new to kayaking..

I am new to the sport and am looking to purchase a kayak. I am 6’4 210 lbs. What size would be appropriate for lake/slow river use? Also what brands/models do you suggest for under $750. Thanks in advance.

You raise a good question…been there done that.

I have found that the BEST approach and a fun approach to get your answer is to demo…demo…and demo again. This is a perfect time of the year to research the kayak shops in your region. They all will have demo days and many offer Spring sales and/or sales of used/demo boats.

The type of kayak you purchase will be dependent upon the type of lake/river you are referring to. There is major difference between one of the Great Lakes and a small local lake.

DEFINITELY take advantage of the archives on this site as there are many folks who are far more experienced than I who have offered fantastic responses to this question on many occasions.

I would highly recommend taking lessons…preferably in the boats your are considering purchasing. If you are planning to purchase a new boat…would recommend using a local shop. However, I would highly recommend a used boat. I went that route and it paid off. And I then sold a few used boats over a period of time…recouped the money for the most part at a fair market price…and either purchased another boat or used that money to build my own.

Paddling is the best! Demo…read archives…take lessons…and learn about the thrills and the dangers of paddling as well. There are too many folks out there who are clueless regarding the thrills, the serenity…or the potential risks in paddling.

In few years I have moved from a poly sea kayak to a used fiberglass that I rehabbed, to building my own kayak…and am now working on my skin on frame (SOF) and have plans for a stripper.

You ask a great question…demo a bunch of boats and get back to us regarding the boats you prefer and why…including the specific conditions you plan to paddle in.

Welcome to paddling!



oh heck
I was going to say there’s probably some shops out there with discontinued boats,maybe a Necky SantaCruz

If you are paddling slow rivers and smallish lakes then go with a 12-14ft rec boat. The Wilderness Systems Pungo is popular. Also, check out Old Town. Nice rec boats. Necky Manitou might be in your range. Don’t waste precious paddling time demoing rec boats. Demoing these boats would be nice but not critical. They are pretty much the same. Get a decent PFD and spend around $100 for a paddle. It will be worth it. Get on the water. Next season you will get a better boat anyway. We all did.

Certainly no expert
but I recently bought my first kayak. I am shorter than you and weigh just a little less but am an older paddler and not as agile as once so space and ease of entering/exiting was critical to me. Also I paddle lakes and slow rivers up to class I with once in a great while class II. I didn’t want to spend alot so I bought an Old Town Loon 138 for $450 (new). So with a decent rec or touring paddle and a good PFD you are looking at around $600-$625. Certainly within your price range.

for under $750
for under $750 there are alot of nice recreational and day touring kayaks !!!

torn rotator cuff
thank you for all the advice…I just found out I have a tear in my rotator cuff. I will have to rehab for 4-6 months. How much strain will rowing put on this injury after full rehab?