What kayak should I get?

I’m currently looking to buy a touring kayak. I am 6’ and 135lbs. I mainly paddle on the great lakes, Lake Ontario in particular. Any suggestions?

Whichever model makes you smile the most on the water.

See you at the next Demo Day.

(aka : way to broad of a question )

See you on the water


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


Hi and welcome!
I’m the one who referred you to the forum earlier today (from Yahoo Answers).

Don’t despair at the first response, you’ll get more. It would help if you added some data: what kind of trips do you plan to do? Day trips? Fishing? Overnight with gear for camping? What is important to you: speed? maneuverability? light weight? handling in rough water? Ease of rolling? Stability? low price? I think you mentioned you were at “intermediate level” before: what are you hoping for in the next boat?

Tell them what you have been paddling and what you do and don’t like about it. There are a lot of really informed people on here and the more specific you are the better answers you will get.

Along the coastline ?
Depending where you launch and takeout the waves

may get “interesting” depending on the day.


You looking to ride some waves and cover big mileage

doing multiple day trips along the coast ?

Hurricane Tracer 165
Inexpensive as far as light sea kayaks go. Less than 50 pounds. All around good manners and speed, easy to grow into skill wise.

For your weight other boats that are shorter may also work well if you do not need a lot of speed. For example the Current Designs Vision may be a good fit for you. But make certain you buy it from an excellent dealer because Current Designs does not respond to emails from boat owners when you need to replace a part.

At 135lb the Tracer might
get blown about in winds. Not sure, might be fine - have not paddled one. At 6’4" and 180/190lb I found it a good fit for the most part when I sat in one so it might need padding. The deck felt a bit flimsy and the craftsmanship not exactly great (with lots of glue drips on the inside of the deck/hull seam and the hull having a clear bend to one side at the nose)…

My recommendation would be to check out the Tempest 165 or the Cetus LV or for something speedier (but definitely more demanding on skills and requiring gentler handling) the KayakPro’s Nemo.

try to get some "seat time"
Due to being so slender for your height, I think you really need to be doing some “seat time” in a variety of models to find something that will give you good cockpit fit but be spacious enough for longer legs. What area are you in? (you can add that to your Paddling.net profile so only members can see it). With that we can refer you to the best dealers in the region – most will have demo boats and some may still be running “demo days” where you can meet on the water and get to try out a range of kayak models.

Also watch for regattas, boat shows or shoreline events in your area. I’ve found that most kayakers are pretty open to letting you take a short test paddle in their boats if you are there with your own kayak and chat them up.

Kayaks are a lot like shoes, you can try on a dozen styles that look similar and one will stand out as “wow, this feels JUST RIGHT”.

^check this guy out^
He is in your neck of the woods and he posts good advice. Better to demo and get a good fit for your size and use.

day trip to Lake George
Now that I see from your profile that you are in Central New York, I recommend you take a weekend day trip to Lake George and visit Lake George Kayak:


You’ll be able to test paddle a dozen or more kyak models right there from their dock on the water. Conditions there on many days are just about as windy and rough as you will encounter on Lake Ontario.

It’s a really nice shop and they have a great range of quality boats. I’ll be up there myself in a couple of weeks visiting family in the area and possibly buying a boat for my boyfriend.

6 ft tall and 135 pounds?
This is a quite unusual set of dimensions… in fact I am having a hard time trying to figure out how anyone could be my same weight but 8 and a half inches taller. I’m not scrawny but I am fairly lean.

Is there a typo in the original post?

Not a typo
No typos here- just me. Tall, skinny, me.

It does happen
I’ve known a few women with those dimensions (and even one guy). It’s uncommon, but it happens.

Skinniest girl I ever met was five-foot-eight and 105 lbs. Was not anorexic or bulemic. She ate and ate and ate, and could never gain an ounce.

Guys who knew her thought it was hilarious, girls who knew her were kinda annoyed. =)

maybe she could ballast it?

I’m going to suggest …
That you head West a bit to Bay Creek Paddling Center in Rochester. They are on the eastern side of the city. Speak with Dave or Ken. There are a premier shop, will provide excellent advice, are located on the water (creek that enters Irondequiot Bay and eventually, Lake Ontario), and they paddle the lake frequently. They also sell kayaks that are appropriate for the conditions that you will encounter on Lake Ontario.



perfect candidate for
with those measurements you are the perfect candidate for a low volume boat, may I even say a Greenland style kayak.

Having less weight if you paddle a high volume kayak you might get blown around the water too much.

Having less mass you will fit nicely into kayaks with a lower deck (less windage) and not rattle around when manoeuvring that boat.

Perception Sport
I think that you want something a little more serious, but the Perception Sport Conduit 13 from Dick’s is a very nice, yet quite cheap touring kayak.

I agree that you should demo it, of course.