5 Best Surf Kayaks in 2022

If you set out to search for the best surf kayak, you are likely to find limited information. This is because there are no kayaks meant explicitly for surfing. So, the next logical option would be recreational kayaks. Still, fishing kayaks can be used in some cases.

So, what are some of the best surf kayaks? I look at some of the best options in the market and why you should choose them. Keep reading.

Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Surf Kayaks

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Best Pick
Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 | Sit Inside Recreational Kayak | Adjustable Skeg - Phase 3 Air Pro Seating | 10' 6" | Breeze Blue
Pelican - Argo 100X - Sit-in Kayak - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 10 ft
Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak , white, 12 ft
Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak (Paddle Included), Lime Green, 101 Inches
Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Kayak 12ft (Blue)
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Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak
Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak
Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak
Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak
Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Kayak
Best Pick
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Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 | Sit Inside Recreational Kayak | Adjustable Skeg - Phase 3 Air Pro Seating | 10' 6" | Breeze Blue
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Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak
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Pelican - Argo 100X - Sit-in Kayak - Lightweight one Person Kayak - 10 ft
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Pelican Argo 100X Sit-in Kayak
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Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak , white, 12 ft
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Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak
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Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak (Paddle Included), Lime Green, 101 Inches
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Lifetime Hydros Angler 85 Fishing Kayak
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Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Kayak 12ft (Blue)
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Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Kayak

In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!

What is a Surf kayak?

When you consider surfing, you will find it is a recreational activity. So, what can make such an activity even better? Enter a surf kayak.

Such a kayak is designed to offer excellent balance, tracking, and easy self-rescue in case the kayak capsizes while on the waves.

As much as there are many kayaks available in the market, only a few can live up to the status of being the best surf kayaks. I take the time to help you learn more about the different kayaks and why they could just be what you need.

Why You Need a Surf Kayak

You may have tried out different types of kayaking before, so it is time to expand your experience. Rather than kayaking on calm water only all the time, take it up a notch higher.

There is a chance of getting more adrenaline rush for someone who tends to kayak on the water with waves.

Owning a surf kayak will definitely unlock many other kayaking potentials. If you can handle surf kayaking, then you are no longer a newbie. You may have been holding back to join whitewater kayaking, but surf kayaking can work as its stepping stone. So, give it a try to see how it goes.

How to Choose a Surf kayak

Kayak Shape

The shape has to be designed to handle more challenges such as massive waves and the overall water flow. So, look at the kayak’s overall shape to see if it would be able to handle such types of challenges.

Experts recommend using a model with a plane bottom. This is because it would be able to cross the waves entirely easily.

Functionality

You should also try to get a kayak that is still versatile. You will not be catching the waves all the time, so it is best to find something versatile.

Such a kayak should have the best seat, backrest, multiple footrests, and more.

Having a bungee cord and more storage options can make the surf kayak suitable for carrying your gear. So, make sure you always have a model with great storage space too.

Weight Capacity

This is the volume of weight the kayak can handle. It does not have to be one with the highest weight capacity, but it should be good enough to hold the different things you need to carry. Having more weight capacity also means you can have a friend tag along for the experience.

Material

The material is always a huge factor for anyone who needs the best surf kayak. If the material is good, you can expect the best durability.

If you are unsure which one to consider, then getting one made of polyethylene material can be great. This is because you will use it for years without worrying about replacing it any time soon.

Ensure you also consider UV resistance since kayaks might have to spend more time outdoors. If that is the case, you then need the best protection you can find from the elements. Luckily, manufacturers understand this, and they will have most models with UV protection.

The Weight

You will have to consider how you will be carrying and transporting the surf kayak. If it seems like you need to do it on your own, then it would not hurt to invest in a lightweight kayak.

A lightweight kayak also means you have an easier time controlling and paddling the kayak.
Surfing can have all different types of conditions. What is important is that you can handle the kayak better. As such, go for a lightweight model always.

Safety

It would be nice to know that your kayak has important safety features. So, before heading out to surf, ensure you have these accessories with you. Such include PFDs, which will make it easier to stay afloat until help arrives.

Another thing that can boost safety is the color of the best surf kayak. Some people might downplay the color only to find out it is important.

Get a brightly colored kayak to ensure you are visible to the other kayakers and rescuers. It can be orange, red, yellow, or green. Such colors are what you will find with most surf kayaks in the market.

Product Reviews of The Best Surf Kayak

Getting the best surf kayak does not have to be complicated. This is a good example of the best kayak for the money. It might be slightly expensive, but it lives up to the price thanks to its features.

The kayak is best suited for slow-moving or flat water. As such, you would still enjoy using it in different water bodies. The design also makes it easy to handle and maneuver while at the same time maintaining the best stability.

This kayak is ideal for medium to large-sized paddlers. So, you can be sure that the kayak will have enough space for you to enjoy kayaking.

Its seat is fully adjustable. It is why some would call it the most comfortable kayak seat you can buy right now. Its 3D foam allows for greater airflow that will keep you cool while supporting the lower back.

Another usability feature you will like are the large padded footrests. Such footrests will offer more support and comfort. Even if you are to paddle for hours, such comfort is what you need. The footrests are also adjustable to suit people of different heights.

Pros

  • The seat is adjustable
  • It is stable even when maneuvering
  • Its footrests are adjustable

Cons

  • Not the best for whitewater

The kayak is one of the top options as the best surf kayak for the money. It features a twin arch multi-chine hull to ensure better stability. That is not all, as the spacious cockpit should make it easy getting in and out of the kayak.

As for transportation, it is easy since the kayak is lightweight. It weighs 36 pounds only. For such a weight, a single person can easily carry it around without a problem.

This kayak is geared towards making your kayaking experience better. It is why it features adjustable footrests and seat to ensure you get the best sitting position. You can now paddle around for hours without getting too tired.

It is worth mentioning the storage space too. It features a front storage hatch with a bungee cord essential to hold down your gear. There is also a rear tank for additional space to store your supplies.

The model has a bottle holder to help you stay hydrated as you surf in your kayak.

Pros

  • The cockpit is spacious
  • The seat is adjustable
  • It has more storage space

Cons

  • The surface scratches and dents easily

Yes, even an inflatable kayak can be the best surf kayak. This one is designed to be ideal for surfing, camping, vacationing, exploring remote areas, and more. It is easy to see how much it is a versatile kayak to own.

The kayak can handle lakes better than other water bodies. However, it could still be suitable for moderate whitewater. As such, it is quite the versatile surf kayak to own today.

The kayak is still lightweight, portable, compact, and easy to inflate. Its three-air chamber design will ensure you have an easy time getting it ready for use at any given time.

It is made using rugged 840-denier nylon material. This material is UV and water-resistant. As a result, it should be able to live up to being exposed to different elements outdoors.

Having several stretch nets and straps help in keeping the gear from flying around the cockpit. You will not worry about losing your gear.

Pros

  • The orange color improves its visibility
  • It is a versatile kayak
  • It is good for different water bodies

Cons

  • The footrests are not the best

It is the best surf kayak because of its design. The model comes with a tunnel hull design, which provides the user with great stability and better tracking. You will be in a position to control the kayak better, even when the water conditions get choppy.

Your comfort is also kept in mind, especially the tall kayakers. This is because it comes with multiple footrest positions. You simply have to choose the right footrest for you.

Another thing that will work for you should be its quick-release backrest. This is because you can adjust it to a point that is comfortable for you.

There is also the T-handle that allows for ease of transportation. Since it is also lightweight at 38lbs., it will be a great choice for you to use it more often.

The kayak has a weight capacity of 225 lbs. Such a weight capacity enables you to carry more gear for the kayaking event.

Pros

  • It offers the best stability
  • It comes with multiple footrest positions
  • The model is lightweight

Cons

  • A few complaints about the seat comfort

If you would like to take your friend along for the experience, then consider this best surf kayak. It is one of the best on the list in terms of weight capacity. The manufacturer claims that its weight capacity is 551lbs. This should be great for those who might have to carry more gear.

The model comes with two paddles for each of the passengers. You should enjoy paddling together or in turns. The paddles are also adjustable in three positions so that you can find a position that works great for you.

This kayak is also easy to maneuver and will remain stable even when the water conditions change. You will now have an easy time controlling it even if you decide to take on surfing activities.

The manufacturer has used high-quality materials to make the kayak UV resistant, extremely durable, and impact resistant. As such, you should find it is highly durable.

Pros

  • It offers an impressive weight capacity
  • It comes with impressive UV resistance
  • The kayak is easy to maneuver

Cons

  • It is expensive for most people

FAQs

Are surf kayaks versatile for other kayaking events?

Yes. These kayaks are designed to also work as recreational kayaks. As such, you should find a kayaking activity where you can enjoy using surf kayaks.

What size of wave can a surf kayak handle?

It will mostly depend on the skill of the paddler and kayak function. A kayak should easily handle a three-feet wave. If the paddler feels confident, you can still go for the 4 to 6-feet wave.

Sit-in or sit-on kayak. Which is better?

Both can be great for different aspects. If you hope to stay dry, then the sit-in models are the best. The sit-on can also be more adventurous, but you can easily get wet, especially when surfing.

Conclusion

I figured having the list of top 5 kayaks should be enough variety but not too confusing. As such, you would know what types of kayaks will be good for you if you intend to try out surfing in a kayak. Always take the necessary precautions to ensure you stay safe all the time. Getting yourself some PFDs can ensure you are safe until you get rescued.

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