Suggestion for beginner

-- Last Updated: Mar-22-13 10:29 AM EST --

I am getting into the sport and taking lessons in the next week to learn fundamentals, but I would like some advice on the kayak.
I am going with a used kayak to start, and will upgrade as my skill increases. There are two local options for a person of my size. I am 6'1" and 260 lbs. Uses will include clam water and light whitewater to start.
I am debating between a Wavesport Z and a Pyrahna H3 255.

Will those out there with wisdom on these boats, please give advice on the pros/cons of each? Thanks.

Boatertalk might have better exper.
I paddled a wavesport Z a long time ago. It did not seem that big to me and I weigh a lot less than you. You should check the paddler weight it was designed for. People may view it at 260 lbs as a playboat that you can stall the bow, stern ext with your weight. Maybe not the best for a beginner, but if the boat floats you fine it’s a good older model whitewater boat. The pyranah model is a big creeker and should float you fine.

You need to define what kind of paddling you will be doing playboating, down river, creeking.

Neither of these boats is going to be much fun on calm water. OK to paddle for a mile or two but will be very slow.

Mostly whitewater, downriver and eventually light playboating.

you might want to check out crossovers
or hybrids. I have one friend that paddles an xp remix and I do as well. We call the boat “boating for dummies” Its big and stable, and it lets you make plenty of mistakes. The downside is it doesn’t push you to become a better paddler. Its a better big water boat than creeks. It does okay in the flats, the seat is really comfortable. The Jackson hybrid is quicker- it has a more old school- pointy feel to it, but you give up some stability and play.The biggest drawback to the hybrids are their weight, heavy to carry and heavy to load up. Having the footroom and storage is nice though. If someone asked me what boat they should get as beginner who just wanted to paddle whitewater I’d say a regular remix. Never paddled one but they sure are popular.

Are the lessons in WW or flat?

– Last Updated: Mar-24-13 9:08 AM EST –

Really two different criteria for what you'll want in a boat. As mentioned above a good WW boat is dog slow compared to a touring boat, hence the crossovers. But they do neither really well, so as your skills increase that could get frustrating too.

If you are starting lessons so soon, get some seat time then worry about what boat. It is unclear whether you will want either of these after a little time of learning.

Probably the Pyranha

– Last Updated: Mar-24-13 9:22 AM EST –

I don't think it is terribly important what boat you start out with as long as you fit in it comfortably and it doesn't have ridiculously too much or too little volume for you.

I assume that these are two boats that are currently available to you used? If so, you definitely want to sit in them to see how they feel.

I remember paddling a Z once and I agree that it didn't seem all that big. Although Wave Sport claimed it had "generous foot room" if I am remembering correctly my feet felt a bit cramped in it, but I could be confusing it with another boat.

I haven't paddled the Pyranha H3 255 but if you are comfortable in it I would strongly suspect it would be the better choice for a couple of reasons. I think the 80 gallon volume of the H3 255 will be much more suitable for your weight than the 63 gallon Z. The Pyranha also has more volume in the ends. The Wavesport Z has rather low volume, "slicy" ends. These are an asset for play boaters who want to initiate vertical moves. But you surely aren't going to be throwing ends right off the bat, and if you do get to that stage, the odds are you will want a newer design by that time.

Low volume ends can be a detriment to whitewater kayakers starting out. Beginning boaters tend to allow those ends to inadvertently get sliced below the surface on eddy lines which usually results in a quick flip. The lower volume ends also get submerged much more easily going over drops or through sizable wave trains.

second what pblanc said,
i was thinkin’ the z was a slicey boat, but didn’t want to comment on that because I wasn’t absolutely sure I had the right boat pictured in my head. You’ll definately have a more “aggressive” learning curve if you paddle that. Translation: it could be more frustrating to learn in.