Newbie wants ww kayak suggestions

I am taking Celia’s advice and re-posting this thread without any reference to a specific kayak so I can see what people suggest. I deleted the other subject, but i thank you all for your help.

I am a male, 5’7" tall and 185 pounds as of this morning, shoe size 9. I have paddled a little bit borrowing white water kayaks from friends (H3, Wave sport X, Mamba, Response) and renting from the outfitter, and have done some roll classes but do not have a consistant roll altho i have rolled a few times in a pool. It needs more work tho.

I want a white water kayak with a planing hull to do river running up to Class 4 and I love to surf so I want a good surfer. Maybe some spins and tricks eventually but mostly river running and surfing.

What do you suggest for me? I had a kayak in mind but it turns out i am probably too heavy for it. So I am open to suggestions. Hoping to buy used tho cuz my budget is tight.

Andy in Kentucky

might be a good place to start, More of a combo between a displacement and planing hull but great river runner and fun surf boat.

This is not a WW Board?

I don’t understand your question.

Not a planing hull at all. And not a
boat for playing and surfing according to current conceptions. But still a good boat for zipping around the river.

Even I, as an old-schooler, would flatten the RPM quite a bit, and sharpen its chines, in order to sharpen its river handling. Time marches on.

This is not a WW board?
Is that a question? Statement?

Anyone can ask WW questions here. (and get answers…)

The RPM IS a good choice…

Do you have a suggestion?
Something you think would be better than the RPM? I am open to suggestions.

Jackson Fun. DragoRossi Pintail.

– Last Updated: May-31-07 11:24 PM EST –

The reason I suggest these is that they are pretty good general river runners and also good play boats.

The RPM is NOT a good choice.
Go over to and argue your point.

The RPM is a pretty good general river runner, and it was a good playboat about ten years ago. It just is not going to ride waves or surf holes anywhere near as easily as today’s boats.

Even Dagger makes this clear, on their own website.

Go to link inside. You will find some
good stuff on boats for beginners.

Also consider looking at the site. They have a pretty good discussion of their various boats.

Hey - I liked that thread!
There was some good info in that thread.

I particularly liked the brief history of ww boats.

The descriptions of differences between the Inazones and more recent Pyranha models was also informing.

The thread was helpful to me.

BTW, most of the research I’ve done both by talking to ww paddlers and online lead me to the Inazone series as very good all round boats for learning yet not quickly growing out of.

Opinions are like a$$holes…

I’ll run along side you in an old Dagger… we’ll see who fares better…

There may be better boats, but the OP was looking for something used and cheap. I stand by my post.

Find an old Jive to try.
Necky Jive is a pretty decent entry level WW boat. It surfs great and will fit you fine for your size. I weigh about 20 lbs more and no issues. I have very little experience in WW but it works fine for lower level stuff. It surfs pretty well for a whitewater boat. Not sure I would call it a river runner but I’ve seen them in Class IV+ so they must be all right. Very forgiving boat in the surf. Very easy to roll too.

What board…

– Last Updated: Jun-01-07 7:36 AM EST –

Well, as I promised you are getting a lot of to the board question, there is a boatertalk board mentioned above which has a stronger specialty in WW than this one by percentage, and you probably should put something up there (last night I couldn't remember the name).

But I would strongly disagree with anyone who indicated that this board couldn't be helpful w/WW choices. We have a couple of planing hull boats under the back porch that are direct results of the discussion about planing versus displacement hull performance from some of the really solid paddlers here. Had that dialogue not happened, we would have stayed with our older school boats and not realized what we were missing.

P.S. Apologies to njkayaker if my suggestion took away stuff he would have liked to see more persistent, I just thought a fresh start with fuller info up top would help. It was good stuff.

They were good boats. Don’t see
Jives around as much now. Necky’s ocean wave surfing experience could be seen in their WW designs.

"I want a white water kayak with a planing hull to do river running up to Class 4 and I love to surf"

I’d strongly suggest seeing if there’s a club or group in your area to paddle with. On the east coast, at least, there are many clubs and they are very interested in teaching. Also, many of them have boats to borrow.

While I know of one person who has been using an Inazone 230 for many (even in class V), this isn’t typical. It looks like the tendancy for WW paddlers is to buy different boats (especially as they get better).

Note that the boat you want now might not be the boat you want later. Buying a used boat might make some sense.

I’'ll add my 2 bits and am
around your weight range, Dagger outlaw, Pyrnaha I:3 223, Wavesport Big EZ. All those three should fit you. The Big EZ might be tight on your foot size.

Deleting branches

Hmm. I wonder if editing your post might have been a better course of action.


The RPM would not be an unreasonable choice to start out with. Especially, if you can find a used one.

It won’t do everything he wants to do but HE won’t be able to do what he wants to do either (at least, starting out).

"…river running up to Class 4 "
The best boat for you do do Class 4 may not be the best boat for you to learn ww.

As with sea kayaks many paddlers have diffeent ww boats for different conditions.

It may be best to buy a good used boat that is a useful platform for learnig in up to Class 3. By the time you are sanely ready for Class 4 you will have enough experience to have a clearer idea of what boat(s) you want.