I could use some advice on buying my first kayak. I live on a small, 200 acre lake in Illinois and just want to cruise the neighborhood. I have paddled a couple of friends’ kayaks abnd really enjoyed it. I think I want something around 14 foot but don’t need to spend a lot of dough. Comfort and ease of entry and exit matter to me. I want a yellow one so that some of the idiots in their speed boats will SEE me! I’m about 5’ 10" and 180 pounds. Also, where in the heck do you buy the boats on this site??? I see prices but can’t find a “store.” I would appreciate any help. Thanks, folks.
where to buy
You can but kayaks online, such as through LL bean, REI, et. but it is generally better to go to a local kayak shop so you can see and feel the boats (and better yet, try the boat) before buying. Kayak shops are more often located near place where people kayak, so you may need to look in towns along a river or the great lakes to find one.
Try this site where they list IL dealers
Surely there must be one within driving distance to you:
There are several 14’ boats that
would be ideal for you.Pungo 140,Tarpon 140 (Wilderness Systems); Kestral 140 ,sit inside or SOT(Current Design).
And that is only 2 of many manufactuers.
Necky Zoar Sport
I started paddling in this boat. It is 14’ and 25" wide at the cockpit middle. It comes with a rudder and two bulkheads/hatches. It was a great boat to start in: very stable and yet seaworthy in smaller waves. I really recommend the Necky Zoar Sport; I am 6’2" and weigh just over 200 lbs. and this boat fit great!
200 acres is a big pond, but a pretty small lake. A 14 footer is not really needed for piddling around in that and there are plenty of good 12 footers that would work great, cost a little less and be lighter to carry.
Pungo comes to mind or maybe a SOT. Almost anything will work at your size, but narrow (22-24 in) is good for cruising and wide (26-30 in) is good for stability for fishing, photography, and such.
Other boats to look at: Tarpon 120/140, Manta Ray 12/14, Pungos, Dagger Blackwater, or even the infamous Pamlicos.