A local kayak club had a demo day at Big Lagoon, CA. I tried about eight different kayaks. Here are some things I learned (ignore screwed up numbering!):
- I like my own kayak far more than any that I tried. That was a surprise, since I had the impression that it wasn’t such a good kayak. (I have a Perception Sonoma 11 in Airalite), shown here:
I like mine because the weight makes it much more responsive (accelerates quickly) and it turns easily. It’s also comfortable. Note that I have added flotation tubes fore and aft.
I could barely fit in some kayaks. I’m 5’11" and 162 pounds. For some, my hips were almost too wide. I couldn’t get my legs all the way into a surf kayak.
On a sit-on-top fishing kayak, I felt I was just too high off the water for efficient paddling.
I must use different muscles in my boat, because after the demos, I was painfully sore where my legs meet my torso.
I tried one of these:
and could barely keep from tipping. Interesting boat!
I tried a $350 Werner paddle. The lightness really makes a difference. Hmm.
Had a lot of fun!