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New guy

I just started kayaking and have devoured all the knowledge I can find on here and I'm gonna meet up with a bunch of y'alls at some point in OCT for some paddling in Missouri. WHat should I do between now and then? I kayak 7.6 miles to and from my town to my house. It's some river and some open lake. I'm picking up reading water and some technique, this is the little Rec kayak that I got for 25 dollars from a neighbor whose kid never used it. http://www.sundolphinboats.com/oz/4/com/kay/aruba10/aruba10.html
If y'alls have any common advice or thoughts on something that you'd wished you'd known starting out give me a holler please.
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  • If you don't have a drain plug on ....
    -- Last Updated: Aug-06-13 3:14 PM EST --

    one end, install one or make sure you keep a pump with you at all times.
    When and if your yak gets filled with water, it is a bear to get it all out without one or the other.

    Jack L

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    Thanks
    Jack I've got a drain plug and I filled it with water in the pond in my front yard just to see how bad it'd be and was more then I was expecting.
  • Starting Out , PDF info
    I played around in small boats for half my life before I discovered what a "good" PFD is like. During all that time my swimming skills were terrible, yet I never wore a PFD. Since then I've become quite a good swimmer but I wear a PFD for the slightest excuse. It's partly because I know a lot more about recognizing and assessing risk, but it's also because a good PFD is comfortable to wear.
  • In the beginning it's 90% boat and 10%
    paddler but after a couple of years its 90% paddler and 10% boat.
  • that's pretty good
  • Float bags
    Get float bags if you don't have bulkheads. This will enable you to keep the boat from sinking or totally filling with water if you capsize or get swamped for any reason. This is critical!

    Get a good PFD that allows you to paddle easily (not every life vest does that) and is rated for your weight; then adjust it properly. You don't need the fancy ones, BTW. I have one from Cabelas that works great for kayaking, but is not expensive nor paddling specific.

    Take some lessons. No kidding, every lesson you take will increase your skills and your confidence. You'll be surprised about how much you don't know, but this will help as you progress in your kayaking immeasurably.

    Have fun. Don't let anyone take that part away from you.
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    Been Drilled into
    my head that I have to have a PFD I'm a class 3 swimmer in the military but I've been trained by my dad and father in law to always have one.
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    I'll have to make sure to remember that.
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    Started you're list/
    I've already got a great PFD from other water based adventures. I'll look into Float Bags I didn't even know of that. I'll have to get some do I just need front and rear? I'm not sure if there is even anywhere around me that offers lessons I'll have to look but I've got a good feeling that I'm not going to find and If it ever becomes something besides fun I'll just go back to doing it alone in my local lake.
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    Completly agree
    I have a boat similar to yours and float bags are a must, check online for them, I bought mine for about $20. The one for the bow is specifically for rec boats the size just depends on the length of your boat.

    I agree about the lessons too, I took one and I feel so much more confident. I'll admit starting out I was a little scared of kayaking but after I took the class I felt a lot better. I actually found the place I went to on this website, I believe it was under the "Go Paddling" tab.

    Have fun!!

  • Lessons
    I paddled for over a year without a lesson. I read, I watched all the videos here on p-net. I paddled about a hundred miles and they didn't offer lessons here anyway. Had a lot of fun then finally one spring a couple came from a few hundred miles away to teach a few lessons during a boating festival. If I could have any do overs I wish I had taken the basic paddling and basic rescue classes sooner.
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    devoured knowledge
    One of the most important things I have learned is what is good for the coast of California is not the same as the ferry channels of long island sound. Find local folks who know the local water.
  • use your resources,
    this website is a good start, a simple google search of "Missouri paddlers" brought up a lot of good info when I tried it- guidebooks, shuttle info, paddling groups. If your wanting to venture onto moving water, rivers and such, I think a beginners class from the whitewater group in Missouri could be beneficial. If you can hook into a network of local paddlers you'll have an easier time with shuttles, safety, instruction, and logistics. You need some local paddling buddies, close by that you can get out with for shorter paddles during the week.
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    THis
    I've figured this one out as quick as I could.
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    I've been looking around
    I can't find any locals on Truman lake and have been looking it looks like I might have to go out to Springfield and I've got to make it out to the south east where it looks like everyone paddles around here, I'm taking the kayak out to Lake of the Ozarks this weekend.
  • SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE HOOKED, AND...
    ...you've got some water experience and are following pretty good procedures and acquiring good tips, and, perhaps, techniques.

    All on the right track.

    Sew you vant a leetle adwice, Meester Newbie...??? Ja?...JA?? So leesin, bubby...

    Doan chew DARE... AY-vair... get eento wanna dem longgg skeeeny boats, eh? You be smart, eh? STAY AVAY! You bee spoilt for LIFE.

    Yew ay-vair, AY-VAIR! try wanna dem, and yewl NAYVAIR go back to dot Rooba ting to

    PADDLE ON!

    -Frank in Miami

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