Looking to buy my first kayak. I am 6’1 170 pounds with very little to no experience. Looking for suggestions or helpful info(i.e. size of boat, paddle and such). Any and all comments would be welcome.
Where do you plan to use it?
Flatwater, moving water, narrow creeks, big lakes…? That may help narrow down your decision.
Are there any classes available to you that you can take before you decide? Any demo days coming up? Try as many as you can if possible.
It all depends where you want to go with your kayak.
Big water means buying a big boat.
Small lakes and rivers means a shorter boat.
Do you want to fish from your kayak?
Are you into whitewater kayaking?
Do you want to go camping with your kayak?
There are so many boats to choose from.
I suggest going to an outdoor store that has demo days. Start trying boats out and start talking to people at the outdoor store. These message boards are great too.
For me personally I have a Venture Kayaks Skye sea kayak. Its a big boat, bigger than I need but Im going to keep it. Im more into canoeing this year so no need to buy a different kayak.
Good Luck. You will find the right boat for your needs.
Touring or whitewater?
Big Water = Big Boat Not really
Again it depends what you want to do.
My favorite boat for Ocean Waves is slightly less than 8’.
mosty open flat water and rivers
no white water. I haven’t found any demo days anywhere near to me but im on the hunt.
Your profile says that you are in SW ontario. See if you are able to find a paddle shop near by. (The only one I know in Ontario is White Squall). Many times they will have a beginners class and then you can get discounted rentals and/or demos from them so that you are able to try out several boats and get some skills.
a couple of basics
Many beginners put "stability" at the top of their list when shopping for their first boat, and then find that stability seems to dramatically improve with a few hours on the water. A class, a few rentals, or a few demos can also change one's perception of stability. There's nothing wrong with a stable boat, but wider boats tend to be slower, and excess width can hinder an efficient paddle stroke.
Tracking also improves as your skills do.
For lake paddling, I wouldn't consider anything shorter than 12'. A shorter boat will probably seem frustratingly slow once you start covering more distance.
Weight doesn't make a big difference on the water, but it does for loading and unloading. If you dread loading your baot you won't use it as much.
A paddle that's too long will make it harder to paddle stright, beacause every stroke becomes a sweep stroke.
This site has some nice animations of paddling technique:
My husband and I started with Old Town Loons…basic, boxy rec boats…a few years later moved up to WS Tsunamis…and we both agree that we should have just gone with them in the beginnning. My daughter-in-law is starting with the Tsunami and she loves it…it has enough stability for a beginner, and they come in sizes to fit everyone.
The different models of the Tsunamis are quite different.
Which ones do you have?