of those kayaks that come with suitable and light-weighted kayak paddles.

Likewise, it features a hull design that offers user enhanced stability and tracking.

This kayak comes with multiple footrest positions for ease of use for users of different heights.

The consideration of various footrests in the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak gives it an edge over other kayaks because it means it can be used by kids and adults with varying heights.

This kayak has exhibited a handful of features that make it appealing to existing and prospective kayakers; however, the absence of handles on both sides of the kayak might discourage some users. This is because there are times paddlers might just want to hold on to something secure for the rapid time to pass.

Findings also show that some users prefer it to other sit-in kayaks because of its simplified sit-on features. Its features are further enhanced by its durable polyethylene construction, coupled with UV-protected features that prevent it from peeling, fading, and cracking. Due to its structure and stability on the water, it has also become preferred for fishing.

What we liked

  • Comes with multiple footrest positions
  • kayak paddles are inclusive
  • Comes with lace to hold items in position
  • Possess holes drain

What we didn’t like

  • Does not have side handle handles

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational KayakRight from the appearance of the Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, you probably have that perception of a kayak that will perform up to expectation.

It’s a one-sit kayak with threaded hull water draining plugs.

And when talking about the kayak that offers convenience, this kayak through its foam-padded seat makes your ride on it a comfy one irrespective of the length of riding hours.

Likewise, the ocean scrambler’s seat is also adjustable for enhanced comfort.

The kayak also features an overlapping footwell which helps the user adjust legs for convenience and also makes the kayak useable by paddlers of different heights. It possesses suitable side handles for better balancing and also an innovative paddle holder coupled with a replaceable rear skid plate for better durability.

However, a drawback has been associated with the Scrambler because of the holes beneath its seat. This makes the water around an inch to appear right under the seat; however, some users are good with that. But in case, you are not okay with the water that comes through those holes, there are various ‘Stopper’ that can help prevent it.

The kayak also comes with 6” Cam-lock hatch in case users need to keep anything within that size dry. Likewise, other available treats include paddle holders, deck straps for bigger items, and cup holders among others.

What we liked

  • Have multiple footrest positions
  • Drain plugs
  • Paddle holder
  • Hatch for dry storage
  • Lace to hold items in position
  • Possess holes drain
  • Adjustable and comfortable foam-padded seat

What we didn’t like

  • Little water coming through holes under the seat might get the paddler wet.

Beginner Whitewater Kayaks Buying Guide

Kayaking is undoubtedly an intriguing recreational routine that people find difficult to stop due to the fun derived from it. Aside from it being a form of sporting activity, quite a number of people have started engaging in a kayak for various purposes. Nevertheless, little do people know that there are different types of kayaking; this kayak guide will shed some light on it. So, what are the different types of kayaks in existence?

Types of Kayak

Existing kayak can be classified under the following headings:

Touring Kayak:

As the names imply, these kayaks are designed for long trips on flat water. They are usually longer than other forms of kayaks and specially built to have uncompromising carriage capacity, and aside from that, their balancing and buoyancy on the water are impeccable. But note that it is not advisable for beginners to go all out alone in deeper waters.


This category of kayaks comes in shorter and wider shapes than the touring kayak that happens to be one of the longest kayaks. They are built for use in shallow waters such as ponds and bays to mention a few. These kayaks have excellent maneuvering capacity due to their stout shape, and they also come as an ideal option to train kids and adult beginners.

Whitewater kayak:

When it comes to whitewater, these categories of kayaks are specially designed to effortlessly glide despite the level of rapid and technical water. They also come in short shapes, with an oval-shaped bottom to forge ahead despite the wavering of the water. You, however, need to know that it’s not advisable for beginners or kids to start engaging in the turbulent parts of the whitewater without a proper guide from more experienced riders.

Downriver kayaks:

These kayaks are built for racing as they come with features that enable them to glide quickly through the water like a river runner. They also fall among kayaks with the longest lengths like creek boats. However, despite being a fast kayak, its maneuverability is not as perfect as other kayaks with top-notch controls.

It is also vital to note that some of these kayaks come as inflatable ones. You, however, need to cautiously check various kayak reviews before making your ‘buy or not’ decision to avoid getting a substandard one. But for better decision making when it comes to getting any desired kayak, there are certain factors you need to look out for to get that suitable kayak that will serve you.

What you should consider before buying your desired kayak

  • Height and length of your legs
  • Cockpit size
  • Suitability of the kayak seat
  • Consideration between ‘Sit on’ and ‘Sit-in’ kayak
  • Skegs and Rudders
  • Length, depth, and weight of the kayak
  • Kayak materials such as polyethylene, ABS, and composite, etc.
  • Tandem or solo kayak
  • Inflatable, foldable, or others
  • Where you want to paddle
  • Your budget and your desired kayak prices
  • Durability among others

You also need to know that getting needed accessories such as hiking gloves and water shoes among others will further enhance your kayaking experience.

Aside from the above, you also need to be cautious about which online or local vendor to patronize. There is no doubt there will be substandard kayaks out there especially in online kayak carts where you can physically feel what you want to buy and this is why it’s important to do some research before buying. Only buy from reliable vendors and accredited sellers.


Considering the relevant information spread out in this kayak buying guide, existing and aspiring kayakers should find it straightforward in selecting that kayak that gives optimal value. Likewise, a thrilling and intriguing aspect of kayaking is the ability to quietly move across the waters while observing the awesomeness of nature, and at the same time, keeping your body fit. Furthermore, choosing one of the best whitewater kayaks for beginners or any other form of water kayak is not only about the price tag, but the convenience, simplicity, safety, and level of satisfaction derived from it.


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