Let’s be honest, we all know that kayaking is a great way to get some exercise! Heck, if you ask me, it can even replace going to the gym! If you are really trying to get serious about the sport looking for the best kayak for exercise can be a challenge on it’s own, that’s exactly why today in this article we composed and reviewed a list of our top picks when it comes to kayaks perfect for exercising with! Alongside that we will take a better look at how kayaks can be used for exercise and the many benefits that come along with it!

With that said, let’s jump right into it and get started!

Top 5 Best Kayaks For Exercise

For those of you that don’t want to read the whole article and want to get straight to the point here are our Top Picks when it comes to the best kayaks to get a real workout with!

Starting off this is the SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Kayak, and oh boy do we recommend it!

#1. The Best All Around Kayak

XPIRIT Hoverboard

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Kayak

Length: 10 feet

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Kayak Weight: 40lbs

Shell: Hard

Shell Storage Compartments: Yes

In Depth Overview

If you are looking for a kayak that can do it all then Sundolphin’s Aruba sit-in kayak is the route you want to take! Not only does it feature a sturdy body capable of over 250lbs but it provides an excellent shape and look that is sure to turn heads! This kayak comes in a variety of bright colors ensuring that you will be seen and not run over by big boats.

Apart from its nice length, light shell, and features such as storage compartments this kayak is of course perfect to get your daily exercise in! Its shell features a unique design which helps prevent flipping over easily and allows you to for a reasonable price get into kayaking very quickly!

This is an ideal kayak for those trying to get into the sport and not trying to blow away too much money on the investment. Feel free to check the current price of this kayak above on amazon!

  • Great price range
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Plug-n-play no set up required
  • Does not come with paddles

#2. Runner Up (Hard Shell)

Perception Sound Kayak

Length: 9.5 feet

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Kayak Weight: 38lbs

Shell: Hard

Shell Storage Compartments: Yes

In Depth Overview

If you are looking for a great runner up hard shell kayak then the Precipitation Sound 9.5 ft kayak is for you! This kayak falls in the mid price range as far as affordables is concerned but definitely serves its purpose to the fullest. This kayak can hold individuals up to 300lbs and comes with many unique features other kayaks lack in such as easy accessibility to essentials while on the water.

This kayak comes with a comfortable seat and plenty of legroom to enjoy! (unless you are over 9.5ft in leg height, then sorry you might just not fit) The Precipitation Sound comes with a sturdy water design allowing you to ride free of worries of tipping over, and as you might have guessed, is another perfect choice for exercise!

Heck even if you don’t want to exercise with this kayak it comes with pre-installed fishing-rod holders and a rear storage area for your cooler! Maybe get a friend out in the water with you and have a picnic?! After a solid 20 minutes of paddling though, because of course, we need to get those muscles first 😉

Overall this is a great runner up as far as hard shells go, the price range isn’t too bad for a kayak and for what you get, we for sure think it’s worth it!

  • Lots of storage space
  • Easy access to storage
  • Ideal for beginners through pros
  • Not the best for bigger people

#3. Runner Up (Soft Shell)


Length: 10.5 feet

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Kayak Weight: 38lbs

Shell: Soft

Shell Storage Compartments: Yes

In Depth Overview

Looking for the best runner up when it comes to soft shell kayaks? Well bingo! The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak is you #1 choice. Even with being a runner up this kayak is absolutely amazing for everything it comes with. 

For starters this kayak as many other lightweight softshell kayaks are, is very portable. As it is an inflatable kayak it is very compact and can fit just about anywhere. This includes trunks, buses, and even planes if need be! The AE Sport Kayak is quick to inflate, comfortable, and roomy, giving you a pleasant paddling experience. 

Now how does it do for exercising? Glad you asked! As the aluminum bow and stern ribs provide increased paddling performance, this allows you to get the most of your workout when in water. Trust me, after you are done you will feel it in your shoulders, your biceps, and of course your core. 

This is a great kayak if you are looking for something compact yet on the cheaper end and will undoubtedly serve very well at keeping you in shape! 

  • Easy to pack and inflate
  • Very comfortable
  • Very Light
  • Not as fast as hardshell kayaks

#4. Budget Choice Kayak

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Length: 9 feet

Weight Capacity: 220lbs

Kayak Weight: 23.9lbs

Shell: Soft

Shell Storage Compartments: Yes

In Depth Overview

If you are on a budget and just looking for something that floats, well, this guy right here is for you! This budget kayak is not a hardshell kayak but performs nearly as well with a fraction of the price. In consists of heavy duty puncture-resistant vinyl, that is sure to last a long time without rip or tare. In case that there is a tear Intex includes a free patch kit so that you can simply patch up your kayak and be back in the water in no time!

Now how does this kayak do when it comes to exercising? Well just as good as any other! About 99% of any kayak workout will be consisting of paddling your kayak forward. No matter if it is a hardshell or an inflatable, paddling is paddling and muscle movement is muscle movement! 

This is a great choice if you are looking for something that won’t eat up your wallet and can pick up for less than a hundred bucks! Click the link above to check the current price of this great inflatable kayak!

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to pack
  • Anti-tare vinyl
  • Comes with patch kit
  • You get what you pay for!

#5. Professional’s choice

Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak

Length: 14 feet

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Kayak Weight: 59lbs

Shell: Hard

Shell Storage Compartments: Yes

In Depth Overview

While this specific kayak is being categorized as our professionals choice I must say that it also falls underneath the “coolest choice” category! I mean common, a kayak that is fully transportable in the back of your trunk?! You can take this bad boy anywhere you want. Going on a business trip? No problem take your workout kayak with you. Going on a family trip? No problem, take your badass exercise kayak with you on the plane! The Pakayak Bluefin 14 Ft Kayak is 100% packable, and the pieces fit back together 100% water tight.

With their unique design Pakayak is the only company making the fully packable hardshell kayak and while the price is steeper, the benefits are steeper too!

This kayak is absolutely a must for a more experienced kayaker ready to take their workout with them wherever they go! Now you will not be able to make any excuses at all that you can’t hit the gym or the lake. You have your portable kayak, what’s your excuse now?

  • Fully detachable
  • Fit’s in your trunk
  • Sleek design for speed
  • % of all profits go to a marine charity
  • On the expensive side

So why exercise with a kayak?

That’s a great question! And before going further I want to make sure to answer it for anyone who does not already know!

Kayaking has been a fun and rewarding sport for years and the benefits sure do not lie. It is a perfect stress reliever for this busy world and like common, who doesn’t want to be on a lake?! The awesome thing about working out in a kayak is that there is no gym membership you will EVER have to pay. Once you own the kayak, it is yours, and you get you enjoy exercising with it anytime you want, for as long as you want. It’s a no brainer that there are tons of benefits to this amazing sport and just for the heck of it let’s list a few more!

Benefits of kayaking:

  1. Weight Loss
  2. Upper Body Strength Training
  3. Stress Relief
  4. Great source of vitamin D
  5. Core strengthening
  6. Muscle Endurance Training

What to look for in a kayak

So when purchasing a kayak or any purchase in a matter of fact you should always do some research prior. Today in this article we did some research on not only the best kayaks but key components that you should look for when planning your next kayak purchase. 

Realistically any kind of kayak will work fine for exercising in (as long as it floats) but ideally we will be looking into kayaks that are meant for the sport itself. You will always be able to find kayaks that are cheaper in price but lack in quality, as well as excel in quality but end up being on the steeper scale for your budget. 

Some generals you will want your kayak to include will be:

  • To be stable – no one wants to go out for their morning paddle and end up flopping around just because a feather fell on the left side. 
  • Reasonable in price – you don’t want something dirt cheap, and you don’t want something that will eat your wallet. A nice medium is always the way to go.
  • Previously reviewed – always check and see what others have said before you choose on a brand or kayak. Many times if you buy something that is completely new it will end up going straight back because simply, it was trash. Check, double check, and triple check, that what you are buying is solid and is going to last you years and decades to come.


Hey you made it to the end! Hopefully by this point you are excited about trying out a new way of exercising and are getting a spot ready in your garage for your new hobby! When it comes to the best kayak for exercise we definitely say the SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Kayak will be the best fit. It is both affordable and just perfect to kickstart your new hobby with a bang! Maybe you are looking for something more on the compact side that you can carry with you anywhere, well in that case our soft shell runner up will be your best choice. That being the ADVANCED ELEMENTS Sport Kayak, it’s easy to set up, easy to carry around, and makes your new hobby an enjoyable breeze. 

Until next time make sure to check out many of our other articles and reviews that will both help your shopping out and maybe teach you something at the same time!


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