OK, this newbie got her new kayak...

-- Last Updated: May-20-07 11:47 PM EST --

however, it wasn't the one I had been looking at. The tsunami sounded like such a nice kayak but, much to my dismay upon visiting the kayak store, although I was able to plop my butt in the seat, due to my being great of girth and long of leg, I was unable to get my legs in! (And this was merely sitting on the showroom floor...) so, the kind young (short) lady (who was able to get in the tsunami quite easily...) assisted me in finding one I was actually able to get in. I ended up with a Perception Carolina 14. Please don't tell me this was a grave error! I so wanted to leave with a kayak after driving three hours to get to the store! (And my birthday is Tuesday and this is my present from my husband) Does anyone have one of these and how do you like it? Do you think I will be okay with it? I am not planning on doing any whitewater river stuff right now (ultimate goal is to go Service Creek to Clarno on John Day river), just small lakes for now. What do you think??

Ah …

– Last Updated: May-20-07 11:53 PM EST –

Did you try putting your legs in first, one at a time and then your butt?

Your new kayak should be fine ... enjoy paddling.

Truth is, the only way to know if it’s right is just to get out there!! But you’re not exactly the first Carolina purchaser. Yes, there are those out there who prefer and recommend other boats (and there are certainly a ton of boats to try!) but the Carolina is a good yak. Have fun! I was just out with another female paddler (taller than myself) and she seemed immensely comfortable in her Carolina. She was an experienced paddler who had done some racing in various boats but for this particular, relaxing day trip she still picked her trusty Carolina. Have a great time paddling!!

It’s a nice thing to have you own kayak. I hope you travel safely and frequently in it :slight_smile:

No. I eyed the cockpit, contemplated it, and said “Umm, how do I get in this?” She said, “you can either stand astride it, put your butt in, then your legs, or squat beside it and put your legs in” I said “Ummm, I can’t do the squat thing” So. I tried the stradle and plop. I plopped okay but then I had all this leg sticking out and no where to put it! (They actually stretched rather nicely atop the bow…) Honestly, there was no way I could stuff them in the cockpit of that tsunami! I was distressed to say the least as I hadn’t thought I actually wouldn’t be able to get in it AT ALL! I didn’t do any research on any other kinds either so I was kind of at a loss after that. I know, what a dumb newbie, huh? Yep, that would be me! But, I do have a kayak now! I am so excited and am looking forward to some warm weather so I can go try it out!

truth be told the Carolina (new model) that you GOT is actually a better John Day boat!!! I helped design BOTH of those choices AND have run the JD extensively.

The fit is a bit more ‘athletic’ in the Ts and the Carolina a bit more ‘roomy’…but the Carolina is a slicker, looser boat when it comes to tracking and making moves in current.

They are very similar in where/how they can be used.

GOOD LUCK and congrads!!!


Congrats on your new boat and also
your decision to get what is right for you.

Everyone I have ever known that has a Carolna 14 loves the boat.

Happy Birthday



First of all…Happy Birthday
It’s your birthday and your gift so how could it be wrong. The more you paddle it…the more you’ll like it or love it. So paddle often.

We all paddle different boats of different colors for various reasons so enjoy your present and your special day…on the water, of course.

What an excellent birthday present!

There’s nothing better than that first boat. Someone already mentioned that they know a number of happy Carolina owners, and I’ve seen a few such people myself. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

It’s a good boat…
…a very stable platform.

Later on you may want one that’s a bit faster

and easier to carve, but if you do, hang onto

the Carolina.

The aggressive boats are a lot of fun, but when

the water is really cold, you’ll appreciate the

Carolina’s stability.

Congratulations. It’s a really good boat.

Nothing could be finer
than to be in Carolina in the morning. Unless you’re in your Carolina Kayak in Oregon.

Congratulations. I have several lady friends who have the 13.5 and swear by their’s. I even borrowed one for a NC to CA to NC camping/kayaking trip I made last month and enjoyed paddling it.

Any day on the water is a great day,


Just one thing…
Neither the Carolina nor the Tsunami is a whitewater kayak! If your long-range goal is to paddle whitewater, you need to be looking at a different type of boat, altogether.

In the meantime, though the Carolina wouldn’t be my pick, it’s a fine boat and you’ll have plenty of fun in your first boat. (I now have 7 or is it 8 - I always forget!)

Fine boat for quiet water
With summer coming you’ll first want something you can just get out in on a hot summer night, and it’ll support the most basic stuff like self-rescue. You’ll want to look around for something better suited at the point you are thinking about rolling and WW etc, but a good WW boat is not well suited to cruising along a lake anyway. It’s a fair amount of work to paddle them compared to the boat you have.

And you can go used when you head to WW anyway, at least to start out. WW boat makers redo their boats every year so there is a lot of changeover hence a quite robust number of used boats around at the end of each season.

Sounds good. I’ve had 3 Perceptions

– Last Updated: May-22-07 2:06 PM EST –

the last one is somewhat simular to the Carolina 14, loved them all. It's largly a matter of fit. If it's comfortable to sit in and if it's the right kind of boat for the type of water, then its a match.

This sport grows on you quick. Before you know it you'll be looking for your next boat.

Thank you!
Thanks to all who responded and wished me a Happy Birthday! I appreciate all the feedback. I will post again after I have put my yak in the water for the first time!


Good for you !
Almost goes without saying, but please don’t forget that PFD. You can use this site to get advice + use the search and also check the product reviews. Good luck, be safe, and have fun!