Purchase advice

I am looking for some advice. I live in upstate New York and have decided to purchase a kayak. I have some experience on flatwater and local streams. I am looking for a kayak that I can take on flat water and and some of the local tributaries. Thus, I need something that can handle both flat and fast moving water. I have friends who recently purchased kayaks and quickly outgrew them. Any ideas for a boat that meets my need and that I can grow into?

greenpaddle… I might as well ask you

– Last Updated: Mar-25-06 12:11 PM EST –

now, because others will and they are right... what is your height, weight, leg length, IQ and income.

(Okay, I'm kidding about the IQ and income. But some advisors will want to know your budget too).

Where in upstate?
Depending on where you are, you may be near a paddle group that you could get involved with to both rent/try out different boats and talk to a lot of paddlers about what has worked for them. For example, there is an ADK paddle group of the Albany/ Schenectady chapter that will be starting evening paddles in a month, and a local paddle shop that sells and rents out boats for thees paddles. The paddles are on local calm rivers, are set up in pods based on likely pace, and are a good way to get some basic experience and try out different boats.

Purchase advice
6 feet, 200 lbs. I would rank myself beginner to intermediate. $1,500 is probably my ceiling. However, I am looking to buy a kayak that will suit my needs and not have me wanting to upgrade in 6 mos.

Purchase advice

– Last Updated: Mar-25-06 2:26 PM EST –

Between Buffalo and Rochester, New York. Any groups in that area? I have heard Oak Orchard is a good spot.

I have a Wilderness Systems
Tempest 170. This boat is a SEA KAYAK and can handle any conditions that a paddler is capable of paddling. The boat is 17’ long and 22" wide and made of polyethelene. Although the boat is long, it has a lot of rocker (the hull is shaped like a pringle™ potato chip) so it’s very easy to manuever with a little practice. I paddle this boat on flat water, storm-tossed water, quiet streams and class 1-2 rivers.

I purchased the boat used (two times) for $1000 plus a paddle and sprayskirt.

You will not outgrow this boat any time soon.

can’t go wrong
with a used Prijon Sea Yak if you can find one. $1500 should get you plenty of used boat, used paddle, used gear and used lessons (?).


Oak Orchard
The Waterport Store has a large pond (small lake) behind the store where you can try out the brands they carry. They also have a store up in Rochester and there are at least two other fine outlets up in the rochester area as well.

The crew at Oak Orchard will spend as much time as YOU need explaining the boats and (weather permitting)letting you test them.

You might want to contact PackPadleSki (they’re based down in a Rochester suburb) and see when their intro to kayaking courses are being held (ditto the safety and rescue courses).

EMS should be having a kayak intro as well…If there isn’t one down in the rochester area e-mail me and I’ll let you know when the one up here in Buffalo is being held.

Tsunami 120
Continuing the theme of purchase advice…How about the Tsunami 120 (WS)? There are no reviews here. I am not sure that I really need a longer boat right now. Plus, I have paddled the 120 and it fit like a glove. I like the small cockpit entry and thigh braces. Also liked that the storage was big enough, but not so big that I could load myself down like a barge. I’ve read that the cockpit in the 140 and 145 can feel a little loose. I am looking at a new 120 and a used Tempest 165 for roughly the same cost. Trying to do more overnighters, weekends, maybe week-long trips in mostly Florida water (ocean and river) and have heard that the longer Tempest can be a shrew to turn in riverbends. Anyone out there got 2 cents on this? Thanks!


– Last Updated: Mar-25-06 8:53 PM EST –

Go for the Tempest and steer clear of the Tsunami 120.....when you pack for an overnighter you'll be glad. Also, the fact that it is a USED Tempest...is a good thing! The quality of the older ones was far, far better than what they are putting out right now. They have HUGE quality control issues right now...a used Tempest though....it is a good design and as long as it is in good shape, the bulkheads are sealed properly (a lot of newer ones are not) and the hatches fit well...you can't go wrong as long as it is good shape and built properly! It is a good design that you will not soon outgrow.
Good luck.

As sternquirt mentions… I second it.

Sounds like
You have some good local advice. I’d also suggest that you check on the ADK (ADirondack Mountain Club) website for a chapter in your area, see if they have some paddling groups going out.

Given your location, I’d mention one thing. You are within striking distance of Lake Erie, which is big water. You may not think at the moment that you want to take that on, but if you really like the sport you’ll probably end up changing your mind about that. Talk to your friends and the paddle shop about the likelihood of your wanting to move up to that kind of water, in terms of skills and boat, see what their take is on how to set yuourself up best for that.

If you do get a boat that is a “first boat” to start with, it can always be a guest boat.

A Liquidlogic Pisgah or

– Last Updated: Mar-26-06 10:19 AM EST –

a Necky Manitou 14 are worth a look too for your size and price range, and be able to run some rivers too. I think 17" is too much for the latter.



Scroll down to see the Pisgah, don't know why they have a different kayak pictured on top.

Best advice is to test paddle what you like at a dealer demo day that always pop up this time of year.

Tempest 170 vs 165
I am also 6ft and 200 lbs. I bought the Tempest 170 when I was 230 lbs. I have to say that it feels a lot bigger now but it is still a great boat. If I was going to buy one again it would be the 165. (also to be fair, I have been squeezing myself into an extremely low volume Skin on frame lately so anything else looks huge!)

I have just gotten the Outer Island by Impex and am agonizing over selling the Tempest as it is a perfect second boat for me or as a loaner, and as was mentioned earlier has more rocker and maneuverability in some conditions. Very stable, very forgiving, lots of storage, good rigging, skeg actually works.

The seating in the Tempest is extremely comfortable and you can adapt the seating and comfort very easily.

Like was said earlier…get a used Tempest. I am hearing horror stories about the quality control over at Confluence right now. Kinda like the Ford Focus…the first year had a huge amount of problems but they worked themselves out and are pretty dependable right now. I think Confluence is going through the same pains.

BTW, you can turn the tempest very easily…no issues at all. a couple of basic paddling skills like sculling draws and bow and stern ruddering and you will feel much more comfortable with boat control. Also when you get comfortable leaning, the Tempest is very responsive.

The Tempest also rolls very easily so if you find yourself growing into the sport and want to try some eskimo style or greenland maneuvers, this boat will get you easily to a level that will allow most of the rolls etc.

reading your post, going shorter or wider will only frustrate you. If you are looking for a boat that you can grow into and keep on growing with, I recommend the Tempest. No I don’t work for them and Flatpick is not sending me a kevlar boat anytime soon…