Need some recommendations

I can’t decide whether to buy a 2008 Wilderness Systems Pungo 100 in like new condition for $200 and save over $500 or just get a new kayak - looking at the Liquid Logic Marvel 10.

This is my first kayak by the way.

What would you recommend? Open to recommendations under $700. Comfort and control of the kayak are important to me.

Thank you!

I can’t speak to comfort between these two because both are rec kayaks with high seat back which I don’t paddle.

Do want to speak to control though - both of these are short enough boats that they might get kicked around in wind enough to be quite slow. You have not said anything about your expectations of distances. Even in the extremely protected waters for which these boats are intended, another couple of feet would give you better tracking.

Pungos have always been popular and they have a bit of a built-in keel that helps with tracking. And they have the “lazy boy” class Phase 3 seat that recreational kayakers probably find very comfortable. I’m cheap and would grab the Pungo at that price. You can probably resell it at a profit if you don’t like it.


Between these two boats, and not knowing what type of paddling you are looking to do (so assuming these are appropriate boats for that), go for the used boat. The two boats aren’t all that different in form and function. Most people don’t get the right boat for themselves on the first try, so you might as well save the cash and get the used one.

The comment on appropriate boats is that these are recreational class kayaks, which are appropriate for protected bays, smaller lakes, and slowing flowing rivers. Basically, paddling on flat water close enough to shore that you can swim should you flip over.

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My two cents worth… Recreational kayaks are gateways for some people and an end to it for others. Think about what you want, and what may interest you down the line, then buy the cheapest usable boat that fill the bill. I bought a cheap new “fishing” kayak rec boat to start. The fishing aspect were useless rod holders. My primary interest was obviously fishing. One thing lead to another and after a lot of hours, my paddling interests became more specific with fishing being a side reason rather than main reason. Bought a used Dagger polly touring boat and paddled the hell out of it, and kept going. Now I am planning on building a skin on frame! Just do what you can to get on the water. Then go fishing or exploring. Figure out if that boat works for you or at least have a better idea of what is going to be worth spending more on for you.

Worth repeating. 10’ is too short unless you are space limited or want to go nowhere fast. A boat that short is difficult to keep on course especially for a beginner.

I’m hearing a lot of ppl say to go with a 12 due to a 10 being slow in the water. I don’t want to go slow! Is it a noticeable difference of speed?

Yes. Length equals speed and tracking(go straight).

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Generally longer is better but also look at the width. Length helps with potential speed, width means more frontal area, pushing more water, more resistance. A lot of factors and I’m not sure if they are quite as important on a rec boat due to price and ease of staying dry are the biggest design criteria.

For instance, Pungos are quick for their class . Pelicans are dogs based on what I’ve observed.

First off, I would toss out all of the outside noise about how inadequate either of the two options you are considering are. This is your first opportunity to get into a new recreational lifestyle, & you should feel pretty stoked!
That said—comparing (10’) apples to apples—I would ABSOLUTELY jump all over that $200 WS Pungo(!).

Wilderness Systems makes top notch quality yaks. & yes, their rec-style seating/outfitting is SUPER comfortable.
IMO, if you can feel satisfyingly comfortable when you sit in your first yak & hit the water for the first time, the likelihood that you’ll step out of that boat w/ a smile is MUCH more likely.

Our first boat was a WS Tarpon 135T a few years back. & the seating/outfitting is top-notch.
That said, the Pungo does have a well defined, built in keel, multi-chined hull that should handle very well in calm/flat water to steady flowing class l-ll rivers.

If anything of a speedy glide through the water is important to you, start at 14’. Yes, the speed difference will be noticeable. Under 14’ is either Whitewater boats meant to be carried by current to a large degree, waveskis meant to ride surf, and recreational kayaks for folks who really won’t be too concerned about forward speed, and it doesn’t matter for their purposes.
14’ won’t feel pleasing to anyone who ends up really turned on by fast kayak glide through the water, but it might be enough to help define if that’s a direction you’re love to gravitate towards. And it’s still short enough to be maneuvered easily without much skill development. I would consider it a minimum for flatwater paddling as a sport, vs a floating about relaxation activity. Both are great. It’s a matter of knowing yourself.

With a screen name of “Chasing Lazy Rivers” I don’t think you are going to be too bothered by how fast a 10’ Pungo will go. $200 is about two bags of groceries, if it really is in good shape you can probably resell it for more if you don’t like it, I would change the seat when you have some extra cash. Pungos are well proven boats with thousands of happy recreational paddlers owning them. Don’t challenge a sea kayak to a race or paddle off shore in high winds or in waves over 2’ and you will be fine. Just buy, learn to paddle it, and when you outgrow it sell it. That’s what most of us here did when we got started.


Buy the Pungo due to price for your first kayak. If you really want speed and more performance, you will then have a little experience and possibly some other paddling friends who have let you test their faster rec boats or sea kayaks so that you make a good decision with more of a long term kayak purchase.

For a first boat, a $200 Pungo sounds like a steal that you can probably resell in 6 months for at least that if not another Ben Franklin or US Grant. Welcome to paddling! It can be addicting.