My partner and I are newbies to kayaking, and after a few rental and tour experiences we are hooked. We’re planning to buy two kayaks and we’re finding all the new information exciting and overwhelming, so we’re seeking your help to guide us. We’re planning to kayak in lakes, slowish rivers, and calm bays. We plan to fish a bit, but spend more of our time enjoying short day trips or 1/2 day trips with our dog (cattle dog). We were planning on SOT 10’ or 12’ kayaks for the ease of jumping into the water and getting back on if we should fall out. Plus the extra room for the dog is nice. We’re also short and don’t have a ton of muscles to move kayaks around. We have a tacoma with a camper shell and thule racks on the shell. Our questions are…
- Is the 10’ and 12’ a good start for us since we’re newbies, short, and not planning on doing long tours?
- Is the SOT the best fit for a bit of fishing, and bringing our dog?
- What brands should I check out that are affordable and don’t weigh a ton (live in Northern California)? Wilderness Systems and Ocean Kayak seem to be popular here.
- What Thule carrier can I get to fit two kayaks on top of a camper shell, and what’s the safest way for a short (5’) person to get it up there without it crushing me!
Thanks in advance for all your advice and wisdom. I can’t wait to make our first kayak purchase soon!