Looking for purchasing Advise

-- Last Updated: Aug-28-05 1:49 AM EST --

I am looking to purchase my first kayak this winter. I'm looking for some advice on what to look for (brand, size, where to buy from, etc.) from people in all areas. I'm 6'2" around 200 lbs. I'm tired of renting a kayak and really want to be able to go where I want not where I can rent. I'm usually out on the river, but would love to take it out onto lakes, even the big lake Michigan. I would like to find a boat that would be suitable for two day trips or more. I'm thinking something in the 12 to 14 foot range, but I'm not sure. I still want a boat that would be suitable for rivers. Any advice would be really great. please send email or post here.


the basics…
1. Try to demo as many boats as you can in the 14-15’ range. Given your size and what you say you want to do, I wouldn’t go any shorter than 14’, since you’ll want something that combines capacity with paddling efficiency, and those things don’t exist in a 12 foot boat for paddlers in the 175 pound + range.

2. Good news is that the 14’ range is where most of the new product development is for 2006. There is a new 14’ version of the Necky Manitou that offers 2 storage compartments and a drop down skeg as standard equipment for under $1,000 (street price should end up being $900-950). The Current Designs Whistler is an outstanding value at about the same price range with a rudder installed (or you can buy it without and save $150-175). A little less expensive in the CD line is the new poly version of the Kestrel 140 - geared toward slow rivers and smaller lakes than Michigan, but still a good value at under $800. The Wilderness Systems Tsunami group of boats were popular this year - the 140 is ostensibly for smaller paddlers, but at 5’10 and 190 pounds, it’s a good fit for me, much better than the 145, which feels like it needs someone taller and heavier to fill the cockpit. Try them both, and see how they feel.

3. Don’t bother with a big box retailer. Find a specialty shop that sells kayaks for a living, and let them help you figure out what you need. The prices will likely be about the same as you’ll get at a big box (and the selection will no doubt be better), and the good advice you’ll get will be free. Can’t beat that.

What mobrien said.
Check out Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus for their end of season deals. And, if you’re up for a little road trip, The Outpost in Holland is really good.


demo, demo, demo…
…but, a boat I think you should add to your

list of boats to demo is the Prijon Toyryak.

A tad longer, I think it comes in at 15.5’, it

has many features not found except on expensive

boats. Adjustable thigh braces, more comfortable

foot pegs, very strong plastic.

It has hatches. Really a nice boat.


NOTE: I am not now nor ever have been

financially associated with Prijon other than

as a very happy customer.