Searching for first kayak, HELP

I am searching for my first kayak and have now read so much info I am confused. Any suggestions for a first timer who will be a shore hugger on a fresh water lake and maybe cruise a slow, small river? I really think I would like one of the sit-on-top kayaks, and I would like to be able to carry it myself (I’m a 60-year-old woman). Thanks for any suggestions.

no matter which rec boat you choose, get a kayak cart to help you haul it.

Maybe a Bic Scapa
or an RTM Disco.


Consider a folding kayak
I am not sure about their weight, but it comes in basically a suitcase so may be easier to carry than a regular boat.

Sit on tops are likely to be awkward to handle - the lightweight sit-insides like the shorter boats made by Hurricane of lightweight material may be better in terms of weight.

Also try this site

Tom’s site is very helpful for Sit On Top Kayaking …

Look at Ocean Kayak Venus 10 and Cobra Kayak Play to get started.

There are some super light composite SOTs that are very nice, but a lot more money.

Your best bet is to get to various
places on lakes, ponds, rivers or the ocean, where they rent them, and then try different ones, until you find the one that you like best.

Another way is to find a canoe/kayak store that has a trial pond, and try a few different ones.



Don’t think too hard about it.
I’d buy a good Life Vest first then a cart and then get a roof rack (even the foam pad kinds work).

After that I’d just buy something from Craigs list or used if you can find it to get started.

If not buy an inexpensive rec boat just to get you out there. Many folks stay happy with an 8 or 9 foot boat for years. It will be fine for slow rivers, ponds, and easy lakes. If you want to paddle for fitness or keep up with a group you may want to get a boat that is about 14 feet or longer.

I really liked the Bic Scapa I had. It was pretty fast so I could keep up with most group paddles but still only about 50 pounds.

Used Pungo110 or 120 Duralite
If you can find one, very lightweight and well suited to your stated needs. Emotion also makes small recreational boats that could suit you. Check Craig’s List. Or google Pungo Duralite and some used boats might pop up in the search from E-bay as well.


– Last Updated: May-03-10 12:55 PM EST –

You might want to visit a shop and try lifting a few boats to get a feel for what you can comfortably carry. That will help narrow your choices.

Unfortunately, light weight tends to be more expensive.

The Ocean Kayak Venus models are fairly light:

Hurricane has a few models under 40 pounds:

The Tribute 10 might work for you:

The Puffin folders are very light:

A lightweight option might be a pack canoe: