Beginner seeking advice

I am beginner looking to buy my first kayak. Rather get a hardshell but don’t want to put it on roof racks and have limited storage space. Are there any kayaks at 9 feet in length or less that I could use on west central florida bay beaches, rivers and if I get the hang of it be able to take on the Florida east coast waters? Would something like the Necky Jive be an option?

Appreciate any advice from experienced paddlers.



You will hate a 9’ kayak before you
can say ‘pigboat’!Don’t take my word for it - go paddle some. You might consider a folding kayak.

Necky Jive
The Jive is a great boat for ocean surf. Excellent whitewater boat too. In anything else, you will be totally frustrated. If you don’t want to get racks, go for a folding or inflatable kayak. Or look at Bic kayaks…a hardshell that folds in half and seems to be getting fairly good reviews as a recreational boat.

depends on conditions & mission
If your primary use will be playing in surf and on reasonably fast rivers, an old whitewater boat might be fun. The Jive is a fine learning tool. But if you want to cover any kind of distance, you’ll want something longer.

As a beginner in Florida, a sit-on-top would be a good option, especially for surf play. Something like a Cobra Strike might work for you if you have a length constraint.

Demo/rent/borrow a few different boats before you buy one – there’s no substitute for experience.

It depends what you want to do

– Last Updated: Dec-28-06 12:05 PM EST –

If your goal is to paddle in the surf and ride waves then the Necky Jive would be a good option to learn in. The Cobra Strike would be an excellent choice for warm water areas. It surfs better than the Jive and it paddles over distance better. I easily pass most tourists here who have rented longer sit on tops to explore the area around Lajolla cove in my Strike, so part of the equation is the paddler and technique. If you are looking to go for extended paddles (> 5 or 6 miles) on the coast both boats would be too short and slow. I own both boats and like both of them for their intended purposes. I also paddle them up and down the coast where I live looking for spots with the best surfing conditions. Best thing to do is to rent a few boats or try them out at dealerships or with friends to see what you want to do. If you decide you want a longer boat and don't have the storage, you need to be creative in finding a spot to store it.

Looked into the Yakka (Bic folding Kayak), definitely the answer to my situation. Thanks, so much.