New to kayaking

Hi All,

I am planning to start kayaking soon. I have soo many questions.

I will be kayaking on a lake/flat water.

What kayak should I buy?

What all gear do I need?

Do I need coaching or I can start myself?

Is there a place where I can find more and more information about kayaking?

What are the good places near Atlanta where I can go kayaking?

Experts and experienced kayakers please guide me on these.



Good questions
You should not buy any kayak right now. More later.

You do not need lessons, but they are a good idea for a number of reasons:

  1. They let you decide if you will actually enjoy the sport for minimal initial investment.

  2. They will get you started with proper skills so that you progress faster.

  3. You will have the opportunity to try a few different boats, and to learn a little bit about boat feel and performance. This will help you make a purchase decision.

    The minimum equipment is a boat, paddle and PFD.

Rent, Try, BUY
Find when your local shop will be having a demo day. Look in your phone books for paddle shops, outdoor stores, EMS, etc. and start calling and asking around.

Try and find a place that rents kayaks, and rent a few different one for a day, find out what you like and don’t like.

Then start thinking about buying one. The same goes for paddles.

But I would buy my own PFD.

So Many Questions…

– Last Updated: Apr-03-06 2:29 PM EST –

best to take lessons and get hands on experience, skills development as well as someone to provide answers that tie in with the experience.


Look to your left.
Click on “Guidelines”. Enjoy.

Figure on this much at least to get into the sport. Anything less and you won’t be happy for long.

$ 700.00 plus for boat

$ 150.00 paddle

$ 100.00 PFD

minus discounts plus tax then there is rack system, clothes etc.

Depending upon your addiction will grow to around $3000.00 plus in a year or two easily.

I think you can get into it…
…for a bit cheaper. I found my new Blackwater 11.5 on sale for $550 and purchased my Lotus Designs PFD on sale for $45. Right now I have a cheap Harmony Adventure paddle ($70), but it is good enough to get me out on the flat rivers around TN. I may upgrade the paddle one day, but right now I am focusing on WW gear. Anyways, if you shop around, you can find gear and boats for reasonable prices.

You could buy
a $300.00 boat too. I wouldn’t and you won’t be happy with it in year either… if I’m right.

Just my humble opinion. I was thinking either deeply discounted and/or used, not just a sale price.


You’re in luck- I’m an expert
Pay no attention to those beginners and intermediates with agendas, if they were so good they would charge a fee for advice. (I know my profile says “intermediate”, just haven’t gotten around to changing it yet.)

What boat should you get for flat water?

I happen to have a Perception Shadow (fiberglass) that is an excellent flatwater/sea kayak. $1599 (for you $1595)

What gear should you get?

I happen to have a Sterns pfd (red) and a Harmony Sea Passage paddle (aluminum shaft/poly blades). $100 total for both.


I would be willing to coach you (via email) for a modest fee ($20/paragraph + time and expenses.)

I will ALSO offer some free advice as a goodwill gesture, and to demonstrate my professional competence:

Kayaking information?

Try Google (32,700,000 hits for “kayaking”)

Kayaking in the Atlanta area?

Just keep driving east, you will eventually hit water.

It really depends
on where the boat will be used. The OP never really specified. I would not take a 16’ composite sea kayak exploring on a flatwater river, just like I would not take my Blackwater out on choppy lakes or the ocean. If all he wants to do is explore quiet lakes and backwater rivers, then he could get away with a used $300 boat.

Getting lessons is clearly the best first stop here… even if they don’t involve helping to clear out the garage of other people on

Just go buy a boat and paddle
You need a boat, a paddle and a PFD. You should be able to find an entry level kayak with paddle and PFD for $400. If you don’t have a pick-up truck you may need two pieces of foam to protect the top of your car- $20 for the fancy stuff.

Or you could spend hundreds of dollars on lessons and rentals and spend more time standing around talking than paddling. I’ll bet that most people that do day rentals spend more time on the pick-up and the return than they do paddling.

If you decide at the end of the year that you need a different boat you can either sell the first one or keep it and invite along a friend (or two). I don’t mind talking, but can’t we do it in the boat?

Newbie’s can start exploring here…

This is a collection of links that will help out. Especially if you’re new to the sport.

Welcome to the sport by the way…


Reason for lesson suggestion
One approach is to just go paddling, and that’s a fine start done with a little common sense. My suggestion to get lessons was mostly to get this poster in contact with someone who could address his questions face to face rather than trying to handle the scope of issues in cyberspace. It sounds like there is just too much information being requested to handle virtually.

At this kind of stage, getting into physical contact with boats is a lot more effective than trying to shop online, so to speak.

free shipping & no tax
I am novice kayaker but have the chance to tryout numerous kayak from Bass Pro and a near outfitter store. I finally picked up a nice one from They have an upfront price with free shipping and tax free. They even have packaged deal (half spray cover,paddle,pfd,& kayak). I purchased the Sundance 12.0 after reviewing ths consumers response for this product.It’s a very well made beginners kayak. See the “product review” section.