First Kayak?

Hi there

I am looking at getting a Sea Kayak and am wondering what is the personal favourite of most?

I understand kayaks arent cheap and therefore most people will probably only have one. I tried a Penguin Kayak in New Zealand, it was my first time using a sea kayak. But now I am looking at Mirage Kayaks from Australia, although they look a bit more expensive they really look nice.

Is there anything I should need to know before getting my first kayak?

Mainly I want to use it for flat open water, but a friend wants to use his for beach landings, and i guess taking off from a beach aswell.

Also the mirage kayaks can come with an optional pump, to get water out. How often will a kayak fill up? will it get alot of water in if you do an eskimo roll? Will a spray skirt prevent water from coming in?

Looking forward to some replys :smiley:

and sorry if this post is somewhat inappropriate… im new here please be nice :smiley:

Start with lessons

– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 10:40 AM EST –

"Is there anything I should need to know before getting my first kayak?"

Yes - don't even think about spending money on a boat until you've gotten some lessons and a sense of what a boat should feel like to work well. It'll save you the money of making a really bad choice.

That said, much good info can be gleaned from the advice here on, also Take a look around. Right now, your starting point is so broad that you won't have an easy time tracking what may be coming at you.

Not to be grim, but it might not be a bad idea to go through the thread and links about the accident in Howe Sound as well. It places a lot of what you'll be reading into sharp context.

I think
Celia meant which has much good reading on kayak selection, proper clothing, technique, etc.

thanks very much

i was a bit lost on the thing

while waiting for a reply i was checking out reviews on the Mirage 580 on this site

I think i might go and check that shop out

but for now I will go and check out this atk site :slight_smile: thanks guys and gals

Thanks for the correction NM

Get some seat time!

– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 12:00 PM EST –

Get some seat time in a "real" sea kayak before you buy! Even a few hours can change how you look at a boat.

The Mirages look very nice (really nice) but we really don't see many (any?) in the US (where most of the people here are from). See if there are any clubs in your area. That's where you'll get the best local advice!

For starting out, boats like the NDK Romany and Explorer are liked by many. (And these boats work just fine for experts.)

If you want to do sea kayaking, there's no reason you can't start out in a "real" sea kayak. As a rough guide, a "real" sea kayak is about 21-23 inches wide and 16 or more feet look. (Note that you don't necessarily need to get the biggest boat you can find even if you want to camp out of it!)

Sea kayaks, more so than shorter/wider boats, are designed for longer trips (even if the water is flat!

You'll probably get a wide range of opinions about pumps. If you don't plan to paddle rough water frequently or spend a lot of time rolling, a built-in pump isn't necessary. (I've known people who remove them.) Even when rolling, you can get a fair amount of water in the boat and having the pump can be convenient. Many people manage fine without the built in pump.

Keep in mind that buying used can be a good way to go.

Don't get scared by the "horror stories" but keep in mind that it's fairly easy to get into trouble if you are inexperienced and not careful enough.

Good luck.

I agree with the others

– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 12:28 PM EST –

Get time in kayaks. All types of kayaks, if possible. Some kayaks shops in the States have deals where you can apply kayak rental fees towards the price of a new kayak - maybe the shops in Oz also do this? Take advantage of this to try out as many different types and models of boats.

Also, take the basic kayak skills lessons (and maybe more). It turns out that how most people paddle is not the correct (most efficient way). And this class will also tell you what that pump would be for, and when to use it. And how to get back in to our boat if you end up out of it.

You may want to also take a surf zone class, if you think you will be joining your friend on beach launches/landings. Surf zones can be very dangerous if you don't know how to do it.

I would never suggest buying a boat without having paddled that model.

But not too much time!

One also wants to avoid the “analysis paralysis” that leads to never getting a boat. Also, if the only boat you have is one you rent, you’ll spend more than you need to and will paddle less!

The idea is to get a “good enough” boat to get experience in. If you have, basically, no experience, it’s fairly likely you won’t pick a boat that is “good enough”.

Good point re boats made above
Even if there was a majority favorite kayak (you didn’t think it’d be that simple did you?), it well may not be available in Australia. Conversely, you may have some really good boats available to you that are not imported to the US and Canada, where most of the folks on this board live.

All the more reason to start with lessons and a lot of conversation with outfitters around you.

One kayak? I suppose there are
some well-grounded individuals who can get by with one, but I haven’t met many. I’ve been paddling for a decade and have yet to have a lesson, but I think lessons would be very valuable.Much preferable to learning the hard way.