So I am new to kayaking and want to get some information on what kayaks are recommended for beginners. I am somewhere around 5’ 10" weighing in at roughly 200lbs (that number is decreasing). Some things I have heard to start with: Jackson 4Fun, perception phat, dagger outlaw. Any information is appreciated. If anyone is in the Boulder, CO area and has some tips on where to start or shops for outfitting that would be appreciated. Thanks!
Whitewater or lakes (flatwater)?
I mention this because in the Boulder area you could be going either way. Given that the boats you indicate are river runners or creekers, I am guessing you are oriented to white water. But it is hard to tell for sure.
The boats that are designed to shine in each of these environments are completely different boats. There are crossovers which are compromises between the two, the operative word being compromise. These boats will not do the maneuvers of a dedicated WW boat in the foamy stuff nor will they have the speed and tracking of a flat water boat on a lake.
The usual advice is to hook up with lessons or at least a good group right from the start with whitewater. It is a pretty good idea for flat water as well given that it is unlikely you have the clothing to take an accidental spill anyway. Water is getting cold. Look around for outfitters and ask about winter sessions in a nice warm pool.
This is not a whitewater site .
paddling net is mostly for nearly dead rec and sea kayakers
A better site for local information for mountain west whitewater is Mountain Buzz. Boatertalk forums will also have some local paddlers.
The boats you mention look good for getting started. A good idea to get a used down river boat to start and learn to roll and basics then get a more specialized play boat or creeker etc.
It’s been a long time since I lived in Colorado so I can’t recommend shops. You can find boaters at the playpark by Golden who could give you local advice. Also Pikabike who posts here often used to live in denver metro area and could recommend stores and outfitters.
Always wear your pfd
then someday you can attain “nearly dead” status, too, if that whitewater thing doesn’t work out for ya ; )
Only two stores left that I know of
Try Confluence Kayak--a store, not the manufacturer conglomerate. They are in the LoDo area of Denver, close to the REI flagship store. I bought my Jackson Side Kick there.
Also, look up Golden Riversports. This shop is on Washington Ave. near the onramp for US Rte. 6, and a stone's throw from Clear Creek Whitewater Park (which I miss).
Alpenglo in Golden closed years ago, and that was the only other kayaking shop I knew of in Denver or Boulder. But a new store might have opened, so ask around.
www.mountainbuzz.com posters will be more up to date than I am.