Friends of mine have been kayaking for over 10 years and they invited me to try it. I really liked it, cause it helps me get a little fitter and more importantly I’ve found it really helps me find some more much needed mental calmness. I’m now considering buying my first kayak on a small budget, mainly for calm water, small creeks, streams (I am in the Netherlands). Used is def. an option but so far most 2nd hands turning up are sea kayaks (or otherwise too long to fit my 4m long Kia Rio car).
So far I’ve used a Point 65 nemo touring model. A similar type Prijon (don’t know the model, it was through rental) - Today another friend gifted me an old Prijon whitewater kayak, I tried it on a local stream here, but yeah that’s not gonna work It was impossible to keep a straight line, although I loved the effortless ease of movement. Compared to it, the other models felt like very sluggish and hard to get into motion. I wouldn’t mind a mix between the tracking ability of a touring model, and the lightness of movement of a wildwater kayak.
i am 70 kilo at 1.73 meter height
In NL, this is one of the premier shops, from this list, what would be a good fit for me?
Preferably , keeping it below 500,-
They also list a few discounted/used models here: http://www.kanokoopjes.nl/cat.php?id=53
The Flex 11 looked like a good candidate for me?
The models available in the Netherlands and within my budget seem to be:
- Pelican Monitor 100-X
- Pelican Summit 100-X
- Riber Solo 310
- Pelican Bounty 120
- Pelican Argo 100 (whats the diff. with the Bounty? ) both the same price
- used Venture Flex 11
Top of my budget:
- Rotomod Mezzo 360
- Pelican Intrepid 100
For all models, I think its best to have a kayak that’s not much longer than 4 meters
My Kia Rio is 3.9meters, so 4.5 meters length would be the max I think to comfortably transport
We need your weight and height to help but mostly you need to paddle a variety. I would not look at anything less than 4 meters. Approximately.
Hey i am 70 kilo at 1.73 meter height
Your Rio is fine for up to 5.28m of kayak like my wife does with her P&H Cetus LV atop her Mini Clubman.
Go with the Venture Flex. Built better than the other options.
See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY
ok thanks Marshall,
Gonna try and visit that shop next week to personally try those models.
I agree with Marshall. Venture makes quite nice boats – I have had their 15’ Easky LV for 8 years and love it. Their boats are made in the UK and nicely outfitted and finished.
As to length of boat on vehicle: I regularly carry a 5.5 meter kayak atop a 4.5 meter car (Mazda CX5) . And one of my friends has a daughter who is an Olympic kayak racer and hauls her 7 meter surf ski atop a 2.7 meter long Smart Car. It looks like a shark trying to mount a basketball!
That said, a boat like the Venture Easky 15LV, if it is still available in Europe, or their newer Islay 14 LV, would give you more of the white water boat performance you enjoyed but with better tracking. Would also allow safe coastal tracking if you were to venture beyond canals and rivers. You are close to my height and weight and I love the performance of my boat. The Islay is more of a sports car while the Flex is a more of a compact commuter sedan, to use motor vehicle analogies. At least here in the US the Islay is less than $200 more than the Flex. One meter in length adds little weight (just over a kilo) but the narrower beam it enables makes the boat better tracking and easier to get up to speed.
If you find an outfitter that will let you try out boats on the water you will quickly notice the advantages of longer and narrower. Even Ventures’ more narrow boats have great stability, even for beginners. I often put newcomers to kayaking in my Easky LV and they are always happy and pleased with it. Your pleasure with the nimbleness of the whitewater boat you tried suggests that a wider short boat (like the models you are so far limiting your search to) may disappoint you in actual usage.
thanks for the in-depth reply. Prices here are much higher, almost double.
a $299 boat here costs 499 or 599 euro’s. And 299 dollar is something like 240 euro.
also, there isn’t nearly as much choice. Ive not seen any Easky listed anywhere.
Most what you find is Pelican brand, Perception and Prijon (german but too expensive for me)
I wouldn’t paddle a Pelican, but a friend tells me his is fine for piddling around In little water. Maybe a good starter boat.
Perception is made a couple of miles from my house and appear to be decent boats. The Acadia I started with years ago is my son’s and still in decent shape.
Does the Netherlands have kayak and canoe clubs like the ones that seem to be all over the place in the UK? Those are often very good resources for finding decent used boats for sale, also often give you the opportunity to paddle “loaner” boats that clubs have in their liveries. The web forum “Song of the Paddle” is a good place to connect with other boaters. I used it to find a group to kayak with during my trip to the UK from the US last year. There was a club right in the town where I was staying and I had a lot of fun with them – several members had extra boats and though I had brought my own they could have loaned me one. There were several for sale.
Seems like you could find somebody willing to car-top a decent kayak through the Chunnel from the UK. I don’t think there are major VAT on used boats, though I could be wrong. I once drove 900 miles round trip and crossed a 50 mile wide Great Lake on a turbo ferry to meet a guy selling a kayak and bought it. Got lots of teasing on the ferry for walking on with my own “life boat”. It was well worth the adventure.
Hey thanks for the great tips.
Yeah ive actually contacted a few rentals here but they only dispose their used boats end of season, and still at a fairly pricey cost if you ask me. Frankly I dont want to wait that long, I want to paddle this summer
Theres one club nearby that does whitewater and Im opting to take lessons there cause it looks like a ton of fun and I happen to have a wildeater kayak a friend gifted me for free. He had it sitting in a dump container for years.
Now the hunt is on for a flat water model
Another suggestion: you can modify a white water boat, like the one you had tried out, to track better by building and attaching a skeg to the stern keel. I know several people who have done it and I actually have a removable hard rubber “shark fin” skeg that attaches to one of my folding sea kayaks to improve tracking. I have seen them made of acrylic plastic, metal, rubber and even wood. You can drill the hull of a plastic kayak and use bolts with rubber washers on the inside and outside fasteners to seal the hole, or seal the hardware in permanently with various adhesives and sealants. I think you can find instructions to do this on line by googling “making skeg for kayak”. If you can find a cheap used old-style longer whitewater boat with not TOO much rocker (the stern to bow curve in the keel line) you might be able to correct the tracking enough to make it more usable for day touring.
You can also build your own kayaks, either fixed frame, folding or inflatable, usually for a few hundred dollars (or Euros). There are a number of companies that sell instructions, kits and patterns and even one site, Yostwerks, that has free instructions for a couple dozen models of kayaks.
Here is a UK forum where a guy has posted a photo of a slip on skeg that he made for his own kayak:
And here is the Yostwerks kayak building manual page: One enterprising amateur boat builder in the “gallery” examples was a nurse who used discarded aluminium crutches to make the frame for her kayak. There are a number of on line companies that sell materials that can be used for these. like the 8 ounce ballistic nylon cloth and 2-part urethane coating used on the fixed skin on frame boats (SOF). I have a 5.5 meter SOF in my own fleet with a wooden frame and that same nylon/urethane skin and have loved paddling it for 10 years. Only weighs 14 kilos which makes transport easy.
I purchased my first kayak today. After trying the following five models I chose the Rotomod Mezzo for best comfort, tracking and steering within my budget. Kayaks i tried:
Riot Edge 13 (liked this one but was 200,- more and the seat didnt fit my butt)
Riot Edge 11
Cant wait to paddle again