Which kayak? Help!

I plan on getting a kayak soon. Maybe in the future after gaining experience, assuming I like it, I’ll get a full on tourer or sea kayak.

For now I want something that will let me hit lakes, calmer rivers, the sound, and maybe the intracoastal waterway. No rough or choppy waters at this time. I also want something with a large enough cockpit for my small son to go along occasionally.

Knowing I hope to grow into a big kayak later, should I go for a smaller “play” kayak, like the Pungo 120 or the Necky Manitou Sport or get something bigger (but not as big as a real sea kayak) like the Necky Manitou 14 or the Old Town Loon 138. The loon has been redesigned this year with a rear hatch & bulkhead so it looks liek a capable beginner.

Of these 4 what do you think? Any advice is welcome. Also how important is a skeg or rudder?

Thanks so much.

Your weight makes a difference
A lot depends on your weight. Kayaks are fitted to a person considering weight, and “size”.

The Loon 138 is a recreational kayakl, that is like a barge to handle. Very stable, but not very fast or manuverable (No offense to anyone who has one). I don’t know anything about the other two you asked about.

The Old Town Adventure XL 139 is better than the Loon 138, but I believe the cockpit is a smaller opening. The XL-139 is faster,and turns a lot easier. I had one, and thought it a great kayak.

Add your weight to the weight of your son, and add some for his growth. Then see how it compares to the capacity of the kayaks you are looking at.

Get it with a rudder…
no matter what ever anyone else will mudder.

You won’t regret it.



agree with Jackl
Get it with a rudder, and practise your skills without using the rudder. For your next boat consider the pros/cons of rudder/skeg and boat type dependent on the type of paddler you have evolved into.

Learn to use it without the rudder
and you will never have to unlearn not having it.It ain’t that hard.

take your son and go sit in boats
what boat you get isn’t as important as getting a boat! go now while shops are quiet and sit in lots of different boats. then try them, with and withour your son, on the water. and then shop the used market. your first boat probably won’t be your last. and every boat is a compromise.

great advice
If my obsession with bicycles is any indication, I could be in trouble.

Thanks for all the replies. Going with my son sounds like good advice, too.

I’ll let you know what I get.

Be careful…

– Last Updated: Nov-22-05 6:01 AM EST –

Bikes used to rule with me.
Now they are second, although the wind trainer in the snowy weather helps keep me aerobically fit for the paddling season