help! choosing kayak

-- Last Updated: Mar-17-10 5:08 PM EST --

I posted a thread about a week ago and after doing a bit more research I've put more money into buying a good kayak that will last me a while. I am looking to spend no more than about 1000ish on a recreational or day touring kayak. I will probably be kayaking in calmer rivers and lakes. I am 5'8" and weight about 150 pounds. I would consider myself intermediate level. Looking for any help I can get!

Can it be a nice solo canoe?

How much do you need?
If you plan to stick to relativly flat water, how much kayak do you need? The Various 10" boats by Pelican are cheap to buy and probably would suit your stated purpose, and are available at most sporting goods shops. I own one of these, a good little boat for the price, not a whitewater boat. If you want to move upmarket a little bit, the Old Town Otter is a pretty good little boat and not too expensive. I don’t think you need to spend a grand to get a decent boat for lakes and gentle rivers.


– Last Updated: Mar-17-10 9:51 PM EST –

At your weight, focus on boats designed for smaller paddlers. Boats for "average"-to-large paddlers will be too big and harder to control.

Boats for smaller folks won't be significantly shorter, but they will be narrower and lower, making them easier to paddle. You'll fit better in the cockpit which will give you more control.

Weight doesn't have a big effect on paddling performance, but it has a huge effect on ease of use. If you dread loading and unloading, you won't paddle as much.

I don't know what brands are available to you or how pricing works there. Don't be afraid to look at used boats or demos.

Something like the Perception Tribute 12.0 or 14.0 might work for you. The WS Tsunami 135 would fit well. The Dagger Alchemy 14S would be fun. The Necky Manitou 13 is a good boat but may be a bit big for you. The Hurricane Tampico 135S might be good.

Others you might find used would include the Venture Easky 15LV, Swift Saranac 14LT or LV, and Eddyline Merlin LT.

If you like to build things, a Pygmy Tern 14 would be a great boat for you.

Part of the choice depends on your goals. If you want to develop skills and eventually paddle more challenging open water, you'll want a boat that supports that.

The only downside to the Tribute 12 is the lack of a forward bulkhead, which makes self-rescue more difficult. I'd add a couple of flotation bags. Other than that it's a nice lightweight boat that performs well for folks your size.

Look at the 12 to 15 footers
that Wilderness Systems and Necky sell.