Hi, just signed up and need some advice. I had not been kayaking in many years, never had my own. I recently moved and bought a house and discovered there are multiple access points within 10 minutes to both the Merrimack and Contoocook rivers in NH. And the Pemigewasset lake is 30 mins away.
I was shopping in BJs recently and made an impulse buy of a Lifetime Triton sit on top. I needed a sit on to have my dog with me. It was 250 new and fits in the back of my SUV so can’t complain. But I wish I’d thought more about what I needed before buying.
I have been looking at an Ocean kayak Malibu 9.5. I like that it has a bigger storage area and has a covered storage spot to keep things dry. It’s a little wider than the Triton so would be more stable for the dog. And it says it’s stable in surf. I would not be doing rapids but might want to do a little more than a calm lake all the time. I would not take the dog on anything like that though.
It looks to me from pics that it would have more flat room on the front for my dog, the Triton has a piece that sticks up for the water bottle holder. We took it out Sunday and he did pretty well for the first time. He is around 30lbs but I have one that’s 45lbs that may go in the future, never at the same time.
The Malibu is on sale for 599 but no paddle. Of course I’d want the matching paddle so that’s another $100. My friend is telling me that’s way too expensive.
Anyone that can give advice? Since I’m in NH, there’s not a whole lot of time left in the season so maybe it’s best to keep what I have and decide in the spring? I’d be looking to sell mine for what I paid.
Go chat with the folks up at Contoocook River Canoe (and Kayak) in Concord. They have lots of selection as well as plenty of local knowledge and product experience. The staff at BJs likely knows nothing about kayaks and won’t be able to help you with what you need. Nothing like being able to touch and see things, try on PFDs, maybe even demo some boats too.
As you mentioned, because of the time of year it might be best to spend this time paddling what you have and do some research over the winter. Conversely this can be a good time of the year to buy a kayak up north as many shops will be trying to reduce inventory for the winter and also many sell off their rental boats, but I would advise against too many “impulse buys” unless you really know what you want.
They are the ones selling the Malibu so I am going over later today. Thanks
I can’t give any advice on the kayaks, but beware of the matching paddle. If it’s the one shown here, it weighs 41 ounces, which is very heavy.
Don’t worry about the paddle matching. This Aqua Bound Sting Ray isn’t much more on closeout, and it’s a much better paddle.
The Malibu 9.5 is basically the old Ocean Kayak Frenzy, you can read reviews here. The Frenzy was surprizingly seaworthy and yes you could surf with it, but just doing straight in wave riding unless you were fairly experienced. I bought one for my son when he was 14 twenty years ago , it got tons of ocean use, I even surfed huge waves in Baja with it, and we still use it for guests. The only major drawback may be the shape of the bottom of the boat, it has a pronounced rounded keel that tends to hang up on rocks if you take the wrong line in whitewater. If you are doing less than Class III whitewater should not be an issue. The boat will be slow to paddle, and at first you will need to pay attention to paddle straight, but it should be a fun boat for what you want it for. Ask the shop about thigh straps if you plan to do rough water. You don’t need a matching paddle, just a light weight paddle that fits you and your boat. Aquabound makes good fiberglass paddles that should work. In the old Frenzy a small dog would fit in the front or rear tank wells … our dog wanted nothing to do with ocean paddling though.
Thanks wouldn’t have thought of that. I will probably use my Triton paddle for the rest of this year and shop around. I was able to rent the kayak today at a local lake and really liked it. Found a used one that I’m going to check out tomorrows
He’s got one. I have one who is 25-30 and one that’s 45. The bigger one might not ever go but the little one likes it.
I wouldn’t take him on the ocean, just lakes and slower rivers. But I’d like to be able to use it on the ocean. I rented it today and was surprised how stable it was. Found a used one I’m going to check out in the morning
not really meant for ocean paddling. calm bays at times.
I looked at some other reviews and previous Frenzy owners complain that the new boat desugb is slower to paddle and does not perform as well in surf. Looking at the hull profile, it is quite pumpkin-seed shaped, which is not great for faster paddling or maneuvering in surf.
I do see these playing in smaller surf at some of the calmer surf breaks in Lajolla, but disappointing they “dumbed down” the already stable hull shape.
When I’ve been on the ocean before it wasn’t really surf but I’d steer into the wakes from other boats for fun.