Hello message board!

HI there. I actually do not even own a kayak yet but I plan on buying one this week. I was wondering if there is anything to consider…I only plan on kayaking basically to site see and relax. There are some good calm river’s around my home with great scenery. I want to also bring my small dog so do you think I need a two man kayak?? Any help would be appreciated because I have never gone before and I do not really know what to buy =/ thanks!!

I don’t paddle with a dog
If I did, I’d consider a canoe or sit-on-top.

Rent one first.

Welcome newp
THe things we all agree on:

  1. Buy a comfortable PFD and wear it. Make sure it fits, strap it on and have someone pull up on the shoulder straps to simulate it floating up on you in the water. You don’t want it riding up. Kayak PFDs usually do not have padding in the lower back area due to the seatback. That’s what makes it different from a ski vest.
  2. Buy the best paddle you can afford. I’d rather have a $400 dollar paddle and a $200 dollar boat than the other way around. You won’t know what length you need until you have a boat and learned to paddle. Good luck with that.
  3. Lessons - two schools of thought, one says you need them, one says not. I took lessons after a year of paddling and wished I had taken them sooner, it would have saved some frustration. At least study the videos here on p-net.
  4. Boats- again, two schools of thought. Buy cheap to get on the water until you figure out what you need, or do a little research and pick the right boat from the start. If you buy from the big box store you are likely to outgrow it soon, but there is no law against owning a dozen boats. How tall are you? What do you weigh? Do you want to run rapids or go on long expeditions? What is your budget?
  5. I don’t take a dog in my kayak. Others do. Don’t tie the dog inside the boat or to you. I canoe with one sometimes.

good advice from Pirateoverforty
I used to paddle with my yellow lab in a Pungo, which was my first kayak. It had a huge cockpit. When I wasn’t with the dog, I could also put on a spray skirt for those windy days with the whitecaps. I’d advise against getting a tandem kayak unless you have a partner who will go out with you regularly. Otherwise it won’t get used. It’s no fun paddling a tandem kayak solo.

good ideas…
thanks guys I will keep that in mind and go try one out first =)