Looking for first kayak(s)

Looking for my first kayak. After some research, I believe I will buy a Perception Pacifaca 12.0 for myself.

I’m also looking for a yak for my son. I’ve got my eye on a Perception Sundance 9.5 for him.

He’s 15, about 5’6" and around 100 lbs. Would this be a good starter boat for him that he can grow into and at the same time I could use on the smaller streams near where we Live? I would also like for my daughter or my wife to hop in it and use it. I’m 6’0" and around 200lb.

Any advice would be helpfull.

How much time in a kayak?
And how do you plan to use the boats? Do you plan to travel significant distances? Use them for exercise? For fishing? Both of those boats are very stable, and pretty wide. The Sundance is great for its portability and light weight. But your son may find that the beam interferes with learning a good stroke. If you have an opportunity to try boats, try one with a 24-24.5" beam. It may feel slightly tippy at first, but after a few hours in the boat will feel as stable as a rock. And it will be easier to learn a good stroke, and will move through the water more efficiently than the wider boats.

Pumpkinseed boats like the Sundance are good for beginners, and for puttering around ponds, for taking down small shallow streams where you might have to drag them over sandbars, etc. But if he gets hooked on kayaking, he’ll want a longer, less beamy boat within a year. Your 5’6 son will probably be 6’0 in two years. If you decide on the Pacifica for yourself, maybe get two.

If price is an issue, call up some local liveries and see if they have any used plastic boats for sale. My first boats were three plastic Otters I bought from a local livery for a song. I still have two of them (gave one to a friend) and they still get lots of use–mostly as boats I loan out to friends who want to try flatwater paddling.

Lots of people are going to tell you to try, try, try, before you buy. That is good advice if you can find a place to do so. Some places there are a lot more opportunities to try boats than other places.

Venture Easky 13
The Easky 13 by Venture Kayaks is just a lot more boat than the Pacifica. Check it out at


While providing the stability of a recreational kayak, the Easky 13 still has some features you typically only find on more expensive touring boats, such as

  1. Two bulkheads and high quality hatches.

    Two watertight bulkheads with Kajaksport hatches (considered the best in the business) to provide dry storage and floation in both the front and back. The Pacifica has a cheap stern hatch (I’m assuming it has a bulkhead, but the website doesn’t say), and no front hatch, so the boat would fill with water in event of a capsize, making it difficult to reenter/swim with/empty.

  2. Full permimeter static lines.

    While both boats have deck bungess, the Easky also has static safety lines than run the entire perimeter of the boat. This helps greatly if you ever need to handle the boat in the water during a capsize, or tow the boat.

  3. Thighbraces.

    The Easky has molded in thigh braces, which offer a more secure fit in the kayak and allow the paddler to transfer his/her paddling energy and movement through the body and directly to the boat.

  4. An efficient hull.

    For a boat of its length (13’ 7") and width (26"), the Easky handles pretty well. It tracks well, can be edged for carving turns, and–as I demonstrated during a recent pool session–can be rolled without any problems. In other words, this a boat you can learn in.

first kayak
I think a good first kayak is the Necky Zoar Sport. I have used mine all over the Big Lakes. It is a very stable boat with plenty of storage. It weighs about 42lbs.I am 6’ and go about 220 (on a good day). I have gone down some rivers with it also. It comes with a rudder and you can get one new for $800. It is a very versatile boat.