My first kayak...advice needed

I was previously only thinking about a sit on top and was looking at the Bicsport Oussou and the RTM Mambo. I live in Ireland which means that it’s probably only going to be warm enough to use a sit on top for a few weeks of the year so a sit in might be the way to go.

So far I’ve been looking at the Necky Jive as I’ve read that it’s an decent all-rounder. I live beside the beach so that’s mostly where I’ll be using the kayak. I’m also considering going inflatable either and have looked at the Sevylor Pointer K1 (ST6107).

I’m 5’ 10", 78kg. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers.

78 kg = 172 pounds


Some info …what do you want to do ?

– Last Updated: Jun-03-07 7:47 PM EST –

There are a few paddlers who use SOTs year round in the UK. You will need a good wetsuit like surfers in your area wear. Not sure which coast you are on in Ireland. You can connect with other UK SOT paddlers at on the forums. I know a couplel folks who surf waveskis year round in Ireland. Google for the Irish waveski association to get more info. The SOTs I saw available in the UK were rather wide, slow tubs, be careful about buying a boat without trying. I surf a Cobra Strike SOT alot, not sure how available they are in UK.

First you want to decide what you want to do, if you want to paddle long distances on the open coast then a Sink and joining a club would be the way to go, if you want to surf, then an SOT, waveski or whitewater boat would be fine. I own a Jive and it is a forgiving boat to get started in. I weigh 205 lbs and it's fine for my weight. When I have been in the UK I have not seen any Necky Kayaks; I have seen a lot of Perception boats in the surf: Dancers (not the best) ARCs etc. They are fine places to start. If you really want to surf you will eventually get a waveski or a surf kayak. Mega surf kayaks are one of the top brands in the world and easy to get them used in the UK. If you want to learn to surf you might check into getting a lesson. I know Simon Hammond in Bude, accross the water east of you gives good lessons but that is of course a way to go.


– Last Updated: Jun-03-07 9:39 PM EST –

A Jive was my first WW boat. You'd probably be near the top end of the weight range for the standard 8'4" version -- there was an 8'10" version for larger folks. It's an early planing hull design. The chines are soft by modern playboat standards, limiting aggressive maneuvers, but that means that with a good lean it'll "bongo slide" without tripping when you get sideways on a small wave. Someone posted here a while back about adding fins to one to make it a better(but less forgiving) surfer.

If I were buying a new boat for surfing I think I'd look at more surf-specific designs, but an inexpensive used Jive would be a fine way to get started playing in the waves. It wouldn't make a good touring boat.

I’m on

– Last Updated: Jun-03-07 7:51 PM EST –

..... the east coast of Ireland in North Dublin. My beach is very long and the waves would be very moderate and are only really that noticeable if there's a wind and when the tide comes in. It's not a place where there would be any surfers except for the occasional windsurfer.

I'm looking for something that is a nice all round boat (I'm aware that all-rounders excel in nothing) as I don't know whether I want to primarily surf, tour etc. So I suppose it's probably just a recreational boat I want.

the Mambo is the better of the two
at 9’ and 30" wide it is not going to be much of a fast paddler. OK to get started in. Do they sale Ocean Kayaks near you, it would be similar to the Frenzy, a good boat to get started in. The Scrambler is also a good boat and a little faster. If you are going to be doing mostly flat water paddling I would look at a longer, more narrow boat. Something like 14’ and 28" and you can start gliding along a bit. I believe RTM makes some decent longe boats if you can find them there.

My choices are…
limited to RTM or Bicsport, with a few Perception kayaks within Dublin. I can get hold of a few other brands via ordering from the UK. I can’t try before I buy unfortunately. I can get hold of Ocean Kayaks from the UK alright.

Perception Freedom
Looks like it might work. The RTM Disco has hit the united states and people like it, it looks similar to the Baja sport. Can’t really vouch for how it handles. Best to consult with local paddlers, about what works in the wind, chop, and waves you will encounter.

Ocean Kayak scrambler and scupper pro (if still available) are pretty well behaved boats that you would get a lot of use out of them.

So are …
Ocean Kayak better than RTM or Bicsport? I can get hold of an Ocean Kayak Frenzy or Yakboard relatively cheaply (under 500euro). A Bicsport Ouassou is under 500euro but an RTM Mambo or an OK Scramber is closer the 600euro mark.

I’m have also been looking at a Sevylor Pointer K1. Now I don’t know how people feel about inflatable but in terms of transport and storage it would be ideal. It claims to be a touring kayak. I’ve never seen one and there are no reviews on it. Anyone any thoughts on them? I’d have to order it from the US but it would cost only 250euro delivered. Is it worth chancing it for that? Wondering is it the most economical way for me to get a feel for the sport and might let me know exactly what sort of “proper” kayak I should invest in…or am I being such a newbie it’s painful?

I would get the Frenzy and get

– Last Updated: Jun-05-07 4:46 PM EST –

started. It's not perfect, the RTM boat is similar if cheaper, both will get you out in the water in the Spring, Summer and Fall. The Frenzy is very forgiving and can handle pretty rough conditions. I have surfed 9' waves with mine. You will likely sell it afte a year or two and move up to a higher performing boat, I keep mine around for friends to try out kayaking and somedays when I just want to go putz about in cruddy conditions. Inflatable is great to store and transport. Miserable in high winds. From my brief excursions to the Coasts in UK, limited to Scotland, Orkney, Devon, Cornwall and Northumbria, high winds and storms seem to come up without warning, I don't think I would want to be out solo in an inflatable. The Scrambler would be more versatile and paddle faster, the difference of 100 Euros if you own the boat for 2 or 3 years and go out a lot is not much at all, just coming up with the money in the beginning. Plan on buying some kind of wetsuit and a decent paddle and life jacket in your budget.