Beginner white water kayak

I’m looking to buy my first whitewater kayak .
Brand new beginner to white water .
I’m 50 , 5’10 and 230 .
I’ve been scanning Craigslist and trying to research on my own . My conclusion is a mamba 8.6 would do me well but I can’t find one in the northeast that’s in my budget.

The best I can find ATM is a wave sport big ez .
Would anyone recommend this kayak ?

Try this question on or Better yet, just call the folks at in Charlemont, MA (800-532-7483). Talk to someone with expertise rather than typing to the ether.

See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
845-228-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile


The most important thing is to get a kayak that fits you well. Most beginning whitewater kayakers will feel most comfortable in a general river running design of which the Dagger Mamba is an excellent example. Some other popular models are the Wave Sport Diesel, the Jackson Karma and Zen, and maybe the Pyranha Burn.

As for the Wave Sport Big EZ, I have one, and it is not a bad boat. It was designed by Eric Jackson to be more of a play boat. It is slower than many river runners. It has a scalloped out “duck bill” front end that was designed to cut vertically through the water for cartwheels and allowed the front deck to be easily loaded for loops and such. Those are features that you definitely don’t need, but I have had a few beginning whitewater kayakers in it and they did reasonably well, so I would not rule it out.