Whitewater yak on flatwater paddles

-- Last Updated: Nov-11-05 6:22 PM EST --

Okay, this may be the dumbest question in the universe, but I do not see the answer anywhere on Pnet (but if there is an archive, please link me). For convenience in travel, I am considering a whitewater short 6-7 foot kayak for use on ponds and lakes and gentle ocean coastal paddles. Travelling to warm wethaer this winter, and thinking that rental of shorter boat may be better for rental car transport; and maybe even here locally a shorter boat would have some advantages for transport. Does anyone regularly paddle a stubby whitewater yak for flatwater? Is it lunacy to use the short vessel for such purposes with regards to directional control, tracking, etc? Are there brands of short boats (I am not talking about a 10 fot rec yak like a Keowee, I am talking about the 6-7 footers) that are better trackers for this purpose? Thanks for any guidance.

Those of use who paddle WW boats
all the time are used to getting them to proceed in a straight line, but very few of them (and really none in the sub 8 foot class) are suitable for covering distance, even if you are not in a hurry. Many whitewater boats are actually a handful in wavy conditions on a bay, though they can be fun to surf.

I think ericnyre is correct that if you have a transport problem, a folding kayak is a good bet. Check out the Piragis catalog if you want to buy rather than build. Certain inflatables might be worth a look.

Not that bad
How far are you talking about paddling?

This summer I took my Necky Jive for a few coastal paddles, just putzing along looking at the jelly fish and garibaldy fish. Stopping to surf or play in the rocks. I certainly would not go a 10 mile speed trial but with practice you can make some of the longer whitewater boats paddle fairly straight, just not very fast. The Jive is 8’2 inches I think and fits easily in my Xterra, very easy to cartop. The 8’10 inch Jive might paddle a bit faster. Don’t think I’d try it in a hot 6’ playboat. Some of the old school longer pointy whitewater boats actually are not bad for paddling.