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Attention - Caution Newbs

-- Last Updated: Oct-01-12 3:35 PM EST --

When you post on this forum for guidance on "What kind of _______ should I get" you will get a good mix of other newbs, intermediates, and advanced paddlers.

However, 95% of posters will recommend what they want for themselves, and it will be the same exact ______ they own.

So, if you want to know how they like what they own, check out the REVIEWS.


  • Options
    root cause
    I personally think you're better asking such questions of more local people. The problem I see here and in many other non-paddling areas is that there are way too many different situations. We have ocean, lake, river. Very mellow or very wild. Long expeditions or just bird watching. We have people in cold areas and others in warm. Some are timid and some are adventurous. Each is surrounded by friends similar to them. So even those that know all of this will tend at times to forget (or not even know)just how different the situation of the person asking is.
  • add your location in your question
    Like the question on winter gear I just answered, I have no idea which winter the poster is talking about. Miami or Michigan?
    I try to add PNW ,pacific northwest or some other info into my answer to let people know I'm talking about local conditions.
  • But...
    But, isn't the Pamlico the best boat for everyone?
  • to answer your question
    To answer your question you should get a Jensen 17' and a ZRE 50.5" power surge light.
  • this isnt
    Always true, I like to suggest stuff I would like to own.

    Ryan L.
  • even higher chance
    of hearing recommendations for a boat the poster wants to sell :)
    "Hey, I know the perfect boat for that, and I can give you a great deal on it too!"
  • Not sure about that
    "So, if you want to know how they like what they own, check out the REVIEWS."

    Aren't they all rated as 9 or 10? They must LOVE what they have.

  • Options
    key to reading reviews
    is less about their rating (yes seems like all 9+) but rather how close the reviewer's situation is to yours. So the better reviews talk a lot about the conditions, the paddler and what they were hoping for.
  • The reviews are mostly terrible.
    But if one knows how to read them, there are some facts to be gained.
  • Not so much, I think,
    though it does happen. And usually I am sure the offer is an attempt to be genuinely helpful.
  • I think that's the point
    the OP is trying make.
  • I think that's the point
    I don't have experience, but I know what I am aspiring to do. So I want to find someone that fits into what I want to do. Then I want to know "what they want for themselves, and the same exact ______ they own".

    The problem is the newbie identifying realistically the type of paddler they might be, and the advice giver also recognizing the type of paddler they personally are, as well as recognizing and appreciating other types.

    If I look at the thread about casual day touring on lakes and estuaries, I have no idea what to recommend. The OP is pointing a type of kayak out (based upon what - price point, looks nice, size, room, perceived performance or something else? - who knows?), so a person could recommend the best in that range of kayaks. But for casual day touring on lakes and estuaries, I would want an efficient sea kayak at around 4 knots. Someone else may want a surf ski. I think the most important information is the energy level that a person brings to whatever physical outdoor activities that they currently do, and then what about paddling turns them on. That really defines how and where they will end up enjoying paddling, more than where they think they might like to paddle defines the type of boat they will be happy with. To me, "What kind of things do you do for fun?" will end up much more informative than "Where do you plan to paddle?" Everyone around my area would answer that they think it would be fun to paddle in the ocean. But if their typical activities don't include physical exersion or outdoors in the elements or anything sounding like physical sports, it is incredibly unlikely that they are going to end up ocean paddlers. It sounds nice, but they just don't realize what it takes yet.

    What type of paddler are you, what do you use, and what would you like to use, can be some pretty good information compiled from several people.
  • Pretty Cynical
    There are a dozen or so people here who give pretty good advice. Most of the time when people are asking for recommendations it's for entry level gear, which most of the experienced paddlers have little or no interest in.

  • This thread may run and run,
    The OP's post is perhaps a bit negative but has a grain or two of truth. Unless someone has had particular experience (e.g.,working in the paddling industry or at an out-fitters, or was a member of a club with access to many different models of kayak or canoe), their ability to comment on the relative advantages and flaws of a wide range boats is probably quite limited. The rest of us can however say something about the boats we paddle/own. If we limit our comments to subjects we have direct experience of, and give some indication of the limits of our knowledge, then probably this is OK. Right?
  • Rubbish
    I just recommended a boat I have paddled and never want own.

    While it is a lousy boat for me, it might suit the asker's needs perfectly.

  • Options
    Take an INTRO class
    If someone truly wants to learn
    they'll take an into to kayaking class
    from a local community pool site fall/winter months.

    Asking in a forum is just like talk radio
    - you filter what you want to want or don't want to hear
  • Options
    good example...
    For most I like your advice. But it shows bias like we all have. It assumes there's a source of lessons near. The fall/winter in a pool part assumes a cool winter area. All of it assumes someone wanting more than to sit still fishing in a pond from a kayak or canoe. I fall into that trap all the time even as I try not to.
  • Y'know....
    It is near impossible to make a good recommendation when someone doesn't provide info about their likely paddling locale, background or area of the country at least - like is it the Florida Keys or Calais Maine... like the OPer here.
  • Most don't write reviews.
    Some regulars on this board have never written a review, even though they may own 20 boats.
  • Hey, I have both of those
    plus 14 more kayaks and canoes.
    but would really like a Pro boat!

  • Good point
    I agree it would be good if the long-time posters and compulsive boat hoarders here would review their fleet.

    Most reviews by complete novices are pretty useless. My all time favorite went something like this:

    "I ordered a boat on the internet and just received it today. I haven't been in the water, but it's beautiful and I got it at a steep discount from a really nice seller - I know it's going to be great! 10/10"
  • Back to the regular posts...
    If someone reads the posts asking about ideas for a new boat, or a step-up boat, long timers often do talk well about the boats they own. But it is hard to do that outside of a context.

    For example, I have recommended that new paddlers look at the mid-length transition boats at times, and go used, because what they wanted to do with the boat is still quite unformed. But on the same day someone can ask about a boat for a size of paddler and usage that I know - like my own. For them I can talk well about the boats in our fleet, behaviors on the water etc.

    I don't see how someone could replicate that in reviews without being pretty thorough about how they used the boat and their own paddling. That's more than most (including me) would bother to do.
  • Moi
    -- Last Updated: Oct-01-12 6:29 PM EST --

    yep. Much of my fleet is out of production or custom.

    You wont find a Swift Heron or Wenonah Odyssey or LoonWorks boats (three) at your local dealer. I have the only Colden DragonFly ever made. Its not at your local store either. Neither is my Curtis Nomad.

    The other boats all have reviews. It seems pointless to babble on about boats that already have reviews unless I thought some of the reviews were from left field.

    I have paddled about a hundred different boats. Some of those paddles were just long enough to say UGH without overtly analyzing why. Any review would be kind of shallow.

  • I second Kayamedic's "rubbish".
    -- Last Updated: Oct-01-12 6:29 PM EST --

    The vast majority of the reviews aren't very helpful. Seems like an awful lot of them have been written by noobs shortly after purchasing their first boat. Read through the Coleman and Pelican canoe reviews and you'll see what I mean. You have to read reviews with a very discerning eye.

    Answers to posted questions, OTOH, can be very detailed and focused. A conversation of sorts can be had - and I found that much more helpful when I was just getting into the sport.

    And, BTW - I see a lot of active posters here that will let you know up-front whether they have actually owned or paddled the boat they are talking about, and how it was used. It just takes a little patient reading and common sense to determine who here is giving out the good info.

  • Options
    And my beef with fishermen
    Many, many fisherman can't paddle worth
    a hoot and a holler and often get into "trouble".
  • As was mine......
  • Sooooo
    What kind of boat are you looking for??????
  • Options
    guy you would really enjoy a pro boat they are great just sold mine not much racing in s c
  • Are you considering context?
    -- Last Updated: Oct-01-12 9:58 PM EST --

    I suppose I should preface my remarks by saying newbies often ask inappropriate questions, so the first thing advice-givers need to do is force them to focus on particular goals. I myself pay a lot more attention to the questions of people who have a fair idea what their needs are, and I'm not the only one. What follows mostly applies to that kind of situation.

    You say ...

    "However, 95% of posters will recommend what they want for themselves, and it will be the same exact ______ they own."

    ... and I am certainly guilty of this, but if you read one of my posts where I did such a thing and used that as evidence to support your current premise, you'd be worse than wrong.

    One reason I can recommend one of my boats to someone is that I know how they handle, and I know what they can do, but I can only do this if I know what the person is looking for. If a person asks a question that is specific enough that I know what their needs are (paddler size, gear load, type of water, desired traits for boat-handling), and if those criteria can be met by a boat I'm familiar with (one that I own or used to own), then yes, I will recommend it, or more accurately, I will present it as a good, viable option (without discounting options I know less about).

    It would be silly to recommend a boat I haven't paddled. There are a lot of very good solo canoes out there which I have not recommended even in cases where I suspected they'd have been a good choice. I leave it to others, the ones who've used those boats, to recommend them and provide the reasons why.

    And speaking of "the reasons why", anyone giving good advice will provide "the reasons why" a particular boat is a good match to a particular set of handling traits. If they don't do that, what good is the advice? I have a hunch you are missing the most important parts of the advice posts if you can say what you did without feeling like your premise is a quite a bit of a stretch. Granted, I don't read the kayak advice very much so maybe you are correct in that department, but overall, the advice I've paid attention to is usually accompanied by information that will allow the question-asker to figure out the applicability to their situation.

    When it comes to gear other than boats, I've noticed that people tend to say less about the particulars, but then, the people asking the questions often leave a lot to be desired when it comes to saying what they need and why, so it goes both ways.

  • Whoa all
    search paddling.net for the OP screen name.

    Something stinks here.
  • Oh, good point.
    -- Last Updated: Oct-01-12 10:27 PM EST --

    Lots and lots of answers to all sorts of things, presented in a way that seems to imply "THIS is the right way", and even including a post about fixing non-aligned gunwales (most likely not associated with a warped hull and therefore not to be fixed at all) that could only have been provided by a person who's never actually seen such a thing in-person.

  • Trolling, trolling, trolling, til this
    thread is swollen.....

    I'm sorry I responded to this thread, because the OP is useless. Anonymous and useless.
  • Well I got my packing done for a week
    long canoe trip anyhow..and this thread broke up packing tedium.

    yeah we can all dope slap ourselves for being such chumps. Too bad we love our hobby and want to pass on some enthusiasm.
  • Options
    Or just search for the last time...
    ...the same question was asked. No need to ask it again if it is asked here repeatedly.
  • Uh, I recommend boats I haven't
    paddled. I recommend race horses I haven't ridden.

    It is possible to assess both, based on reputation, record, and appearance.
  • Crucify Him!?
    I don't think you need to crucify the OP!

    The point of the posting was that I find it humorous that a newb asks about recommendationson on a 12' rec boat and some people will recommend a 16' or 17' sea kayak!
  • Options
    sometimes correct, sometimes not
    -- Last Updated: Oct-02-12 11:25 AM EST --

    back to my earlier post in this thread, the problem is that the circumstances of the person asking and the person answering may be very different making it hard to relate and know what is correct. Some folks asking about 12' kayaks may aspire to do what would be best done in a longer boat and some may actually be better with an even shorter boat. If the person asking has already learned well that a 12' really is best then hopefully he communicates that well and others can help find the best 12' boat. But if the person asking seems to be very new it is very possible they are considering 12' for all the wrong reasons. It's very hard to suggest much of anything if you haven't met the person and paddled in very similar conditions with similar goals.

    Maybe this goes to a key difference between reading the reviews vs asking about best boat. If you KNOW you want a 12' rec boat then read the reviews. If you SUSPECT you want a 12' rec boat ask others on the board and expect they may have other thoughts.

  • Only works if archived and exact wording
    spelling and phrasing are used.

    Many great and useful discussions occur on the discussion page and aren't archived.
  • High ratings could be the lack of the
    poster overlooking the rating section. I am guilty of that when I perhaps should have rated an item at less than 10, which seems to be the default and have forgotten to go back in and change it.
    Perhaps Brent could change that and have a reminder in the form of a "pop-up" to remind posters to specifically note the rate, before closing the window.
    Just a thought.
  • It would help if....
    you gave the replies some credit. Your statement is very broad, as others have pointed out a similarly broad answer is not always the right one.

    I believe you have made it clear that you personally feel any recommendation for a boat over 12 ft long is inappropriate.
  • Symptom of modern society
    People are not that attunded to others these days. We live in a narcissistic society. We've lost the skill of listening to people and tuning into their needs as opposed to our own. It's like everyone is competing for attention. That must mean that modern social conditions don't provide people with the attention and fulfillment they need. It wasn't always like this. This started sometime around the 1980s. People used to be more interested in others.

    In any helping role, the first step is to listen to the other person's experience and expressed needs. Hear exactly what the person is asking for. Put yourself in the person's place. That too is a lost skill these days---empathy, the ability to see things from another person's perspective.
  • Options
    -- Last Updated: Oct-08-12 11:47 AM EST --

    My first boat was 17ft and I don't regret it one bit. You seem to think the newbie is an expert on the length and only needs help choosing the color.

  • 10 out of 10
    Another caution for newbs: Most thread titles are extremely uninformative.
  • how?
    "People used to be more interested in others."
    hmmm, somehow I see it differently.
    I see a lot of "interest" in others or Facebook would not exist?
    Or maybe I am confusing "interest" with stalking :-)
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