Recommend a kayak for a specific person on a specific river!
OK! I have read many requests for recommendations that were answered with requests for more specific descriptions of the type of paddling the person asking intended to do. With that in mind, I am going to try to make my “dumb question” as specific as possible.
I am coming across some good prices this time of the year, but I don’t want to just go on the recommendation of the salespeople!
I am 61 years of age, and of about average condition for this age. I am not a super-jock, but I have managed to ride motorcycles and horses, so I do have a knack for balance type sports.
I am 5’ 10” and 195 pounds in street clothes.
I have had exactly one all-day private lesson from a professional. This was in a Dagger Mamba.
I live very near the Youghiogheny River in Southwest Pennsylvania, U.S. There are two distinct sections of the “Yough”: The “Middle Yough” is class 1 and class 2. The “Lower Yough” is class 3 and class 4. One local outfitter told me that the “Lower isn’t actually class 4 except rarely when at the highest water levels after significant rains. He described the “Lower” as a “Low volume” river the vast majority of the time.
My desire is to buy a kayak capable of “river running” the “Lower”-class 3 and 4 section. I intend to spend next summer learning the skills on the “Middle” - class 1 and 2 section. I am hoping that my age-reduced physical abilities will permit me to attain sufficient skills to “run” the “Lower”-class 3 and 4 section someday. I have no desire to “play” in the class 3 and 4 section… if I can simply “run” this section eventually, I will be satisfied.
I have talked with four local outfitters. A couple of them try to hard sell the Dagger Mamba. I can’t possibly judge from just one day-long lesson, but I had a hard time keeping my paddling angle high enough to get past the “knee bumps” on the deck. I beat my knuckles up pretty badly! My instructor said that I should try a “displacement” hull style kayak for my second lesson. His thought was that I will instinctively somehow just “know” whether I prefer a “planing” style hull vs a “displacement” style hull.
One other outfitter recommended the Dagger Nomad, adding that the LiquidLogic Remix 69/79 is very similar, yet quicker. Yet another outfitter offered a Pyranha Karnali new for $750.
So, that is as specific as I know how to ask the question. If any of you know the Lower Yough, and if any of you are up around the “big 6-0” age, I would really appreciate any guidance you would be willing to offer.
Thanks in advance,