Hey guys. It's OK to buy a rec kayak

I’m a pretty serious cyclist. Been riding since I was five years old and have five custom made bikes.
Most cyclist are just happy to see another person out getting some exercise, but there are the few elitist snobs, on a Pinarello Dogma, making fun of the guy on the cruiser.
The guy on the cruiser doesn’t need a Dogma, wouldn’t be happy with a Dogma, and would probably crash the first time he tried to ride it.
Not everyone wants or needs a long, skinny touring kayak or a short, heavily rockered white water kayak.
Some people are perfectly happy with a rec kayak, and you should pat them on the back for getting out there rather than making fun of them. Let’s be more supportive, OK.


I always liked the story I read of the elite cyclist that bought a Walmart road bike and took it back to his shop and gave it a tune up you would give any new bike or should. He tensioned spokes, trued wheels adjusted all the shifter lubed cables etc. Then took it out and did a Trans America tour in a very good time without issue. Bring the same bike home from Walmart and air up the tires and you are lucky to get a season out of it and will curse every minute you ride it.

When you say rec-kayak today there is a pretty big range there and some are just toys to hug the shore with at your swimming hole. Others IMO might need a little help like the Walmart bike to get the most out of them and some are set up pretty good right out of the box. They are much more than a toy but like everything they have a place they work best and a type of person they work best for.

I see the better ones closer to a canoe than a sea kayak in their function.


A rec kayak is 100% fine and great as long as the paddler stays on the types of water for which they were designed. When people on here get upset about rec kayaks it’s generally because their owners want to take them out in places and under conditions for which they are not designed, and in which they are not safe.

I love seeing people having fun on the water, in whatever craft they want to paddle. I don’t love seeing people in situations I’ve learned are not safe.


I look at rec boats as “entry level”. If they were not cheap and available I don’t think many people would buy a kayak. That would be unfortunate, since then the 10% of buyers that develop a serious passion for paddling would never know it, and never go out and buy a more expensive boat.

OTOH Walmart bikes are pretty miserable to ride - sub “entry level”. Spend $300 at a bike store instead.


I am thinking of crossing the Atlantic in my new inflatable canoe/kayak. What paddle length, and blade size would you recommend. I almost went with the Unicorn, but thought the bright pink Flamingo would be more visible and safer. Also, since this is the voyager model I am looking for models to volunteer for this adventure. Please advise!


The devil made me post it!!

1 Like

If you have an open bar, I’m in!

1 Like

There is nothing wrong with a rec kayak used in the correct environment. Most of the people complaining of snobbism here should spend more time reading what people say and less time getting their nose out of joint, when they get negative comments for proposing a basic rec boat is as good as a sea kayak for large open water with waves and high wind.

However if you consistently try and pick an argument by proposing various tone deaf things, and are coming from a background that indicates there is a lack of basis for many of those opinions… expect to get some blow back.


That pink flamingo is absolutely gorgeous. I must put my 17.3 Etain up for sale and get at least two for my wife and me. Incidentally, how is the flamingo propelled? Does it have those webbed foot thingies underneath? Can you haul it on a car or can it walk?



Perfect for armchair paddlers who write about things they don’t know.


Yes, instead of an opinion based on experience we get a thesis based on a rec boat.



I don’t have a problem with people buying rec kayaks. But for the past few years I’ve talked with a lot of people who bought a cheap POS at a box store and had bad experiences in water they could not handle, boats that were too hard to paddle in wind, waves, and moving current, or boats that the plastic was just cheap and boat became unusable. I own a few sit-on-tops that boat snobs would turn their noses up if they saw them, but they are seaworthy and not wide SINK boats without proper flotation and no ability to use a spray skirt, whitch I think are basic requirements for a SINK. YMMV.

I want to circumnavigate South America on that beauty! Off to search for a 710 cm paddle now.


As I recall from some of the Port Huron floats propulsion is provided by current and wind. If you end up in Canada drunk with no ID, no money, and no clothes other than a swimming suit so be it. I’m sure the various border patrols will understand. :skull:


It comes with a Flamingo “head” sail. The need for volunteer models is so they could take shifts as the rudder and leeboard if that proves necessary. The models won’t need to pull rudder and leeboard duty if the success of a go fund me comes up with enough money allowing the addition of two Seven Marine 627 hp outboards. However, I will insist on the volunteers practicing capsize recovery with me so as to be prepared for the unforeseen. Rolling in the Flamingo practice will also be encouraged. Skirts aren’t required. :wink:

I believe the Gulf stream route to Ireland will be our route.


People buy junk all the time. No skin of my back if they waste their money. 200 dollar 8’,9’,10’, pool toys enjoy. Them 4 hr ey take them outside the pool.

Buying a rec kayak is like buying a cheap bike. I progressed through several as I outgrew the capability of previous boats. Now I loan them to friends because it’ll fit their cartop, they’re easy to carry, easy to store and have a coffee cup holder. Good deal. Another post asked how many boats is enough? As many as you can afford, as long as it’s an upgrade.

My own thought on this is “whatever floats your boat”. I don’t have a problem with what boat you buy, or asking advice. It’s really not my problem if my advice is rejected. I do think something is wrong when things go south because of ignorance, and that does become a real problem for the first responders. I’m certainly glad they are here for when I do something stupid, or something not my fault happens.

I’ve got to go practice the Flamingo. Paddle on!

I’m pretty new to the kayaking “community.” I’m a cyclist too and also a photographer, 2 hobbies that tend to have some serious gear snobbery. From my observations, the worlds of cycling and photography are way worse in this regard than kayaking. I wouldn’t go near a cycling or photography message board, personally. Most people start off with cheap gear in any hobby, then if they find themselves wanting to do more than what their cheap gear can handle, they upgrade. (And not everyone ends up wanting to do more.) The thing is, if you take your Walmart one-speed cruiser out on a mountainous century ride, it won’t be too much fun and you probably won’t finish. If you take your Walmart rec kayak into Lake Superior, you could die. So I kind of get it with kayaking.

In regards to animal-shaped floaties, don’t get swept out to sea on them because you might have to be rescued like this Greek toddler:

However, I think putting a sail on that giant flamingo might convert it to a seaworthy craft :slight_smile:

1 Like