want to start sport

I would like to start kayaking but don’t know where to start. First off I want to do slow river, lake, ocean.

What are some of the accessories necessary? What do you wear? Wet suit, dry suit, wet top only with skirting, dry top only with skirting or none of the above?

I would like to get into this sport for less than $700 is that possible? I already own a wet suit but not a dry suit so if that can be worn I would prefer that.

Any suggestions on a good kayak?

just read read read

These are verrrry basic questions … and the answers are all quite variable.

The best thing for you to do is to spend about 8 hours over a week or two reading the answers to any questions you see here that might apply to you.

and … use the ‘search’ feature here … and look for answers to specific questions using a seach word like ‘newbie’ … or ‘cheap kayak’.

… or … go back page by page and read ‘newbie’ questions.

You can get into it for $700 … but you will most likely be buying a used boat at that price.

read read read read read … and read some more …

I read this place for 4 months (learning - and looking for a boat - check the classifieds here) … before I found a boat that was suitable and near enough … (used)

Look up ‘kayak’ in your yellow pages and go visit and talk to the salesman … he can give you some basics in person … and answer questions about the boats in his showroom.

… and … this is the time of the year when some dealers have ‘demo days’… where you can visit and try a few boats on the water.

… call several and ask.

… and read some more.

… and

see that box over to the left that says “Guidelines” ?

Click it and read read read … 90% of your questions are answered over there.

new to paddling
Like Barge I spent some time looking pricing waiting. 2 years

Bargain hunt. Since you’re looking for slow river or lakes you don’t neccessarily nead things like spray skirts, wet suits.

necc. Items: Kayak, Paddle, Life jacket

Kayaks: Right now Popular Outdoor has “Brand New” Perception Swifty Kayaks for $300. If you wanted to sell it in a year you should be able to get at least $200

Paddles: $20 will build up your arms because they are heavy like barbells.$65-80 will get you decent lighter paddles. Clerk should help you with sizing of paddle

Life Jacket: read their safety labels. I found going over $40 gives me more pockets and fly-fishing hook holders. I don’t fly fish.

Car transport: Thule has the system I want for $450. I use a $20 foam block package from Popular and $10 rachet tie-downs from Home Depot. The ropes that came in foam pack were questionable for strength and tightness.

Look for cheaper substitution when possible on secondary items.

That leaves you $300 more. You could upgrade kayak. The swifty is used by kayak instructors in AZ. Think about wether or not you will grow out of the yak. Check with local dealers, some rent out yaks or have a day when they bring a couple of brands to a lake and let people try them out for free. REI was helpful. They didn’t try and talk me into the most expensive gear.

I hope this helps.


what part
of the country are you from? that will first determine the type of gear you’ll. down south all that’s needed is usually a swimsuit and a smile.

a paddle ,boat and lifejacket,go to different kayak shops and find one that has friendly people who love their sport, many times kayak demos are available ,I highly recommend them,often kayak centers sell off used rental gear, and you’ve already found a great start, this site,reseach the archives ,there’s a wealth of info;and it will intoduce you to different types of yaking.

…Beware Kayaking is Addictive…

…if there’s a paddling club in your area, it would be a good way to meet folks to go with, get ideas of where to go, find used boats/equipment, take classes,

etc. My perception is that clubs contain many more kayakers than canoers(ists). To find a club, ask the stores that sell kayaks, or go to the American Canoe Ass’n. website.

Welcome to the sport.

Oh, and keep the open side up.


– Last Updated: Apr-26-04 12:22 PM EST –

A 3mm farmer John wetsuit and a good fleece top are good down to the water temps in the low 50's. Anything colder and you are taking chances....

Well, I made the plunge. I bought a 14 foot necky zoar. After the life jacket and accesories I spent a little more than I wanted to but I don’t think I will outgrow the boat very fast and I don’t like to skimp on safety gear.

Thanks for all the help.

…there’s a market for used boats if you ever want to change. So it’s thriftier than it appears.

A Caution
Safety gear is only part of the equation. If you will be paddling in water that is deep, and the water is cold (under 50 even fities is kind of cold), and your skills are still young, a wet suit is risky (I’m assuming 3mm). This is especially true if you are paddling alone or with others who are not skilled in assisted rescues.

If you are paddling in warm water, or if the water is shallow, the risk is much less. A club or a pool class would be a great way to start.

Enjoy and be careful…Lou

My suit is 4mm but I would not go out in open water without an experienced group with me. I have several numbers and am attempting to make contacts with local groups now. I am also trying to convince my friends to try it.

Don’t break the bank on safety gear
before you buy the boat. To many here put to much emphasis on safety gear, and neglect to mention skills. Take it slow my friend. Choose the gear for the water. Learn how to paddle first in water anyone can handle. You’ll know because you know what you like to swim in, right?

When you get better and decide you want to extend your paddling season and take on new water, upgrade and/or add to your gear to suit your needs.

If you have a livery close to you, try them out. They can often be resourceful on where to buy (and may have something to buy), and can get you started for probably less than you’ve got to spend. Try their boats first if your curious. Rent em out, beat em up. But if you buy one from em, don’t worry, you’ll be upgrading soon, and as others have said, theres a market for em.

Good luck,


Oregon?? Are you living in Oregon?

I noticed you sent a message with the subject of “oregon”. If you live in Oregon then by all means come paddle with us.

Come visit us at:




I’d also highly recommend you join the Listservers at both of those locations. That way you can find out about the paddle trips.

Look forward to paddling with you sometime!!