Want to Upgrade

-- Last Updated: Jun-19-09 10:29 AM EST --

I have an Old Town Otter kayak and would like to step up to a nicer kayak. I like the otter but it seems a little slow. I mainly kayak in lake/flat water and slow rivers. I want to stay around the 10' range for the ease of storage and transport. I'm not sure what to get and would like some suggestions??

just for starters
height and weight? inseam? and where (what state or area) do you paddle? Slow rivers or maybe some WW

mixed in?

Are you wanting to upgrade to do a specific type of paddling? or purpose (e.g. weekend camping, longer trips, fishing, fitness, etc.) Is skill development a factor? Sounds like more speed is '-)

Lots of choices for ya. More info helps people make

better suggestions.

want to up grade
Ya I guess more info would help. I’m 5’11" 180lbs and my inseam is a 33. I live in California and also paddle in Arizona.

No one specific type of paddling. Just looking for a good all around boat for flat water, lakes, slow rivers with small ww and maybe the occasional ocean. I mainly paddle for fitness and fun. So storage is not a big deal to me mainly comfort.

older whitewater boat
If you are looking for a sit-in-kayak in which you wear a skirt, you might consider looking around for an older whitewater K1 design. Back in the early to mid 1990s many WW K1s were about 10 feet long, or 10 feet plus a few inches. Many of these boats have much better hull speed than today’s short playboats. They are not built for solid tracking, but you can learn to make them go perfectly straight with a little investment of time.

They are easier to learn to roll, would suit very well for river use, and would probably be no slower than a recreational kayak for flatwater. They can often be had for a few hundred dollars, and often the seller will throw in a sprayskirt, since those older boats tended to have smaller cockpits than today’s norm.

Getting one of these and learning to roll it would serve you well if you eventually choose to buy a long, fast “sea kayak”.

Wanna buy something new? I haven’t paddled it, but I saw and was intriqued by the Pyranha Fusion, a 10’ 2" skegged “cross-over” kayak which has a hull shape and length that should allow easy turning, but a skeg to facilitate tracking on flatwater.


– Last Updated: Jun-19-09 3:49 PM EST –

If you have any interest in whitewater, you might want to look at the newer "crossover" boats -- Liquid Logic Remix XP, Pyranha Fusion, Jackson All-Water, Dagger Approach.

If you want better flatwater performance/speed, consider going to a 12' boat that's a bit narrower than the Otter. There are a lot more choices in that size range.

The Hurricane line is nice if want something lighter.

Other 10' options: Necky Manitou Sport, Dagger Blackwater 10.5, Perception Prodigy 10, Wilderness Systems Pungo or Pamlico 100.

Given where you paddle, have you thought about a sit-on-top?

Or if you like to build things...

Think longer and narrower
Something in the 12 or 13 foot range would work well for you. Look for boats that are about 23 to 26 inches wide, then go test some, sit in them, and paddle them if you can. Sounds like something with a little keel might work better than an old school ww boat for what you are doing.