Hello all, thanks for taking the time to read my post and offer any advice you might have! I’ve paddled cheap recreational kayaks my entire childhood. I’ve now saved up money and am looking to buy a more quality, used touring kayak. My max budget is $1,500. I’ve read through a lot of the posts on here about first-time kayak suggestions. So I’ll try to include all the required information below…
- 6ft tall
- 160 pounds
- Athletic/good cardiovascular shape
- Good balance/core strength
- Intermediate paddling skills (10+ years of kayaking rec boats in small/medium-sized lakes and rivers)
What I’m looking for in a kayak:
***Good initial stability> I’m into photography and would like to be able to take photos from the kayak.
- Medium capacity> The kayak would mainly be used on day trips or single night camping trips. My current hiking backpack is 40L and holds all my gear for an overnight trip. Having a day hatch would be a bonus, but not a necessity.
- Big water capability> A majority of my paddling will be on the great lakes. I don’t intend to go out in storms/big swell, but weather changes fast and I don’t want to be SOL if I’m caught in it.
- Decent cruising speed> I realize I’ll most likely be sacrificing speed for initial stability in a kayak. However, I’d like to retain the ability to cruise at a decent pace (4mph? give or take).
One kayak that caught my eye so far is the QC500x. From reading reviews it seems to be a very stable boat, also capable of paddling in big water. It’s made in my home state(Wisconsin), so there are several used ones available for good deals locally. My concern with the 500x is that I am physically too small for it. I’ve read through the posts about them on here, which were from paddlers in the low 200’s bodyweight range and above. The resounding opinion seems to be that the boat handles best when it is sufficiently weighed down. I was wondering if anyone around my size has experience paddling one, and how it felt. I’d also love to hear suggestions from you guys/gals about any other kayaks that might fit my needs. Thanks again for reading and for any suggestions you might have!