Kayak purchasing advice

I am looking to purchase my first kayak and need some advice please. I am stuck right now btw the Dagger Zydeco 11 and the Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12, I know that these are the low end/cheaper kayaks but I cant really afford a $1,000 ride right now.

I am basically looking at small river and lake paddling including some multi-day trips so kayak camping will be included.

Which one of these kayaks would best suit my needs.

Thanks Guys.

Would you fit an Islay LV? You have no profile so I can’t guess what waters your paddling.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



I just updated my profile. I am 5’6 150 so I’m pretty sure I can fit in any kayak. lol

I will be kayaking small rivers and lake mostly.

I had a Zydeco
It was a great little boat, I actually kept it around as a loaner boat for quite a while just because it was fun to have around. I do not know much about Sun Dolphin, they used to make “pool toy” kayaks.

You are about my size. Saying you can “fit in any kayak” does not mean that any one would work for you. I’m sure you could “fit” in a pair of size 42 jeans but they would not work too well (kind of hard to walk around when you have to hold up your pants with both hands.) Same with kayaks – you are on the small to medium size and a large or wide boat would not be fun. Kayaks need to fit you.

If you have a choice of used boats within your budget I agree the Dagger would be a better boat than the Sun Dolphin. The latter are pretty much discount store junk. Flimsy plastic and klunky designs. But do yourself a favor and try to invest in a decent paddle, something with at least a fiberglass shaft rather than a cheap metal shaft.