First adventure racing yak?

I saw the Perception Prodigy 12 at Cabelas last weekend and really like it. I’m a beginner adventure racer and want to get my first ever kayak.

Wish list of requirements:

40 pounds empty or less

sit in

can be equipped with rudder

will be used on lakes with speed boat wakes and slow moving rivers with possible light rapids

Can spend up to about $700.

Can you recommend a solo yak that would run fast and have enough room for my gear (backpack, small tent, sleeping bag, food, etc) also? I am a male, 5’2" and 130 lbs so need something that a guy my frame can manhandle onto my truck and lift onto a carrier…

Thanks in advance,

Barry in Austin

a used entry level glass K1
light, cheap, fast. a trainer will be stable enough if you put in the time.

nothing else that cheap is going to be light enough- all plastic stuff.

you can get a used ski for that price too, but more problematic with rivers since most will have an understern rudder. but some have kickups or can be modified to accept one.


go used

– Last Updated: Apr-15-08 12:41 PM EST –

If you're racing, the 28" beam of the Prodigy 12 will make it frustratingly slow, and it's way too wide for someone of your size to paddle efficiently. Given your budget and your cargo requirements, I'd look for a used plastic "small person" sea kayak -- something like a Perception Shadow would work, or a Tempest 165 if you could live with a skeg. The Pyranha Speeder might work if you'll be doing more river paddling.

You're going to have to compromise on your requirements. I don't know of any sub-40-pound, sub-$700 boats that can carry gear and race unless you're willing to build one yourself. You could build a custom skin-on frame that'd be light and fast, or build a stich & glue from plans.

There are ways for small folks to handle heavier boats.

Prijion Catalina
You might want to try a used Catalina. It’s designed for light paddlers and I think it isn’t too much over 40pounds. I have a friend selling one in Atlanta for under $700.

The guys I know that adventure race use either trainer K-1s or longer Simon River Sports type boats, but they are goint to cost you more than $700.

all about compromises
probably the best idea (if you are doing the racing I think you are doing) is to take that $700 and add your Stimulus Check to it and search the classifieds on here and all of TX and find the thinest lightest 14 to 16 foot kayak. Or what about a teammate with a really good boat?

When you are looking at the boats, try to look at transitional and high end rec that are based off of sea kayaks. But also remember that you have to be comfortable and familiar with the boat. There will be times you are going to be tired and having an extra bit of stability may out weight shaving a few seconds off your time. Think how much time you lose if you dump.

Right now I am working on getting into the same type of racing. I want to start competing in 2009. do you have any recomendations on a bike? I am beating the last few miles out of mine and I want an upgrade. I am not looking for a great upgrade, in the $400 range, but i will eat balogna sandwiches for 6 months if it gets me a super sweet set of handle bars or something.


I had a second thought
it is a bit heavy, but what about a Pamlico 145T? You could solo that, it gives you room and comfort and the availability to have a team mate sometime.

I am just throwing out some more food for thought


Sea kayak
Perhaps a used Impex Mystic / Futura Mystic. At 14’6" she is light easy to handle will carry a little gear is a great little boat for handling goes like a scald cat and may be in your price range. (used)

Good luck with it; the best value you may get is kayak training. I have helped with a bunch of Adventure races and they all have the same theme. Great runners, great cyclists, great swimmers, crap paddlers. There is time to be made on the water.

Fast SOT/surfski?

– Last Updated: Apr-21-08 8:04 AM EST –

Given your location, a fast sit-on-top or beginner surfski might work well.

You'll have to look for something used to meet your price target. Paddling clubs are often a good place to start.