Kayak dilemma

Hi - I am a beginner at kayaking and want to buy one. I only paddle a lake near my house but I want a light touring kayak in case I decide to branch out. I am 5’6" and weigh 135. I want a lightweight yak and today went to look at the Prijon Capri Tour. I did not like the seat at all (have back issues). I really liked the seat in the Tsunami 120 duralite and the Pungo 120. The store does not have the Pungo 120 in duralite and they only have one TSunami 120 duralite in a color I dont love…Salesperson told me that Wilderness is not making duralite for next year. She called the factory and they have none in stock. I have called every dealer within 100 miles and no luck finding one. Should I get the kayak in a color I dont like or keep shopping? Wait till next year? Any other suggestions other brands in that pricerange and weight??

Thanks for help!

You are looking for light weight as
opposed to light touring,right?Look at the Hurricane Aquasports boats like the Tracer.Attractive,tough, anfd light weight.

Kayak dilemma
Yes, the weight of the boat and comfort of the seat are the most important factors. I want to be able to handle it by myself (get it off the moorage rack and down to the lake)so I think the maximum length I can handle is around 11 or 12 feet. I rented a 10 foot kayak but it was too slow and didnt track well and I thought the cockpit was too wide…

12 footer
Eddyline Skylark excellent for lakes, rivers.

color is a NONissue for me. But, YMMV. :wink:

find a light kayak…and put the seat you like in it…the seats are only furniture…don’t but a house because of the easy chair that comes with it.

seats can be removed and replaced…

best Wishes


location, used boats
If you post your approximate location, someone might be able to help you find a used boat that will meet your criteria. You might also want to indicate your approximate price range as that will help folks narrow down the list of boats they would recommend.

Something that may not have occurred to you is trying out a pack canoe - they type that has the seat on the bottom of the boat and is paddled with a kayak paddle. The weights can be pretty light. Wenonah has the Wee Lassie at 24 lbs.; Placid Boats has the Spitfire at 20-24 lbs.; Bell has the Bucktail at 21-24 lbs.; Hornbeck has several models; Savage River has a Wee Lassie at 13-17 lbs.; Vermont Canoe has the Tupper at 25 lbs.; and there are probably several other manufacturers I forgot to mention.

Do they have a Tsunami 135
The Tsunami 135 is the same weight (43#) as the 120 and it is 22.75" wide as opposed to the 25.5" width of the 120. The weight is what really matters when you carry it. Having the additional length and less width will both be advantages. I have not looked at prices,(you can look for used to save money) but a few more to consider are:

Impex Mystic (expensive), 14’ x 21.5", 43#;

Eddyline Merlin LT, 13’5" x 23", 42#.

I think Necky made the Eliza (15.3’ x 22") in a light weight composite, but I can not find info on that right now.

I have a WS Tchaika, which is a great 14’, light-weight kayak for a small woman, but they are hard to find. I also have a CLC 14 that is a nice kayak that you could build yourself if you are so inclined.

I appreciate the suggestions and will look at the canoes but since I don’t like a wide cockpit, not sure I would like the canoe. I live in PA and my price range is about 1200 max. I will look on EBay and Craigs list for used.

I called the store and asked if they could replace the seat in the Prijon with a Wilderness Systems seat and was told absolutely not. WS will not sell the seats, even if you want to replace a seat in a WS kayak you already own! :frowning: If that is true, not sure I like that policy.

I saw some lightweight yaks supposedly made for women at LL Bean (Calypso)and Trbute 12’ for women at EMS. They look pretty identical. I am going to try and see those and demo them but may have to wait till spring. Haven’t seen any reviews for the EMS one but some of the Calypso reviews are not great. Others I will look at are the Perception Tribute 12 airalite at REI and the Hurricane Santee 116 which also look very similar. Maybe will wait till Spring.

used boats
don’t forget to check the classified ads here on this site. I found my first kayak that way. And when used, I don’t care what the color is. Now buying brand new, I might kind of think about the color as being something I would consider. Also look into the carriers that you put the rear of the kayak on and pull to the waters edge. Some of them break down and then pack into the hatches. This would take a lot of the actual weight off your shoulders and no need to get others to help carry the boat.

Check out the Necky Manitou as well, either the 13 or the 14. My wife has a Pungo 120 and I have a Manitou 13. The Manitou is a great beginner kayak – very stable yet tracks well and fast for a boat its size. The Manitou 13 is also very light for a poly boat, just 45 lbs. The Manitou 13 only has one bulkhead/hatch (rear), while the 14 has them front and back.


– Last Updated: Sep-27-08 5:03 PM EST –

If you want to check out some boats this fall, you could consider checking out the Raystown threads on the getting together board to see if there might be anything there you would be interested in paddling. "Raystown" is an annual paddling gathering at Raystown Reservoir in west-central PA and there tend to be quite a few boats available for test paddle, as well as a lot of folks to talk to about paddling. Most folks camp for the weekend, but there are others who just pop in for a day. Just a thought.

I don't know which dealer you talked to, but a really good one is Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville, PA, if that is in reasonable driving range for you. You could always e-mail them through their website www.bluemountainoutfitters.net and see if they have anything they would recommend that you consider. There are some folks on the board who are pretty familiar with the shops in western PA and eastern Ohio. I believe there are some eastern PA folks that pop in pretty often as well who could probably point you towards some of their preferred shops.

Whichever route you go, good luck finding a boat you like and many happy hours paddling!

Edit: Blue Mountain Outfitters that I mentioned above has some of their inventory on their website. It looks like they have a few boats that would meet your needs.

Perception Acadia
We have the Acadia rec kayaks. They are fairly light, fast, very stable, and turn quite easily. They have been around for years and can be picked up used. Used is always good. Often you can save enough to buy a 2nd used boat so you can invite a friend along to keep you company.

If you’re in eastern PA
our Penn Kayaking group organizes paddles most weekends and you might be able to try some of the yaks people have. The group is at Yahoo Groups.

I bought a Pungo 140 at Wilderness Trips, an outfitter and dealer outside Wilmington, DE. They had 3 Pungo 120’s there and several Tsunamis plus numerous other boats. You can save PA sales tax going there and if you belong to Penn Kayaking they’ll also give you a discount.

Tsunami is a great boat for newbies…
And will suit you for a good while as you gain skills. At your size, the 120 is an excellent boat. I know a couple of shorter women who like the size of the cockpit in the 125 (more room to move as it’s designed for big paddlers) as a personal preference. They can be found on the internet too, www.ems.com on sale. I’d try both and the Tsunami135 as well. Good touring boat and beginner-friendly.

Someone earlier posted about a Hurricane Tracer as a beginning boat. Yes, I do agree it is light weight but I have to disagree with it being for beginners. We just sold ours because it was hard boat to control. Weathercocking was a problem and had to use the skeg almost all the time in order to track straight. It did turn very nicely even when you did not want it to.

The Tsunami is a much better choice for a beginner ( we also have the Tsunami 120 and 125). It is a veeeery stable boat…virtually unflippable even when I want to. Great for tooling around lakes and rivers but if you have any ideas of rolling, it may be tougher than other boats.

“Branching out”?

– Last Updated: Sep-29-08 10:04 AM EST –

Your original post says that you might want to branch out from paddling strictly flat water - what kinds of things does that include, environments as well as skills?

If you are thinking about paddling bigger water (not whitewater - way different boats), like the great lakes or going to the ocean, you will end up wanting a boat that will support some of the skills that you'll find you desire. That means a boat with full outfitting like perimeter lines, two sealed bulkheads, and a fit and volume that are appropriate for your size. Tha last is nearly impossible to judge well without some seat time and, to accelerate things, a basic lesson or two in strokes and self-rescue so that you can start finding out what characteristics in a boat seem to make things easier.

I am getting the sense that you may end up being more aggressive than you are saying to start. If you know now that you find the idea of going into waves etc exciting, or crave doing weekend paddling/camping trips, IMO you'd be better off finding some winter pool sessions or late-season intro to paddling classes where you could get a concrete sense of this for yourself. Then worry about the boat, and consider going used for the first one because kayakers often become boat whores.

Where in PA?
Where in PA are you? Depending on how far you are from NJ you should call the Jersey Paddler in Brick NJ. They carry a large selection of boats, specifically WS boats. That is where I purchased my WS Tsunami 120 2 years ago. There is a good chance they’d have a couple of 120’s in Duralite, and they are a great shop to deal with.

You will be making a very good choice with the Tsunami 120 - it is an awesome boat. If you can avoid getting too hung up on the color then get it if the price is right. Don’t change your mind and get a boat that isn’t comfortable or that you haven’t test paddled because of color choices.

South Cental PA
just 25 miles north of Baltimore MD. As far as branching out, I really think if I did, it would be just another lake or calm river. I don’t foresee anything but flat water. I really did like the Tsunami 120 duralite which I saw at Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville (except for the lime color - it’s a vain girl thing). I have been calling a bunch of dealers trying to find one in another color and so far I haven’t found any at all. EMS has it on their website in yellow and lime for 1150. I can get the lime one (new 2007)at Blue Mtn for 977. Might just do it. I am going down to LL Beans to look at the Calypso tomorrow but don’t think it will be as good a boat as the Tsunami 120.

So it sounds
like you are near York PA. If that is the case you are about a 3 hour drive one way to Jersey Paddler…not sure if that is an acceptable distance for you or not. May be worth making a call to them. Also about the same distance would be Bel Haven Canoe which also carries a good selection.

Another place to call up would be Wildware, which is a small chain in the Harrisburg area.

Link to Jersey Paddler: www.jerseypaddler.com

Link to Bel Have: www.belhavencanoe.com

My 120 is Mango, wasn’t my first choice in color, but it was a good deal and it was what they had.