-- Last Updated: Mar-24-12 11:58 PM EST --

Hey everyone. I'm sure u have had plenty of threads basically the same as mine. But anyways I am completely new to kayaking.

Got in my friends for a bit to make sure I like it and had a blast. Wanting to get into this summer but do not have much of an idea on where to start. I talked to my friend but he is one of the unhelpful types that never really gets back to you.

Its whitewater kayaking but nothing crazy yet of course. Just pretty small and tame rivers and hope to progressivly work my way up.

For starters what kind of kayak would I need.

I am about 5'9 and around 155. I dont know anything about sizes or specs or anything like that so any advice would be welcome.

Another question I have is that after kayaking I wanted to do some camping. Would the storage compartments on kayaks allow enough room for say a sleeping bag and a few other things?

Thanks in advance and any advice is welcome. I really just need someone to point me in the right direction as I am pretty clueless at the moment.

Maybe a club in your area?
Good Morning YS,

How about joining a club that shares your interest or looking into beginners classes from a dealer/outfitter in your area? We don’t do the whitewater thing (Florida) so can’t offer any insight.

Maybe someone else will chime in… Be safe.

There’s a huge selection of boats that could work for you, depending on the kind of water you’re paddling and what you want to do in it.

If you think you’ll be paddling rivers that have long flat sections between rapids, you might want to consider one of the longer hybrids. they trade some whitewater capability for better performance on the flat.

In whitewater, is your primary interest running through it, or staying and playing in it? Playboats are great for staying and playing in holes or on waves. Creekboats are for keeping you safe in steep creeks or big water. River-runners are somewhere in between the two. This gives you a good idea of the different types:

It’s important to get a boat that fits you. Most modern whitewater kayaks are made in 2-3 sizes to match your weight.

Used whitewater boats are usually fairly inexpensive.

agree with checking into a club

– Last Updated: Mar-25-12 8:13 AM EST –

I would second the notion of checking to see if there are any whitewater kayak clubs in your area. This is the time of year when most whitewater clubs are about to have spring clinics directed towards beginning whitewater kayakers and/or pool sessions that allow you to familiarize yourself with getting out of a capsized boat in a safe environment. The clinics or "schools" are typically a weekend affair and the costs are usually moderate.

Most clubs will require you to provide your own equipment (boat, paddle, skirt, helmet, PFD, clothing, footwear, etc) but it could well be that someone in the club has an extra boat and gear that they could let you use for the clinic.

A club is also a great way to quickly connect with other paddlers in your general area, learn about the local rivers, provide assistance with the logistics of shuttling vehicles, and provides a safety net on the river.

Whitewater kayaks for the most part don't have any storage compartments. Modern playboats are so short it would be difficult to carry much of anything in them. A large creek boat or a whitewater kayak of 1990s vintage (or earlier) would likely have enough room behind the seat to stow some items in a dry bag placed on either side of the central foam pillar. There are also what are called "stow-float" bags which are flotation bags into which you can stuff gear and then close with a more-or-less watertight seal.

An older whitewater kayak might serve your needs quite well as an introduction to whitewater, especially if you see yourself primarily doing day trips on fairly easy rivers. Some of these boats have much better hull speed than modern whitewater play boats or creek boats. These can often be found for a couple or few hundred dollars, often with a paddle and skirt thrown in.

Another option would be one of the modern cross-over or transitional kayaks. These are whitewater capable boats that have a stern hatch and storage compartment and retractable skeg to improve their versatility for non-whitewater use. Examples are the Jackson Rogue, the Pyranha Fusion, and the Liquid Logic Remix XPs.

As above…
WW kayaking is generally not a solo activity, at least from what I’ve seen. There are a lot of good reasons for that.

Where are you located? Folks here may be able to point you towards some good help.

my 2 cents worth …
…lots of people want a boat that can they can do everything in…go W/W in then go camping then go cruising big waters…no one boat does it all!! thats why some of us have 3-4-5 boats in the fleet. Look @ a liquid logic XP 9 or 10. google Utube for a Grand Canyon trip with the XP"s. Don’t go crazy buying all sorts of widgets and gadgets for kayaking. There’s plenty of time later for that. If you get 20 replies…u’ll probably get 20 different your best to wade thru the info and by all means adhere to the P-Net motto …"try before you buy " if at all possible. good luck

Some great advice, i really appreciate it!

I hadnt thought about looking into a class, that is a great idea.

I also appreciate the advice about what sizes to use and how most dont have room for gear.

I live in western NC so there are quite a few rivers here in the mountains.

Instruction in western NC
If you want a quick, but very good introduction to whitewater kayaking consider taking a clinic at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) situated on the Nantahala River between Bryson City and Andrews, NC:

The clinics are not cheap, but all meals, lodging, equipment, and transport are included along with excellent instruction. You usually also have an opportunity to try out several different modern whitewater K-1 designs (but only ones that NOC sells).

Endless River Adventures is also right on the Nantahala just a couple of miles upstream and also offers superb whitewater kayak instruction:

ERA does not provide gear, meals, or lodging, however and they offer primarily private instruction which is pretty pricey if you are alone. But if you can get a small group together the costs are usually more moderate.