Geography and Kayak Selection

-- Last Updated: Mar-16-04 12:23 PM EST --

Is it just me or do the recommendations many of us give on Kayaks have something to do with where we live and what's available in our local area?

For example, here in New Orleans and nearby areas I notice Perception, Wilderness Sys., and Looksha as the dominant Kayaks in my area. So naturally my experience and opinions formulate based on these Yaks. In search of my new Kayak I went to every dealer within a 100 miles (about 4-5 shops) and almost all had the same line/manuf. of boats.

I've haven't seen nor heard of at least half these boats mentioned here on the forums (although I'm pretty new). Also perhaps most of the advanced models/manuf. aren't something you "stock"?

Just being curious.

I think ones first boat owes to availability within easy distance. After that, one has a better idea of what is wanted.

My first boat I bought from an outfitter about 20 miles away from home. My second boat from an outfitter about 60 miles away. The boat I have on order is from an outfitter well over 200 miles away.

Conditions Vary Greatly
The same boat that works well for the bayous in your area might not work well for Northern California off shore trips. That will impact what dealers carry, and the used boat market as well.

Selection will also improve for areas with more boating opportunies.

MY FIRST BOAT WAS WHAT WAS AVAILABLE NEARBY IN kEY LARGO in the way of SOT’s. In south florida, warm water and weather make SOT’s popular.

My second boat (I am still awaiting delivery) is coming from 1800 miles away. (QCC sells only on line.) This second kayak is not region specific, I don’t think.

QCC by region
Congrats on your new QCC!

I own a 700 and am quite (though not totally) pleased with it. I paddle 99.99% on Lake MI, where a soft sandy beach is almost always close at hand. The light layup of the qcc’s is a definite plus when carrying the boat from the car to the beach.

However, I don’t think this boat would be appropriate in coastal areas where tidal rock gardens are potential put in/take out options. The layup, while quite strong for its weight (yes really), is just not up to that kind of abuse. For rough landings (notice I’m not saying rough water) a 65lb brit boat would probly be better suited.

Never Seen a QCC700 In NORCAL
I haven’t ever seen a QCC700 in NORCAL…

As I
have never seen a sea yak up the rivers we paddle. Seems that MI has a predominance to Perception, Wildness sysems and Old Town ,atleast in my area.

I think that what kayaks the local
outfitters carry has the greatest influence on what kayaks you see in any given area, especially with paddlers that are new to the sport.

My experience is a case in point: My local outfitter (now out of business) stocked Perception and Necky. Those were the brands he rented, those were the brands I test paddled, and a Perception was the first kayak I bought.

I just wish I had discovered before buying my first kayak. I wasn’t aware of the many different types and brands of kayaks that were available. I guess everyone has to buy that “first kayak”. After paddling it a while, then they discover what they really want!

Jim3727…the worst part of buying a QCC kayak, after paying for it, is waiting for Phil to email you that its shipped, and then waiting for it to arrive at the freight terminal. You won’t be disappointed!!!


But you have paddled with folks
in both a 600 and a 400.

Live in KY, but nola is hometown
My wife and I paddled the northshore on our last trip. Rented kayaks from Covington…nice folks. We own composite boats, but considering all the barnacles and oyster shells in the brackish waters around new orleans…plastic has its place. Another consideration…while a plumb bow kayak like a QCC would be fantastic in a point a to point b trip across the lake, I would prefer a more upswept bow for paddling in the bayous. Almost got whip lash when hitting barely submerged fixed limbs. I will be back in town early may. Interested in going on a paddle with locals…let me know if you have a suggetion. (Best to comment on this thread) Thanks.

Just looking at…
kayaks that are popular to fishing there seems to be some regional differences.

My completely unofficial research based solely on general impressions leads me to believe that the most popular fishing boats follow these lines:

Atlantic/Northeast coast = Wilderness Systems and Perception

West Coast = Malibu

Gulf Coast and Florida = mixed

The hardest thing down here in S.La. seems to be finding someone who works in a kayak shop that knows the bow from the stern. The folks @ H2O in Covington and the owner of the Pack and Paddle in Laffayette seem to be the exceptions. I’ve yet to meet anyone at either Massey’s store or at the Backpacker that knows beans about boats.

P.S. H2O and and the Backpacker carry used boats on consignment.