Choosing a new kayak

I bought my first kayak, a Venus 11 SOT, 2 seasons ago and I’m ready to move up. I’m female, nearly 50, medium size.

I’m strong but have leg problems, had a rotator cuff repaired, so I’d prefer something lighter, probably Kevlar or something like it. A roomier cockpit would be nice, I like to be able to move a bit. I’ll use it on flat water, my local rivers and lakes. I want to develop my skills a bit, but I don’t plan on anything extreme, and I don’t want to go swimming!

A friend has been lending me a 15’ Swift Saranac, which is nice but I’m not sure that’s what I want. Paddled a Current Designs Willow the other day and loved the performance and responsiveness, but the cockpit was tighter than I’d like.

I intend to demo some boats before I buy my next boat in the spring, and I can see from all of your posts that it probably won’t be my last! I’d appreciate any suggestions on what to try. Thanks!

What do you mean by skills?
The cockpit fit is quite important as the bar goes higher on skills. That does not mean you can’t move around some, but there are things you flat out can’t do without an appropriate cockpit fit. Someone will mention that they have done all kinds of fancy stuff with an overly large and loose boat - but that is usually not 50 yr old females with a rotator cuff injury and other issues of getting older.



I suggest that you find some lessons - see if there will be pool sessions around you over the winter - to get a better sense of what I am saying as well as to find out how the cockpit you may need and you can work together.

There are performance SOT so
aging bodies don’t have to be stuffed in a cockpit.



http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/epic-v8-kayak-review/

Funny,
I was just looking at that boat a few minutes ago! The GPX ultra is amazingly light, as well. Trying Epic is definately on the list!

V6 is plenty of boat, no need for V8.
I have a V6 and would like to try a GPX, which would likely be a good all around kayak.



My wife is older than you and stiff and enjoys the V6 because it’s relatively easy for her to enter and exit.



Good luck with your search.

SOTs
Good option for freedom to move around and I readily admit that I don’t know much about them.



Two points to consider -

OPer lives in PA, a northeastern state. That means clothing for full body coverage is something to really think about if she wants to extend her season into colder weather… like October.

SOT’s can be tougher to handle in terms of grab points to slide them up onto a car roofs than something with a big hole in the middle. Look for ones that provide something to grab halfway through the length to make it manageable to car top.

Thanks for all the advice
There are worse tasks than trying a bunch of new boats!! Looking like a busy spring.