A few simple questions from a newbie

-- Last Updated: Jan-05-12 1:50 AM EST --

Thanks in advance to anyone who shares some insight or advice.

Question 1 - Aside from a rental or two, I'm new to kayaking. The only river-running experience I have is derived from rafting in WV. I'm 5'9", 140 lbs. I'm athletic/adventurous enough to where I would eventually like to get into running class I-III rapids in a kayak, but love exploring, documenting and observing wildlife and taking my time during day-trips. ANYway- I've been looking at the Future Beach Trophy 126 kayak as my first boat. Would anyone recommend or argue with this???Good first buy? Waste of time?

From what I've read it is extremely stable, tracks well, on the slower side, and has a hull design that I'm not really familiar with. Would a yak of this design be suited for running fast lines if I wanted to test whitewater??

Question 2 - This seriously comes off as the dumbest of all questions, but when you reach the take out how do you make it back to your vehicle at the put-in site?? Again, my experience is mainly with paid rafting excursions and this is something I just can't wrap my head around. Are two vehicles involved? One at each site? I assume the answer is right in front of me, but I'm completely in the dark on this and figured I would ask.

Many thanks! Cheers

quick answers
just off the top of my head, that kayak (Ocean State job lot??) sounds like it wouldn’t be good in technical water of any sort. Think I’ve seen the adv. for them.

For returns to the car…bicycle shuttle if solo, 2 car shuttle with a friend. Only required on moving water.If running bike shuttle, I generally leave my truck at the takeout and pick up my bike on the way home. Bring a cable lock.

Can’t help you on number 1., but
on number 2 you have several options:

  • Go with another person and do a shuttle
  • Pay for a shuttle from an outfitter
  • If the river is gentle, paddle up stream for two thirds of the day, and then turn around and come back
  • Use a bike. You drop your boat at the put in and using a cable and lock, lock it to a tree or post. Drive to the take out and leave your car there. Peddle back, (use a back pack for your gear) to where the boat is. Lock you bike to the same tree or post. Paddle down river. At the take out pick up your vehicle and then retrieve you bike.

    You might want to take take your paddle with you, and don’t forget the keys

    Where there is a will, there is a way !

    Jack L


– Last Updated: Jan-05-12 12:30 PM EST –

Your profile says kayaking flat water and kayaking slow water. What most people do in conditions like this in regards to the take-out issue is to do an out and back paddle. On flat water, this is very easy. On moving water, it may be best to go upstream first (against the current) so if you get tired, the current will help bring you home. Same for wind - upwind first.

For a point to point paddles, you will need to set up a shuttle. Most often this is done with 2 cars, but can be done with bikes or paying a commercial outfit.

Now on the Future Beach kayak:
That boat is a recreational class kayak, with some amenities (rod holders) that will help you if you wanted to fish. Recreational boats are made for reasonably nice conditions on flat water. They are made to be hard to flip over, so most people don't know how to get back in should they ever actually flip over - so best to stay in areas where you can swim to shore should you get in trouble. The average user of these kayaks should not consider anything above class 1 or using it on bodies of water with any significant waves.

Here are reviews of that boat on this site: http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showReviews.html?prod=2468

And here is an article from California Kayaker Magazine on how to choose a recreational kayak:

kayak choice
To put it in perspective, the Future Beach kayaks are equivalent to a Huffy bicycle from a discount store. If you are an athletic outdoorsman I think you will be rapidly disappointed with such a clunky, slow and low tech boat. It’s definitely NOT for Class III water and not ideal for Class I or II due to the large cockpit, width and hull design. And for flatwater these are not very fast and don’t track well, especially in wind. For the $400 it would cost to buy one you could get a decently designed kayak on the used market, often with paddle and PFD thrown in.

I find the most versatile kayak for what you are describing is a 13’ to 15’ long by less than 24" wide closed cockpit boat (opening less than 20" wide and less than 34" long) with sealed bulkheads fore and aft, with or without an integral skeg. YOu want something maneuverable that gives you decent speed and has a small enough opening that a tight sprayskirt and bulkheads will prevent you getting swamped. Since you are slim, a narrower boat will be better for you – you want a snug fit in the cockpit to control the boat.

It’s best (as with any new sport) to get some instruction and some experience with rentals, classes and demos before investing in a boat and gear. Find a good outfitter in your area – many offer pool sessions during the winter.

If you are mainly intending to do whitewater, getting a shorter ww specific boat might be more useful for you and you can often find them used for less than $400. The drawback is that they don’t track well and are slow in flatwater. Here is one local example:


There are some hybrids, like this one for sale in your area:


Note that it is a sit on top which means you will always be wet in it, perhaps not ideal for the Ohio climate.

Here’s another pretty versatile closed boat near you:


This one is a nice boat (I have one like it) but is a bit overpriced – $600 would be more reasonable with the accessories he is offering:


There is also this one,and inflatable whitewater kayak which would solve the solo transport problem. YOu can deflate it and haul it on a bike trailer.


A few ideas
Hey there,

My advice would be to hone in on where you are going to spend the most time (flat water or whitewater?) and go from there. If you are serious about getting into class II and III whitewater (which I highly recommend as it’s too fun not to!) you need a whitewater boat. I’d start out by taking some lessons then borrow/rent boats, join a club and go with people who are better than you.

Question 2:

Not a silly question at all. You should see a group of boaters (even with decades of experience) sit around and talk about how they should do it. Quite fun.

Good Luck and hope you get hooked on paddling!

Dan Caldwell

Rapid Media TV GUy

I live in haskins ohio. I’ll be looking for people to paddle with this summer… I’m still newer as well.


some notes on the LL Coupe
(the 2nd listing above)

I really love this boat as a Spring-to-Fall river runner. it is Class II-III capable and the presumed wetter ride is not really an issue with the appropriate protective clothing when the water is still cool (just like with rafting; in a sit-in going thru rapids you are still getting your upper torso & head wet anyway). it is more stable than most whitewater boats for photography, fishing and poking around viewing wildlife and such, as well as hopping off for a swim and then hopping right back on; you can even turn yourself completely around while seated on it which is nice if you are carrying a little cooler of river refreshments in the back :). LiquidLogic is a whitewater-oriented company and they designed the Coupe off the XP10 hull concept, so it has some real whitewater mojo but with a skeg to help it track straighter on slow sections. with the wheel on the stern, you can do short portages without having to carry. downsides: a little heavy esp. for a smaller person, doesn’t attain upriver well against a decent current, funky hull shape that makes it hard to carry and load/unload.

if you are primarily running rivers in good weather with intermittent rapids, this is a good alternative to consider vs. traditional sit-in kayaks. if you are primarily paddling slow/flat water and lakes go with a longer day-touring kayak.

Favorite shuttle technique
Have a friend (or child with driver’s license) follow you to the takeout and leave their car there, you go to the put in and she drives your car with kayak rack back to the take out and leaves it there.

Regarding rec kayaks, they are all pretty much the same, don’t lose a lot of sleep agonizing over your choice. Get something cheap and available and go beat the crap out of it while saving up for something better and learning what you really want. All the reviews all say how great the boat is, mostly posted by first time owners with two weeks of paddling experience.

Extremely stable…

– Last Updated: Jan-06-12 11:39 AM EST –

for a boat like this translates to not intended or apt for anything more challenging. It's not dissimilar to a charming cottage in real estate listings meaning it is small - good for a first time home owner. The reasons tend to become clear as you learn more about kayaking and get time in boats.

You can go one of two ways. Get something basic and cheap like this boat that'll get you on the water, knowing that you'll be limited to safe flat water and will want to pick up a more apt boat for your ultimate purposes later on. And this rec boat is something that you can put friends in to go paddle around a pond on a hot day.

Or - wait a little bit and go for a more apt boat now, either cheap used or wait longer to stash the cash for something new, taking some time to understand what features will get you where you want to go. willowleaf has some good suggestions used - may be your best first stop.

When it comes to boats

– Last Updated: Jan-08-12 9:55 AM EST –

Try many before you buy. In the spring a lot of shops have demo days where you can try a several boats in a short time. If you do, try very different styles of boat, their good and bad points will help you decide what's important to you.

Joining a local club will give you access to other paddlers knowledge and many members will have boats you can try on club trips for a minimal fee or buying the owner lunch.


Kayaks are a lot like bikes

– Last Updated: Jan-08-12 11:58 AM EST –

No one would take a cheap department store bike on
jumps, drops and serious mountain biking.
Most people also understand a super skinny tire
road race bike just isn't going work off road.

What's the analogy ?
Everyone knows how to bicycle from the age of 10 on up
BUT everyone ""thinks"" they already know how to paddle

Paddling is a learned skill not inherent in our DNA.
Beginner kayaks are just that - starter kayaks.
They are limited to calm, flat water, environments.
No high winds, no massive wakeboard chop, no current.

Falling off a bike, means dusting yourself off .
Dumping a mile offshore in the water is an issue.
Having a kayak swept away by wind, current, tide,
leaving you stranded, alone and treading water is bad.

Take a kayak class at a local community pool.
Learn and understand why kayaks do what they do.
Demo kayaks with various rocker, chine, etc.
Then buy a boat that fits your topography.
If it takes 3hrs to get there,
you won't paddle often.

my opinion…
#1…make sure there’s room for your feet to be in a comfortable position for hrs at a time. I sat in a FB once and got out 10 seconds later…feet were in a very uncomfortable position. the more U can keep yer feet in a natural,upright position, the longer U can stay comfortable. Not a fan of the cheap FB’s and others like them. also,like most boaters , u’ll end up with at least 2 boats, 1 for flatwater and 1 for whitewater.( or a LL XP10 or 9 or similar boat))

#2 …shuttles are the only way to get back upstream if the current is too strong to paddle back up, unless U want to carry or drag your $1000 boat all the way back.

Future Beach
is a waste of your money, keep looking. Sounds like you would be much better off with a used riverrunner type whitewater boat.