any advice on online shopping a kayak?

-- Last Updated: Jun-28-12 4:48 PM EST --

I already gave up on this one.
'Riot Quest 10.'

It seems to me that I need at least a light touring kayak to handle those 16-inch waves. ^^

but I don't have garage so the kayak should be no longer than 12 feet, otherwise I don't have room for it.


thank you guys for telling me how dangerous it could be to cross a mile-wide river on a rec kayak.

I knew I shouldn't, but I was just too excited by the thought, and did it.
the good news is that I did that with friends and nothing happened to us. We made it back. ^^


90% of my kayaking time will be spent on flatwater
and really slow rivers.
I always keep going and going for miles
and then come back,
and occasionally stop for taking pictures.

sometimes I will try a little wave too.
like crossing a one-mile-wide river, with waves in the center when windy, but the height never lager than 16 inches (or 40 centimeters).

----so, that's what I usually do.
height: 5' 11+1/4"
weight: 150 lbs

I also want a covered hatch.

a cup holder and shockcord would be great!

I vote not
I have found considerable benefit to having a relationship with a good local outfitter


limited choice
Thank you for your reply

I found only two ‘dealers’ in my town.

I don’t think I have many options.

what benefits can I get from a local outfitter?

Beginner Profile ?

– Last Updated: Jun-27-12 5:20 PM EST –

How much cockpit time do you have in the boat ?

Where are you renting from now, what ELSE have
you paddled for comparison lately ?

It's a barge at 28 inches wide and 10 ft long
- like paddling a big round fish bobber

You'll get real fatigued , real fast,
paddling any distance over a few miles.
That also means you'll get bored with it quick.

It is not as stable as you may think,
powerboat wake may easily tip you over

Ask to DEMO some other boats, in the water,
for 15 minutes or more away from land.
Try before you buy.

If you really want the Quest 10
Get it from REI. There are several outlets in Virginia and they will stand behind what they sell. On the other hand there are a number of 10 foot rec boats designed for fishing (I assume that is what you want the kayak for since it has a rod holder and has the kind of stability needed for fishing). Riot is a well known company and known mostly for their WW boats. All of their boats are made in China if that makes a difference to you.

could you recommend sth?

actually I don’t have much experience kayaking.

only twice so far.

around 2 hours each time.

Maybe I neglected fatigue because I was too excited…ha

most of time I would just kayak in flatwater, while sometimes I would try a little waves, maybe 40cm high (peak-peak amplitude, 40 cm = 16 inches)

Could you please just recommend something that might meet my needs?

Thank you!

Thanks, online or local?
where do you stand on ‘Online-local-issue’ ?

because the nearest one of the three stores in Virginia is still 50 miles away from me.

Thank you!

I always check local first no matter what the item. But it is complicated. My local store (actually 3 stores, each at a different location) can usually get anything I want within a few days. But they also do online selling. So am I supporting a local store or am I supporting an online merchant? REI is just like that only larger. I can drive less than an hour to a “local” REI store, or I can order online and have it delivered to that store, or I can order online and have it delivered locally. Anyway, I consider 50 miles away local. An hour drive is nothing.

I have never seen one in a store and they don’t seem to be sold many places. Probably why there are no real reviews.

Any reason why this kayak jumped out at you?

It would be easier to help suggest kayaks if you say where you will be kayaking (type of water as well as physical area), budget (you get more by spending more), your height and weight, any activites you want to to do kayaking (fishing, photography, swimming, drinking beer), camping out of the boat for days, and how long would you go out.

If you do have local stores any reason why you don’t want to shop there? Usually the local stores will stock the types of kayaks good for the area you live in. If you are near big water, you find more sea kayaks. Good rapid areas you find white water boats. Areas with lots of smaller ponds more rec and fishing kayaks.

If you are looking for a very specific boat online maybe your only bet but you may have to drive anyway to pick it up. If you are just looking at $500 rec/fishing boats you shouldn’t have much trouble finding boats in your area. Retail prices are often about the same as online anyway.

A Coyote SOT

– Last Updated: Jun-28-12 12:29 AM EST –

Maybe you might like a SOT like this

Or this

Plenty to choose from

Thank you!
Thank you for sharing!

here’s what I usually do.
90% of my kayaking time will be spent on flatwater

and really slow rivers.

I always keep going and going for miles

and then come back,

and occasionally stop for taking pictures.

sometimes I will try a little wave too.

like crossing a one-mile-wide river, with waves in the center when windy, but the height never lager than 16 inches (or 40 centimeters).

----so, that’s what I usually do.

height: 5’ 11+1/4"

weight: 150 lbs

I also want a covered hatch.

a cup holder and shockcord would be great!

Thank you!

oh, the reason

I like Quest 10 because it meets all my requirements and most important: it’s now discounted.

forget about it.

it doesn’t have to be Quest 10.

Transitional Kayaks

– Last Updated: Jun-28-12 1:37 PM EST –

Given how you want to kayak I am not sure how long you would enjoy the Riot and I don't know if you would want to do a mile crossing, with chop, in a boat like that. The few reviews on here aren't very kind to that boat. You might enjoy it for it while but will probably quickly outgrow it. Guess the question is are you going to miss the money you spend on it if you upgrade in the next year or so, which is frequently what happens to most kayakers. That Riot is more for an hour or two trip on a small calm pond where you are never far from shore.

Most people are going to recommend at least a transitional or light touring kayak for the activities you are looking to do. Something at least 12-14 feet long with 14 feet being preferred. The kayaks should all have dual bulkheads, at least two dry storage areas, deck rigging, and you probably could skip on adding a rudder.

A good, popular example of this type of boat is one of the Wilderness Systems Tsunami kayaks (125, 135, 140) and probably would be a good starting point for you. You seem skinny so shouldn't have any problems fitting in almost any boat but you really do need to at least see how the cockpit fits you.

Try before you buy, and take a lesson!
You simply cannot know if this is the right boat for you if you don’t try it out first. Or at least try out something highly similar in dimensions and design if you can’t get to this specific boat!

I lucked out with my Emotion Glide that I did buy online, and I didn’t get to try one first, so pure good karma for me that it worked out exactly as I needed and as reviews described. But I did get to at least look it over compared to other boats by visiting one local store that had one in stock. If REI had had one that wasn’t stored poorly and in the right color I would have just bought it from them, as the difference in price was negligible and ordering from the manufacturer meant a 2 - 3 month wait for delivery.

In future, I would never do that again! First, because it’s damned chancy not trying it out in the water. Second, because it is better in the long run to give the business to local dealers.

But the biggest lesson of all was that the advice to take at least one good lesson before buying any kayak is very sound. I took my sea lessons after I had already bought and used my boat. It’s great for the flatwater, but not really safe for the open sea, and I would have bought differently if I’d had that lesson first.

Two things
First, on buying on-line. Although buying before trying is not preferred, I think that REI’s very liberal return policy is probably the next best thing. I don’t know which of the three REI’s in VA is closest to you, but of the two in the DC area that I have been to, I would recommend the Bailey’s Crossroads one over the Fairfax one. Bailey’s does all the outdoor equipment better, IMO, and I found the folks in the paddling department very knowledgible. You might want to call and talk to them before pulling the trigger on a boat.

Second, on crossing one-mile wide tidal rivers in a rec kayak. Bad idea. Deep water crossings are about the most dangerous thing you can do in a kayak or canoe. Mile-wide rivers have very strong and swift currents, which can be amplified by the tidal effect. And finally, mile-wide rivers have commercial ships, speed boats, and lots of other hazards. I, personally, wouldn’t attempt something like that in anything less than a true sea kayak or a large sea-kindly canoe, like a Tripper, with floatation and a really strong bow paddler. And I certainly wouldn’t do it alone. Maybe I’m overstating the danger, but just be cautious with that one.

better options
I agree with the others, that you should buy from a local dealer. 50 miles is not far to drive for such an important and costly item. I have driven over 500 miles to buy a kayak, myself. Low price is not always a “bargain”. Have you taken into account shipping costs?

Besides just the boat you need to get outfitted with paddle, PFD and safety gear and most dealers will offer discounts on those with a kayak purchase.

I truly think, based on what kind of paddling you want to do, that you will hate that fat short boat pretty quickly. You seem to want to be able to go some distance and go fast – the Riot is not designed for that. I think you would be much happier in a low volume light touring model, 12’ to 15’ and 24" or less in width. The Riot, even on sale, is too much money for such a limited use boat. For what you would pay for it you could get a nice used touring kayak like this one on Craigslist in Virginia:

That kayak even comes with a paddle and sprayskirt that would cost you an extra $100 to $150, so $550 is a much better deal than the Riot. It would be faster and more stable in waves than the shorter boat and you could develop better skills. The “shock cord” you mention is called “deck rigging”

By the way, a mile wide water crossing is risky for a solo boater with no training. You claim you only paddle in calm waters but you have no control over the weather. You could get in serious trouble capsizing a half mile from shore especially in colder water and if you have not practiced self rescue. Please get some basic instruction before you venture out in water that big.

i think
a decent 12 foot kayak will fit your needs …look at a current design kestral 12 and then find somthing at your local big box store that fits your budget and looks like that kestral in a 12 foot boat… dont skimp on a decent pfd and wear it always… once you get into it alil bit your gonna find your way and go buy that solo canoe of your dreams… just kidding … but you will want another kayak maybe 3 and it wont matter what they cost… but dont forget that pfd advise

And another…
…thumbs down on the Riot. Only one bulkhead, it’s nearly as wide as long… you will outgrow that kayak before you get it into the water.

Listen to what the others have suggested. Take a class (if you can find one) and get some butt time in more boats.

As mentioned by Celia, 50 miles ain’t nothing for shopping for a kayak. After all, it’s not like you will be commuting five days a week, it’s a one-off trip.

I drove 320 miles to try (and buy) my current kayak. It was well worth it.

Happy Hunting!

light touring kayak sounds good

light touring kayak sounds great!

and the 3 models you recommended look really great,

but too bad they are way out of my budget.

Do you think there will be deals on July 4, or later?