Kayaking is the best way to spend your leisure time. However, you will enjoy kayaking most only when certain conditions are fulfilled. Do you know the conditions to take your kayaking to the next level? It depends on your ability to paddle and buy a kayak that matches your skill.
Depending on your expertise there are various types of kayaks available- beginners, intermediate, experts, etc. In this article, I will write about intermediate kayaking and some of the best intermediate kayaks available on the market.
If you pass the beginner stage and want to move to more advanced kayaking, you have come to the right place. Here you will get everything in detail for intermediate kayaks that will help you enjoy kayaking with fun.
Overview of Intermediate Kayaking
Kayaking is such a sport that you can be skilled over time. To enjoy the most out of kayaking requires experience and at the same time choosing the perfect kayak. Kayaks also vary based on different levels like beginners, intermediate, or expert. You must choose a beginner kayak at the very beginning. However, after gaining some experience, you should shift towards more upgraded kayaks specially designed for experts.
Intermediate kayaks require that you have gathered enough expertise in paddling and you can control your kayak smoothly in any given situation. At this stage, you should choose a kayak that can be easily balanced and perfect for any type of water. Most intermediate kayaks are also suitable for experts and they have all the upgraded versions an expert kayak should have. However, they are still very expert kayaks in terms of shape and size, and balance. That is why choosing a perfect intermediate kayak is important for better learning and gaining more expertise in paddling.
Comparison Table: 5 Best Intermediate Kayaks
The following table will give you a brief idea about the specifications of the kayaks:
My Top Picks!
Here are my top five choices of best intermediate kayaks:
- Intex Excursion: Best Inflatable Kayak
- Perception Outlaw: Best Fishing Kayak
- ADVANCED ELEMENTS: Best Recreational Kayak
- Ocean Kayak Malibu: Best Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak
- Driftsun Almanor: Best Recreational Touring Kayak
Top 5 Intermediate Kayaks Reviews
If you’re thinking about buying a kayak but need a little help along the way, here are your best bets. I’ve rounded up five intermediate kayaks that will serve as perfect entry points into the sport. So let’s see them one by one!
#1 Best Inflatable Kayak: Intex Excursion Boat Series
Excellent usability and long-lasting capacity made this kayak one of my favorites. If you are an intermediate kayaker and looking for a family kayak, this is the perfect choice for you. The building material is premium PVC with a rugged vinyl layer. It will serve you many years if you take minimal care.
Inside the kayak has a large space and four persons can easily sit. The tagged weight limit is 1100 pounds. Yet it’s safe to maintain the highest weight capacity to 725 pounds for better performance. The weight of the kayak is 46 pounds and I found it easily carriable anywhere using the carrying bag.
- Material: PVC
- Dimension: 65 x 17 x 124 inches
- Weight: 46 pounds
- Seat: 4 persons
- Carrying capacity: 725 pounds
- Color: Grey
How do I evaluate the durability and protective measures? I found the kayak is very puncture resistant. It contains a comfortable I-Beam floor which you can inflate easily and lasts long too. You will find strong grabbing lines around the kayak making it comfortable and safe at the same time. It also has additional handles on both front sides for more protection.
You will get 2-rod holders for fishing, oar holders, and a gear patch along with the kayak. Seats are very much comfortable with cushions and easily inflatable. Backrests at the end will give a lot of support while paddling. Fittings at the back for a motor mount with up to 1.5 horsepower is another attractive feature.
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Can you be satisfied with the usability? The answer is yes. It offers some great features that increase the It contains multiple air chambers each separated from one another. Another safety auxiliary chamber will give the protection you need for any unwanted causalities. The valves also ensure that you can inflate/deflate the kayak quickly and use it anytime you want. When you are in a hurry, it comes as a greatly advantageous feature.
Verdict: This model is a suitable intermediate kayak considering the material, performance, space, and other features. It will certainly ensure the best value for the money you will spend.
#2 Best Fishing Kayak: KayakPerception Outlaw Sit on Top
I found this model one of the best intermediate fishing kayaks with the newest technology. Whether your physical structure is Extra-large or tiny, you can comfortably get in and paddle. Premium polyethylene made this kayak sturdy and durable. This 77 pounds kayak can carry a maximum weight capacity of 425 pounds. Thus, there is a lot of space to keep your necessary things.
How about usability? I could fold the removable seats and place them as per suitability. This will provide large free space while paddle standing. Moreover, you can quickly convert your paddling from sitting to standing in the middle of the water. This will give a different paddling experience than most kayaks.
- Material: Polyethylene
- Dimension: 138 x 35 x 16 inches
- Weight: 77 pounds
- Seat: 1 person
- Carrying capacity: 425 pounds
- Color: Moss Camo
The mesh seat is comfortable and has the option to raise 5 more inches above the height of the deck. Besides the bow and sterns of the kayak will also give you enough space to keep other necessary things like fishing equipment and crates. The unique model will help you move faster than the previous old models.
Does it come with other necessary accessories? It contains two double-barrel rod holders for fishing and you can place four fishing rods in them. You can add mounts in the three separate mount recesses and it won’t require any drilling. It also comes with holders and trays to keep useful materials which you can get easily whenever requires.
Besides, the skid plate is very strong and enables you to drag it anywhere without any damage. This allows a comfortable using experience since you can replace it anytime. It has the option to add saddlebags to be used as gear and storage boxes. Overall, it will be a suitable kayak for your intermediate purpose.
Verdict: If you want a perfect fishing kayak with a lot of space inside, this is a suitable choice for you. You can comfortably go for a long ride while taking all the necessary materials and gear.
#3 ADVANCED ELEMENTS: Best Recreational Kayak
Advanced Elements kayaks are very popular among users for their affordability and great usability. This model of Advanced Elements is a great inflatable kayak for intermediate paddlers. The Hull of the kayak contains Strong PVC tarpaulin with polyester fabric and vinyl layer. This multilayer construction made the outer area resistant to any type of friction, puncture, and water pressure.
- Material: Polyester/PVC Tarpaulin
- Dimension: 125.98 x 32.28 x 9.84 inches
- Weight: 36 pounds
- Seat: 1 person
- Carrying capacity: 300 pounds
- Color: Red/Grey
How do I evaluate the building design? The structure of the kayak will help going forward easily even if you are not an expert kayaker. You can unfold, place the seat and get it ready for a ride in no time. Due to the easy inflate and deflate system it is very comfortable to use anywhere.
The entire kayak has two separate air chambers and ensuring smooth inflation and optimum safety on the water. I found the bow and stern are very effective since they are made with high-quality aluminum. It will give you a smooth tracking experience. They along with a sufficient inflation chamber will ensure high performance.
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Another notable thing to me is the comfortable seating arrangement. The seats of many kayaks create problems like back pain. Unlike them, it will enable you to ride for hours with an easy padded cover and sufficient back support. If you are looking for something that will help you ride longer without muscle cramps, this is a suitable choice.
What about portability? The kayak is lightweight weighing only 36 pounds. I found carrying it from one place to another was no problem at all. Besides, it can carry a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
Verdict: If you want a kayak for only recreational purposes then go for this one. It will keep you cozy with its comfortable seat for a long time.
#4 Ocean Kayak Malibu: Best Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak
Paddling with this kayak is comfortable and fun. A single polyethylene layer makes the kayak sturdy and durable. Like the previous models, this one will also last long enough to prove the value for money. Most of the time smaller families with children prefer this model for a recreational kayak ride.
- Material: Polyethylene
- Dimension: 144 x 34 x 20 inches
- Weight: 57 pounds
- Seat: 2 persons
- Carrying capacity: 362 pounds
- Color: Sunrise
Is the seating arrangement comfortable? The kayak contains two seats but you can paddle single, with a partner, or even tandem with a kid too. The molded seats have slip prevention technology helping the rider to sit comfortably. I found the seats super comfortable and I could adjust them as per my preference.
Moreover, the footwalls overlap and enable you to settle firmly and place your feet smoothly. The premium hull is open, sit-on-top, and contains a skid plate with built-in handles. You can easily get in and out of the kayak due to this feature.
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Does it have sufficient weight carrying capacity? The kayak contains a weight carrying capacity of 362 pounds. For me, it’s enough for two people. Moreover, the 34 inches breadth will give enough space for comfortable paddling. The weight of the kayak is only 57 pounds and you can easily carry it anywhere.
My user experience says that this is the perfect go-to go family kayak for any small family with a kid.
Verdict: This kayak is a perfect choice for someone looking for an intermediate sit-on-top kayak. It is also a great tandem kayak if you want to paddle with a partner.
#5 Driftsun Almanor: Best Recreational Touring Kayak
The last one on the list yet it is another extraordinary kayak for recreation and a paddling tour. This kayak is famous for its speed and smooth gliding. If you want to go for a long ride with your partner, this is a suitable kayak.
What are the notable advantages? This kayak works exceptionally well on plane water and medium ocean current. You can ride on almost all types of water bodies. 600d polyester material made the hull sturdy and strong. It will give a long-lasting experience like all other models above.
- Material: PVC Nylon
- Dimension: 32 x 20.5 x 15 inches
- Weight: 36 pounds
- Seat: 2 adults+1 kid
- Carrying capacity: 600 pounds
- Color: Blue
How much usability it has? The kayak offers UV ray protection and is resistant to any type of puncture. The seats contain EVA pads to support your back and help to paddle for hours. The soft cushion inside will give you a comfortable experience the whole time. You can also adjust them in any position as per your comfort.
Another useful functionality to me is its easy-filling power. Quick inflation and deflation enable you to get it ready any time you need. Among other advantages of the kayak is the removable skeg that will help you move the kayak straight forward without any hustle.
Is anything more fascinating to me? Besides the main item, you will get dual blades as paddles, a child seat to carry your kids, dual action pump, and a travel bag to carry it. It also offers adjustable footrests and fins which you can release quickly. 24-gauge air pouches are another striking feature.
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about safety due to the handles present at both the front and back. Carrying the kayak is also smooth for those handles. Splash guards and bungee storage also come in handy while paddling in the water.
How about the portability? It is only 36 pounds and you can carry it anywhere easily. The total weight limit is up to 600 pounds. This tandem kayak can also carry your kid in the additional space. It is a suitable family kayak for recreation.
Verdict: This is a perfect choice if you want to go for a recreational tour with a flat water kayak that is durable and performs high at the same time. It’ll give you a lot of options to store your gear and create space inside the kayak.
Things to Notice Before Buying an Intermediate Kayak
Whether the Materials Are Durable and Strong
Before buying any kayak your first duty should be to check the material. How long your kayak will serve depends on whether the material is strong, study, and durable. kayaks made with strong PVC polyethylene materials last long most of the time.
Condition of Your Skill Level
Skill level plays the most important role to choose the right kayak. There are different kayaks for different levels- beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The variations lie mostly in design, shape, length, and width. If you are an average intermediate kayaker, you will not be comfortable with a kayak built for experts. In this case, you need to select a kayak that is designed especially for intermediate paddlers.
Purposes of Buying the Kayak
Intermediate kayaks vary based on their activities and purposes. Sometimes they offer a specific feature for a particular purpose. That is why finding the purpose and what are the types of activities you will do with your kayak is very important before buying. Different kayaks are available for different needs like recreational, touring, fishing, tandem, etc.
Usability of the Kayak You are Buying
All intermediate kayaks provide certain features to allure the buyers. however, you may not find your desired one in all the kayaks. Some kayaks offer better and more comfortable seats, some kayaks offer safety grabbing handles and some offer comfortable seat rests and floor. Find which one you need and buy a kayak that offers the service.
Type of Water Where You Will Kayak
Keeping in mind the water type of the place where you will kayak is another important consideration. There are intermediate kayaks specifically designed for flat water with no waves. On contrary, will also find kayaks suitable for paddling in the ocean or a wavy lake. Based on the water type you should choose a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between beginner and intermediate kayaks?
Kayaks for beginners are often flat to ensure better auto control on the water. They are designed to perform better on flat water. On contrary, intermediate kayaks are more curved End a bit more tricky to handle than beginner kayaks. However, they require less energy to navigate and are also speedier.
Which type of kayak is better sit-in or sit-on-top?
Both have their respective advantages under certain conditions. Sit-in kayaks are better in cold and wavy water since they will keep you dry. On the other hand, sit-on kayaks are easy to get in and out and they also ensure better balance.
Is there any difference between a touring kayak and a recreational kayak?
Usually, they refer to the same meaning however recreational kayaks are better in terms of smooth tracking capacity. Most of the time they ensure better tracking by using a rudder or a skeg. on the other hand, touring kayaks are a bit longer with smaller cockpits.
What is the best length for an intermediate kayak?
Most of the time these kayaks are around 12 feet and are suitable to achieve higher speed than beginner kayaks. These intermediate kayaks have a decent proportion of length and breadth ratio and they can cover more ground in less time.
Is it safe to use these kayaks in the rain?
Kayaking in the rain involves potential danger, especially for beginners. If you have a decent knowledge of paddling then this might not be an issue for you because almost all of these kayaks are durable and the chances of them sinking in the rain are very low. However, you should avoid stormy weather for any unwanted casualties.
Choosing a perfect kayak for your skill is very important especially when you are shifting from beginner to intermediate level. This will affect your performance a lot. I tried to give you a brief idea and example of some of the best intermediate kayaks available in the market from my practical experience of dealing with kayaks. Find the purpose of kayaking and your specific necessity based on the seats and weight-carrying capacity of a kayak. You will get the best intermediate kayak that will help you flourish and learn more about the skills of this fun sport.
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