I’m in the market for my first kayak and would welcome any and all advice from seasoned paddlers. When I was a kid (20+ years ago), I would take my grandfather’s kayak out on a lake in Austria, but that’s the last time I paddled. In other words, I might as well be completely new to all of it…
I live in the Lake Tahoe area and will probably spend 90% of my paddling time on the lake. I imagine that I’ll hit some nearby rivers as well. I’ve been reading up on kayaks and have checked out a few at REI, but I’m not (yet) comfortable enough to buy one.
As far as what’s important to me, here’s my list in no particular order:
- 3 season usability. I don’t want to freeze my you-know-what off in the spring or fall when the lake is icey cold.
- I think I prefer a sit-in versus sit-on-top design, but am open to any thoughts on this subject.
- Speed and agility are important. However, since I’m new at this, I want a boat that’s easy to handle, doesn’t flip too easily, etc. In other words, I’m willing to sacrifice some speed for stability. I would say a strong intermediate boat…something I can grow into a bit, but not one that requires extensive paddling skills/experience from day one.
- I want to bring things with me (ie: lunch, my camera setup, etc), so a water-proof storage area would be nice.
That about does it. Any thoughts??? I took a look at a few Wilderness Systems boats and the sales guy at REI was pushing the Old Town Dirigo 120 pretty hard (because of the insulation).
Thanks in advance for your feedback!