Semi-Newbie Gal-Advice/Purchases

-- Last Updated: Jul-17-11 4:07 PM EST --

So I have some past experience with whitewater kayaking. I don't remember what kayak I used, I tried out a few, 2 were more whitewater focused, the other creek style. I used my ex-boyfriend's stepmother's equipment. (His Dad & Stepmom are avid kayakers and at that point he was not nearly as adept as his apparently is now)

Anyway, I really enjoyed it, when I was doing it, and obviously in order to get back into it I need to invest in my own equipment...

I learned basic safety techniques, paddling, obviously practiced rolling, but I never worked up to anything beyond Class II.

I am primarily interested in whitewater for the most part and advancing in skill,running more exciting rivers,etc. I am 5'3, 21, 115 lb (ranges 110-120 max) girl, so I am finding making a purchase decision rather difficult. And since I'm rather small in comparison to what most adult kayaks are designed for I need advice. Obviously I need to purchase a boat, paddle, sprayskirt, helmet, PFD at minimum. Also, I'd love any recs on drysuits, gloves, and shoes for women, (I wear a 6) as I really want to keep going during the winter months...

Boats I have looked at include the:
Dagger Axiom 8.0
Dagger Mamba 7.5
Jackson Hero 11
Pyranha ReCoil S

suggestions? advice?

Different site …

– Last Updated: Jul-17-11 5:04 PM EST –

Most folks who post here are late middle aged flat water paddlers.

Boater talk has a good forum for white water.

also local areas have good forums like which is centered on Western US whitewater.

There are a few whitewater paddlers here, but not many women with experience with the smaller volume boats and specialized gear.

If you are in western US, email me and I can give you contact info for some women whitewater paddlers in CA.

The Little Hero
That’d be a better match for your size than the Hero.

You might also try a kid’s SideKick, which is what I bought. Probably would want to remove the hip pads (they’re Velcro’ed in).

Axiom 8.0 is huge for small people. Their 6.9 might work, but it was tight on me and I’m a tad smaller than you.

pyrahnna i and jackson fun series
Also have boats in your size. I suspect the mamba 7.5 is too big, but not sure.

good intro site with boat specs
This link was posted on here a couple of days ago:

Has an especially useful comparision list of various ww boat models, including which ones are suitable for paddlers under 140 lbs.