Have boat, need what?

I just bought a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 120 in Duralite, a Lotus Lolita PFD and a Seaquest (?) paddle. Is it safe to go out in the water?

I have paddled a friend’s Necky Manitou on the reservoir last summer so I am not totally a newbie but pretty close. I am open to advice.

You’re off to a good start. Now, before you go paddling, the question to ask yourself is “Would I want to swim in the clothes I’m wearing?” If the answer is “no”, you may want to start learning about clothing for cold weather and cold water.

The other “thing” that would be good to have is knowledge about how to rescue yourself. Winter is usually a good time to find pool classes that can teach you useful skills in a comfortable setting.

Get in touch with these folks
Columbus Outdoor Pursuits is an umbrella organization for lots of different outdoor activities. They have canoeing/kayaking division, offer a range of classes, and hold evening social paddles at various flatwater sites around Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the warmer months. I’d highly recommend you join. You will meet a lot of nice, helpful people. I have been along on a few COP events, but am not a member, as I live 70 miles east of Columbus, and we have our our paddling group out here.


Hi Lady!
I’m a female kayaker north of you in Michigan, & just started myself in midsummer.

The regulars here will list the gear you should have, and how to dress for the water temps. All extremely important. There are excellent discussions in the pnet archives - I used them a lot.

Here are some other things to consider from a newby point of view:

Lessons. ASAP. Learn the right way, and it all becomes more enjoyable, safer and helps build real confidence. Also helps you avoid repetitive injuries to the shoulder/wrist, etc. Lessons include how to fall out of and get back into your kayak - learn a couple of ways.

Swimming: are you a strong swimmer? Are you PFD dependent? IMO being able to rely on one’s body to swim well makes all water sports more comfortable & is another feather in the safety quiver.

Conditioning: women, in particular, benefit from upper body conditioning, as well as the usual core workouts on the different abdominals. Tone these up & you are less likely to develop discouraging aches and pains the first few weeks out. You will develop powerful and efficient strokes - you, after all, are the engine in the kayak!

Plus if you have to go that extra mile you have the muscles to make it, and then carry your kayak up to the car, lift it and tie it down. Great exercises described on this site - just hit the links.

Transport: how will you carry your kayak? Get it up on your vehicle? Secure it? Learn what’s right and safe for you & the beloved kayak.

These are just some things from a newby, female point of view that helped me get into this sport… I love it! Hope you will too, come up sometime to a kayak symposium in Michigan, a flatwater paddler’s paradise! : D

new toys
Bet you’re excited!! Cold water is something to be VERY aware of and make sure you don’t wear any cotton-read that thread. The Pungo should be really stable so if you pick a nice pond or small lake and stay near the shoreline you should have an awesome voyage. It’s pretty rare the waters aren’t frozen down your way this time of year too. Our lakes and river aren’t yet and it’s been a real treat to extend the season although we love to ski too!

Have you thought about how you are gonna get your boat to the water?

Tsunami, not a Pungo


So you can find out all of the local places to paddle, along with information on level of difficulty etc. Also, find some basic instructional books on kayaking…a good one-stop shopping place to get impotant info rather than surfing all over creation in the achives.

Happy paddling!

I find having a “system” makes going paddling easier and more fun. it can be different things to different people. A combination of simple things that work simple and easy for you. Anything from a convenient spot/hanger for your gear to dry, to a user-friendly roofrack with straps that do not have 10 feet of floppy webbing that you need to wrap around something 10000x times, to maybe a collapsible cart to haul the boat to and from water(trust me, good idea),etc.

As other said, Immersion protection is absolutely critical in cold water. wetsuit/drytop, wetsuit/wetsuit jacket or drysuit. depends on your comfort level and depth of your wallet and what’s more convenient for you to use.

As for basic gear, you should also get a paddlefloat, pump and a throw rope. and gloves of your prefference.

to the world of paddling. Kayaking, that is.

WARNING!! It can be addicting. I know, as well as others on PNET that it can be, because we are.

Research this site, talk to other paddlers, get lessons, etc. Listen to the voices of experienced paddlers. They’ve been a fantastic resource for me.

I believe you’ll enjoy your Wilderness System boat. That is one sweet kayak.

Happy paddling.