Help beginner pick a new kayak

Hi, I am just getting my first kayak, and am clueless. I would like to do a little whitewater, and also tour for photography trips. I know there are all different types, I just don’t know what to look for that will be well rounded for what I want. And due to budget, can only have one so must make the best of it. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated. Also, if you have any phot tips for shhoting from a kayak, I would be glad to hear them.

Don’t know where in Northern IL
you are located, but I would recommend visiting one of these three knowledgeable dealers:

Good luck.

Be sure to take a class, you can learn about the different types of boats and what they are for. As has been stated here many times before, there is no one boat that is good for everything, that boat that you are going to use when you want to take pictures is not going to be the same boat you’ll use in whitewater. As well as learning about boats in a class, you’ll learn about safety and doing things the right (and usually most efficient) way. Learn to do it right and you’ll have lots of fun!

Need info on YOU

– Last Updated: Mar-08-06 12:15 PM EST –

A kayak fits a person's size and weight, like a suit. You can buy one that doesn't fit you, but it just won't give you the same desired end result.

Please state your height, weight, leg length (Inseam), shoe size, and any other personal info you care to share.

A kayak for a small person, will not work for a larger person.

Plus, it will be hard to find a kayak that is "good" at flat water, and white water both. You will end up with a real compromise, that sorta works, but is not good at anything. Flat water kayaks are designed to go mostly straight, and white water kayaks are designed to NOT go straight. In white water, you want to be able to dodge obstacles sometimes very quickly. In flat water kayaking, the object is usually to go somewhere, out ahead of you.

Come back with some more info, and you should get some suggestions to start with.

BUT,.. ALWAYS test paddle a kayak BEFORE you buy it. You will understand why I said this, after testing a dozen or so.

Good Luck!

Being that you reside in Northern IL., you really should attend Canoeacopia this weekend in Madison WI put on by Rutabaga Paddle Shop.

All your questions will be answered.

facter , is that WW boats are designered to go slow (for control in the rough stuff) (except down river racers) and flatwater/cruzin boats are designer to run sleek and the faster and more efficient the better.

it’s the on/off road bike syndrome…does neither well…it’s all compromize.

Best Wishes


Also look at p-net classifieds for IL

Ditto That.
this is where it’s at. Do an assessment of what you are mostly likely to do, rather than what you dreamily think you want to do. Then your physical size determines the boat model.


Kayak photography
If you want to shoot wildlife from a kayak, be sure to get a camera with a decent zoom. Kayaks are quiet and you can get fairly close to some water residents, but a good zoom lens helps. If you are going to be shooting only scenics, consider a filter for shots in bright sun. A camera that offers image stabilizing helps when taking pictures on water.

So much for the photography part of your question…


new kayaker reply to all
Thanks for all the great info. To those that asked, I am 67 inches 170 pounds about size 8 shoe. I can’t attend canoecopia, as I am in the military in Iraq until the end of the month. I have been here the last 16 months, and can’t wait to get home. Hope to meet you on the water. As with your suggestions, I will probably be doing more flat water than white water.

Get Home Safe
There are plenty of boat options for you to try when you get home.


Tips for shooting from a Kayak
I’m clueless about the digital selection but I’ve got to tell ya, I’ve taken some great clear crisp shots (yes, while moving!)with one of those Fugi 800 speed throwaway cameras.

Perception makes a bunch of recreational type boats (the America and Arcadia being 2)that are stable and maneuverable enough for class I and light II or small lakes.

Arrive home safely and enjoy
our beautiful Illinois waterways in peace.