Advice for new kayaker

Not only a new yaker but new to this board as well.Thanks for letting me be a part of this forum,appears to be good advice here.

Let me start by saying i’m 46 and an avid outdoorsman including mtnbiking,camping,fishing and photography.

I live in a rural area with lots of lakes and rivers and have been thinking about a yak for quite awhile.

I just purchased a pungo 120 duralite with a harmony adventure paddle.About all my paddling will be in lakes and slow moving rivers.

Did i choose well,what about the paddle?

Is this paddle better suited for a slack or steep stroke.I’ve also heard pro’s and con’s about duralite.

It’s a fine starter
Good thing you didn’t get a Pamlico. :wink:


to the board. I’ll give you a few hints about this board. Since you are just starting search the archieves before you post you questions. Most questions newbies ask have been asked before and you can find the answers faster by searching earlier posts.

The boat you bought will do you fine as a starter. You will more than likely out grow it very quickly . . . By July of next summer. You will then start to look for a longer faster boat. Most buy a 14 foot boat and keep it for a year or two. Then they go for a 16 foot boat. If you find out you really like to paddle and want to get a laonger boat in the future skip the 14 foot boat and go for a 16foot seakayak. You’ll save money in the long run. I speak from first hand knoweldge.

Have fun and be safe

and some give too much advice…

– Last Updated: Nov-25-07 11:12 PM EST –

I have a 12 foot polyethylene kayak. It is over 3 years old and has over 7,000 river and lake miles on it and I'm getting ready to replace it with a 125 Tsunami not a 14' or a 16'.

Not everyone goes to a longer and faster boat. You'll have fun mastering the kayak and it will do a lot of fun. Enjoy your choice and have fun paddling.

ps. I would have recommended an Aqua Bound paddle but the Harmony is OK. I started with a Harmony - Mariner.

Paddlin' on

Welcome to the wonderful world of
paddling and also this forum.

Your first mistake if you don’t mind my saying was purchasing your boat and paddle and then asking afterwards if it was a good choice?

With that said, the best thing you did was go out and buy the boat and paddle and then ask afterwoods.- Had you asked first, you would have been so confused with the multitude of boats and paddles, that you probably would have taken up chess instead of paddling.

I am guessing that if you enjoy the sport as much as some of us do you will be buying lighter, longer and faster in the future.

Until then you made the perfect decision.

Now think safe and enjoy your new boat and paddle.



the key is to…

…have fun.

Paddle what is fun for you.

Maybe you’re view of fun will change. In fact, it

probably will.

Any boat you enjoy paddling is the right boat.

Where do you live?

I agree
The most important attribute of your choice is the ease in which to get your yak from home to the water. If it is awkward or too heavy for you to handle then the likelihood you will go frequently lessens. It is a matter of application and taste after that. Think of it as buying a car: Depends on your needs and taste more than what someone else thinks is right for you. All that said: GET OUT AND ENJOY. GREAT CHOICE IN ACTIVITY. Doesn’t matter what you are paddling when you are enjoying the company of others while paddling in the great outdoors.


How to start…
Get a lesson or two in a good forward stroke, whatever height it turns out to be for you and the boat, so that you are protecting your shoulders and wrists etc from damage. Then worry about whether you want another paddle. You probably will eventually - but the one you’ve got will get you started fine.

The Pungo will get you started as well. Even if you eventually want somethikng different, it’ll always be a great guest boat or lazy hot day platform for a little wading, swimming or other pond type activities.

One caution tho’ - if you are thinking about getting out on the water before next spring, especially alone, consider rethinking that one unless you are in the unlikely position of having real cold water clothing. On the plus side, we are moving into a great time for most areas where there are a lot of paddlers - almost anywhere these days - to find winter pool sessions to get basic skills down including self-rescue practice.


Welcome to the world of Kayaking – it’s a blast and a great way to enjoy the outdoors from a very different perspective. I used to do a fair amount of fishing, hunting and camping, and I really enjoy the up-close experiences I have with nature from a kayak. There’s something about being under your own power and so low to the water that gives you a new appreciation for the outdoors.

If you’re ever around Virginia Beach or Chesapeake we’re happy to provide instruction or guiding in and around Hampton Roads.

Have fun & paddle safe!


Virginia Sea Kayak Center

Great choices, be confident.
Which you obviously already are as an avid outdoorsman. OH NO!!! You bought a boat without even test paddling it??? (Gee man, this guy’s livin’ life on the edge!!!) But seriously, Bird: Yes, there’s a lot of good advice here, but there’s also a lot of outright know-it-all nincompoopism. (Ughhh, if I only had a dollar for everyone who recommended “taking a lesson” or “getting a longer boat.” --Does anybody seriously think a person seeking to fish on quiet lakes is going to have to roll a Pungo 120?? (Uh…you never know – Could be some really big fish where he ends up going.) Ah, but then again. I don’t sell boats nor instruction. And even though I like to consider myself somewhat experienced (been paddling since the late 70s) I’m hesitant to offer any advice, even when I absolutely know something as true. All that said, the Pungo 120 is extremely popular and a big seller for a reason: it’s ease of use and capability. I’ve paddle one, and a friend who owns one insists he will never buy another type kayak again. Why? Because it fulfills all his needs. Satisfaction is in serving yourself. Just ask anyone on this website who feels compelled to go out and buy 20 new boats a year!

(Not me, brother.)

All good hunting, fishing, exploring and paddling to you!

My wife and I started out with the Tsunami 140’s and other than the weight, we love them. We also started out with the Harmony paddles, which are actually too long and heavy for us, and now we have Pacific Designs. My wife uses the T1, at 224cm and I use the R1 at 220cm. The are both very good paddles, lightwieght and relatively inexpensive.

Thanks to all
i live on the shenandoah river and do alot of camping on the greenbriar river so i figured kayaking would be very rewarding.

We camp every other weekend from april-sep and take a canoe with room for a kayak.

I’m really looking foward to kayaking and had to start somwhere.

The pungo received great reveiws via the net.

Perhaps in a few years i can over some advice.

Thank you