Looking for my First Kayak!

Hey everybody. I just wanted to pop on here and get some input from people that actually know what’s up! :slight_smile:

The girlfriend and I are looking to get kayaks for messing around in lakes and rivers here in MN on lazy days and when we go camping. I’ve been researching kayaks for awhile and last year we had the opportunity to use a SOT and SIS ( I think it was an Old Town Otter) for a couple of days when we went camping.

From what I know, we’ve both narrowed it down to sit inside kayaks. She is going for more of a stable platform kayak (actually looking at an angling kayak). However, my tastes are a bit different. I’m looking for a kayak that can handle rivers and lakes as well, but also mild (and I mean mild) rapids for when I get a bit more experience. Nothing over Class II that’s for sure.

I’ve been researching decent Kayaks to achieve my goals and so far I’ve come up with three Kayaks that might fit the bill.

Dagger Axis 10.5 or 12.5 (haven’t narrowed that part down yet)

Pyranha Fusion - not the S

LiquidLogix Remix XP - although this might be more whitewater than I need

I plan to demo them this year from Midwest Mountaineering during their demo days. However, my main questions are: Am I missing anything? Are there other kayaks out there that will suit my needs better? Any advice you can give for when we demo them?

We are getting pretty amped up about demoing them and have already bought our PFDs. Gander Mountain was going out of business by us and we got really decent kayaking PFDs for under $50! Normal price was over $100.

Anyways, thanks for the help!

This might help
You can check out a free online version of our Buyers Guide


It wont tell you which stuff to buy but more what stuff to look for (and what stuff you might want to try) before you do.

Good luck and welcome to the best sport in the world!

Dan Caldwell

Rapid Media TV Guy

Not knowing your sizes…

– Last Updated: Mar-01-12 3:31 PM EST –

...it's hard to recommend exact models (kayaks are not one size fits all). But you will find most people on here will recommend you start out with used kayaks. It is typical to want to upgrade to a more specific model once you have had some experience in the water so used is a good way to get that step out of the way. Looking at Minnesota Craigslist, I see these two that sounds like they could be what your GF is looking for:





Didn't really see anything for sale at the moment that is more in the category of what you are looking for, though the more costly models above could be used in class I and II if you outfitted one with flotation bags in the bow and stern and could get a sprayskirt for it.

Personally, I like a 13' to 15' light touring sit inside kayak for versatility. They are narrow and long enough to be quick to paddle on flat water but not too long or unstable to use on up to Class II runs. Some examples are the Wilderness Systems Tsunami series (length and model depends on your body size in all these), the Venture Easky series, the Elie Sound and Strait models and the Perception Carolinas. All these will run you between $800 and $1200 new. All have sealed buklheads for flotation and can be fitted with sprayskirts.

I think your plan to demo is a great idea. Look at the "hybrids" you've listed but also try out some 12' to even 16' poly touring kayaks. They have a surprising range of usefulness. You could even take one out in the Great Lakes with the right outfitting and skills.

This requires giving them your email
There is lots of info around without doing that unless you want to.

If you have the money, you are better …
… off with a Fusion or Remix than a used rec boat. I have paddled all of the cross-over boats and they are generally quite stable (it is hard to tip one over to practice wet exits!), very maneuverable with the skeg up, and track very well with the skeg down. The downside is that you give up some speed on flat water lakes. But they are great fun and I doubt you would end up selling one in a year or less (which you will probably do with a used rec boat). BTW, the Fusion and the Remix are intended for exactly the same uses.

fusion rock gardening

– Last Updated: Mar-01-12 6:21 PM EST –

Interesting to see what someone is doing with their Fusion:

Hey, Minnesota is close to the BWCA
That’s canoe country.

I hope you’ll write BWCA camping into your plans.

You mentioned Liquid Logic boats. I sat in a Liquid Logic Inuit 12.5 that seemed like it might be an option however you might want to get a boat with enough dry storage volume to haul camping gear.

Exciting Video
I thought the Fusion was the best of all I tried except for the one I bought – the Dragorossi Mad Boy. But for boats readily available in this country the Fusion really worked for me. YMMV.

Big thanks everybody!
Thanks for the suggestions everybody! It looks like I’m on the right track for what I want to do.

I know we are in canoe country, that’s for sure. Normally if we go to the BWCA it’s by canoe. However, with the GF being of independent mind, she tends to want her own boat, lol.

hopefully a new video
The same group was out this past Saturday off of the Sonoma Coast, and there was some 6 or 7 Fusions on the trip. Second most common boat was the Dagger Alchemy - about 4 of them (myself being one of them).

Lots of video cameras running, but conditions were not as large as the Point Bonita video previously posted. Hopefully Bill will make up a video from it anyway.

here’s a vid
Here’s a video from last weekend by Sergey, who was in a small Fusion.

Bill said he will be getting his video out later this week.

BTW - I am the guy backing into the slap wall at 1:53 in the long boat (at least, long as compared to the swarm of Fusions around me).