First Kayak

I am a 70 year old male looking to buy my first kayak for quiet water (river, lake) and cannot try out all the possible models. Where can I find reviews that evaluate performance? Stability and tracking would be my main criteria. From what I have read, Old Town and Wilderness might be my best choces??

Did you check out the product reviews
listed on the left side of the screen. Right under classifieds.

Didn’t catch where you were located. Either make might be good for what you describe.

Also consider used. If your not sure, you might be better off with a used one, and save some cash.

Then again, I’m kinda cheap

Used is good
As a newbie, it’s nice to paddle a used boat - the inevitable scratches and bumps hurt much less. Also, you can get more boat for the money buying used, I particularly recommend getting the lightest boat you can afford. Also, deciding to buy used reduces the universe of choices somewhat, and sometimes buying the best, closest boat gets you on the water soonest. I bought a really nice used boat from the p-net classifieds and have been very happy with it. It’s now turning into a perfect loaner boat. Good luck.

I’ll second that…
Check the classified’s here, craigslist, and ebay. You could also check out your local outfitter who probably has a few on sale this time of year.

OT and WS are popular and reliable manufacturers, and you can get more info in the product reviews on this website. As a general trade-off, the shorter recreational boats have greater initial stability and maneuverability, but sacrifice tracking. As the boats get longer their tracking and speed improve, but they become more tippy (which becomes a benefit in rough conditions).

I think comfortable fit is more important than tracking. Get the boat the fits you and you’ll be able to make it go where you want with a little practice.

Good luck and let us know what you end up with… Tom.

First Kayak
I rent Old Town Kayaks. Good and the Bad. Good: Bomb Proof. Bad: Heavy,newer Old Towns have crappy seats. If you are going to be lifting your kayak alot or loading it on a vehicle the weight will be a problem. Good luck. Vaughn Fulton

Product Reviews
on this site and others are a good starting point. Keep in mind that with few exceptions all reviews are positive and everyone seems to think the kayak they bought is just great. You should take notice of any small flaw in design or manufacturing defects mentioned in reviews. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to weed out the really good boats from the poorly designed models. Also decide how you will use the kayak and buy one made for the type of paddling you are interested in.

Depending on how strong you are, pay attention to the weight of the boat and as said before, check the ‘Products Reviews’ to the left of screen.