I posted this question under "unassigned" but I thought it would be better to post under kayaks.
Hello, I'm new to kayaking. I was able to try some kayaks at a local kayak and canoe store. I liked the Kestrel 120 HV and the Necky Rip. I thought that the Rip was less "tippy" and had good tracking and was easy for me to paddle. I believe the Kestrel has a softer chine which may be why it felt slightly more "tippy" at first. It is also narrower. Anyhow, the Rip is 1 1/2 feet shorter than the Kestrel I tried, so I was surprised the Rip seemed easier to paddle and tracked straighter for me. I can't afford an expensive kayak right now. In fact, I need to get two because my husband wants one also, but he doesn't want to spend a lot of money. I was so desperate to get a Kayak that I almost bought a $200 kayak at Dick's Sporting Goods. My husband is 6'5" and he has long legs, but he actually fits well in the Rip. I was able to find one for $420, which I thought was a really good price. Problem is, they only have one. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding other kayaks that would be good around the same price? I plan to use the kayak in slow moving rivers and canals. I will have to deal with wind, wakes created from boats (though I plan to kayak mostly in no wake zones) and no to slow currents. I don't plan on doing any rapids, maybe class 1. I prefer sit in kayaks and nothing too heavy or wide, at least 10' long. I realize that the Rip isn't exactly a top of the line kayak, but it felt comfortable for me and seemed to be ok for what I plan to do. I plan to get a really nice kayak someday after I save some money, learn the basics, learn about the different styles, and try several different kayaks at area demo days.
At first it’s 80% boat , 20% paddler but
that all changes quick. In no time at all you will be changing-up boats and running all kinds of water. My suggustion…find something that’s comfortable to sit in, Dick’s boats are fine. In a month or two, you will have developed a paddling style and prefrences that will enable you to choose more acurately.
I agree that I need some experience paddling before I go out and buy an expensive kayak I might not end up being happy with. This is why I thought the Rip might be a good choice. Not sure I’d be happy with a $200 Pelican.