Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Review

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On- Water Performance
Gear Storage

Total Rating




When you first start kayaking, finding the right kayak for your skill level can be daunting. If you get a kayak that is too difficult to maneuver, you can end up being stuck in the water without knowing how to steer the kayak and get to your destination. If you are looking for a dependable kayak as a beginner, I have found that the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ft kayakl is a great option to consider. When considering all the specs in this Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 kayak review we will take an in-depth look at this vessel and help you determine if it is right for your paddling needs.

Overview of the Product

Before we dive into the review, let’s take a quick look at some of the specifications of the Aruba 10 from Sun Dolphin. We will also look at some of the things that we liked and did not like about this product.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing

Now that you know a bit more about this kayak, let’s take a look at some of the things that you will need to consider before deciding whether this is the right kayak for your needs. Let’s take a look.


When purchasing a kayak, the first thing you need to consider is whether it falls into the budget you have available to spend on it. This is a model that has a fairly low price point, so most people will not have an issue with the budget itself. However, you don’t get the same features at a cheaper price as you would with more expensive kayaks. This means that some of the features that you need may want your kayak to have maybe lacking with this model. Before you jump at making a purchase, always consider how important the features that the kayak is missing are to you.

For example, some models may not have seat padding, oars, or a lot of storage included with the kayak. Is this something that you will need as a beginner on your first kayak? If not having something is a deal-breaker, then this may not be the right model for you to consider.

Person relaxing in kayak

Great Beginner Kayak

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a great model for a beginner because it allows you to learn on your kayak without investing too much money into your first vessel. Learning to maneuver the boat can cause it to get banged up, and this model is durable enough to take a few hits and still be lightweight and easy to carry. The compact size makes it easy to maneuver and gives you a stable ride to make you feel more comfortable in a kayak.

Features and Benefits

Before you decide whether to get this kayak or not, let’s look at some of the features that it has to offer and how they can benefit a beginner like you.


Overall, I found that this is a very easy kayak to transport. A single person can easily carry it, and the 40-pound weight makes it lighter than most average recreational kayaks. In fact, dragging the boat is not necessary, even if only one person is carrying it. Because of its small size, this kayak can easily be lifted onto a roof rack.


I found that the durability of this model is average when compared to other kayaks. The material scratches fairly easily. When in the water, it can pick up dents and dings easily as well. This can increase the level of drag that you experience while using the kayak, which can slow down your boat significantly in the water. This may not be a concern for a beginner because you will be learning to maneuver in the water, and slower speeds mean an easier to handle kayak.

On- Water Performance

When it comes to this kayak’s on-water performance, it is a very stable boat that has a good amount of maneuverability compared to other recreational kayaks. This kayak’s stability can help make a beginner feel more confident paddling. In addition, because of this vessel’s planed hull, the stability is even greater than kayaks with rounded hulls. That being said, the glide and the tracking are reduced because of the flat bottom and the length of the kayak. Many people who have used this kayak seem to love how easily it moves in the water for a beginner water-craft.

Gear Storage

When it comes to locations to store your gear, there is not much on these kayaks, so it may not be the best option for an overnight trip where you will need to take additional equipment for you to use the next day. It has a small bungee in the front designed to hold a water bottle and a reasonably-sized bungee in the back. In addition, if you are smaller, there may be some extra space that you can use for storage in the cockpit of the kayak.


Since this is a kayak that does not have a padded seat, you may not be comfortable enough to paddle for an extended amount of time without adding a cushion to the kayak. The seat is made out of the same plastic as the rest of the boat, but it has a thin back that can easily be adjusted to improve your comfort throughout the day. The foot braces in the hull are comfortable, but if they need to be adjusted, they can be difficult to reach, especially while you are in the water if you are a larger individual. There is a bit of padding at your knees and thighs, but this could still be uncomfortable for long-legged individuals for long periods.

Social Proof

During my review of the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10, I scoured the internet to find out what others were saying about the product, and whether this was a good kayak for a beginner. Overall, people liked the maneuverability of the kayak and the fact that it is so easy to carry. Most people think that this is an excellent option for a beginner or a teen or a young adult who is not sure if kayaking is something that they are going to stick with.

In addition, here is a Youtube review that shows the unboxing of the kayak as well as some opinions on the model. This will allow you to see the kayak if you have not seen it before looking at this review.


If you don’t feel like this is the right kayak for your needs, here are some alternatives that you may want to consider.

SD Excursion 10

  • 9 feet, 7 inches
  • 41 pounds
  • 250-pound maximum capacity
  • Made from high-density polyethylene
  • Two fishing rod holder built-in
  • More ideal for new kayaking anglers
  • Slightly shorter in length

Perception Pescador 10

  • 10 feet, 6 inches
  • 57 pounds
  • 325-pound maximum capacity
  • Made using high-density polyethylene
  • Large, secure storage space in the rear of the kayak
  • 17 lbs heavier than the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10

Sea Eagle 330

  • 11 feet, 2 inches
  • 26 pounds
  • 500-pound maximum capacity
  • Inflatable design
  • Two-person capacity
  • More of a family oriented kayak
  • Easy to transport because it’s an inflatable

Final Thoughts

If you are ready to take a plunge into kayaking and make your first purchase, then the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is an optimal option to consider. It is a quality kayak that is sold at a very reasonable price. It may not have all of the features of a high-end kayak, but it lets you get your feet wet with kayaking, test the waters, and learn the ropes before sinking a lot of money into a kayak. If you are more experienced, then this is not the vessel for you, but a novice will find that this sturdy kayak is easy to maneuver and gives you plenty of options on the water.

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