Big Water Kayak Recommendation

-- Last Updated: Feb-08-04 4:11 PM EST --

I'm looking for recommendations for a white water kayak to use on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. I'm in the 5'5", 145 lb range. I'd be particularly interested in hearing from those who have kayaked that water before.



personally, i would bring a playboat for the big features and ride in a raft (beer barge) for the flat water. depending on how comfortable you are in big water, you could go with a planing hull river runner like the pyranha I3, wavesport super ez, etc… or maybe a planing hull creeker like the H2, H3, Y, etc…

Man, i’m jealous. Have a great trip.

Really need more info.
Is this a supported trip or do you have to carry stuff in your boat? There are lots of boats that will handle big water. But only some will carry much stuff. In addition to those mentioned above look at the Riot Sniper Expedition. Or if you want an older boat that you can get cheaply look at a Dagger Animas.

More Info
This is a fully supported trip with motorized rafts. The kayak does not need to carry any gear. I’m expecting that we will motor through a considerable portion of the flat water. What I’m looking for is a kayak that will handle the rapids well. I’m an experienced sea kayaker, not a white water boater so I’m going to be choosey about which rapids I run. Some boats I’ve been thinking about are the Dagger GT series, Necky Jive or Wavesport Z.

It Would Be
more enjoyable to get some ww lessons in first, if you have not paddled white water before. While some skills overlap, others do not or are not as used in seakayaking by most folks.

I think some experience in ww will allow to enjoy this trip more – no matter the boat as long as it fits.


Don’t Worry

– Last Updated: Feb-09-04 1:45 PM EST –

I appreciate your concern. I have plenty of WW instruction and practice lined up before this trip. I'm really only looking for boat recommendations for this type of water.

The boat needs to fit you.
Big water or not. The Wavesport Z, for example, is way too big. It is too big for me and I am 5’10" and 185. The Necky Jive is an older design that many like but also may be borderline in size. My wife is 5’6" and about your weight. She is very happy in her Booster 55 for river running. The Dagger GT series is nice if you don’t mind the outfitting. Also consider the EZ (not the Big EZ). At your height and weight it will run rivers well.

I Was Thinking Along
Booster 55 and EZ too. A lot of folks seem to think these are good/great all around boats for the mentioned size. However, I don’t know how “big” the Colorado is. If it were really hairy, I would go a little higher volume myself. (Learned that the hard way by going too small with the first boat. And then going to a much “bigger” river with insufficient volume on another boat vis a vis my skill level.)