beginner - sea kayak


I bought a lettmann olymp ts from ebay for a miniscule amount of money, so that I could get into kayaking.

I’ve tried to find kayaks for sale that look similar in design and I can’t find any.

Does anyone know what this kayak is capable of? I want to get into sea kayaking and I know its not going to do long term but its just something I wouldn’t mind taking out, going down some easy rivers etc.

4m long, classic sort of design, no hatches or anything fancy.


Getting started
First, if you are trying to get going with a sea kayaking club, try to rent/borrow a boat from them for trips. The boat you have, if it is an old style whitewater boat, will be a problem for you to keep up with them.

Are you from the UK? There are a lot of what they tend to call “general purpose” boats around used over there, which are similar to what folks here call old school whitewater boats.

As others have said, go used to start. And some big ticket items are cheaper to order from over here. For example, the better of the NRS drysuits when it goes on sale is a good deal if not dirt cheap in pounds compared to the Gull suits. Thank G Bush and the drop in the dollar’s value for that.

That said, if the boat you have is an old school whitewater boat it’s great for learning a lot of the basic skills, much more apt than the basic rec boats that many people start out in. It’s just that, unless you like killing yourself, it isn’t going to a boat you want to bring out to paddle with a bunch of sea kayaks.

Lettmann describes the boat
as a WW boat:

Doesn’t have the bulkheads, floatation, deck lines, etc., of the boats you typically see out on the sea.

Re breaking into the sport, you’re right, it’s expensive. It’s like driving a pretty sportcar: It’s the young that belong in them but only the old can afford them. To go out on the sea you need a boat, a paddle, a spray skirt, the right kind of clothing, and this and that (a pump, a paddle float, a spare paddle, etc.). Before long it adds up.

Where are you? Your profile (no profile) doesn’t say. If in the U.S., buying used on craigslist is cheap. There’s always renting, and that’s good because you get everything you need, but at $20-40 a pop, it’s not cheap.

Best bet: Find a vindictive wife who’s divorcing her husband and giving away the boats.