New to Kayaking

HI, in Nebraska here, and looking at our first kayak. Will be on local lakes, just to use while camping. Looking for a new addation to what we enjoy, running, cycling, scuba. Married 59 and 55. Looking at the Pango 120 is this a good choice? Thanks for the hlep.

Pungo is good
Check the weight ratings, but that is a fine rec boat.

In general, longer is faster (up to a point) and if you are the “go fast” type, you’ll end up getting something longer eventually. But a 12 footer is very versatile on lakes and small, moving water.


How extensive on the camping?

– Last Updated: Nov-05-12 10:49 AM EST –

Also, would any portaging be involved? The Pungo 120, which is what I think you mean, is not well equipped with things like dry storage and, because it is a rec boat that than expedition rigged, would be a bear to portage. Canoes portage best, but rec boats portage worse than the touring designed kayaks.

Never tried one but…
…the 120 only has a rear bulkhead whereas the 140 has both front and rear compartments. These will facilitate carrying your gear and, more importantly, provide buoyancy for when you take your eventual swim :)… it is a water sport.

Also, if you do capsize, with the twin bulkheads, you will be able to self-rescue by flipping the boat and crawling back in.

Best to ya!


– Last Updated: Nov-06-12 12:18 AM EST –

Do you mean a Pungo?

Pungo's are extremely popular recreational kayaks. They are fine if you just want to do very laid back kayaking in nice mellow lakes or streams on nice weather days. I know plenty of people who that is the limit of their kayaking and are very happy with their Pungo. If you can afford and handle the additional length, the Pungo 140 would be a better choice as you will get better speed, tracking, and storage with the longer boat. The Pungo still will be a bit slower then a touring kayak and nothing you want to take into any type of open water.

But if you get into kayaking and want a better performing kayak then you want to look at touring kayaks at least 14 feet, that are narrower, have smaller cockpits (the Pungo is huge), and with dual bulkheads.

Find a local kayak shop
Sitting in a kayak, on the floor of a shop,

for 5 minutes is worth every second of the experience.

Attempting to physically interact with the product,

reach inside, put stuff in it, carry it, etc.

will reap huge dividends in the enjoyment factor.

Take a one day intro class at a local pool,

if you can, to get “butt time” in a kayak.

  • before you buy something.

    Think water, think wet, think of all your personal

    stuff soaked in water, think capsized boat in a

    middle of a lake, play the “what-if” game,

    brainstorm it all, before you buy.

I took the OP to say they were looking for a boat to use when out camping near a lake or river – NOT that they wanted to camp from the kayak.

And many factors play into whether you want a short boat or a long boat. A touring boat is fine for many things, but there are lots of places I’d just soon have the 10 to 12 footer, especially slow rivers, small lakes, and such.


Just reread
And yeah, it does look like they are saying more of what you got than what I responded about. Of course if you are out there and encounter a pond to pond type option, like in sections of the Adirondacks, more portability could start to look good.

I have to chuckle
when some on this board try to steer everyone toward an “expedition” kayak, when 90% of the market doesn’t want or need that. Nebraska ain’t exactly sea-kayaking country… you can eventually step up to that sort of boat (even just rent one) if you someday want to venture into bigger waters.

The Pungo is a fine choice for leisurely day paddling. it’s comfortable, stable, and easy to get in and out; and unlike some entry-level rec boats, you won’t tire of it after three trips. Plenty of room for lunch and day gear and a fishing rod, even a little cooler between your legs. It’ll portage fine with two people, or you can even try carrying it overhead (as you would a canoe of similar dimensions). If weight is a factor, consider the ultralite model (and note, the 140 model offers more features but is quite a bit heavier). Ideally you can demo one on the water and decide if it’s the boat for you.

As a matter of fact, Evan & Hilary of “Pure ADK” paddle Pungo 120’s all around the Adirondacks and have gotten some fine day trips out of them.

Take a look at Inflatables
A qood quality inflatable like an Aire Sawtooth or Innova Sunny will give you the same or better performance at less cost and no need for roofracks. check out

Oh, you meant an inflatable BOAT
nm but hee hee


Pungo 120
Is a good popular rec kayak. Look to see if you can find any used ones which often come with a paddle and/or a pfd thrown in. You can tell how old the boat is by the last two digits of the serial number, such as 10 would indicate a boat manufactured in 2010.