Finally Got a Kayak

Well after work I went to see the 15 foot Prijon Catalina. I decided to buy it at first site, but then got nervous I wouldn’t fit, because it is pretty narrow where you sit. Well behold my hips and butt sat down in it smoothly n even had about two inches on each side of me(no chaffing) After adjusting peddles forwards, my legs fit down in great. It is a good fit, not tight, but snug, a comfy snug where I felt I could throw it around with my butt like nothing.

The lady who sold it was great, showed me everything about it and some advice on turning it and stuff. Thr rudder is great, has quality feeling pedals you tip forwards with your toes to activate the rudder. Boat itself feels really solid and obviously straight. I picked it up myself effortlessly by the cockpit.

While sitting in it I can now see what people mean about feeling tippy. Yes I feel as if it would be easy to tip over, but that is what I want…I want to jump right into something I’ll have to learn skills to float. She told me it compares to a bicycle…While sitting it will feel more tippy, but once you move, it balances right out and is very fast accelerating.

I even put it on edge with my hips while practicing a sweep turn with a broom stick. I knew then that this is the boat…Snug in control feel, no moving around inside and fast feeling. Can’t wait to sit in it this weekend. I plan to merely find about three feet of water and just sit in it…for now… not going far if it all.

I feel solid in it I may go a little bit, but only shallow. I never did this before, so I am going to play it safe.

Thanks, all…seeya on the water!

Hope you can take a class in your area. Working with a good instructor/coach is a great way to start your journey!

Re: Finally Got a Kayak

and now you can go paddling…!

We are all looking forward to hearing your thoughts as you get comfortable in your new kayak…


Great and good luck
Once your hooked, there is no turning back

Report back on how the water trial goes

Jack L

Good stuff
Prijon makes nice boats. Now you have the rest of the summer to paddle. Maybe even take a class just to learn a good stroke.

The nice thing about buying used in addition to savings is that you can ultimately change or even add other boats with much less buyers remorse, as you learn more and decide what kind of paddling you want to pursue.

well done
Your persistence paid off! If you do get hooked, as predicted, you’ll probably evolve toward a different boat. But the Prijon Catalina sounds like a keeper. It has the quality of Prijon, but is small enough not to weigh as much as their bigger boats. Hopefully you have room for multiple kayaks.

Buying Used
Yepp, buying used is the way to go. I have no buyers remorse at all, I’m actually excited and can’t wait to do a float test in two foot of water(rudder up) I already bought a kayak rooftop holder, a cart and a life vest. I just need to get a paddle. I’m just going to get one from Dicks that is the right size(doing research now)

I plan to get it in the water(assisted) on Saturday morning. Can’t wait.

When I sat in it on the floor I knew this will be a port I will enjoy. I could imagine how this thing would cut through the water. I was paddling a blow up, vinyl raft around and I liked doing that, so the kayak should be about 10 times more fun.

I’m going to find a place to get me some basic instruction on good paddling and especially how to get upright if I fall over. I can see why a few lessons can be an actual life saver.

I understand your enthusiasm
We were just talking recently about getting bit by the kayaking bug and the enthusiasm that comes with it. Sometimes I miss that. Maybe it’s time for me to get another boat!

When you have the time, check Ebay or CL for used paddles, there are some good buys there occasionally.

Don’t settle.
The paddle you pick is almost as important as the boat, so I’m saying, you kind of get what you pay for. If you’re looking at new paddles, expect to spend somewhere around $150+. I would strongly suggest that if possible find a Carlisle Expedition and use that as a point of reference for anything else you look at. At the very least, look for an all fiberglass paddle. The shaft should be very rigid and should be oval shaped in the areas where your hands will be.

I prefer a paddle that can be feathered for right, or left hand control and although it is nice to have the ability to be able to feather in smaller increments, 60 degrees works just fine.

If possible, you might also want to look at the better Werner paddles, like the Camano, or Shuna to feel what a real paddle should be like.

If you can’t find an experienced paddler to give you some pointers, go to Youtube.

I hope the life vest you bought is specifically for paddling; if not, you will find out why.

Finally, I’m betting you will not be able to resist getting past 2 feet of water. Don’t worry about it; you will soon learn that a good kayak can handle anything you are comfortable with and a heck of a lot more.

Don’t go too cheap…
on your paddle. It’s something you’ll have in your hands all the time you’re kayaking and a lightweight one makes a big difference over the course of a day.

If you buy a junker from Dick’s you’ll probably throw it away (or at the very best keep it as a spare) once you’ve tried something decent.

Something like an Aquabound Sting Ray or Manta Ray Hybrid (carbon shaft, fiberglass blades) or a Werner Tybee or Skagit are pretty good paddles and can usually be found for about $100 if you shop around. A 210 or 220 would probably be about right for you.

to piggyback on magooch’s post

– Last Updated: Jul-12-16 11:16 AM EST –

there's no substitute for face to face instruction, but you can find some tutorials on balance control exercises for your kayak on Youtube. This website may even have some. IT's a good way to learn the balance limits of your boat and gain some confidence so that you can loosen up (which will help your stability!).

While your’e at Dick’s
be sure to pick up a paddle float - inflatable on both sides. And a bilge pump if you don’t already have these items.

Prijon makes great kayaks
I’ve paddled a lot on long trips in Prijon Kodiak, it was a very smooth, fast and fun paddling boat for it;s size.

A couple of things to watch out for …

Make sure the hatches are held down securely and that the bunjee things are not deteriorating .

Take a good look at your rudder mechanism and how the cable attaches to the peddle system and back to the rudder. If you go on long paddles take some tools so you could fix the cable attachment or jerry rig a new cable if you had to.

Finally don’t freak out when you sit in the boat. If you are worried about the boat being tippy, it will be tippy. Start paddling at first without a skirt in shallow water. Keep the boat moving and pretty soon it will feel like an extension of your body … learn to dance with the waves and use your paddle for bracing. Find a spot with small breaking waves and let them hit you from the side and practice rolling with the waves with your hips or bongo sliding staying up right leaning into the wave. Once you get a feel for how the boat balances it will give you a lot of confidence.

The paddle
If you can’t wait for an online delivery, and If you are still in the Marcellus/Syracuse area, stop by Camillus Kayak for a paddle, for about $100 you can get a much better paddle then anything at Dicks, and trust me on my mistake, cheap paddles really do wreck the experience. You will also get much much more and better info then at Dick’s.

…that is an excellent boat. Almost bought once myself. You can grow into it for several years, and it is excellent bombproof plastic. Try not using the rudder for a while, except as a skeg to keep from weathercocking…it steers quite well using only strokes and body control.

…once you get used to it, it’s pretty fast too.

getting ready
As soon as I get a paddle I am off to the river. I am looking at narrow, longer bladed paddles for extended paddling as that is what I want to do. I want to paddle for a long long while in a day, so I guess the easier going, less aggressive paddle would be the one. If I find out I want to pump it up and use higher angle attack on the paddle I’ll get a wide blade, but for now the narrow blade for day touring is where I am going to start. Looking to spend 200 max for the paddle.

I went through the entire Kayak and virtually no adjustments to the rudder or anything was needed. I am able to pick it up and carry it on my shoulder with no problem, however, rolling it atop of the van is kinda hair raising done by myself. Gonna have to work on other ways to load it, as it will just be me most of the time.

The kayak itself is great, everything works and the hatch covers are perfect… For being model for smaller people, I slide into it just fine, not snug at all…feels just right to me.

So yes this is my starting out kayak and I think it’s a good one, for fit and what I want to do. I’m just going to have fun with this, paddle my ass off and learn how to do it well, then next year I may make a large investment in better stuff. For now I am happy and stoked to get going.

I’ll upload pictures when I find out the best way to do it on here.


Paddle selection
Upon researching paddles I can see that multiple paddles will be in order as I progress. For now I think the Werner Skagit full carbon with mid size blades and 220CM length, is my paddle. I plan on just nice, casual paddling along good distances with a “sometimes” loaded boat at low angle strokes…just relaxing kayaking for now, no sprints of fitness yet.

Hard to guess the perfect paddle, but I think this would be a good guess and it’s not too expensive. I’ll base future choices on this paddle, but right now I think this will get me going and pretty close to what I got to do on the water. Next year I’ll be able to make a better choice and spend more on the paddle.

Good enough for now.

Nice paddle!
The Skagit CF sounds like it would be perfect for you. Werner makes a very nice paddle.

But don’t go longer than 220. I’m 6’0" and I use a 210 bent Cyprus. (I also carry a 220 Aquabound Sting Ray as a spare).