New kayaker over here!

Hey everybody.My name is dave and I really want to get into kayaking finally. If someone could help me out with some advice on where it is ok to go kayaking, what type of kayak I should buy for my first one . and anything else I should know…Everything will be very appreciated. thanks…>>Murphy

Rent, Join Class and/or Club
Your taste for a boat changes with your skill level. By acquiring some skills (via the above), you will be more ready to choose a boat you will be happy with for a while. Meeting some fellow paddlers will give you information regarding places in your area that are good for a paddler at your level. Having a paddling partner will make paddling much safer.

At any rate, the water is getting warmer, so this is a good time for a person to try out the sport without the danger of cold water.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important part, have fun!


Where you at?
Demo day tomorrow at Kingston Point, Kingston, NY 10 to 3…

Over where? Oh, I see! Over there!
Welcome. Go to a kayak shop on a demo day. Or take a guided tour/lesson. Read all the stuff under “guidelines” above your left hand.

I hated kayaking
Tid bit of advice…

Kayak demo days, dealers, fellow kayakers (most atleast), oh and did I mention DEALERS…made me hate kayaking.

I think they have gone way over board in trying to get respect for kayaking. Every time I would go to a dealer or a demo day I would get way more confused and pissed off because no one would simply answer my question.

Finally I did my own research online as to what kind of conditions I would be paddling in. I went to a dealer only to rent the kayak I was interested in. I finally bought one a month ago …have been out many times and I love it.

I refuse to ever step foot in a dealer or sporting store again, the dam kids and left wing nut jobs that seem to staff the businesses piss me off.

I look at kayaking this way …

Daaaaa…you have a boat and you have a padle, and you paddle and you paddle…not rocket science. However…according to my local dealer it is!

The “scare tactic” they use to get people to pay for over priced “lessons” is my biggest pet peave…I simply rented a book from the library went down to the local beach and practiced.

Wow, the local “kayak instruction business” $95+ for three hours to “learn how to paddle”

I wish you luck…leave the wife at home…and take lots of asprin…

Now that I own one though…I can’t imagine a weekend with out it!

Jump right in
To be honest, there are many ways to get started, but I advocate the sooner the better method. First, decide what type of kayaking you want to do. Will you be on the rivers or the ocean? Second, research beginner-intermediate boats to find out what is available. Then look what’s available for used boats in those categories and just buy one and play with it. Demo days can be helpful, but if you’re just beginning to kayak, you won’t have enough experience to pick the right boat at this point. Also, any boat you do buy at this stage, either through dumb luck or on the advice of an outfitter, you’ll most likely end up selling it anyway. The great thing about quality kayaks is that you usually have no problem selling them when you want to trade up.

What you should know…
Hi Dave!

Welcome to the wonderful and all consuming world of paddling! :slight_smile:

Here are a few things you should know:

Paddling Season is 365 days long, with a bonus paddling day in February every four years. “Bad”, “Gloomy”, “Miserable”, and other such words have nothing to do with weather conditions; especially when paddling is involved. Paddling weather is always beautiful. Rolling is fun. Rolling back up is even more fun. In a gear happy and skill oriented activity like paddling, remember to transcend. Wonder floats. When in doubt, paddle. When not in doubt, paddle. Don’t wait five years before you try your first Greenland stick. It’s 1 AM…do you know where your boat is? “kayakmr” prefers to be addressed as “d00d”, so please respect his wishes.

Happy paddling! :slight_smile:


Go to some lake where they rent them
and try one out.

Then get some specific questions together and ask them here, or get a introductory book on kayaking.

Don’t just go into a store and buy one until you have paddled several times.



What do you mean by “kayaking”? Running whitewater rivers? Crossing oceans? Riding surf? Chasing bluegills in the local pond?

Kayaking is all those things. The equipment and skills needed are different, so the first step is having a clear notion of what you want to do.

To each his own…
I started paddling by taking a full-day sea kayaking lesson, and though it was time & money well spent. I went to a lot of demo days and had a great time trying out boats. I took more classes and rented boats before I finally bought one. And years later it’s a boat I still have and enjoy.

Everyone’s got a different style.

Li’ brer’ e’

– Last Updated: Jun-10-06 10:56 AM EST –

Seriously, there are many good books and videos that teach everything from self rescue to correct paddle strokes.
I have a small prejudice though. There are a lot of pig boats out there that look like kayaks to a beginner and even feel like one for about a month. Unless you NEVER intend to do more than your local creek or pond,don't let someone sell you an 8-10' boat(unless you are paddling whitewater).

The best thing to do is, yes the "demo"
days.Quite frankly I haven’t had to good of luck finding places like this.

My best advice is to find a friend is into it or even go to a lake where many kayakers go and just explain to them you are new to the sport and listen to them. I have gotten the best advice this way

Lessons…I wouldn’t really waste your time.Commom sence rules here and again just ask fellow kayakers for any advice and tips. Kayak with ohters till you are confident to go on your own…

Happy Paddling !!!

Are you doing flatwater?

Your posts are incredibly refreshing, calming and are needed to offer some balance…



You have been given some…
responses from a number of perspectives. It would be most helpful for us to get some information from you. The type of paddling you plan to do…and your size.

With my limited experience, I would suggest: taking a class from a reputable setting (you can get a referral from a local paddling club), then demo…demo…demo…and demo boats…rent a few of the ones you prefer…perhaps take a few more lessons and/or join a paddling club in your locale.

You will soon discover your preferences for paddling. You may fall in love with quiet and peaceful lake paddling while taking photos, or you may find seakayaking of interest. My interest in paddling has directed me towards building kayaks which I find equally or more enjoyable than paddling.

Welcome…take your time with the learning curve and enjoy!


I am also a newbie. I spent two years reading and thinking about it, then six months of driving around to various shops. Demos a few boats and listened to what everybody told me.

Find a boat that fits you and most of your expectations. You will not find one to do it all but you can always buy more boats. I have found that all the money I have spent on instruction to be well spent. I have found that the personal relationship I built with the selling dealer to be one of the most important part of getting the right gear at a fair price. You will notice taht I didn’t say cheapest price. I believe that if you are after the lowest price at the expense of everything else you are going to short change yourself. Make friends with experienced non-egotistical paddlers, they will help you almost as much (sometimes even more than) good instruction. Ask as many questions as you wish, you will get different answers from different people because while this isn’t “rocket science” it is a type of science mixed with art and feel. We all will have slightly different techniques and perspectives so our answers will vary with our experiences. Arm yourself with as much info as you can get then take the plunge. Most importantly have fun.


d00d! Let’s burn one down, man!
You wrote:

“I refuse to ever step foot in a dealer or sporting store again, the dam kids and left wing nut jobs that seem to staff the businesses piss me off.”

Oh yes, I remember your disagreeable encounter with the young, enthusiastic “hippie” paddling shop employee! :slight_smile: Musta been a heavy bummer, man.

For your shopping pleasure:

“Jack A’s K Street NeoCon Outfitters” features all you need for a button down, tied up, neocon right wing nut job shopping adventure! The more you’re willing to spend for less, the happier their conservatively dressed and well spoken sales representatives will be to kiss your sponsons! Jack A’s features all the shiniest paddling gear from Sharper Image and Hammacher Schlemmer…including the new GucciGoreTex line of paddling suits (some nice coordinating accessories too, like the handy necktie/paddle leash/towing rig!). “Patent leather look” neoprene wingtip and tassle adorned booties and mukluks are just flying off the shelves at Jack A’s as well!

Partisan General’s Warning: Uptight right wing nut job paddlers should know that frequent paddling can cause severe relaxation and/or a deeply felt appreciation for pristine wilderness; resulting in potentially serious conflict of interest issues. Remember, appearances are everything!

Happy paddling, d00d! :slight_smile:


New kayaker
I rented a kayak on a small lake. I had never even seen a kayak up close until that day. I’m sure it was funny watching me get into it the first time but once i was in, i was in heaven! It took no time at all before i was cruising. I had the opportunity to get a free recreational kayak and jumped at the chance. I am still learning new things everytime i go out but i make sure that i only go on waters i am familiar with and it is only flatwater. One day i’ll advance to flowing rivers but for now i am content with lakes and ponds. If you have patience and determination i’m sure you will have no problem learning to kayak on your own. There is tons of information on the internet to get you started, try a google search for “kayaking basics”. I suggest you find somewhere to rent one to try out different models before you spend the money on one. i think some of the other replies are correct in saying there is alot of pressure at the demo days, after all they are trying to sell you one. Rentals are only making $10-$20 on you. I wish you the best of luck and happy kayaking!

Hey thanks
This is the first forum I’ve ever been involved with that people actually help me…thanks alot for the help … and I’ll post back up when I get set up…Thanks again…Murphy

agree no 8 -10 feet boats
Don’t let yourself believe that just because something is lighter in weight and easy to cart about that it is going to be “the answer”.

I speak from my experiences and mistakes. I’m not a pro at all but I love the sense of freedom kayaking gives me. I used a 12 foot last summer and this summer so far I’ve used a 14 foot, same boat different size. In the 14 foot I was able to track up narrow inlets and turn about with ease. Yes it weighs 53 pounds and is about all I can manage to deal with loading and unloading.

Read as many of the posts on here that you can, buy some dvd’s from the store, listen to everyone you paddle with, and watch how they handle themselves. Then do the best you can and have fun.