First Kayak advice?

I’m trying to buy my first kayak and I want something versatile so that it can do a little of everything. Basically a little fishing, lake kayaking and maybe some light rapids. I want to keep the rapids as an option as my town is about to construct an urban run right across from my office.

I was leaning towards a Perception Patriot as i “think” it will give me what i want for now. Any advice? Also, want to stay under 500 for my first as I think I will want to upgrade after some experience.

there are better choices
Do yourself a favor and look at kayaks other than at big box general sporting goods stores (that “Patriot” is a low quality discount store model).

Are there any real kayaking outfitters in your area? Even if you feel their kayaks are out of your price range you owe it to yourself to get a bit of an education with one of their sales people and look at proper boats, preferably demoing some in the water.

That boat you mention will not perform well for either straight-line paddling or white water – the bottom is way too flat. It is basically a cheap fishing platform and you will quickly be disappointed in it and will be lucky to get even half what you paid for it out of selling it used. You would be better off investing that $500 in a decent used boat, either a 12’ to 14’ light touring kayak with a narrower keel or an older 10’ to 12’ whitewater playboat. Another advantage of buying used is you will get a higher percentage of your money back when you sell it to upgrade.

As far as exact models, we’d need your height and weight to make recommendations.

Try again on where to paddle?

– Last Updated: Aug-11-10 8:37 AM EST –

Your profile lists ocean as favorite place to paddle, your post says flat water and light rapids. Agree with the above post that you should start out by finding some decent kayak outfitters rather than the big box stores, but between your profile and your post it's not easy to sort out what kind of boat you need.

The short of it is that the ocean kayak can be an extremely different critter than the mixed use inland kayak - there are features you can get away without in the latter environment that are basic to safety in the ocean. And once you have a boat - any boat - if you go to the ocean it's likely to go with you.

As to outfitters that are likely to know what they are talking about - if western Georgia means driving distance to Atlanta or Roswell I found the following in a cursory Google search. These folks may have demo boats coming up for sale at the end of the season that'd be a good deal. For what you are talking about, I wouldn't skip considering a Sit-on-top.

Up the River Outfitters
High Country Outfitters
White Water Learning Center of Georgia (they have demo rec boats for sale)

The following place has some not-so-great kayaks as well as some very decent choices, like the Tarpon series.
Peter Glenn Sports and Ski Shop some not so great kayak

In Roswell, Go with the Flow Canoes and Kayaks
They have touring as well as rec and WW.

I also agree, stay away from the big box stores and find a real kayak dealer. Might look at something like the Dagger Approach. It’s a slow touring boat that can do mild whitewater and has a skeg so it’ll actually go in a straight line and is pretty stable for a beginner.

Bill H.

First Kayak
No real Kayak places here as of yet. As far as my size, I am 5’ 11" and about 220 pounds. Not overweight just muscular build.

First Kayak
Thanks for the feedback. Yea, I have ocean and flat water as I have tried and like both. I only do the sea kayaking when we go to the beach (4 hour drive), but we have a lot of lakes and rivers where I live.