new to the game, seeking some advice.

I need some help. I used to kayak when i lived in Asheville using a friends. Now am looking to buy one of my own. The problem is I have no idea where to begin, and have no one to get adviced about the situation besides some salesman. The other problem is making sure I find one that will fit my 6’5" 200lbs frame.

Im looking for a kayak, that I can go whitewater, but still go down the old river on a sunday afternoon. Ive been reading reviews, and have heard of the Wavesport Godzilla is excellent for the beginner of someone my size. I have also heard of the Dagger RPM.

Like I said, Im complete lost on what to and am just seeking some guidance from experienced paddlers. Please just help me out.

Wavesport Godzilla
I’m a flatwater/openwater kayaker who picked up a used Wavesport Godzilla a year ago. 95% of my boating is still in my sea kayak and rec kayaks, so I still have very limited experience when it comes to paddling this boat. But here are my thoughts:

The Wavesport Godzilla IS one of the larger WW boats out there, so it may be worth a look for you. Still, I’m 6’0, and I find getting my legs under the thigh braces is a very mild exercise in contortion. You can adjust them to some extent, but I’d hate to think what those extra five inches would add to the process of getting in and out. Given your height, you absolutely positively MUST try any boat before you buy it.

After paddling this boat on several long river trips which were mostly slow moving water dotted with Class I-II WW, I’ve come to the conclusion that a WW boat is a lousy choice for anything but WW or rolling practice. Yes, with much work and concentration on technique, you can keep it going straight. But if your goal is a lazy afternoon river paddle, do you really want to be working that hard?

Plus, when you get it up to speed, this semi-planing hull is going to do what it is designed to do–plane. If you are paddling with a group on flat or slow moving water, even after you master the technique of propelling the boat forward, you will be working three times as hard as all the boaters in rec/touring boats. Unless you find delight in getting the extra deluxe workout, you aren’t going to find it much fun.

So if you want a WW boat, try, try, try before you buy. And those salesman can be helpful if this is not a big box store and they are actually experienced paddlers (ask them a bit about their paddling experience before taking their advice too seriously.) If you take the time to do some basic research on WW boats, types of hulls, etc., it will be easier for you to spot the salespeople who don’t know what they are talking about and are wasting your time.

But if you are also interested in day paddles down long, lazy rivers with nothing more than the occassional Class I-II, interrupted by miles of calm water, get a different boat for that.