a little experience
to start off with, I am a “buy a boat and get out” guy. No searching for demo days. No renting. no barrowing. You are never going to get experience to make an informed decission with 5 afternoons in 3 different boats over the course of a year. Granted it will tell you wich boat you may hate with a passion, but nothing teaches like experience.
Now then my friend has just bought her brand new Dagger Catalyst 12.8, an Aquabound paddle and PFD with a grand total of $1,000 maybe $1,200…I forget. (for those keeping score at home it was at Canoecopia…the money just flowed like a river), but I digress.
you NEED a life jacket. SPEND the money on. you will have this for years, and you will have it on all the time. make sure it is comfortable. I think that the prices go like this. 10 more dollars gets you a feature: pocket, lash tab, something of that sort. 20 dollars gets you more comfort and that small feature. SPEND THE MONEY!!
we can all tell you diffrently about clothing gear. That is such a personal thing. I don’t have extreme submersion gear and winter appearal because I am a pansy about the cold. Others say all their paddling/camping clothes are thrift store purchases, other spend 2K on thier clothes (T.J.Maxx is my store, get Under Armor for $20, Marmot rain gear, Coleman camping gear, heck I only paddle in R.L. Polo and Underarmor now)
****This site is the greatest tool. The combined knowlege and experience here in UNBEATABLE!!
Paddles, keep 'em short.
Your boat is a tool, don’t be afraid to make modifications. It isn’t art, it is a boat. A personal expression of you and your interest.
I think you should get a boat around 12 to 14 feet. Deffinatly no wider than 26 inches. Probably in a rotomolded plastic. It will last, and take a beating, and can be sold in a few years with no problems. Look for hatches and Deck lines/rigging.
You need a hat and good (but cost effective) sunglasses.
Sorry I am typing this up, my mind is wondering and I have alot of distractions, so I appologize that it is jumpy, I am just trying to give you as much as I can and get others to interject, or spark thier thoughts.
Make sure to have adjustable foot pegs.
Don’t be afraid to get wet. Oh yea and see if you can find classes to take (everyone will tel you to take classes) Once you become a “wet-footed” paddler, the world is at your door step.
buy two sizes of Dry Bags when you buy your boat.
well I have been writting for MUCH longer than you have been reading. so I am off.
ENJOY THESE SPORTS. they are great cross training and general exercize. you will see beautiful things and meet neat people.