New to Kayaking - Need Info

I’d like to start kayaking on the local rivers in Texas.

I have several years of canoe experience but none in kayaks.

1st question, what is the sitting position in a Kayak ?

I have one knee which does not bend all the way back.

2nd question, what is a good entry level used kayak to purchase.

3rd question, like most other activities there are additional items that you need to purchase to be done correctly, give me the short list of must haves.

4th questions, how much should I be prepared to spend to get into my first used kayak and gear ?



On the knee issue, you should be able
to get into even whitewater kayaks, with their smallish cockpit, without having a problem with a knee that doesn’t flex all the way.

I guess you might have difficulty kneeling in a canoe.

Start familiarizing yourself with the used kayak market, because you may not want to lay out list price and then find you’ve bought the wrong boat. This board has a pretty good classified listing of used craft, often with pictures so you know what is being offered.

Some Answers;
1. I have bone on bone in one knee, and am a expert at getting into a kayak with a knee that won’t bend too far. -Stand beside the yak, in the water, facing forward, with the bad knee closest to the yak. Now pick up your bad leg and put it in the cockpit just in front of the seat. Now put each hand on the coaming sides toward the back, and as you do it, slide your straightened leg down into the kayak and plunk your butt on the seat. Naturally you will have to bend the knee of your good leg which is outside the yak and it combined with your two hands will be your balance. After all that, Just bend the other one and bring it into the yak.

2. a decent entry level used kayak would be a Perception Carolina, or equal, but it is very hard to describe one for you since you didn’t give any of your statistics.

Your best bet is to “try before you buy” which means to go to some place where they rent kayaks, or search around for a “Demo Day” where various manufacturers bring their different models for people to try out.

3. a list of must haves are naturally the paddle, a PFD, a pump and a whistle or other suitable signaling device. If you think you will be going in rough water or could possible get caught in rough water also get a skirt.

4. I would guess that if you buy used you can get outfitted complete with a decent kayak for between $500 and a $1000 dollars.

If you want to go with a short recreation kayak from one of the big box stores you can get completely outfitted with new stuff, (junk) for under $500.

Hopes this helps a bit,



If you already canoe, you might have some sense of what length of trip you’d usually like to take. If that is closer to 12 miles than 6, you probably want to go for a kayak closer to 14’ than the 10’ starter rec boats. As alluring as that big cockpit may be at first, the boat’s lack of speed and tendency to be knocked around by wind will drive you nuts.

You don’t have to bend your knee any further back than you would comfortably seated on the ground, with legs out in front. If that range of motion is very prescribed, you just may need a kayak with a higher front deck. A boat like the Carolina JackL mentions has that feature.

There are some issues with a loose, high fit in terms of controlling the boat, but if you are an average height or taller guy you should still be able to get a thigh under something for some control. Details can be handled by padding down with minicell to create a more custom fit and, frankly, some softness there. That is why your size matters.

As to the stuff you need, if you plan to paddle into colder weather you’ll need some closthing that’ll support that as well. Prices could vary around you, in this area for example the basics including clothing would run much closer to $1000 because of the climate.

Go rent one, first
If you haven’t even sat in one, you really should decide if you like it before you invest more time in this. Some folks find canoes meet their needs much better.

Need Info
Thanks guys for the feedback. I just got back from visiting the local kayak dealer in Garland Tx.

He had a good selection of models for sale and rent.

I think renting one first, or several types would be the ticket. That way I can decide what is most comfortable.