what to buy

-- Last Updated: Jan-04-09 12:20 AM EST --

I am planning to buy a Malibu 2XL by Ocean kayak for my first kayak. I plan to go primarily in the harbors and small lakes in southern, California. I plan to often go alone, but would alos like to bring my children and wife sometimes. Is the Malibu a good kayak or is there something else you recommend? Thanks, Tom Siebold

some questions frist!!
What made you choose this kayak? I myself didn’t know what kind a malibu was, so I had to look it up and found that it’s a SOT. Are you planning on fishing, bird watching, photography or maybe like a friend of mine, she has very very bad knees and needed a SOT because she couldn’t get into a regular kayak??? As far as family, will you be getting them their own kayaks or is your boat a tandem? Other’s will probably have more questions… it’s hard to answer a question like yours without a LOT of info.

what to buy
I am planning to get just one kayak for now. I figured a SOT would be easier for my wife and kids to get into as opposed to a sit in. I plan to just do recreational kayaking a a few day trips.

Have you looked into your area for kayak tours and lessons?? Before buying that SOT, see if you can’t take a guided tour where they provide the boats. Then take your whole family and see what kinds of boats they like and can handle. This trip can also let you know if your family actually likes paddling or not. And will also let you know if you actually like the SOT or if you like the regular sea kayak types. Also, never buy a boat type based on it being used by other members of your family. Your boat needs to be what YOU like to paddle. Now if that happens to be liked by other members of your family, that’s OK. But YOU will be paddling it the most and YOU need to feel comfortable in it. Also check if there’s a local paddling club you can paddle with. Paddling alone is not safe especially for a new paddler. And paddling clubs usually will let members try out each others boats and some of them will offer paddling lessons.

Where in SoCal do you live
We have several very good outfitters that will be able to help you choose what kind of boat you want. Remember that the ocean waters (harbors too) are cold. Yesterday, several of us stayed inside the harbor at Channel Islands Harbor because of the high winds. Water temps were about 55 deg.

We also have a good local club, California Kayak Friends, and more info about it can be found at www.ckf.org. Please note that I am biased as I’ve been a member since 1997 and am currently the president.

If you’ll email me, I’ll be glad to give you my phone number and we can talk more about some of your choices.