1st kayak: Walden Vista or ???

-- Last Updated: Apr-30-04 11:07 AM EST --


My wife and I are looking at getting our first kayaks. We went to a demo day last weekend and both enjoyed paddling the Walden Vista. Would this be a good first kayak, or will we quickly "outgrow" it? We live in Michigan and would mainly do some inland lake padding and calm river stuff, not whitewater or Great Lake touring. We are looking to get outside for some exercise close to where we live. Money is a concern, but we don't want to get boats that we will want to replace in a year either.

The fact that the Vista is longer and slimmer (24") than the average rec boat, we felt it was a little more fun to paddle. Are there other boats that we should consider? I also paddled some of the Hurricane boats but they are really more than we want to spend.

Thanks for your help.

P.S. I just took a pool class this winter, and have been able to roll once or twice so I want something that I can advance my padding skills in.

my firs kayak was a WS Pungo 120 Classic. Loved it, and still do. But I did outgrow it in a matter of a couple of years as far as wanting to better my skills etc. No regrets in buying it though. It would still make a great loaner boat or something to paddle down the creeks with. I replaced it with a Walden Passage for what its worth

Lots of choices.
best to try demoing more to find what ya like. Hey need4speed, how do ya like the Passage? Do you camp out of it? Am considering getting 1 too.

i love it …
so far. haven’t done much beyond day trips, but we have a week trip planned for early june. I’ve already made sure that all my gear fits … and indeed it did :slight_smile: not like i’m anxious to go or anything

Great choice

– Last Updated: May-03-04 4:12 PM EST –

Sounds like you got the boat you need to fit you best. If it does what you need it to do it's a good choice. As for rolling or growing, a very wise paddler told me once, if you buy one boat, guaranteed you'll buy two or three more. He was right. I like all kinds of paddling from slow rivers through wildlife sanctuaries to WW and lakes. As for growing in skill, I think it's more a matter of expanding your paddling horizons and getting the boats best made for where you're paddling and learning what each one can do. I have one for WW, one for light touring and one for exploring little swamps and such; long and skinny for speed and distance, short and maneuverable with lots of room and comfort, and shorter and flatter for playing in currants.
Each with it's own variety of skills to learn and ways to use them. Have fun! Sounds like you're going to.

Walden Vista
The Vista Exp (with hatch) was my first kayak.

Go here http://community.webshots.com/user/dencor4

And click on “Kayak” for pictures of OGIK (old guy in kayak) enjoying himself.

I have moved up, and now have a WS Tempest 165 (kevlar).

I am seriously thinking of getting another Vista for a bang around boat.

There are a few places one of the groups I paddle with that are very rocky.

Forbid that I should scratch my kevlar.

Go for the Vista.

I think you’ll find it the lightest boat of its size that doesn’t need an airbag.

Only negative is that in a crosswind you will work a little harder keeping it straight.

That is true of EVERY boat in that size group without a rudder, or skeg.


Best of the breed?
The Vista is one of the more capable rec boats on the market, for the reasons you cite. Unlike most, it won’t prevent you from developing skills and exploring your limits. Whether you outgrow it or not is a matter of how seriously you get into paddling.

Thanks everyone…
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and comments. It was nice to hear from some happy Vista owners (who have more than 10 minutes in the cockpit of one at a demo) and to hear what other people consider important as well.

I think we are still heavily leaning this way for most of the reasons that everyone has reiterated: size, weight, durability, and ability.

Thanks again.