I have been a life long canoest and love to be out on the water. Unfortunately I can no longer handle my 17’ by myself so I am looking for a kayak. I am 5’11" tall. 36"inseam (long legs) weight 210 lbs. I am interested on a sit in. Class 2 rivers, lakes, day tours. I welcome any and all suggestions. Thank you!
Have you considered a solo canoe?
If your main reason for switching to a kayak from the heavy tandem canoe is the tandem canoe is the tandem canoe’s size and weight, but you still like paddling a canoe, have you considered a properly sized solo canoe?
on water or off water
Are you having trouble handing the boat on the water or off the water, or both?
What’s your maximum budget? And is lightness a factor? Many kayaks are just as heavy as an average canoe. By handling issues with your canoe, did you mean on the water or transporting? More detail will help us narrow down recommendations.
A you probably know, the characteristics that will make a boat good for class 2 water are the opposite of what will make it best for lake and flatwater day touring. You can get hybrids that will handle both, but do neither optimally. Many kayakers keep different boats for different conditions. Is that an option for you? And class 2 waters vary. I’ve taken my 15’ Easky touring kayak on several class 2 rivers but they were open rapids with reasonable depth and volume, not shallow winding creeks where the length would have made it difficult.
strongly reccommend you consider taking a look (and paddle if possible) at the Sea Eagle Razor Lite 393RL drop stitch inflatable that paddles like a hard shell sit on top or even a sit inside. My gf and I paddled one and I was pretty amazed at the performance of it’s speed, glide, easy of filling (3 valves, 10 minutes total) and weighs 28lbs…pretty amazing kayak. They come with a 180 day return policy when purchase directly from Sea Eagle. This is not a compromise kayak at any level as I took it out with our group who were mostly paddling sea and upper quality touring yaks from 14-17’ and easily kept up. I am going to GPS it’s speed vs my P&H Capella and see what I get…my first reaction is they are close.
Personally speaking as an owner of several solo canoes, I would highly recommend looking for a light weight Solo for your future paddling. I believe a good solo canoe will be more versatile to varying paddle destinations than a comparable kayak. You mention some whitewater as well as calm water and lakes. A good solo canoe will do very well. Lots of used options as well as some new ones from makers like Wenonah. At 210lbs, a Wilderness by Wenonah would be great and so would an Argosy. A used Mohawk Odyssey or Solo 14 would be great as well for variable type waters.