help choosing a kayak

I’m hoping someone out there can give me some advice. I am looking to buy a kayak to replace my last one. I am a beginner and usually kayak in my harbour and the ocean, but not when it’s windy (so there may be some ripply waves, but no white water). I am a female and weigh about 135 lbs. I really want something that’s easy to maneuver and lightweight so I can haul it in and out of my jeep without too much trouble. I don’t mind getting wet while kayaking and am not looking for anything too fancy. any recommendations would be really great!! Thanks! aimee

Future plans?
BTW, what was your last kayak?

Do you plan to stay in your harbor or are you thinking about pushing further out over time?

Look at
the Wilderness Systems Tsunami line in a Duralite. As long as you aren’t looking to do any extensive ocean touring in rough conditions they should meet your needs. The SP or 120 will probably be the best fit for you given your size. However if you want the better tracking and handling of something longer like a 14’ boat you could consider the 140 but the fit may be pretty loose.

Good luck!

re: future plans
my last Kayak was a scupper pro from Ocean Kayak. It was really long and made for diving, which I don’t do. It just felt too big for me…I do plan on leaving the harbor some, but I don’t plan on going too far, just hugging the coastline…

re: look at
There’s a dealer right down the street–I’ll check them out and see if they carry that model. Thanks so much for the tip! aimee

Check out the boats
from Hurricane Aqua Sports.They have a new 14 boat which sounds like it would be a nice boat. The are very light weight and nice looking

Since you paddle alone
If you aren’t going out too far you can make it without a ton of boat in terms of length, but I would look for deck rigging and bungie lines so that you can get back into a boat yourself should you capsize. Ocean stuff is still that, even close to shore, and it can get bumpy.

When you go to look at the Tsunamis down the street, also inquire about some basic lessons to learn re-entry, a few padling basics.

No problem…
I should probably add that the Duralite part is important - the Duralite version will be about 10 lbs lighter then the standard Gen2 versions. Duralite is still PE plastic, but is a different variation that allows them to make the boat’s hull using less material, but maintain the hull’s integrity. That is why the Duralite’s are so much lighter.

There are some other great boats you could look at such as the Old Town Cayuga’s - but they won’t be as light as the WS Duralite boats.

Of course…most of the Duralite boats are about $200-300 more then standard Gen2 PE, but that weight savings may be worth it to you.

Impex Montauk
I also am female and 135 pounds. I paddle an Impex Montauk and have been very happy with it. No oceans in Illinois, but I’ve paddled it in some waves on our inland seas of Lakes Superior and Michigan and it handles bumpy water quite nicely (especially when I relax). It’s fiberglass, about 52 pounds and I’m able to carry and cartop it myself (altho help is appreciated when available).

Sorry,kschultz,but duralite is crap. It’s thin,flexible and flimsy and deforms if you look at it the wrong way. you’re much better off with a composite boat or a thermoformed boat.

In the grand scheme of things, the Scupper Pro is actually short, compared to most sea kayaks. a bit awkward to handle on land though, i’ll admit to that being a 6’1 180 guy.

I think something like a current designs Breeze or P&H Easky 13 would be worth trying, stable and fairly small boats that are a head above recreational bathtubs.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I’ll have to do some looking around…I think if I can find a used model of one of the suggested ones would be my best bet as they are all out of my price range, but I live near the cape so there’s always used kayaks around…Thanks again! aimee

Check out Goose Hummock

– Last Updated: Aug-28-07 8:17 AM EST –

They have a bodacious end of season sale - great prices just you want to get up early in the morning if there is a particularly popular item you want to get. I believe they had some shorter stuff as well as full sea kayaks when I was there. Charles River Kayaks may also be within a resaonable drive for youy.

But get lessons - I can't emphasize that enough if you are paddling alone. If you venture beyond the harbor your first instinct will be to stay close to shore, which can be the worst place to be if the weather throws a change at you. You need to be comfortable shifting out a ways if the waves are hitting abutments.

goose hummuck
Thanks Celia,

My husband and I usually try and get out that way in the fall, so maybe I can coordinate our trip with their sale. I am with someone 99% of the time that I do kayak. If you know the cape, then maybe you’re familiar with Cuttyhunk? That’s where I live in the summer, so I usually don’t leave the channel, but I will definately look into getting some lessons as I know I could learn a lot from one! Thanks again for your help. Aimee


– Last Updated: Aug-28-07 9:33 AM EST –

you don't really know much about Duralite - so try not to call something crap when you don't have all the facts. Is it thinner then most PE? Yes but that's why it is so light weight, and if it deforms at all it returns to its original shape. BTW ALL PE boats will and do deform under the right conditions, Duralite is not alone here. But that doesn't mean it isn't a quality material or doesn't make a good boat. The original poster is looking for something lighter that she can handle solo - Duralite is perfect for this.

There are many previous threads here about Duralite that explain in better detail what it is and why it is.

regarding the “duralite is crap” statement - I completely disagree. Duralite definately has its place - it just depends what you’re looking for. I got a Duralite Tsunami 14 last fall, and am totally happy with it. My goal was to be able to cartop the boat myself, and it fits the bill perfectly. I acknowledge that the plastic seems thinner than other kayaks, but it is holding up fine for me. I would buy the same boat again in a heartbeat.

also tsunami SP
if you’re on the smaller side it sounds like a good, manageable boat (SP for smaller people).

it depends
on how much money you can spend—if you have unlimited funds I would reccomend the NDK Romany–the original 16 foot model—In the low volume (LV) designation—great secondary stability, good primary rolls like a dream—I don’t own one but wish I did—and the price—upwards of 2800 for a new model but you can get some end of season sales or a used one cheaper–if you look hard enough and are lucky—there may be some here who would say it’s too advanced for you–don’t believe them—its a boat that will grow with you—my advice is to buy the boat and take a intro sea kayaking course and then join a paddle club.

Could you direct me to the previous threads? Also, is Duralite the same as CarbonLite (the term used by Eddyline)? Thanks.