First time purchase

I am purchasing a kayak this weekend.

I am looking at one that is 10’ and another that is about 8.5’.

My concern is the dealer is saying they are too short - the difference between 10’ and the 12’ is about $200.

I am 6’1" and about 200lbs.

Any suggestions on minimum size of kayak?

I will be using it in bays, lakes, the ocean, pretty much anywhere I can.


Your dealer

– Last Updated: Mar-19-08 10:15 AM EST –

is right, if you buy that 8.5' boat for large flat stretches of water you'll get no where fast, and will do it in a zig zag pattern. This purchase could also prove unsafe...

Tell us in more detail where and how you're going to use a boat, what boats you are considering, and what your future desires are in kayaking. Then we can give you better suggestions and information.

You really need to demo paddle, and do your research before you purchase something just because it is a deal.

Look here
If you are talking really ocean, not just staying inside some little protected cove, I probably would disagree with either of the boats you are considering. It doesn’t sound like you are necessarily open to suggestions, but if you are take a look at this thread and consider not plopping down any money yet.

more info pls.
make and model of each kayak. Just the length tells us not much at all.

about you: what level of paddling experience? Are you into watersports or other sports?

what part of country are you in - what places do you want to paddle? People who paddle the same waters are a great resource.

Anything less than 12’ is a waste of
money unless it is for a pond or WW.You may like it until you paddle a longer one and realize what you have .If you are going where the water gets rough, 14’ or better.

the exception is the Tsunami 120
It tracks like longer kayak, handles the rough stuff great, and surf nicely.

For any sort of ocean or large lake paddling, I’d be a lot more comfortable in a 14 foot or larger kayak. If budget is an obstacle, take a good look around for a used plastic boat - you can get decent deals on nice boats that people have simply outgrown. Check the Classified Ads link to the left to get some idea of what’s out there at about the same cost as the 12’ you’re considering. Or, if you’re the DIY type, think about building a stitch&glue - not at all a difficult project - the Arctic Tern 14 springs to mind as a great design.

Don’t buy - rent a boat or class
It sounds like you really don’t know much about kayaking. Rent a boat similar to what you want to buy and see how it performs. Do this two or three times with different choices and compare. Better yet take a kayaking class for beginners and try out lots of boats. Then check out Craigslist and buy an inexpensive used boat and save yourself a lot of money.