Beginner Purchasing A Kayak

Hello Everyone,

I recently took a kayak tour in Boston and am now hooked! I am now interested in purchasing a kayak at a local store but because I am new to this I was wondering if I am making the right decision. A model that has caught my eye is the Future Beach Quantum Kayak. It is a sit inside touring kayak that is 123 inches long and 29 inches wide.

Note* I plan on using this for a good workout in local ponds, lakes, and occasionally the ocean. I was wondering if this particular kayak is ideal for my planned usage.

Thank you so much for any feedback. I appreciate it!

Do the homework before you buy

– Last Updated: Jul-28-12 5:57 PM EST –

It's a $ 500 boat

Just as a "cheap" bicycle has limits
- so does a low cost kayak.

It is Short and very Wide - not designed wave actions
LENGTH 123 in - 312 cm
WIDTH 29.5 in - 76 cm

Will it float,yeah - is it "stable" is questionable.
A wave could easily flip it over as it presents
a whole 30 inch profile to the energy of the ocean.
It will "bob" up and a down a lot; and not slice
nicely thru waves or current; it's not efficient.

It IS a Recreational Boat for small inland lakes.
You'll tire quickly doing 10 miles around the
perimeter of a large lake because of its width.

Define "touring" - in your mind, your needs.
Don't completely believe the advertising hype

For many of us paddling very long,
skinny width, touring style kayaks,
we steadily move at 4mph + .
An afternoon excursion is often 10 - 15 miles.
This short boat simply won't keep up.

To float around and paddle a bit, yeah its okay.

Yes it is a cheap kayak but I am not looking for anything of high efficiency. I am actually getting it for 300 dollars, Which seems like a steal. If it is a good beginner kayak than I will get it.

My main use out of it is for fun and exercise so tiring out is not an issue

"Touring kayak"
If you can afford the $300 then buy it and use it, then compare it to a real ‘touring’ kayak. Have fun.

Just about any kayak will work
for paddling ponds and lakes in calm water.

The boat you have found is not going to be good for rivers with current, windy open water, and ocean with waves. Probably OK for very protected bays when you have some skills.

You can find much better performing boats on Craigs list used for around the same money usually. If it gets you out on the water having fun, it’s fine, but it might pay to check into taking a paddling lesson locally and seeing some other boats before you buy.

What was the first boat you tried?
You liked your first tour. What was that boat like? For me a 10 foot boat is so different from a 14 foot boat that I like is a lot less, unless it is a white water run or just playing in the surf. A 10 foot boat is like dragging a bucket behind a 12 or 14 footer.

If your first paddle was in a ten footer and you liked it then you may be happy with it, but I’d look at other ten footers or see what you could get used.

gotta say I agree

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 2:04 AM EST –

Arg, you could hardly have picked a worse boat. Let me guess: it's the $299 "special" in the "Providence Odd Lots" flyer. Seriously??

Future Beach makes crummy pool toys, not real kayaks. They certainly don't belong in the ocean in New England. In my opinion, even $300 is a waste of good money on one of them. The notion of them being "beginner kayaks" is not valid.

You will not be able to learn or practice good paddling technique in a 29" wide plastic bathtub with a sloppy cockpit and poor hull design unsuited for waves or wind. It also doesn't have necessary safety features for open water like bulkheads. And the thing weighs 50 lbs!

I'd advise you to take a few lessons and do some demos with various models to get the feel for paddling good kayaks. If you learn enough about them you might be able to find a good used one for what you would waste on that boat you are looking at. For instance, I'm selling a used fully outfitted 15'x 23" low volume sea kayak with a rudder and bow and stern hatches that a paddler could take anywhere, even the ocean, for $390. Perfectly stable for a beginner yet a boat they could develop skills with like bracing and rolling. And it tracks fast and straight. (no, I'm not trying to sell it to you, I'm too far away, just using it as an example.)

need more data
Kayaks are not “one size fits all either.” What’s your height and weight? That’s highly relevant.

Meanwhile, if you are an average sized man or woman, here are some good used kayaks in your area that would be better suited to what you want to do:

re: ocean

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 2:35 AM EST –

"Note I plan on using this for a good workout in local ponds, lakes, and occasionally the ocean. "

Not to be mean, but the boat you describe (10' x 29") doesn't sound like one you'd want to have anywhere near the ocean.

'I got a good deal' is cold comfort when you're fighting for your life because you took a dinky, inadequate recreational kayak out into conditions that it's not really designed for and that totally overmatch it.

For the ocean, or even medium-to-large bays and lakes, at the minimum you'd want a boat with both front and rear bulkheads, perimeter deck safety lines, and enough length/size for adequate buoyancy (like 12' plus).

I don't see boats like that new for less than $750 very often. You get what you pay for.

But if you're lacking that kind of budget, Craigslist and Ebay are indeed your friend (and Willowleaf has listed above some nice Craigslist finds in your area... nice person, that Willowleaf).

Just make certain what you're buying has the safety features you need, or, failing that, just don't go on big water/venture far from shore with a cheap 'toy' boat.

'The life you save' yadda yadda yadda.

Another wonderful newbie welcome. All I can say is wow, way to kill the guys spirits and scare him.

To OP, go with what you can afford as long as you keep it in sheltered waters and watch the weather. You don’t need a $3000 boat and hundreds of hours of “skills” to have fun.

Well yeah, but
To OP, go with what you can afford as long as you keep it in sheltered waters and watch the weather. You don’t need a $3000 boat and hundreds of hours of “skills” to have fun.

No, but oh what a difference it makes.

Different strokes…
Some of us get our happiness from just being out there in nature, not how fast we get there. Gotta remember people paddle for all different reasons…some could care less about advanced techniques and rolling while others are bored not mastering those skills.

Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

come on, guys

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 12:37 PM EST –

Please, let's not turn this into an "elitist sea kayakers against the nice guy basic paddler" debate. I know I can tend to come on strong against mass marketed rec boats. But somebody has to speak up against these deceptively advertised things that appeal to novices who don't know any better.

Note two things: the OP states he wants to use this boat "in the ocean" and also that I said NOTHING about $3000 boats. If someone said they wanted to buy a bicycle to ride on the sidewalks but also eventually for single track mountain biking, wouldn't you persuade them to buy something better than a $49.95 3-speed clunker from Walmart?

It's not "elitist" to suggest that $300 would be better applied to a competent used touring kayak that would be both more enjoyable and safer to use for not much more than the OP is thinking of spending. The junk he is looking at has a resale (if he is lucky) of $100 to $150. I suspect many people quickly tire of these marginal kayaks based on how regularly I see them being unloaded on CL. A decent used touring kayak can be resold at close to what you paid for it, and having one won't limit the OP's options on where he/she stated they want to paddle.

I regularly let people I meet paddling rec boats on local waterways try out my touring kayaks when they ask to do so. Not a single one has ever said "I don't like this -- I prefer my rec boat". The reaction is ALWAYS "wow, this is so much easier/faster/more fun -- how much would it cost me to get one?" I have often found friends nice touring yaks for under $400. Nothing "elitist" about getting the most bang for your buck. And not wasting your hard-earned cash on badly made disposable crap.

Check out Charles River Canoe and Kayak
if you are in the Boston area. They rent out of five different locations in and around Boston. Their Newton location has a ton of different boats to try and they have a pretty good end of season sale on their used rentals come september. It’s a great way to get out on the water and get a better feel for what you like and don’t like in a kayak before purchasing.

Missing the point

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 1:25 PM EST –

Missing the point that there are plenty of people happy with the $49 bikes who never EVER WANT to go mountain biking.

"I regularly let people I meet paddling rec boats on local waterways try out my touring kayaks when they ask to do so. Not a single one has ever said "I don't like this -- I prefer my rec boat". The reaction is ALWAYS "wow, this is so much easier/faster/more fun -- how much would it cost me to get one?"

LOL you never met us...we wouldn't trade our slow crappy rec tandem yak for all the sea kayaks out there.

It's a different mind set that you just aren't getting. I'm sure there are lots of people who would not trade their pickup in for a Porche if they need to haul stuff....different cars for different purposes...not bad or better, just different.

There are a few other elist comments in your I'm not an elist answer that I'll just leave be :)


the Perception Sport Conduit 13, for $550 you get a true touring kayak, which will be much better than a Future Beach pool toy!!

(Granted, better touring kayaks are out there, but for the same price (suggested retail, I mean, this is far superior.

Those ‘elitest’ comments come from
experience. How many times do we have to read “Kayaker (my foot) drowns” in a Dick’s pool toy that was totally unsuitable for the conditions that the beginner had no idea were coming.

Willowleaf if giving practical advice and options. The odds are greatly in a beginner’s favor, but we see several a year that lost the toss.

There are very good rec boats that are anything but elitest.

Read the OP

– Last Updated: Jul-29-12 3:44 PM EST –

Again -- please read the OP's intro. He wants to use it IN THE OCEAN. That's the Atlantic, folks, on the New England coast, with cold water, surf and rocky shores, strong currents and sudden storms, not some sandy cove off Florida. I know those waters, I grew up in Boston and got the crap pounded out of me trying to surf there. If he had not stated that I would not have urged the consideration of a more competent boat so strongly.

If somebody wants to lily dip in ponds, slow streams and protected inlets, I wouldn't challenge them on a rec boat choice (though I would still advise something better than the execrable Future Beach junk). You don't need a full blown sea kayak to venture out on a day trip in the Atlantic, but you'd better at least be able to fit a spray skirt on it and have bulkheads and a hull that won't flip you in the first good sized wave or ship wake.

Same thing with the $49 bike -- read what I said about if they wanted to use it eventually on single track mountain trails. Of course if they are not going to take it beyond the sidewalk, a three speed junker is fine.

I sold wilderness recreation gear for years and was a skills instructor and trip leader for many more. I've seen plenty of buyer's remorse about "bargain" gear that turned out to not be the value it promised. If the OP wants to blow $299 he will do so, but at least he will know he has other options and why there are price differences.