Need advice to proceed.

I just received 2 Dagger Zydeco 9.5 Kayaks as an employment gift. Now that I have them I need to know something about them (I’m that new to kayaking). I am assuming they are entry level of some sort---- but that’s about all I know. I have done some reading and that’s how I landed here. Can someone answer the following questions to a novice?

What is the difference between a touring and recreational kayak?

What type/size/brand of paddles do I need to purchase?

Where should this type of kayak be used? or maybe a better question is what type of water are they suited for?

Any help would be appreciated.

rec boats and touring kayaks
Recreational sit-in kayaks (as opposed to sit-on-tops) tend to be quite a bit shorter and wider than touring, or sea kayaks. They also tend to have large cockpit openings and are generally paddled without a spray skirt.

The large cockpits make them relatively easy to get in and out of. The large cockpit openings and lack of a spray skirt diminishes concerns that many beginning kayakers have regarding entrapment in the boat.

Their beamy nature makes them feel quite stable to new and casual paddlers but the greater width and shorter length make them slower and less efficient to paddle for long distances.

Some people purchase skirts for these boats (when available) but the large size of the skirt makes it less secure on the cockpit coaming.

Recreational boats are best paddled on reasonably protected inland waterways and easy streams. They often lack reinforcing central pillars and I would not recommend them for rapids of any significance. Nor or the boats very well suited for use in sizable waves.

It is a entry level rec. kayak
With that said, my wife and I started kayaking with almost the exact same ones, but a different make, and we used them in all kinds of water.

Even though we now have touring kayaks, we use the rec ones with skirts in Class I-II white water rivers

Make sure it has floatation in the front and rear.

If not you absolutely need to add some.

I have used mine in the ocean, lakes and rivers.

For a paddle with a boat that wide, you need something between 220 and 230CM

Have fun with your new boat.

Jack L

Congratulations on the absolutely wonderful gift! I wish my employer gave away kayaks…anyways, check out this thread to get an idea of what you might be looking for…and then ask questions once you read it!

The best way to see what you like is to get yourselves some paddles and experiment. Your level of fitness will probably be your main concern on what kind of paddle you will need.

Thanks for the advice
Thanks to all for the advice.

I’m 59 and picked the kayaks (30 year employment gift choice) because I need something to do as retirement comes in less than 6 months. Hopefully by then, I can provide my experience to someone starting to kayak later in life. I feel this will be a great hobby and source of enjoyment for my wife and I.

Thanks again.

You chose wisely
Your kayaks will be perfectly fine as an introduction to kayaking, and may be the last kayaks you ever own, depending on where you choose to paddle.

Many who start in recreational kayaks later buy more specialized boats that are better suited to long distance day trips, whitewater downriver trips, or ocean paddling in sizable waves, but rec boats are a great place to start.