I need some help choosing a kayak...

Well I decided I want a kayak. I’m living in the OBX for the summer, and I need something to do when I’m off work. I decided to get one because its also something I can do when I’m home on the local river. I want to get a boat for the Sound (body of water between the sandbar and the mainland) but it also needs to perform well on rivers, not necessarily rapids though.

I need recommendations for a cheaper kayak that will do me well. I would like to use this for overnight trips as well so I need a hatch or two.

Advice please! I greatly appreciate it.

OBX is outer banks of NC? That is what Google suggested. I’ve never heard the acronym OBX before.

You may want to start with some reading to figure out what is right for you. California Kayaker Magazine issue 10 had an article on the basics of the different types of kayaks. And issue 8 has an article on getting butt time. Both are worth reading, IMHO. Can be read online for free at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html/

If you are in the Outer Banks, wouldn’t surprise me is a sit on top kayak is a common boat for the area. You can camp out of a sit on top, though usually a lot of the gear is carried above deck in dry bags. But even if you have a kayak with hatches, you likely will find you’d want to keep that gear in dry bags, as most hatches aren’t totally dry.

My Experience
I’ve done quite a bit of paddling in the southern outer banks. You’ll realize why the Wright brothers tested out their designs there… it’s windy! Get yourself as little kayak as is necessary. Too much boat catches a lot of wind and that’s not good. Used and plastic is the way to save money.

If you aren’t a big person the smaller Alchemy and the small Tempest perform well for me in the sounds and ocean.

Beware of inlets!

Yes sir, OBX is the outer banks in NC. Thanks for the tips guys. I know through reading that hatches aren’t always 100%, and that’s fine. I just don’t like the idea of all my gear exposed (though in dry bags).

I’m not sure why but I think I would rather have a sit-in kayak. As a child I remember trying both and I think I liked them better. Why is the SOT more popular around here? And beware of inlets why?

Again thank you guys.

What I’ve seen is that the SOT is popular for fishing. I think the SINK is what you’ll mostly see for touring / camping.

Inlets are like a garden hose with your thumb pressed hard against the water that’s trying to come out. When the tide is gushing out you don’t want to be trying to paddle in. It’s not a friendly place to be.

For paddling in the sound
You want a boat with two bulkheads. With one or no bulkheads you have to drag it ashore to dump it out. And that will give you the hatches you want.

Also look for a boat with perimeter lines, rope running around the edge of the bow and stern, not just bungee cords. This helps in case you capsize.

14 foot is a nice size.

I really like my Wilderness System Tsunami

SITs are harder to tip, easier to get back on if you flip, slower, less storage, and heavier.

Sit ins.
I am looking for a sit-in. I do like them a little more. Plus I think it will be better for overnight trips. I don’t need the best of the best or anything like that. Just something kinda cheap that will track decently well and isn’t too terribly slow.

Drive Down to Swansboro
Check this out:


Things that will help
Tell us your budget?

How tall and your weight?

Those two things will help others with advice.

Example there is a Tsunami 140 on ebay i saw last week for about $920 with free shipping if you near one of the freight terminals they use to ship. Its brand new.I bought one last year from them. Place is in CA but shipping is free and mine wasnt a blem. If your a big guy then a 145 version would be better as it has bigger cockpit. Thats one example. If you want to spend even less then used is the only way.

About Me
I should have put this before,

I’m about 5’8" 145lbs. My budget is about $450. I’m a college kid, so extra money isn’t just sitting there for me haha.

How’s this?
How is the preception prodigy 12? How much would you spend for a used one?

Prodigy 12
It’s a rec boat, so it has a HUGE cockpit. Great for beginners, but you’ll soon grow tired of it if you get serious about it. The Tsunami is probably your best compromise for size and price.

The Conduit 13
from Perception Sport is an excellent option for any light to medium duty kayaking. It possesses two bulkheads, and is quite fast, tracks well, and is still decently maneuverable. It shouldn’t be used on the open ocean, but it does very, very well on inland lakes and calm bays.