Kayaks for the landlocked?

I’m a beginner kayaker in the central PA area (State College, PSU). Just over a month ago, I bought a used LiquidLogic Stingray 12 for local flatwater use. It definitely gets the job done as a rec kayak, but I would also like to take advantage of the area creeks and rivers (Spring Creek, Bald Eagle Creek, west branch of the Susquehanna).

My fear is that the Stingray is just too clumsy a boat to handle current well, so I’m starting to look into what type of kayak would serve me better on the local tributaries.

From what I can gather, a full blown touring kayak might be overkill since I’ll only be day-tripping. Besides, at 14’, they might be far too large for some of the smaller channels in my area. A sea kayak, inland, not near a coastline or a massive lake, is also overkill. Correct?

So does a river runner make more sense for my region and desired use? Creek boats and play boats appear to both be geared for activities in which I am unlikely to engage.

PSU outing club

kayaking rivers…
Check out as many as you can, some ‘sea’ kayaks offer a lot of manuverability… others are made to go the distance with speed.

My experience is only with a Necky Looksha IV, I bought it at a steal of a deal, figuring I could use a ‘big water’ boat sooner or later, or just stay in the middle of the river.

Now I find myself heading into the cypress trees, dodging under logs and branches every chance I get on the river, as it’s such a joy to lean and go.

I’m used to a flat bottom old boat that can spin on a dime, a bit longer than 13’. I don’t take it out much anymore, even on the smaller twisty spring runs, unless I plan on cutting a lot of tree limbs out.

I’ve seen a Dagger Atlantis go up a tiny twisty creek that I would have sworn couldn’t be done. Certainly not by me, anyway. A skilled paddler made it look easy.

I would look for a good amount of rocker, be patient with the learning curve, and a long narrow boat can do amazing things. And handle the wind on the open crossing :wink:


Play Boat
I recently got a used Riot Booster (from a P-net classified) that I use in smaller rivers, mostly for maneuverability to get in and out of tight spaces, and to save wear and tear on my longer boat (Hurricane Santee). The longer boat can handle the little rivers a little clumily at 11.5’, but gets scratched. Second boats are good things, IMHO.

Local paddling shop
Go to Tussey Mountain Outfitters in Bellefonte and the guys there can help you with all the info you need about area streams and the boats needed to enjoy them. Also, Tussey is having a slalom race this Sunday so stop over and check it out!

paddling the susquehanna
I paddle here all the time-north branch. I have a prijon, calabria-14.5’ This boat has served me very well on the river on the delawareand even in New York Harbor, although that was a bit wild. I even took it down the lehigh a few times. The boat is decently fast, fairly manueverable and pretty indestructible. Give it a look.

Yes!..“river-runners”…I have seen
many in the Paddler & C&K mags, but for love…I can’t think of any by manuf or model-name! Not entirely full-bore slalom kayaks, but close…right!? Check out the above mags’ websites…you should have no problem…or check out the more specialized sites…“http://www.c-boats.net” for starters…many links there as well.


I’m pretty familiar with TMO. That’s where I bought my Stingray (and it was one of their demo days that got me started).