and fit young man (40 looks young to me), new to kayaking but avid hiker/XC skiier. Don't think he has a preference yet, but think he'll want rivers/lakes/Puget Sound. Probably not whitewater nor surf. I'm a canoer/ist and know zilch about kayaks, and this is for my son, so I want the best recs I can get. I don't think price is a big deal, although I think he should buy used until he's gets more experience & knows what he wants. He's taking a class from Mountaineers, by the way. I don't think he'll be into camping/expeditions at this point.
I have a America 11.0 in Indiana if you live close i would sell it to your son. its great for just about anything. and a great accompiantment to a canoe
I might even recommend…
…that he rent until he knows what he wants, and then buy (new or used), or even build if he’s so inclined.
If he wants to venture into Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, etc. (beyond calm lakes and slow rivers), I really would recommend a full grown sea kayak (which would also be just fine on lakes and slow rivers). There are many boats that would fit him nicely, so it then becomes more a question of his particular preferences, which he will only come to know after paddling several different boats and developing a few skills along the way. This is why, if possible, renting for a while is never a bad idea. If he lives in or near Seattle, there are many different boat models available for rentals and demos.
In Seattle, perhaps the rental place with the greatest selection of boats would be Northwest Outdoor Center (NWOC http://www.nwoc.com/ ), which is located on the west side of Lake Union, on Westlake Ave. If he’s in or near the University District, there’s “Agua Verde Paddle Club/Cafe” on the north side of Portage Bay (on Boat Street at the south end of Brooklyn Ave http://www.aguaverde.com/ ). Agua Verde is a bit smaller than NWOC, so their boat selection is a bit smaller, but they’re great people (one of the owners was also one of the founding owners of NWOC), and their cafe makes great fish tacos and margaritas! That particular shameless plug for my friends is from someone who got their start paddling there (me!) during their first summer in business (1997), but I also spent a lot of time renting boats at NWOC as well (and I also bought my first boat and much of my other gear through NWOC then…and since). If he rents from either of these places on Lake Union/Portage Bay, he can also paddle the boats out through the locks and into Puget Sound.
If your son is somewhere else in the Puget Sound region rather than in Seattle, there are other places where he can rent and demo boats. Let us know, and perhaps we can help a bit more.
Thanks for your good suggestion…
…we both live in Olympia, which has fewer rental resources than Seattle, but it would still be a good idea if he can find a good renteria here or in Tacoma. There may even be rental deals tied in with the Mountaineer course.
what’s the budget? What’s his weight? Check the ads then ask.