AquaAdventures in San Diego
– Last Updated: Dec-13-07 12:23 AM EST –
that is what Celia meant to say :D and what another poster said above.
rather than AquaTerra which is a discontinued kayak model.
Jen Kleck - wow, she's all around excellent! Had the great joy of taking instruction from her in August at a Michigan symposium. Very approachable and also very precise and clear in explaining the technical side of kayaks and skills. Value her advice - highly. Let her know what's important to you in your first kayak and see what she might recommend.
It may not necessarily be a WS Tsunami OR a Tempest. Flatpick (Steve) is indeed on staff of Wilderness Systems (of Confluence Inc) as he noted. As a matter of fact, he was principal designer for the Tempest series, the other kayak mentioned.
I am not for or against the Tsunamis or Tempests as regards your pick because I am not you and I don't know how the Tsunamis feel to you or how the Tempest would feel.
I just think from there are other worlds to explore before YOU decide.
So my bits are:
1. Don't narrow it down too soon. Get some good advice on knowing basic criteria. Don't paddle the ones that don't qualify. Paddle and pick from those that do. There is no magic number.
Don't feel pressured to choose one by Christmas or your birthday ;-) This is a really nice gift from really cool parents. Make it memorable and lasting. Props to you that you know the value of money... and for not acting like a little bro who is gonna want the latest Xbox release every nine months or so.
2. Go narrower. The majority of women come naturally equipped with a lower center of gravity, which enhances stability. Women often like narrower kayaks than our paddling brothers.
It's all about matching boat fit to body type.
Great fit yields huge fun of really being in contact with the kayak and feeling it respond to very subtle movements. And very nice control when the day comes that you need it most.
3. Go for a kayak that's a little more than you think you can handle initially. It's like riding a bike when the training wheels come off - most people adjust rapidly & wonder why they ever worried about it. Especially since you are athletic, avoid a kayak with permanent training wheels.
4. Weight: I think for the decided majority of female paddlers this feature is MUCH more important than it is for men. Even if we are strong we generally cannot lift as much over our heads as men can. Even with textbook lower body use, we do not have proportional upper body strength. And where vehicles are concerned, unless we invest in a trailer, we are lifting over our heads.
The true (or water ready) weight of any kayak very nearly always exceeds the advertised weight. Kayak makers base their weights on the weight of the shell before seat, backrest, foot braces, footpegs, hatch covers, skeg or rudder (if applicable) etc. This will add up to some real poundage. It's an accepted practice in the industry. Just something you need to factor into your choice.
Part of your demo should include lifting the whole boat to waist height and walking with it, lifting one end up over your head and holding it, and, if the dealer is agreeable, learning how to properly lift and rack that specific boat.
If we can't handle our own boats, chances are either we will a) paddle less b) be dependent on others when and where we paddle and c)risk an injury to various parts (finger, thumb, wrist, shoulder, back, neck)which again means we paddle less or paddle with a nagging injury which we aggravate by paddling. None of which is fun.
I am 5'3", 115 lbs, and easily load/unload two kayaks of 41 and 44 lbs, thermoformed plastic and fiberglass respectively. The 41#er is 13.5", 23.5" wide and the 44#er is 15'11", 20" wide.
Between the two of them any kind of flatwater touring I want to do with any of the skills I've learned so far is fun and doable.
So far all my body parts have stayed functional.I am still intrigued by my kayaks. We get together regularly. They fit me, they behave in the water and we learn together. Oh and they are quite pretty to my eye.
My boats are paid for. Instead of always rotating to the next, maybe best, shiny thing, I have bought quality four season paddlewear and different high end paddles, safety gear, a complete Yakima rack, lessons, pool sessions, camping trips with paddlers, symposia and assorted other things that, for me, go along with my love of the sport. Because that is my road.
Geez, I am a happy kayaker ;-)
OK, that is me. But do parts of this sound good to you?
Then you'll need a kayak you can paddle when and where you want to, and you'll really enjoy using and learning with for a long time. It will then truly become a much treasured gift.
Please let us know how it works out. And feel free to email me if you want to ask questions outside of the boards.