Hi everyone! I’m a noob to kayaking. I want to get a couple kayaks for recreational paddling on calm lakes. I think I’ve decided on an Emotion Darter 9 kayak. It looks like just what I need. However, I’m bigger (about 200 lbs.) and I want to put my daughter on my lap (she’s three, about 35 lbs.). The Darter’s maximum load is 250. That gives me some wiggle room, but I don’t want my fat arse to sink this thing, but I also don’t really want much bigger. Suggestions? Thoughts? Lose some weight, fatty? Thanks in advance!
What’s your reason for a 9-footer?
Most beginners seem to want the shortest possible boat, but really, 12 feet is about as short as you can go and still have some halfway-decent cruising speed. Longer boats can even be easier to load on your car than short ones, if your roof rack is set up for a slide-on loading method. I myself would prefer to put a 200# beginner in a 13- or 14-foot boat if it needed to be "short", but you may have your reasons for wanting one that's 9 feet.
At first I was looking at a 10 footer, but the 9 footer seems easier to transport. I don’t care about going fast. I just want to fart around on the water with my daughter. I’m thinking 9 foot because it seems easier to carry and load, as I will be doing this myself. Also cost, always cost, as I will also need to buy a roof rack for my car. I appreciated any and all suggestions, so thank you for replying!
No Don’t Do It
If you don’t have any paddling experience don’t sit your daughter in your lap in a 9’ kayak.
Look into a tandem sit on top like a Cobra or Ocean Kayak Malibu II or Hobie Oddysey, buy used, look on Craigslist for a bargain. Yes they are heavy and you will need a roof rack.
Thanks so much! I realize paddling with my daughter on my lap will be awkward. I will keep looking into this and researching further. Thanks!
Consider weight too then
I think that when starting out, people tend to look at boats and be intimidated by the size of the longer ones. Believe me, size, length (whatever) is not an issue when carrying a boat (except on really windy days). What really matters is how much it weighs. So if a longer boat only weighs a few pounds more (and it could even weighs the same) as a shorter one, the longer boat (longer than 9 or 10 feet anyway) certainly deserves consideration.
Great boat but cramped
I realize this is an old post to respond to, but it took me years to finally bite the bullet and buy a kayak. I picked up the Darter recently because the price was right (about half of list). I love the boat, find it very stable and it tracks rather well (it spins a bit when you stop paddling but it is not hard to keep on track when on the move). However, I cannot fit my daughter on my lap and she is smaller and younger than yours. My wife is small and could barely paddle with our daughter. For just you the kayak should be fine (I’m 220ish myself). I would look somewhere else for a yak for two.