Kayak - Purchase Advice

I’m looking for some help on choosing a kayak. I will primarily be using the kayak on Lake Erie, cruising along the shoreline, getting some excercise, occasionally riding waves in; may occassionally take it camping for use on rivers/inland lakes for fishing; but mostly Lake Erie kayaking. My experience over the last couple of years has been using an old style fiberglass river kayak on the lake, cruising the shoreline and surfing waves - this style kayak doesn’t make sense due to the lack of tracking.

Most of the sporting goods stores (Dicks, Gander Mountain) in my area carry Old Town but few of the sales people have any experience with actually using kayak. I’m back and forth between purchasing the Diringo 120 and the Adventure XL 139. Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and in the summer it will range from flat to rough waves. While they get much larger, I doubt I’ll be out in anything over 1-3’ conditions and it will usually be flat with an occassional wave from a powerboat. If you own one of these boats, tell me what you like or dislike about it? How do you think it will fit my needs based on what I described. How well will the rudder function on Lake Erie (i.e. will I see a big benefit)? Will both boats track well? Perform well?

Thanks in advance for your advice

I owned the XL-139

– Last Updated: May-12-05 3:34 PM EST –

My first Kayak was the Old Town Adventure XL-139. I thought it was a decent kayak for what I used it for. I paddled some on the local 1 mile wide river, but I never went out if the waves were much over a foot or so. Mainly as I was new in kayaking, and I wanted to live to keep kayaking, understanding I was new in kayaking.

The XL-139 is a wide kayak (28" wide), The width makes it very stable on flatter water, but the width takes some away from stability in rough water. If waves hit you from the side, it will have a tendancy to make it tip over easier. A narrower kayak is better suited in waves, especially hitting you from the side.

Now your weight will make a big difference too. I weigh 270 Lb, so it made the kayak sit decently in the water. If you are lighter or heavier, it will feel differently to you.

I don't think I would want to be in 3' waves in the Adventure XL-139, just because of the wider beam, and the flatter bottom it has. Other than that I thought it was a great boat. Mine didn't have a rudder, and I never needed one. My current kayak is an Impex Assateague. 17' 10" long, by 22.5" wide. Now That is a boat I would feel comfortable in, on rougher water.

As an added note, if the Diringo 120 is a 12 foot long kayak, I don't think I would want to be on Lake Erie, in 3' waves, in it either.

Hope I was of "some help"

Thanks for your reply
Thanks for the info. To answer your question on weight, 175lbs. My biggest concern with my choice is how it will handle parallel waves coming toward the Lake Erie shore. Will it be stable, fast enough and track well. Keep in mind that I would be dealing mostly w/ 1’ waves coming in; the 3’ waves will mostly be powerboat generated. I would anticipate that I mostly would be out in 1’ occasionally 1-2’;

I’m open to suggestions. I want to stay under $1000 and the seat needs to be comfortable (one thing that attracted me to Old Time was the seat looks very comfortable)

1’ will be OK
I was comfortable in my XL-139 in 1 foot waves, but the one that sneaks up on you will be the one to “get you”.

If you can turn the kayak into the “big” waves, it will handle them OK.

As I am getting “older” (54), I tend to think more on the safe side. Also I have never kayaked lake Erie, so I don’t know how it can get.

I am just sure that a wide kayak is more prone to be tipped over by waves from the side, over a narrow one. If you are young and a good swimmer, you might not think or care as I do.

There is an old saying in aviation, that I have adoped to paddling… “There are Old paddlers, and Bold Paddlers, but there are few Old & Bold Paddlers”.

Stay Safe!

Dream mach
Hi I have a WS Tsunami 140 and the wife has a QCC 400X two GREAT ships.

Spend a little and be HAPPY for years to come.

Have a GREAT day

R :slight_smile: