New to this forum and kayaking

Hello my name is James and I’m new to kayaking. I recently bought an aspire 105 and would love to learn more about kayaking itself.
I live in Vancouver WA and have been here all my life so I know alot of the rivers and lakes.
Currently I don’t know anyone here thats into the sport, so hopefully I might be able to find people who’d be looking for someone to kayak with. I recently took a small course just to learn the basics because I felt it might be a good idea. Thanks for having me, I look forward to learning much more!

It is a rec kayak so most here will advise picking your waters carefully and not venturing greater distances from shore than you feel comfortable swimming the boat in especially if alone. It has some stern floatation with the hatch area and we have a similar rec kayak and I added floatation to the bow by inserting a yoga ball up there and blowing it up in place. It conformed nicely to the shape and is held in well by the dash. I picked one that wasn’t so large it interfered with legroom. You can also buy flotation bags made to fit in that are wedge shape.

I also like a painter line on the bow that can be used for a lot of things one being an aid in swimming the boat in if needed. It can be coiled and kept under the bow bungee. When it is swamped it will be very hard to move in the water. So a bailer or a hand bilge pump are nice to have along with a good PFD and whistle.

If your area is anything like around here most of the areas that see a lot of rec kayaks hardly no one wears a PFD. Don’t follow the crowd. Lastly it is a real temptation in early spring when the air temp gets nice to get out on the water before the water is really warm enough. Again around here they come out without proper cold water gear and you will see people not knowing the risk they are taking.

Welcome to the group and be safe and have fun.

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I know that there are groups in your area. Maybe through facebook? Also they have a big event on Vancouver lake every year where the manufactures let you demo everything. If they have it this year it would be a great place to make contact.
I believe next adventure and Alder Creek in Portland are involved in the event.

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Hi James. Welcome to the community!

Kudos to you for taking that first lesson.

In addition to all the good information in the “Learn” section here, there’s plenty of good info at this site, which was created by certified ACA paddling instructors:

Happy adventures in your new boat!

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Deep Cove is in Vancouver, BC. The OP is in Vancouver, WA, which is right across the Columbia river from Portland, OR.

@dcowell65 suggested Alder Creek in Portland and Next Adventures, which would be good resources.

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James just bought his first kayak and I don’t know if he is ready to step up to a sea kayak just yet.

If he comes back maybe he can explain why he bought what he did and what his plans are with it. It should be able to be made somewhat safer but used as is within it’s limits it should be fine for many new paddlers dealing with sheltered waters. Around here the Aspire 105 would be upper tier of what I have been seeing.

Oops, sorry and thanks to Peter-CA for the catch. Vacation brain happening here.

As to questions about pushing James, the bottom line is that he lives far enough north that water comfortable to mess around with advanced skills has a short season. If he is curious about this stuff he needs to check it out in the next 8 to 9 weeks or is likely to find things too chilly unless he also wants to invest in clothing that may seem pretty pricey to someone just starting out. Since pretty much all of that involves swimming while you learn.

If he loses this window he is stuck unless pool sessions, which are pricey and if there is another CoVid wave won’t happen.

I and my husband had the good fortune to get serious about our skills in an environment with very available and shockingly cheap pool sessions for the winter season. Because the water outside is too damned cold for it to be comfy by late October. Post CoVid this is hard to find.

Thank you for the responses. I chose the kayak I did because I have seven or eight lakes close to me and four or five different Rivers. I would also like to do some coastal kayaking but it’s about an 1 1/2 hours away from my house and I wanted to spend more time on the water and less time driving. I was going to start kayaking last Summer but it just didn’t pan out that way and knowing I have most of this Summer off I wasn’t going to hesitate. So for now I’m going to check out most of the lakes and rivers around here to get working on what I’ve already learned. Eventually I want to buy another kayak for the ocean because I would love to go that route. I’ve already been in contact with Bill Vonnegut at Pacific coastal kayaking and I planned on taking some ocean courses, maybe later in the summer or early fall. But for now I figure what I have is a good start and look forward to my kayak being delivered so I can go venture…:blush:

Glad to hear you are hooked up to go somewhere for expanded skills. It can be a lot of fun to work on this stuff! As long as you are not freezing your tail off.

My husband and l would go for training weekends and call it a vacation, albeit one we came back from tired.

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Here is a link to Meet Up Vancover.
They have tons of different interest groups that are local. Here in the Connecticut they have kayaking, hiking groups as well as social groups. In the Spring the Kayaking Groups ususlly met at local indoor swimming pools to teach or refesh in self rescue, kayak rolls etc. I am pretty sure you will find a lot of groups in your area.