Hi! I am also new to kayaking and I have joined a local club. I would like to purchase a used touring boat that would be fast enough to keep up with the group.Would anyone like to give me their input on what kayak you have had the best satisfaction with for touring?I would enjoy hearing your opinions! Thanks!
Try different boats, each person is
different. A boat that is fast for me might be fast for you also but not comfortable to you. So when you paddle with them see if you can try some of theirs.
reply to Bmach1
Thanks! Yes, thats what I am doing as I dont want to jump into buying just anything! It has to feel right!
You might get a lot of opinions.
One thing you need to let people know is your height and weight, and the price range you want to shop in. If you weigh 120 lbs and are 5’6 you’ll want a different boat than if you weigh 220 lbs. But the best way to get started is to ask you local paddle shop about used boats that would fit what you want to do. Don’t spend a lot of money for your first boat , you will learn as you start paddling, and trying other peoples boats, and learn what boat you would like. Also in some places you can rent boats and it’s a good way to try out a boat for an extended period before you buy.
Speed relative to paddling is a widely misunderstood concept. Among touring boats the differences between “fast” and “slow” often boils down to minor differences in efficiency at various speeds of maybe 10% or less.
I’m guilt of having pursued similar logic and having wasted money looking for that fast touring boat early in my paddling. The turning point for me was a comment from Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks, something along the effect of "it’s not the boat that matters but the engine that ultimately determines “fast vs slow”.
Additionally the differences between a boat that will be stabile enough for you at the start of your paddling career vs one that will be responsive enough for you once you’ve acquired some skills are equally at odds.
Find a boat that makes you want to paddle, get instruction to learn how to paddle, then paddle enough to internalize, progress and grow as a paddler. Your goals and the ability to appreciate different types of boats will change as skills are acquired. Once you have the skills, the differences between various touring boats will matter little. Until you have the skills, you wont’s be able to exploit the differences between various touring boats. It’s a classic “Catch 22”.
Take the plunge. Find a used boat that inspires you to paddle. Buy and sell you way through the used boat market until you end up with a boat that you can no longer blame for you lack of skill, then work to become worthy of such a fine craft. As you strive to progress, you may come to think of the boat as the least important part of the body/boat/blade equation.
Cheers and welcome,
Your question is too broad. You should find it helpful to focus it.
What kind of boat are you looking for? I’m guessing you want a sea kayak (16-18ft long and 21-23 inches wide).
What are popular boats in your club? Are you looking for plastic or glass? (If you are looking for plastic, getting advice about glass boats isn’t going to be helpful).
What boats are available in your area, used?
What boats have you paddled that you’ve liked? What kind of paddling experience you you have?
If you are looking for used boats, wait until you have one in mind and try it and see. Asking here is good, too, if you have time to think about it.
No telling what will become available in your area
I know your focus is on the boat,but what Jed says is more useful. Look for a kayak that’s easy to move,not one that’s “long enough” or “fast enough”.