Kayak selection

This group you are interested in ?
I assume they are experienced paddlers in your area ? They should have some insight as to what is working for them, some favorites and some no go boats. It should be worth contacting them I would think. Someone in the group may even have a boat for sale .

Looksha 14
The Lookshas are quite nice boats both in performance and quality. I’ve got that Looksha 4 (17’) and it’s remarkably nimble for such a long boat. I put a complete newbie in it on the 4th of July for a night time paddle in very rough waters to see the fireworks in downtown Pittsburgh and he had no trouble at all keeping up with the group and staying upright in some really nasty reflected boat wakes that were hitting us broadside. If that 14 is in good shape and you can get it for $500 I doubt you would be disappointed. It’s similar in design to my 15’ Easky, which I love dearly (I’m 5’ 5" with long legs and was around 165 # when I first got it so the size is in your range. My 5’ 9" 180 # ex boyfriend liked it too, so much he bought one for himself.) A 14’ boat is versatile. You could take the Looksha in moderate whitewater rivers as well (class 1 and 2) and it would be competent in Lake Erie with proper skills.


– Last Updated: Aug-01-14 1:51 PM EST –

very helpful, Willowleaf - thanks for the detailed info! Unfortunately, the kayak sold before I could get up to look at it. Do you have any experience with the Hurricane Tampico 135s? There is one that is about a 3-hour drive from here at what looks like a reasonable price ($650).


– Last Updated: Aug-01-14 2:19 PM EST –

No experience here, but you might want to run a "search" on the forum posts for "tampico" because there was a recent recommendation by somebody familiar with Hurricanes who highly recommended them. Their lightness appeals to me and I have paddled with people using them (they are darned nice looking boats) but never been in one.

Yes, it is frustrating to have good deals on Craigslist go before you can snag them. I've learned over the years that if you are seriously searching for a used boat you have to keep cash on hand, check the listings several times a day and be ready to IMMEDIATELY drive out and look at any boat that looks promising. It can be tough (I'm lucky enough to have a flexible job situation so I can show up quickly). Also you have to be sure to have a way to haul any boat you go out to buy. A couple of pool noodles and some 12' straps and a hank of nylon rope is better than nothing. You really have to swoop in and grab any good boat that turns up, often within an hour of the ad posting.


– Last Updated: Aug-01-14 4:20 PM EST –

advice, Willowleaf - thanks again! I have the money ready, and have a Malone Handirack for my VW Bug, which I have successfully used to transport my son's kayak, but given my family situation, I lack the flexibility to rush off and see a kayak 1.5-3 hours away, which is the distance all of the nice 12'-14' kayaks seem to be from me. Oh well, as Meatloaf says, two out of three ain't bad. Patience. What I need is patience.

There are a few really nice touring kayaks listed in my state, but they're all 16'-17', which I would imagine is overkill for my needs, right?

betsie bay on ebay
HI Jaye:

I’ve been shopping too, and this is what I would get. :slight_smile:


Used kayaks in Ohio
Here’s a link that may turn up something local for you:



Tampico 140S seemed hard tracking to me.
The 135S is reported to be more maneuverable, but I don’t have personal experience with it.