First kayak

under $1000, ( ignore the list prices)

– Last Updated: Jul-24-12 2:39 PM EST –

I paid $730 for my Easky LV (no rudder) two summers ago and the prices have not really changed much since then. 30% off sales are common in late summer. REI just had a 25% off coupon two weeks ago and often has 20% off ones. Plus you get the 10% rebate every year on purchases.

Try on the Astral V-8 PFD -- it is usually under $100 and is the lightest and most comfortable PFD I have ever owned, even on hot days.

I do advise you to lift and try to carry any kayaks you are considering. I know too many women who don't go kayaking as often as they would like because they struggle with kayaks that are too heavy for them to comfortably load and transport themselves. Yes, you can get fancy mechanisms for adding to your roofrack but it makes more sense to put that $200 extra cash into a lighter boat than into the roof rack. A longer thinner kayak is easier to load than a shorter fatter boat. I also think the Tsunami 120 is too wide for you -- you will find the cockpit too large and will be banging your knuckles on the gunwales. I don't understand why they make that boat so wide for the length, but I suppose they have to get the displacement volume somewhere. You really should try to test paddle it along with some narrower models to see what that feels like.

The kayaks I have recommended are not advanced models, just comfortable relatively light boats that are enjoyable to paddle in any conditions.

Maybe you think I’m “petite”?
LOL… because I’m not really. I’m short but pretty solid, with pretty wide shoulders.

I demo’ed some Hurricane boats last weekend and loved the Tampico 140S, which is 23.5 inches wide. But I also paddled the Santee 126 and really had absolutely no issues and it’s 28 inches wide. The Tsunami is 25 inches wide. I’m not really worried. The cockpit is actually smaller than the Easky 15LV’s. In fact, I was a little worried that it would be too tight with cold-weather clothing and went back to the store to check.

And, YES (for the third time in this thread, I think), I have lifted the Tsunami 120. I have no problems getting it up on my shoulder and walking around. I would be able to carry it for a while. Honest. I backpack a lot and have a pretty good idea of how well I can carry weight. Until the first time I do a trip with a long portage, I’m not planning to buy a cart.

In the end, even if I ignore the list price, the reality is that the Easky is $1,350 and even with 20, 25 or 30% off, it’s still more than what my budget allows.

For the store in Windsor, they definitely have some nice boats and I’ll have to make it a point to go there sometime but, again, a search on boats under $1,000 gives me about the same selection I have found elsewhere (and, yes, I have done some research) among which I narrowed it down to the WS Tsunami 120 and the Perception Tribute 12.