Hello everyone, straight to the point.
I’m buying my first Kayak and I was wondering if a 14 ft kayak is recommended for a first time kayak or will it be too long or unstable?
The one I’m looking at is this:
It seems to be a good beginners-intermediate kayak although I’m not sure if there is anything wrong with it being 14 ft. My first thought was instability. I’m only asking about the length.
What do you all think?
What’s the concern - do you think it’s too long or too short? In any case, the linked kayak does have front and rear bulkheads and hatches, a little wide at 26" but 14 ft is good for starting out. Price is decent, but man, is that heavy. If you buy and don’t like it, you can probably sell for $500 at the end of the season and move on knowing you got a summer-long rental for not very much.
My starter was FG and about 50 pounds with rudder, 14 ft by 25" wide, still have it, still love it. Looking for a used 14 ft FG boat is an option to explore.
A bit heavy for my tastes at 64 lbs but at the price it’s probably OK. 14’ is pretty short but at 26" wide it’s likely to be very stable. Stability does depend on other things than length and width. hull shape, how the volume is distributed, how high the seat is above the floor are some of the other indicators. Also involved is your shape. If your mass is low & your hips are flexible than something “tippy” may seem stable while if your mass is high & your hips lack flexibility that stable may seem “tippy”.
You don’t mention your height, weight, fitness level or what sort of waters you intend to paddle. So your question is kind of like “Should I buy a bicycle with 2 wheels?”. In other words, not enough information to give you a reasonable answer. There are 14’ long boats that are as stable as a battleship (and nearly as heavy) and 14’ boats that can capsize on a dime if you are not attuned to how to handle them. There are dozens of other factors to consider in the design and options of a boat other than length.
I wouldn’t do serious water, aside from WW of course, in less than 15 to 16 ft. You will find the same is true for most who paddle longer distances on bigger water. Without info on where you plan to paddle and your goals, it is hard to comment on length.
It is unclear what you mean by intermediate paddling. If that includes rolling, you have to be a fairly large person for a 26 inch wide boat to be supportive of learning. Possible once you know how yes, but to learn in a bear. I am not seeing specs on cockpit dimensions or deck height, which can also matter. And the ad touts a backrest, not what you see in full out sea kayaks which have backbands.
A 26 ft wide boat unless you are a very large person is plenty stable. Again, it would help to know where you intend to paddle to better comment.
What the right boat to start with depends on the person for a number of reasons. Depending on where you paddle, the 3 1/2 feet of extra length compared to the average rec boat shouldn’t be a problem. It is 26" wide so fairly narrow for a starter, but still fairly wide. I think this boat would take some getting used to for you, but not horrible. Build better skills than the 34" wide common rec boats. It is heavy as hell and doesn’t look like it has bulkheads though so if you want to get away from shore you will want to put some floatation in the bow and stern. Web site says they are sold out by the way
My first boat was a 14’ touring, a little narrower and fiber glass so a lot lighter. Fine length for a beginner. You will find it goes faster and straighter than the shorter wider boats out there.
Reading the specs, the Aventura 140 has both the bow and stern access hatches with foam bulkheads to keep the hatches dry or close to dry. That is important. If you buy this at $499 and really get into sea kayaking you will possibly evolve into a longer, narrower kayak … but certainly much lighter. This might be a nice starter kayak, but I found no substantive reviews. It is almost inescapable that (if you really get into sea kayaking) your first kayak will be a learning experience, perhaps your first kayak of several (many?).
If you progress through the normal paddling evolution that boat will make a fine loaner or beater boat.
There are places you may go that can be hard on a hull like rocky rivers, oyster beds, and pull overs in the middle of rivers. All of those make great memories.
The notion of “beginner” kayak is kind of useless. Take the example of bicycles: would you consider a 3 speed bike with coaster brakes a “beginner bike”? Or a golf cart a “beginner car”?? No. The boat you are looking at is a cheaply made recreational style boat best limited to shallow ponds and slow narrow rivers. It’s not going to enable you to advance any real skill levels.
The best boat for a “beginner” is the best one the new paddler can afford for the type of paddling that they eventually hope to do. If you buy a heavy, clunky boat with few performance features or good design you will have a hard time learning effective and efficient paddling form and skills. This is why we recommend that beginners start with used boats because (1.) you can get a better boat for your bucks and (2.) you won’t know what exactly you want for boat performance and fit until you have paddled for a while – with a used boat you will be able to sell it for close to what you paid and move up to one better suited to you. Also, when you buy a used boat the sellers often throw in a paddle and PFD which can save you $100 to $300.
I second that. Buy used. We both bought boats that we out grew in a year or so. You don’t know what type of paddling you want to do until you paddle. Buy a used boat on craigslist. Paddle for a year. Then sell it for about what you paid for it on craigslist and buy your dream boat.
Oh, and sell your dream boat next year and buy your new dream boat.
Or just build a boat garage. :- )
Thanks for all the replies! I’m planning on sticking to flat water at the moment and progress to level II water. I’m 170 lb and 5’10. I think I’ll go ahead and get this one, I can get it from a dealer for a cheaper price than online. If anything I’ll sell it by the end of the summer and hopefully I’ll have a better idea as to what buy next.
Thanks for all the input.
That’s a good plan - enjoy