Throughout my kayaking journey, I noticed that it’s tough to go to a deep river for kayaking every time, especially as a beginner. In that case, shallow creeks are the alternative to enjoying the moment shortly.
However, you’ll need the best kayak for shallow creeks to serve this purpose. But, when the market is flooded with countless kayaks, it’s obvious to be confused about what to choose.
Don’t worry, mate. I have tried 3 of the best shallow water kayaks, I found two of them are the best on any budget. Keep reading till the end because I include an in-depth buying guide with their sharp features, pros, and cons.
Time is very limited and always the most precious thing in our life. So if you are short of time but want to pick the right kayak then this quick summary will help you. Just have a look at the comparison table and find your kayak within two minutes.
|Features||Intex Explorer K2 Kayak||Intex Excursion Pro Kayak||Intex 68310VM Dakota K2 Kayak|
|Length||10 feet 3 inches||12 feet 7 inches||10 feet 3 inches|
|Width||3 feet||3 feet 1 inch||3 feet|
|Weight||35 Pounds||43.64 Pounds||37.39 pounds|
|Maximum Capacity||400 Pounds |
|400 pounds |
|400 Pounds |
|2 persons||2 persons||2 persons|
3 Best Shallow Water Kayaks Reviews
1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak – Best Overall
If you are looking for a piece of intro equipment to try kayaking but don’t want to invest a considerable amount, we suggest choosing the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. It comes with everything (aluminum oars, air pump, and carry bags) that you need when kayaking, and that’s why it has become popular in the kayaking community.
And the users show their love for this premier kayak with their 6400+ global reviews, where 74% of users are satisfied with its performance.
It is built with heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, Polypropylene, and 3 different air chambers. So there is no chance to get the kayak punctured. That means you are always safe in the river or creeks.
Besides your safety, it also considers your comfort. The kayak has enough room to properly sit two persons or carry your pet dog with you as your adventure partner. It can easily load up to 400 pounds without any issues.
However, the seats are adjustable and have backrests to lay your back with the backrest and enjoy the natural beauty of the riversides.
This kayak comes with long and short skegs to run the kayak in a straight line or turn it effortlessly. So that if you don’t have any prior experience running the kayak, you won’t face any problems while running or turning it. Even this kayak will float at minimum water depth, so no risk of collision with river rocks.
But though you don’t want to fall into any risky situation, sometimes it happens. Here, the bright yellow color of the kayak will be visible to others if it arises in an emergency. So that the other boat owners can locate and come to save you for this visible bright color.
- Used Polypropylene material to ensure quality and safety
- Easy to transport in any vehicle, including car, and bike
- The dual valves are highly reliable and durable
- Simple, easy, and fast setup that saves your time
- Roomy, and comfortable seat with backrest
- Compact and portable design with easy grabbing handles
- Reasonable price with fast shipping
- Though it is lightweight, a physically challenged person can’t carry it alone
- The manual user instructions need updates and accuracy.
Basically, it is designed for those who love water adventure, especially small water bodies, including creeks, lakes, or mild rivers. It is easy to use, assemble, and disassemble and will be a great choice for the most comfortable kayak.
As it comes with grab lines, carry handles, and dry bags. So you don’t face any hassle in getting the wet kayak back to your home. Finally, it’s the best kayak for shallow rivers for beginners and a complete package to create new memories.
2. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak – Best For Fishing
My second choice is the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak, a best-selling kayak under the fishing kayak. At first glance, you’ll love this kayak as it is made with 3-Ply and super-tough laminate thick material.
The high-quality materials make it completely abrasive and high-impact-resistant so that it won’t be damaged due to oil, saltwater, gasoline, or sunlight.
Fortunately, it is specially designed with two removable skegs to offer you maximum maneuverability through deep and shallow waters. That’s why you don’t need to think about the river’s water level when you plan a water trip.
Not only that, if you have shallow creeks with flatwater near your residence or office, no problem, just manage for 1-2 hours and enjoy an adventurous tour. You can keep the kayak straight with the skeg.
However, its high-quality spring-loaded valves can tolerate high pressure for smooth inflation and fast deflation.
It has plenty of space inside to comfortably seat two people by leaving legroom. There are two paddles for you and your partner. Both of you can paddle the kayak for around 3 hours with basic paddling techniques.
As it’s easy to paddle, you won’t get tired by paddling for this long time; instead, you can level up your kayaking experience.
Basically, it is a combo package with a fish finder, swivel fishing rod holders, an adjustable and removable mounting bracket, and a GPS tracking system.
So, there is no way to get back without fish and empty buckets. And if you lose the direction, you can find out your correct destination by connecting the GPS tracker.
Finally, when it is time to come back, you can carry the kayak with its dry bags without wetting your car’s seat.
- Heavy-duty construction ensures quality and durability
- It’s very spacious to fit two people comfortably
- The booster seat is excellent for the kids to sit a bit higher position
- It is stable and super fast in the water and has exclusive maneuver
- The compact and portable design makes it easy to carry
- The oars should be a little longer
- It is a bit pricey
It is the best starting kit to have a tour on the water. You can set it within 7-10 minutes to float it on water, so you need less time for preparation and get more time to enjoy.
Extraordinary construction, valuable accessories, highest maneuvering, 400-pound carrying capacity, and adjustable seating experience make it the best fishing kayak for shallow water or deep water.
3. Intex 68310VM Dakota K2 Kayak – Best For Beginners
The Intex 68310VM Dakota K2 Kayak is another best river kayaks for beginners that can load a maximum of 400 pounds. It is built with heavy-duty and high-quality puncture-resistant vinyl and an attached Inflatable I-beam floor that is very effective in preventing damage.
In addition, Intex used a grab line and grab handles on both ends of the kayak to smoothly float it on the water. That’s why you’ll find it highly durable and stable after loading this high load.
3 separate air chambers are helpful for fast inflation, primarily within 10 minutes. So when you are in a hurry and eagerly waiting to blow up the kayak during summer, that is an excellent advantage for you.
As it is designed for 2 persons, it comes with 2.18 meter (86 inches) 2 paddles for enjoying your paddling trip through the river, lake, and creeks.
It also prioritizes your comfort, so it offers you removable and adjustable seats with a backrest and enough legroom. So no matter if you are a guy 6+ feet in height. You can comfortably sit and paddle.
There are two skegs beneath the Kayak; one is long for tracking straight lines, and the other is short for turning it quickly and easily.
Now, do you think about how to carry the wet kayak after enjoying your water trip? Here’s the solution. Intex includes 2 dry bags with a carry strap to solve this issue. You just have to insert the Kayak into the bag to carry it with you.
So one word, it can be a great choice to enjoy your weekend with your partner, friend, or even your child to build up a strong attachment with them.
- Maximum maneuver with the best quality
- Super easy and fast to inflate and deflate
- The high-volume hand pump excellent for work
- Perfect for beginners and a sunny day off
- Easy to paddle on the shallow water
- Offers 100% comfort, and flexibility
- The zippers of the carry bag are out of 30 days return policy
- The customer support should be more friendly
First, you’ll be impressed with its weight-handling capability and stability for the money. Apart from this, the Kayak’s quality, design, paddles, comfy room, and air pumps are exceptional.
You can even use it in shallow water without facing any challenges. So we can say it will be an easy way for you to hop on the water whenever and wherever you want.
How To Choose The Best Kayak For Creeks
Buying a kayak is a moderate or huge investment, so you want to use it for many years or even decades. However, it also draws a line between your life safety and threat.
So when you are making this type of serious decision, you have to wisely define your needs before you invest in a kayak.
Here, you must consider some basic features to choose the ultimate boat for you. But, if you’re a novice in this boating world, sometimes there is a high chance of making the wrong decision.
But, we are always concerned about your safety, so we’ll narrow down some crucial factors that your kayak must have. Here’s the list
Class of Kayak
There are six classes of kayaks available in the market. You should have a clear idea about their classes. For your convenience, we’ll briefly discuss them.
The anchor comes with a 40ft braided rope and is made for heavy-duty casting jobs. You can use it to anchor heaver kayaks swiftly and safely.
Class 1: This class of kayaks is designed for flatwater with no obstacles. There might be a smooth current or riffle of water or not.
Class 2: This kayak is good to float on regular and giant waves with clear channels.
Class 3: You can choose this class’s kayak if you want to float it on large waves but on narrow channels rivers or lack.
Class 4: The class 4 kayak requires precise paddling as the river has a powerful and rapid current.
Class 5: This type of kayak is designed for skilled people who can manage it on fast and long waves.
Class 6: It’s the most extreme-level kayak that can offer you maximum excitement on the water.
But, it needs to be pro-level skilled to handle this Kayak. So it’s the best option to choose class 1 or 2 kayaks for your shallow-depth water trip on creeks.
Heavy-duty Material And Weight
The kayak building materials play a vital role in making it durable, long-lasting, and reliable. Many things are used to build a kayak, including vinyl, thermoplastic, polyethylene, and composite plastic.
Among all the materials, polyethylene and vinyl are used for most kayak buildings, as they are both highly impact resistant. However, besides its durability, the Kayak’s weight mostly depends on its materials.
You can’t compromise its quality for its portability or portability for its quality. That means you have to check both quality and portability side by side.
Because if you consider the kayak quality for mobility, that won’t offer you long-lasting service year-round. On the flip side, if you compromise portability, you can’t easily carry it to your destination.
Instead, you face a lot of challenges to set it up or put it together alone. Which will mitigate your water trip enjoyment.
Easy Setup And Put Together
Easy assembly is the next feature that you can not ignore. Simplicity is the best. The less time you need to assemble and disassemble the kayak, the more time you can float it on water.
You can also check a best-described user manual to learn everything about its assembly process. You should choose the kayak that needs 10-15 minutes to assemble and 10-15 minutes to put together.
That means, if you budget 2 hours for the nearest water trip with your kayak, you can make fun and entertainment for at least 1 hour on the water. The rest of one hour is for preparation and reaching the destination. That’s amazing!
Efficient kayak lovers know how vital the dimension of a kayak is! But, most beginners will not pay that much attention to this feature. However, the kayak’s dimension, especially its length and width, is essential to run it in the water.
If your river or lake has a narrow channel or a lot of turns and twists, you can’t smoothly run the kayak on that water. That’s why you have to choose your kayak considering your trip destination waterline.
According to most kayak lovers’ experience, they found the 8-10 feet long, 3-4 feet width kayak is the best option for narrow channel kayaking.
The single-seating capacity and double-seating capacity kayaks are available on the market. If you choose a single-seating capacity kayak, you have to arrange a solo water trip with this kayak.
On the other hand, if you choose the double seating capacity kayak, then you can enjoy the natural beauty with your beloved person.
So considering the seating capacity, the 2-person kayak is a better option than 1 person kayak. For your convenience, out of three kayaks have 2 person seating capacity. So you can choose anyone from the list based on your preference.
Can you enjoy your moment if you feel uncomfortable in your kayak? Most probably not. So you have to check
- Are the kayak seats adjustable or not?
- Are the kayak seats removable or not?
- Have enough legroom or not?
- Is it easy to maneuver for tall people or not? (If you are a tall guy)
- Does the Kayak come with a sit-in-top or sit-on-top?
So after getting all the questions answered, you can determine the kayak’s comfortability. If you find all the answers go in your favor, we can say the kayak will be comfortable for you. And if the answer won’t go in your favor, please avoid choosing that kayak.
You have to take some of your personal gear with you while kayaking. In that case, you’ll need some storage space to keep the accessories in the Kayak. Two essential boating gears are the enclosed compartment and a cargo net, which are approximately 2 feet long and wide.
But if your boat doesn’t have that space, where will you keep them? Here, you should avoid carrying them with you. That will lessen your enjoyment. So be careful while you choose your preferred kayak.
Maximum Load Capacity
You have to know your kayak’s maximum weight limit to avoid overloading. Because if you overload the boat, there is a high chance of sinking. Here’s a list of kayak load capacity
- A typical recreational kayak can load a maximum of 250-300 pounds.
- A touring kayak can load a maximum of 350 pounds.
- A sit-on-top can load a maximum of 350-400 pounds.
- A tandem kayak can load a maximum of 500-600 pounds.
- And the most advanced model kayak can load a maximum of 750 pounds.
As you’ll need an inflatable kayak for shallow water, a maximum 400 pounds loading capacity kayak will be the right choice for you.
You’ll need a plethora of additional accessories depending on the body of water and where you want to use the kayak. Such as
You’ll need an excellent quality paddle to propel your kayak in the opposite direction of the current.
2. Number of skegs
The long and short skeg will ensure the best maneuverability of the Kayak. You can use the long skeg for straight-line tracking and the short skeg for turning the Kayak.
3. Carry bag
If the kayak comes with a carrying bag, that will be useful to carry the entire kayak to your destination. You may purchase a separate carrying bag, but that won’t fit your kayak and prevent wear and tear. If you focus on those features while picking a kayak, we can say that’ll be your cup of tea to entertain you.
Inflatable Kayaking Tips For Beginners
- No matter what the depth of your water bodies is while kayaking. You must be well prepared to ensure 100% safety. Knowing some practical tips and tricks can make your kayaking more comfortable and safe. Let’s know some tips.
- Check and double-check all the kayaking accessories before you leave your home. So, you won’t leave important accessories at home.
- You should know the depth of water level of your desired water bodies and the weather conditions of the day before floating your kayak.
- It is also essential to study the current, channel, and twist of your desired creeks, lakes, or rivers. So you can arrange your water trip kayak depending on the environment.
- Choose your kayak based on your skill and inform your family about your destination.
- Always wear a buoyancy aid when kayaking to prevent sinking.
- If you are a beginner, don’t try kayaking alone. Take help from a guide who will teach you about the different strokes of kayaking.
- Always keep your phone with you in a dry bag for emergencies.
- If the day is extremely sunny, carry food and water bottles with you. Frequently drink water to avoid dehydration.
These tips are simple to follow but significantly impact your kayaking experience. So be aware of following the tips and enjoying kayaking.
How to use your pedal kayak for fishing in shallow water?
There are two basic thumb rules to use your pedal kayak for fishing in shallow water. Such as
1. You must ensure the water depth is at least 5 inches to your water bodies.
2. You should paddle harder for the downward suction and squeeze the water from the hull and bottom.
By following these two rules, you can easily use the kayak in shallow water.
How much of your Kayak floats below the waterline?
Your kayak floats below the waterline around 3.33 inches. This is why it is suggested that 5 inches of minimum water depth maintain a slight margin of 1.67 inches from the rocks of the water bodies.
Are inflatable kayaks good for creeks?
Yes, inflatable kayaks are suitable for creeks as they are designed and built under harsh conditions.
However, this type of Kayak will allow you to use it in flat and shallow water without cracking and puncturing. Even, it will last longer, be easy to use, and have less chance of sinking.
Is it hard to get out of a kayak?
Slightly, yes. It’s harder to get out of a kayak than to get in. You can seek help from your friends to pull the kayak when trying to get out of it. You should get out one foot at a time.
So the other foot will keep the kayak stable. But if you don’t have a friend near you, then you should grab a solid foundation to take support while getting out.
So it’s essential to know yourself, your priority, and your needs to pick the best match for you. We’ll suggest the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak as it is the best of the best products in terms of quality, performance, and budget.
But if you love to catch fish while kayaking, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak will be a good option for you. As it comes to everything that you’ll need for fishing.
It depends on your experience and skill what kayak will be best for you. Which is suitable for one may not be good for another.