Bought Needed Accessories

Second the dry bag for clothes
You might want to include some kind of a wind-breaker with the clothes as well since even a light wind can have a chilling effect if you are slightly damp.

I would also suggest a minor first aid kit. Several times my kit even saved trips from cancellation due to cuts and scrapes incurred while unloading kayaks and getting them down to the water. Mine has a few waterproof bandaids, some guaze pads, adhesive tape, some anti-biotic cream, and some ibuprofen. No fun paddling with blood dripping from a hand or knee or with a pounding headache.

Good luck and stay safe.


100lb GF

– Last Updated: Apr-04-13 8:40 AM EST –

We both sat in a good 6 to 8 boats and we both fit like a glove in the Expression 14.5. He legs were in full contact of the support pads and they were not even adjusted fully. The staff at the shop was very helpful with this.

I have pictures of her sitting in the boat and she would not even have to lean over to grab the front of the cockpit opening.

I think (and hope) she will be very happy with the fit as we spent a large amount of time trying different models out. 3 visits to the same dealer alone not including a good 4 to 6 other stores like Dicks and Gander Mountain. The Riverside Kayak Connection became the obvious choice once we learned we really needed an open water type of boat with front and rear bulkheads.

I understand the dangers/risks of the skirts, thankfully from reading this site and talking to expirenced yakers! We will take our time. =)

I can't thank you guys enough for the tips and ideas.

OK - I stand corrected
I have seen a lot of couples buy matching boats and it not working out due to fit. The woman has less fun because of boat fit, and eventually we don’t see her on evening paddles any more.

The height of that deck could give her a problem when you get to rolling, unless she is way tall against that weight. And the width that seems to fit like a glove now could still take some hip pads once you start really trying to work with these boats. But the worst that happens with that is you decide to get a cheapo beat up roll-friendly whitewater boat for starting out. They are cheap used and it isn’t a bad idea to have one around for abusing on creeks that are picturesque but clogged with weeds and tree limbs.

Oh come on GBG! Be nice. :slight_smile:
Thanks for the chuckle.

Forget the paddle leash,
Just use your head and don’t paddle in conditions which are over your head,…for now. Paddle shoes without laces are nice, and I found out the hard way an old pair of joggers are good to have if you have a long walk back to the car. Dry bag for the phone and nose plugs are handy when you practice rescues, and a knife for cutting fishing lines out of trees alone the shore. The only thing on my deck is the Gatorade under the deck bungee.

Roger That
I’ll hold off on the leashes then, they just seemed like a good idea, and cheap.

Celia, I don’t seem to understand the concren over the deck height on the boats we chose. The Expression 14.5’s have MUCH less deck height than all the other boats we tried out. The only other yak that I think had a lower deck height was the Tsunami SP. Heck, the Expression 14.5 is inches shorter than the Tsunami 145.

More on sizing

– Last Updated: Apr-08-13 11:27 AM EST –

BTW, on the leashes you may want to consider wrist leashes down the road. You can wrap them around the shaft to be out of your way most times, but hook them up quickly if needed. Like in rescues. I rarely use mine, but it is just about always on the paddle in case.

Now more on that size.

One thing I see is a tall seat back sticking up out of the cockpit of the Expression 14.5, on the web site. If you are serious about skills I hope that these boats left the shop with those replaced with a backband, or it is being done as we speak. Those seat backs are a problem for just about everything if you want to advance your skills. Most people can get to their first roll most easily by laying as far as possible on the back deck. A seat back like I am seeing is fatal to that, a taller deck than necessary does not help.

The Expression being inches shorter than the Tsunami 145 is a good thing for GF - the 145 is way oversized for her no matter how you shake or bake it. I just checked the web site for the Tsunami SP, and it does appear the height measurements are quite close to the Expression 14.5. The Tsunami SP is also an inch and a half narrower than the Expression 14.5, a further aspect of its being designed for smaller people. It makes it easier to get a good stroke. One of my boats has a profile to the water an inch or so narrower than the other depending on how you measure it, and over a day of paddling I really notice the difference.

Lower decks make the following easier, and even and inch can be noticeable - self-rescue, bracing, rolling. Until you start actually doing this stuff it isn't exactly clear why. Granted I like low decks, so what I think of as tall enough to be a pain in the butt may be a height that wouldn't bother someone else of my size. But at 100 pounds your GF could be very tiny, with short torso and arms, and at a height where an inch or two is noticeable. I am 5 ft 3.5 inches and the last time I weighed that little and was healthy I was in high school. I prefer a rear back deck height of no more than 10 inches, 8 to 9 inches is even better. I suspect the Expression is coming in at 11 or so inches even after you take away that seat back.

(And yeah, the lower the deck the more you need a skirt.)

BTW, you probably will be adding pads along the side for her unless she is carrying a majority of her weight in her posterior. There is a difference between being nicely loose in a boat and sliding side to side when you try to initiate a roll or hold an edge. I have plumped up to 135 pounds and feel loose in anything more than a 16 inch cockpit. There tends to be a relationship between cockpit width and seat width, though not exactly a one on one.

I get lambasted on this board at times for recommending lessons before buying, at least a basics in on-water rescues and some bracing. But the reason is sound. Until someone gets wet and starts aggressively trying to use a boat for its intended purpose, it is nearly impossible to understand the details of how fit and outfitting make a difference. It is not a matter of anyone lacking smarts. It is just that this is one of those things that you have to do to get it - reading is not going to get you there.

The high seat was even commented on by the people at Riverside Kayak Connection as being high for rescue reasons. They said take them out and learn all you can and we will see exactly why they are an issue for rescuing. They had the replacement seats at the store on hand if and when we wanted to change them.

She was very happy in both the SP and 14.5 but we tilted towards the 14.5 so that others could use it. I think if we get into yaking as much as we both hope too we will just pick up another one that matches her perfectly, like the SP or others.

Thank again!