Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 Reviewed

Kayaking is an enjoyable activity – no one can really argue about that. Having the right kayak makes it even better. A kayak like the Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5, which has a lot to offer. It is beginner friendly and allows kayakers to maneuver through waves and swells. It’s also great for calmer waters such as lakes and rivers if you’re just looking for a nice relaxing day of fishing or enjoying the sunshine.

Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5

So without further ado, let’s jump into the features.

Features of the Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5

  • Supports up to 325 pounds
  • Good size kayak at 11.5 feet long and a width of 35 inches, lightweight at only 25 pounds
  • With a lot of extra space (as it only comes with one seat), you can store your fishing supplies, lunch, even take your dog along.
  • Self-bailing ports are always a plus. If you take on water, you may not have anything to bail it out or be able to do it quick enough.
  • It comes with a 9 ½ inch diameter tube.
  • 12-inch for tracking and stability
  • Large seat for an average or slightly larger adult
  • Lots of cargo space
  • It has three chambers.
  • Adjustable foot pegs
  • Cargo covers
  • High-back seat
  • Quick Stack dry hatch (easy to close and open)
  • Three cup holders
  • Easy to use if used in the proper setting classes one through three.
  • Easy to maneuver in most cases.
  • Pretty much unsinkable
  • Ability to swim away from kayak if it flips over
  • Easy tracking
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Both the paddle and air pump are sold separately.

Here you can check a video comparison overview (by Paddling Magazine):

Comfortable Seating

The Ocean Kayak Malibu11.5 is extremely comfortable and known as an easy rider among kayakers. The Ocean Kayak Malibu11.5 makes comfort a priority. It has an advanced Air Go seat that is molded in with a seat pad, and it has an adjustable back that has Air Comfort built into the seat back.

Legroom in a kayak is a really an important feature, especially for taller people. It has calf rests and molded-in wells for your feet. It even has three cup holders to hold your beverages.

Boarding the Kayak

To get into your new Malibu 11.5 kayak, place one foot inside, then the other, and sit down. It’s not likely to tip over, but in the event that it does, no worries, you can swim out from under it. Your kayak will not fill up with water and sink either, but you should always wear a life vest anyway.

Splash-Resistant Storage

You can store all your items such as your cell phone, wallet, car keys, maps, and any other personal items in the Quick Stack dry hatch, which is on the front seat bottom between your legs. The dry hatch snaps open and closed using little force from your hand. The hatch has a tight waterproof seal to keep all your belongings dry and secure.

What Do Users Say?

Most people like the Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 and like its roominess and can control the kayak when they are in the water.

While some people are either not strong enough or experienced enough to go kayaking, this can make for an unpleasant experience in time. As they learn how to kayak, they will enjoy it as much as they disliked it at first.

Inflation and Build Time 

According to most users, while it is easy to build and inflate, it does not come with a pump, so you must buy it separately.

The built is solid and shouldn’t scratch, tear, or become damaged easily if you use it on river classes one, two, or three.

  • One — Easy (minimal obstructions and tiny waves)
  • Two — Novice (wide open channels of water, basic rapids, medium-sized waves, only occasional maneuvering required.)
  • Three — Experienced (irregular waves, strong currents, and eddies, experienced control of the kayak and ability to perform complex maneuvers — definitely not of a newbie)

If you fall within one of the above listed three classes as a kayaker, your built will be fine. The other thing you must consider is the weight limit. The Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 has a weight limit of 325 pounds. If you plan to put more weight in the kayak (within reason), you will sit lower. While the weight limit is certainly acceptable, it would be ideal to have a larger weight limit on an updated version of this kayak.

Tracking and Performance

If you keep the kayak in class 1 – 3, you shouldn’t have a tracking problem. This kayak is certainly not meant for large waves or swells or narrow rock-filled rapids areas. Even the best of the best cannot maneuver their way out of a place they shouldn’t be in the first place. On occasion, a kayaker may find themselves in a crosswind or even a big gust of wind that pushes them off course. In this situation, tracking can be difficult.

The stability is particularly good with a 35-inch width. The kayak is stable, and you can feel it when seated inside. It also has a 12-inch rocker, which is less than other kayaks but still acceptable when the kayak is used correctly and in the right setting.


As noted in the features, the seat back is comfortable for an average-sized person. It may not be as comfortable for a taller person, and a taller thick hard seat cushion may make your kayak experiences more enjoyable. The adjustable foot pegs and thigh straps may come in handy and are good to have on board.

Storage and Space

One thing the Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 is not lacking is space and storage. There is plenty of room in the kayak for the kayaker, food, fishing gear, a cooler, and anything else you may choose to bring in place of or along with. You can also use the deck cover and help prevent you and your belongings from getting wet in a sudden downpour or a bigger than usual wave comes along. It is also a deck cover that should protect the inside from getting wet.

Pros and Cons

  • Quick set up and inflation time
  • Optimum stability
  • Fantastic durability
  • A lot of storage space
  • Excellently crafted thigh straps and foot pegs
  • The self-bailing ports take on a lot of water if you are near or over the weight limit.
  • The rocker isn’t the best, lots of room for improvement.


Our rating: 4.1 Star Rating 4.1 / 5

The Ocean Kayak Malibu 11.5 overall is a good kayak. When used correctly and in a proper setting, a quick recap tells buyers the kayak is stable, and tracking is good in classes one through three. It has a dry storage hatch. It can hold 325 pounds comfortably. The high seat back is nice for an average-sized adult and slightly less comfortable for taller individuals. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This kayak is excellent for most beginner and novice kayakers.