Hi, everyone my first post here.
I am a beginner kayaker and I am considering purchasing an Old Town Rush or Otter Sport (basically the same thing from Dicks). At the moment I have a Swifty 9.5 that my wife got me for Christmas and now I am hooked on Kayaking after only 3 lake trips. I currently kayak with some friends who own an Emotion Edge and a Liquidlogic Tuxedo and just at normal paddle speed they are leaving me in the dust. So my basic question is if I get a rush (otter sport) which I like for other reasons deck rigging, work deck, size etc. Will I be able to keep up a bit better. Btw I am approximately 6’ tall about 150 lbs and in fairly good shape so I do not think my paddling is the problem.
Thanks for any help
Hi, everyone my first post here.
The truthful answer is no. There is not going to be a big difference in the way any of these 9+ ft kayaks paddle. They are all stable in flat water, easy to manuever, and not particularly fast, but they have there place in the paddling world. Have you tried your friend's kayaks to see if you are any faster in them? If you are looking for a boat for a companion to come along with you, it may be just what you want. If you are looking to replace the Swifty, you are basically getting a very similar type of kayak. If you want a new boat, wait a month or two for the weather to warm up, and then go to some demo days and check out a variety of boats. You may decide to move up to a longer rec boat, a day touring or even a sea kayak. I think the boats you are currently looking at are way to similar to give you the step up you are looking for.
My first boat was an Old Town rush and it is equal to any other 9 foot boat. Yeah it has pegs and deck rigging but it won’t paddle any different (faster) than your Swifty.
I bit the bullet and bought a Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 straight out of the Rush and it was a huge jump but after a couple of weeks, I was very comfortable in the boat.
I am not suggesting that you do what i did as I have been known to be a little bit of an extremist but I felt that since I was hooked on this kayaking thing, that I may as well skip all these intermediate steps which just put money in the dealers pockets as your skills progress as you trade boats. So i got a boat that I knew woudl take me a some time to match its competency. I then lost 35 lbs and traded down to a tempest 165.
My interests grew to include skin on frames, sit on tops and composite boats but I still keep the tempest 165 as it is the best all around boat that woudl cover just about any eventuality.
I don’t know much about transitional or light touring boats…others can certainly suggest some. Theoretically and up to a point, a longer skinnier boat will be faster than a short squat boat. there are of course limitations and exclusions to this depending on the boat and paddler.
My only advice to give and I have taken some time to get to it, is to demo, and do not be put off by a boat because it initially feels tippy. In a very short space of time what you considered tippy turns into either a barge that you hate (if you chose wrong) or a boat who matches your skills and lets you grow in the sport. Only way to do this is to borrow, rent, and demo for more than 45 minutes or god forbid, sitting in the boat on the showroom floor.
My 2 cents anyway
the boat may not be the prob but
14’x 25" is an intermediate boat and a sea kayak is 17’x 22". a race boat is 18’+ and more narrow but the surface area is now going up so you have to paddle harder. its your call
Don’t discount the skill part
Lots of very strong paddlers have found out that what they thought was a strong and good stroke wasn’t actually a very effective one at all - the lucky ones were those who found it out before they did in a shoulder or a wrist. It is quite possible that your skills are a good bit of it, if you’ve only paddled a countable number of times.
That said, as above a nine foot boat is a nine foot boat, and all of them are actually too wide to support much of a decent stroke unless you have the arms of a gorilla.
Lessons should be a priority, so that you can better gauge know what kind of boat and fit will do what you want.
apologies. Celia is of course right. (She usually is… Lessons will go a very long way in helping you decide what is best for you. if you are in a rush (pun intended) to get a boat…stop. the couple of extra dollars you spend renting and taking lessons will more than pay for themselves in not buying the wrong boat.
9-10 ft. rec boats
A couple years ago I owned a W/S Pamlico 100 and my nephew owned a Swifty 9.5. One time we paddled the Tuolumne River and swapped boats a number times. There was no difference in the speed of those 2 boats. We’d attended demos and tried similar sized boats and there’s barely, if any, difference in speed.
Get something with a 24 inch beam. Still pretty stable but narrow enough that you can learn a more efficient stroke.
Hey I can really screw up!
Like trying to roll in moving water - tho’ I swear that dragon gets slain this season.
But we did go thru the thing of buying a less-than-final, or even intermediate, boat on our first try which had to be exchanged for more suited ones in remarkably short time. As did many others. So, do as we say not as we did.
to find a noticeable difference…
...you'll need to move up to a 12 foot or longer boat, preferably with a 25" beam or less. Short rec boats, as others have noted, are pretty consistent in both their shortcomings and their strengths. If you want something significantly higher performance without breaking the bank, the class of the 12-13 foot boats are the Current Designs Breeze and the Necky Manitou 13. The shape of the Breeze makes it a little more seaworthy for open water, the comfort of the Manitou makes it good for long afternoons on calm water.
FWIW, the product lines carried by most of the big boxes are geared toward lowest common denominator boats, and some of the manufacturers (like Current Designs) choose not to deal with them. If you can get yourself to a kayak specialty shop, you'll find a much better selection and a sales staff who know something about boats to help give you some guidance.
Thanks for the advice everyone
I went to a kayak demo this past weekend and tested out Liquid Logic, Emotion, and Necky Kayaks. I tested just about everything I could get into including sit on tops since they were there. Anyway, the two I liked the best were the Necky Manitou 13 and the Manitou Sport. I think I have decided on the Manitou Sport as the one I will be buying. I liked the speed and glide of the Manitou 13, but I was not crazy about turning it it. I think the sport fits better with what I want for exploring small streams and some river running. I think it is the best compromise between a 9 foot boat and a 13. I feel it gives me the best versatility.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!!
I followed advice and
went to a kayak demo this past weekend. Tested out Liquid Logic, Emotion, and Necky Kayaks. I tested just about everything I could get into including sit on tops since they were there. Anyway, the two I liked the best were the Necky Manitou 13 and the Manitou Sport. I think I have decided on the Manitou Sport as the one I will be buying. I liked the speed and glide of the Manitou 13, but I was not crazy about turning it it. I think the sport fits better with what I want for exploring small streams and some river running. I think it is the best compromise between a 9 foot boat and a 13. I feel it gives me the best versatility.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!!