Question for everyone

When you decided to take up paddling, or were interested in purchasing a new kayak or canoe, or major item such as paddle or PFD-

Did you start your research on the internet?

Thanks in advance.

We didn’t have internet in '73.

gettin’ back
into paddlin’, I researched canoes on the internet. First canoe I had my sights on…well, I decided the internet wasn’t the way to go. That Disco169 was soooo much heavier in real life!!

Or in '63…
Old Fat Elmo

yes and this was the most helpful site
At that time I read everything I could including most of the posts on paddling net.

It didn’t help me avoid making a major mistake on a purchase but shortly thereafter some folks on paddling net aided me in getting the right kayak for my needs.

I’ve learned tons from this site and have perhaps avoided getting myself into trouble on the water as well.

no internet then, but I would use a shop
go by and visit several local stores, talk to the people there who paddle, and talk to other paddlers.

It is also good to talk to people who are involved in the same type of paddle sport as you. No point in talking to the outrigger club about squirt boating.

Shop and looking
Solidified the decision to do this based on time in Maine - got tired of all those islands we couldn’t get to with the Swifty’s and we weren’t about to buy a motor boat to solve the problem.

Came back home and found decent shops.

Internet very helpful since, but the start was real water.

talked to people.

started paddling

– Last Updated: Feb-11-08 1:55 PM EST –

when I was 7. My father was Active outdoors Boy Scout Leader and my Mother was a Active Girl Scout Camp Director (WSI etc). I grew up paddling whatever was availiable from homebuilt canvas covered to Al. held the jousting championship (gunneling) for years.

No internet in the late 50's

Best Wishes

Did't switch to kayaks until the '80's
now I would use the 'net some and as many demo's and shops as I could get to. use it all

Started with my local shop
Nothing like sitting and talking to knowledgeable people.


When I started paddling…

– Last Updated: Feb-11-08 2:01 PM EST –

When I started paddling there was no internet available to use for research.

That being said; there is now an internet, with a wealth of information available. Use it, but don't accept all you read as the gospel truth, even on pnet, which does offer a wealth of information & knowledge. When you have your boat selection narrowed down; ask for some feedback on the varied models you think you might be interested in selecting as "the boat" for you.

Go to the shops; look at the boats, talk to the sales people, expecially those who paddle boats similiar to what you intend to purchase. Test paddle/test paddle/test paddle.

Talk to friends & friends of friends who own boats. Ask for help/suggestions/recommendations.
Test paddle their boats.

Do a lot of research before you buy.
Consider buying a used boat for your first one.
You do "not" have to have a $1500.00 to $2,000.00 boat to enjoy paddling.
Know (before you start) that there is "no" perfect boat for every paddling venue.

Consider taking a class in canoeing/kayaking.

All the research & talk is nothing in comparison to actually putting yourself in a boat & paddling it.

Good luck,


Demo if you can
Nothing beats a shop and talking to people. I would never have bought the boat I have if I hadn’t tried it first and fallen in love with it. Same with my wife, she bought a boat I wouldn’t have thought she would have liked and I sold boats at that time. PFD’s need to be tried on there is no simple way to get around it. If it isn’t comfortable you’ll find an excuse not to wear it, which is just plain dumb no matter how good of a paddler you think you are.

Don’t believe all you hear in shops
Most have a very definite bias toward the products they carry. There is just as much hype going on in shops as there is on the net. Go to a symposium (or several). Talk to other paddlers there. Talk to product reps. Test paddle boats, paddles.

I was on the water when I was only 3 years old.

I guess paddling was a matter of dad not haveing a front paddler and I got to move into the front seat.

When I got into kayaking it was a simple solution for me not haveing a buddy to hold down the front end of my canoe.

Most times I just know what I want or need and then look on line to confirm if I made a wise choice befor I buy.Paddle shops also help alot but dont always buy their product,buy what you want, not just what they carry.some guys will try to change your mind,you’ll just regret it later.

Thats why this webb site is so cool.

Just ask your Q.And wait for an answer & ignore those you dont like.

join your local kayak/canoe club

– Last Updated: Feb-11-08 2:38 PM EST –

Check the internet and then talk to other paddlers to get past the marketing B.S. Most clubs will have members with a large variety of different brands of kayaks/canoes.

no internet then.
Now, in terms of purchasing a boat i demo and talk to people including sales people and use the internet for price comparring and reviews. For other others itmes like PFD etc i talk to people and reseach internet for prices and reviews.

I took up canoeing many years ago after a few friends and I rented a canoe at a local lake. I was hooked and the next year I had my first aluminum canoe. I bought what I could afford at the time which wasnt much. I didnt do any research. I saw and add in the paper and came home an hour later with a 16 foot Gruman canoe. Over the years I have moved up and into a nice Seliga Tripper. I saw a real Seliga and wanted one of them. No luck so I bought one from Bell after talking to some outfitters and the people at Bell. I love my Seliga tripper and it does exactly what I need it to do. It hauls gear in the bwca and handles like a dream.

I walked into a shop
and began to lust. A week later I took a class. I visited REI, local kayak shops, the internet. In the end, I wound up buying from a local dealer, Alder Creek. In all, about a month between when I began and when I bought a boat. Some people will tell you to research, research, research–test paddle every boat. I say just the opposite: buy a boat and paddle it. If you don’t like it, sell it and get something else. (I’m on number six in two and a half years now.) Loving every one. High resale values on most good boats if you live in a kayaking area.

No and Yes
I have been paddling for years. Long before the internet. I became interested in kayaking when I was browsing through a paddle sports shop. I purchased a paddle and pfd at least six months before purchasing a kayak and I used the internet to find, compare and eventually purchase these items.