Short paddler, looking to buy first recreational kayak

Hello all.
I am struggling to find a kayak that is comfortable for me and was hoping ya’ll could provide some guidance? I am 5 feet tall and want to use the kayak on lakes and easy rivers. I recently purchased the Ascend D10, and while the seat is extremely comfortable, I find that the foot pegs are too long and I can’t reach them and so I find I keep leaning forward when paddling. Granted, I know my form isn’t the best yet, but was hoping someone had some guidance? I’m scared if I go to a much shorter kayak it won’t be as stable or track as well.

Can you move the foot pegs forward? If not, since you seem to like the boat and should NOT go for a shorter kayak, you could get thick minicell foam and carve a footrest which would be installed against the existing foot pegs.

Since the Ascend D10 doesn’t have bulkheads, am guessing there’s some grey foam installed in the bow for flotation. If that’s the case, you could use that as part of the support for the minicell footrest.

I don’t know how far your feet are from the footpegs, but this company sells closed cell foam blocks up to four inches thick.

First, try taping blocks of stiff foam (maybe some of the pink or blue insulation) to the foot pegs to see if that helps. You might not need to go further than that. You may start to find that the Ascend is too wide & deep for your height. The shorter Rec boats are likely to be similar or worse. If you find yourself really enjoying the sport & want something that fits better you might look for something used like a Tampico.

Hate to say it but at 5’ tall you will be knocking your knuckles in any rec boat due to width and helght.

And you are a little confused about the dimensions. The shorter a kayak is, the wider it is. There is a certain minimal surface that a boat has to have and when the boat is shorter they add it in width. The only way to get to a width that works better for you is to go longer.

A shorter kayak tracks worse… though most new paddlers regard tracking with too much reverence. Once you get out there you find that the ability to turn and get home is at least as important.

At 5’ tall pretty much anything will be much more stable for you than an average sized 5’10" tall male including a 2x4 board. You don’t say how big the lakes are - if you would be paddling alone further than swimming distance from shore, it is prudent to assume that you could capsize and have to recover. Doing so on the water takes a boat with different features than a rec boat. (I am assuming you are a competent swimmer. If not you can get lessons to fix that at YMCA once they are open again.)

Read the material on this site under LEARN on the top line menu, most importantly “Understanding Watercraft” under Getting Started and “Capsize Recovery”. You may decide to turn the Ascend around at season’s end.

Go to a retail store and sit in various kayaks. Also sit on tops usually have foot rests that fit smaller paddlers.

Depending on where you live you might be able to buy a used kayak cheaply. It might make sense to do this so you can try out a boat, then re-sell if it doesn’t suit you. One problem with being a smaller paddler is that fewer boats are made to fit you, especially not common recreational boats, and you might find yourself bumped up into a more serious boat. That could be a good or a bad thing, depending on you. :slight_smile:

@Casey1309 found this
Touring kayak for small paddlers