Newbie to kayaks

Recently moved from my home state of WV to Columbia, SC. Retired,no wanted to be near daughter and grandkids. Quite a change for us. We have never kayaked, but I’ve paddled canoes and flat bottom fishing boats. Our goal is just to enjoy a quiet day on a lake or large pond. We are considering the Old Town Vapor 10 kayaks as they seem to have good reviews. Also watching our costs due to now fixed income.:roll_eyes:

So all you experts out there, what do you think.

Thanks and excited to be part of this forum.

Welcome to the heat capital of SC!
I hope you like HOT summers.

While far from an expert, those look like they would be fine for your stated purposes. I think long term you would like 12’ boats better but we all started somewhere.

A positive is that a 10’ boat is perfect for Cedar Creek in Congaree N.P.

Heat and more heat
We left WV end of January with 27" of snow on the ground. Born and raised there 62 years. New chapter in our lives that we hope includes kayaking. In WV winters, we hibernated. Guess we will do that here in the summer!:sun_with_face:

Thanks for the advice.

I wouldn’t trust the reviews
Everybody buys there first boat, paddles it twice, goes home and writes a 5 star review about how great it tracks.

Boats tend to run in classes and all boats of a class will handle like almost every other boat in it’s class. A 10 foot rec kayak handles the same as every other 10 foot rec kayak regardless of manufacturer. Some may last a little longer than others, but they are pretty much the same.

If all you want to do is paddle around together in a pond they will work fine.

If you ever go paddling with a group of other paddlers who have 12 or 14’ footers you will not keep up in a 10’ yak. To paddle bigger water safely or do some kayak camping you will want a boat with two bulkheads and perimeter (not bungee) lines. This probably means 14’. I can paddle some pretty narrow streams in a 14.

Quite possibly a 10’ rec will do everything you want your kayak to do though, in which case I would snap up something from Craigslist.

I would rather paddle a $200 boat with a $150 paddle than a $1200 boat with a $75 paddle. Spend your money on a good paddle and shop for a comfortable kayaking PFD you will wear.

If you buy a 10’ on CL you can paddle it all year and sell it next year for $50 less if you decide you want something better.

If money is a concern I would not go to Bass Pro and buy a new kayak.

Aquabound makes good paddles
and Campmor sells them at a good price. At the least get one with a fiberglass shaft and nylon blades.

No need to hibernate in summer. Just head fot the upstate.

Lots of nice lakes not far away.

I’m retired, also. Best advice…
go to Dicks. Sit in the boats on the floor and find one that is comfortable. The seat and seatback is adjustable so play around with it for a while. If you don’t like the boat in the water, Dicks will take it back as long as you didn’t register it.

I’m retired also. Best advice…
…is don’t go anywhere near Dicks. They basically sell pool toys.

Go to a dedicated paddle shop where you’ll find a broad selection of boats and knowledgeable people.

Fortunately for you there is one right in Columbia, the “River Runner Outdoor Center” on Gervais Street.

They sell new and used boats, organize paddling trips and will also rent kayaks.

Go talk to them.

Charleston Outdoor Festival

– Last Updated: Mar-12-16 5:56 PM EST –

Do not get in a rush. The Charleston Outdoor Festival; (Formerly the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival,is a couple hours east of you.It is a good place to demo kayaks, paddle boards in a controlled setting. The festival is April 15-17th at James Island Campground.

The main festival package, is way over priced. But for $10-15;for a day demo pass, you can try various kayaks, paddles, etc. It's a good place to ask questions and kick tires. Many vendors and dealers to deal with.

Great info
Thanks for everyone’s great advice on this forum. I will be sure to follow up on each discussion. Very helpful.

Vapor could be limiting
Just remember that you aren’t saving money if you find that after a season or two you need to upgrade. You are better off spending a little more and getting a better boat that you can grow into.

If you will be a very occasional kayaker just looking to float around, the OT Vapor will work. If you find yourself really enjoying kayaking and doing it frequently you will soon find the Vapor to be limiting.

Since money is an issue, consider buying a better kayak used. I know it’s a nice feeling to put a spanking new kayak in your driveway, but the minute you take it on the water it’s a used boat. For what you pay for the Vapor new, you can probably find a much better used boat for about the same price or slightly more.

My advice
Ignore anyone who derides someone else’s boats as “pool toys” and demands you spend a lot of money after you’ve stated you’re on a budget.

The judgment of such people is useless.

Paddling is an addicting activity. The more you try it the more you want and need. I would go to that paddling festival and try as many as possible.

East coast festival
The best thing about forums is the amount of great info provided by seasoned forum members. I plan on taking most of the advice given here and weigh all my options. Happy Kayaking everyone.

Way too generalized dissing of 10’ boats
Stating as fact that all 10’ rec boats handle the same is absurd.

I’m surprised that you actually believe that.

“Boats tend to run in classes and all boats of a class will handle like almost every other boat in it’s class. A 10 foot rec kayak handles the same as every other 10 foot rec kayak regardless of manufacturer. Some may last a little longer than others, but they are pretty much the same.”

I’ve owned half a dozen

– Last Updated: Mar-23-16 8:39 PM EST –

That's my experience

I don't think that's a dis either