completly clueless

i would like to purchase kayaks for my dad, uncle and I. I however know NOTHING about them and need some help. I went to my local retailer and it seemed like the kid also had no clue as to what he was talking about, he simply wanted me to purchase the biggest most expensive one. So can someone please help? does it matter your height? why are there different weights? is there like a group or a club that could help me pick something out without thinking im stupid? bc in all honesty i have no idea what im doing i would just like to get my family involved in a new hobby… thanks to anyone who knows anything! p.s. my email is if anyone would like to email me. if not posting here would be ok too :slight_smile: thanks! have a great day everyone! :smiley:

can’t answer any of your questions but I can’t wait to see the answers you do get :wink:

first things first
First thing that would be helpful is a feel for how and where you primarily plan to use the kayaks. Flat water versus white water. Small ponds or on large lakes/the ocean? Fishing from kayak or not?

Miss Aimless, where are you?
I strongly suggest you spend $20 or $30 and join your closest club first. It will be money well spent and they’ll know what works well in your area.

Or you could just buy 3 Pungo 140’s and see you you like them. :slight_smile: I know a few places around that seem to put everyone in a Pungo.

There may be a local club to suggest…
if your profile or your post indicated where you are. Yes, depending on the intended use things like volume and paddler size could matter a good bit in getting the right boat - or not much at all. Getting hooked up with a club or an outfitter who takes folks out on trips can be a good way to sort this out.

Sooo - where are you located?

Go to the guidelines here at P-Net

Go to and click the GETTING STARTED section -and read it!

Then shift over to the kayaking section, and read that one too!

Between what you find there, and deciding what you want you and your relatives to actually “do” in/with a kayak, you will come up with a much better and more informed idea of what you want.

As Celia notes, seek local paddlers’ input, too -and check out not only their boats & gear, but how they got from where you are to where they are now & “here”.

Don’t forget, you’re not just buying a boat, either -you’ll need decent paddles, good (i.e., good=able to float you, and comfortable enough that you’ll actually wear them!), and a means to get them from where you’ll keep them to where you’ll use them and back again -safely and securely.

So read up and see what it is you think you’ll want and like to


-Frank in Miami

This local retailer…
was it a real paddling store or something like a Dick’s Sporting Goods?

A real paddling store may be a bit more help if you can talk to someone to whom you can explain your situation. If they ask you more questions about what your wants and needs are than you ask them, especially if they are like the questions you have asked here, it is a good sign that they might be able to help you. Otherwise, move on or ask for someone else. The advice to do research on pnet resources or find a local paddling club to ask is highly valuable.

Have any of you actually been in a kayak
Have any of you actually done any kayaking, or do you just think it might be a cool thing to do?

Three boats and gear could be a big chunk of change to drop for something that you’re not sure you’ll all like.

There must be an outfitter near you that provides rentals, or better yet guided tours with a pit of instruction.

Go do that for a day, then if you all agree that it’s something you’d like to do you can think about purchasing.

adding to the great advice
take a lesson or two - very fun & you all can try out different boats.

Yup it absolutely does matter what each person weighs, how tall they are, length of leg, etc… plus everyone has a different sense of balance.

Do you all swim? Knowing how to swim enhances your sense of comfort while paddling and adds to the fun once you start getting wet (on purpose or not!).

Paddling clubs sometimes will have guest boats you can try a time or two. And members are usually only too glad to let you try theirs, talk about paddles, PFDs, safety stuff, and assorted gear…

Many paddleshops (the real ones, not the big box retailers) will rent kayaks thru the season and apply the rental to purchase.

Enjoy the learning curve and try lots of different boats. It helps to have some specific places you want to paddle in mind. This’ll a paddleshop advise you. They can also suggest great places for beginning paddlers, and many of them have weekly paddles, demo days and on the water classes too.

this could be Big Ben’s sister?

Rent some
If there is an outfitter nearby, do a trip or two on flatwater or easy whitewater and you’ll get to know a boat and a type of water all at once.

And look at used boats as well. If you see boats in the $300 to $500 range, you can often try them and resell them for about the same price. Buying new and then trading is expensive.