Verde River kayaking

So, been in the Verde Valley for over a year now Looking for some advice on what to buy so I can get back on the water. The verti river is where I would be kayaking. Assume for a second you have Way too much money and you could spend anything, what would you get?

What are the conditions on the river? Any Whitewater? How far do you intend to paddle? Your experience?

It’s a very small river. Probably thirty feet wide and it’s widespread but most of it is like fifteen feet wide it’s pretty small. Everybody I see kayaking is using these inflatable kayaks. Flatwater kayaking for the last fifteen years. In although I spent 7 days 1 time going down the Colorado river,. That was what seems like a million years ago so I don’t have good experience but it’s certainly not a dangerous river by any means.

So I’m guessing that you need an easily maneuvered boat .
Do you want an open cockpit ,easy to get in and out of? Are you interested in speed?
What is your size?
From what you’ve said, I’m thinking recreational kayak but that is a huge category. You said you had been flatwater paddling for awhile. What boat?

My Dad had a ranch near the Verde River for 30 years. The flows vary a lot and it has plenty of Class II rapids a few Class IIIs. You need moving water experience and be ready to line some rapids.

In April 2016, I visited a friend in the Cottonwood-Clarkdale stretch. We rented an obsolete but really cool kind of SOT that was perfect for the conditions. Because it was WW-oriented and therefore very short, the two other people struggled to make it go straight. I have a SINK WW boat of the same length and thought it felt familiar, tracking not a problem.

Can you rent an an all-‘rounder kind of WW SINK and get used to it on a lake first? That would help guide your decision.

I would not use a long boat there, but it depends what % of your paddling would be on small river vs bigger bodies of water.

Maybe a short crossover kayak would work for you. Unless the flatwater you have done is in a rec kayak, it’s best to avoid another one of those. Rec kayaks flood like crazy IF capsized.

I appreciate the input. I think i’ve decided i’m gonna go take A couple of the kayak tours from a few different companies just to get an idea of what they’re using at least as a starting point for my decision.

Thanks again

I read a write up by someone that did the whole length of it back when I was researching the local rivers and there are definitely sections I would avoid unless I had some good ww experience.
That write up was here,

and SW Paddler has some info on the sections,

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