hey ya’ll. getting back into paddling after about 28 yr break. want to get a kayak for mainly recreational purposes that will stand up to a little whitewater and that will track nicely for a little touring also. i know thats asking alot from one boat, but what the hey?
In 28 years–although the sport has made some advances–there is still no 'yak that’ll do all that.
Quite a mix…
Whitewater means turning very quickly. Tracking means not turning easily.
Guess you could find a down river boat, that turns quickly, and adapt a skeg to it for tracking when you need it.
I did it, and it works, but mostly it was for fun. I have an old down river boat that spins on a dime, but wanted to be able to track a bit on the lazy river bits. The skeg didn’t cost much, but the raise/lower system took a bit of thought and time.
oops that's skeg. there are those who can handle class 2 with a pintail or capella. Take some mastery though.
"White water" encompasses a huge amount of territory. three and above your boat better not track all that well, or you better be a titan.
What class WW, how big are you, how much cargo need (will you be camping)?
Not a lot of boats out there that’ll do all of that, but with the correct restrictions on the above uses I think Prijon had a boat that can still be found used which can do light WW and limited touring with some credibility. Yukon or Kodiak - some name like that as I recall. And if available will be at a used price, even better.
If you are looking to do milder rivers up to class 2, then a rec boat would be fine. I recently took some of my friends down in rec kayaks down the Tuckasigee River in NC. It’s a good class I/II river and they did quite fine in their rec boats. I took my ww boat down. I own 5 yaks from ICF sprint boat, ww boats, rec boat and a sea kayak. My rec boat is the most versatile of all the yaks I own.
Riot and dagger seems to make the most versatile rec boats. I have a Dagger Bayou and I take it down rivers where it is mainly flat, but has occassional class I and II rapids. It does great. I even took it on a 120 mile 7 day trip for Paddle Ga on the Etowah River. I lead the safety boater team and I found my little rec boat did just fine when rescueing folks on milder rapids and obstacles. For that trip, it was the perfect boat!
As you know, everything’s a tradeoff. For mostly river work, the Dagger Approach, or Pyranha Master TG or Master 2 might work. For more flatwater, maybe something like one of the Blackwaters that has the retracatable skeg.
Or just go with the “2 used boats” school…