So I’m having trouble making a choice in a new kayak purchase I’ve already got my big fishing boat the ride 135 and it’s great for that purpose, but I want somthing smaller a can throw in the back of the truck and take to the beach and surf but I also want to run class I II and III rapids in central TX. I’ve got it narrowed down to the malibu mini x, Feelfree nomad and the perception tribe 9.5. They all look like good choices but sense I have no way to try them before I buy I’m stuck right there any help is welcome. I’m also 6’3 and 280 pounds
You might do class 1 and 2 in those, but
if there’s really much class 3 in central TX, you’re going to need to find a used ww kayak.
Thers not very much class 3 at all … and the majority of the time id have it at the beach which of those you think is the best surfer
None of them
Those are all short fat rec SOT’s and first off you are too near the top weight range for them. Second, I would not choose a sit on top for surf or white water. They all have flat bottoms and will be a bear to paddle forward. The Feelfrees are cheesy – the Perception is a higher quality of the same ilk but neither are really suitable for whitewater, especially Class III. You’ll be overboard most of the time and not able to control the boat since you have no contact for your hips and knees – you can’t edge, brace or roll a sit on top.
You’ll note that the Mini is marketed for “fishing and diving” – it is more a float platform than an actual kayak. The Nomad does look like it would surf OK but I would not use it for WW. It does have that goofy little skeg thingy (with a wheel inside?) which might make it track better. But still, these are overgrown pool toys. For your budget, you would be better off looking for a used REAl whitewater sit-inside boat that fits you. They come up often. I checked the Austin listings just for the heck of it and there’s a Mayan Seas Delfin surf kayak for sale for $400 in the Austin Craigslist – that would be a better boat for you IF you can fit in it:
Ordering a boat you have not had a chance to try out on the water, let alone even sit inside, is never a good thing. Even $400 is a lot of cash to waste on a boat that may not work for your purposes. And none of those 3 boats has a very good resale.
Just my opinion but you need a bigger kayak and it should be a sit-inside.
If you want to mess around in some surf, stick with a SOT. Unless you plan to learn to roll reliably, and get instruction on edging, bracing, etc, then you’re going to fall out of a rec sit-inside as much as a rec sit-on-top. With a SOT, you can just hop back on. A Sit-In is going to be a water-logged bulldozer that either endangers swimmers on it’s unaccompanied return to the beach, or it’s going to give you a hell of a ride, as you try to drag it/get dragged by it back to the beach where you’ll need to drain it and relaunch.
If you want to learn to roll, brace, and really work on skills, get some sort of sit-inside with good contact and a small cockpit. (not a rec boat) But if you just want something for messing around, SOT is probably safer and more appropriate.
the only sot I know of that I would run class 3 stuff in is a Perception (older ones Dagger) Torrent. I have had my wife paddle torrents in class 2 and 3 ww. I do not know the weight limit off the top of my head. Used ones pop up from time to time for 300-500 bucks.
Torrent SOTs were being used in the
beginner WW classes at the Nat WW Center in Charlotte NC last year. Worked well when I (6’1"/200#) remembered to paddle completely through the rapid instead of relaxing at the bottom :-). Teen Grandkids had no problem. Just FYI. R
Try a few
boats before buying anything. There are dealers that will let you demo or at least sit in boats to get a feel for them. Decide what you want the kayak for, surf or whitewater and look at models that match your goals. The Mini-X is not enough boat for someone of your size and it’s only a fishing platform not a whitewater boat. If you want to do class II whitewater, a real whitewater kayak is the best approach.
is another 10' SOT specifically designed for Class I-III whitewater and for playing in the surf, and with its skeg it can handle slow-moving flatwater and fishing too... but at your size you'd want to try it out first, the legroom might be too short.