Sun Dolphin Aruba 10
The Aruba 10 is an entry-level recreational sit-in kayak that retails at about $300. If you are lucky, one of the many retailers carrying this model will have a sale and you’ll be able to get one below retail. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the higher-end models have, but if you are a beginner that is looking for your first boat for the casual paddle around a lake or river, the wallet-friendly, durable Aruba 10 is an excellent choice.
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Prices
- Pretty stable, not tippy
- Super affordable
- Easy entry and exit
- Relatively light
- Easy to maneuver
- Watertight compartment is known to leak
- Hard to reach storage
- Only for calm waters
- Poor tracking
Size and Weight
The Aruba 10 measures 9 feet 7 inches / 292 cm in length and 29 inches / 74 cm in width. It stands 14 inches / 41cm in height and weighs a mere 40 lbs / 18 kg, making it extremely easy for a solo paddler to load on a car or launch the boat.
For a recreational kayak, it is about the average weight and comparable to other recreational sit-in kayaks of the same size like the Perception Drift which is the same weight. However, the Aruba is a smidge heavier than others like the Pelican Argo 100X which is 36 lb / 16.33 kg.
Sun Dolphin’s Aruba 10 has a maximum payload of 250 lbs / 113 kg, which is slightly less than Pelican’s Argo 100x’s 275 lbs / 125 kg, and significantly less than the Perception Drift whose capacity is 300 lbs / 136 lbs.
This means the Aruba 10 will suit a paddler plus all gear to a maximum weight of about 200 lbs / 91 lbs. Loading a kayak to more than 80% of its maximum payload can drastically decrease its performance.
The hull is made of Sun Dolphin’s trademark Fortiflex high-density polyethylene (HDPE). At the tip of the bow is the first t-handle for carrying and transportation.
Right behind that towards the cockpit is a small storage compartment that can be secured by a bungee tie-down system. The container is just large enough for a water bottle or a small bag.
In the cockpit is a relatively comfortable seat with an adjustable, padded backrest. However, there isn’t any padding on the seat itself so you might want to bring some extra, especially if you have a particularly bony rear end or are going out all day!
There are also protective thigh pads around the coaming where your legs might hit and adjustable foot braces to suit paddlers of most heights.
In the middle of the kayak on both sides are paddle holder systems where you can stash your paddle when not in use. Simply loop the bungee cord over your paddle and attach it to the J-hook
Right behind the seat is a watertight storage compartment with a lid that’s secured by a bungee tie-down system. However, this compartment has been known to leak.
At the very back is the drain plug so you can get any water that managed to find itself into the kayak out. There’s also the second t-handle for easy transportation and carrying.
Depending on the retailer, the Aruba 10 can come with a two-piece adjustable aluminum paddle with two angles of feathering, or it can come with no paddle included.
Sun Dolphin’s Aruba 10 is an entry-level kayak priced affordably for beginners that want to go for casual paddles without breaking the bank.
Maneuverable and lightweight, it will be easy for a solo paddler to load on and off the car or truck, or launch the boat into a lake or river.
The compact length allows you to handle tighter turns and smaller spaces, while the hull’s flat bottom gives the kayak the stability that a lot of beginners find comforting.
The Aruba 10 doesn’t track all that well, and some nose-walking is to be expected, especially if you are a strong paddler.
The seat isn’t too comfortable as only the back is padded. Bring along a cushion or some other padding to help with the bottom or you’ll get a sore butt after a long day!
The lightweight construction makes it less durable than other kayaks this length, and the Aruba 10 can’t carry very much weight. With a maximum capacity of 250 lbs / 113kg, larger paddlers will not be able to lug that much gear around before the kayak’s performance is greatly diminished.
However, the Aruba 10 will still get you out in the water and makes an excellent choice for many beginners that want their own boat yet don’t want to spend a fortune while they are still somewhere along the learning curve.
Overall, the Aruba 10 will get you to where you want to go. It might not be the easier paddling, but at this price point, it is an acceptable choice for many beginners.
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Kayak
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 kayak review - What you need to get started kayaking
Testing out my new kayak, its a Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 #ExploreNM #AdrianUnknown
Specification: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10