I’m a newbie and looking at boats because renting isn’t available this time of year during weekdays.
If I get the Emotion Glide, a short (9’10") rec kayak, am I likely to get bored quickly with it? I have a lake about 3 miles from my house, and my main objectives at this point are to get some exercise and develop solid paddling techniques. I would also like to join a paddling group for some short outings on nearby lakes.
Then in the spring I could buy a different boat if I take to paddling.
I’m just concerned that the Glide might be a slug and be too slow and boring. Unfortunately, I can’t demo one as none of the local stores have them in stock.
Thoughts or advice?
I’m a newbie and looking at boats because renting isn’t available this time of year during weekdays.
Glide gets positive reviews but …,
I would try a longer used rec kayak, something in the 12-14 foot range. If you get bored then you will have no trouble getting your money back should you decide to sell.
It doesn’t look like a slug for its
length. What is a slug depends on perspective. The Liquid Logic XP10 is about the same length and width as the glide, and would be viewed by us whitewater types as rather fast.
As for bores, I know the LL XP10 would do OK in a tidal bore, the the Emotion might have more bite at its stems for such circumstances. YMMV.
If you try the Glide and its comfy, and it doesn’t cost much, it might be a good way to get started, given that you anticipate being able to afford something else soon.
as rec boats go…
…this one is not as bad of a “slug” as most others since it is lighter and has a more v-ed hull than is usual for such boats. I give the designer credit for making it a step above the standard “plastic bathtub” approach to rec boats. At least this one looks like a kayak. At 28" width get a longer paddle for this boat (like 240) or you’ll be rapping your knuckles on the gunwales – it has high sides, too, which adds to this effect. Supposedly it tracks decently, which tends to be the problem with shorter boats. It also seems to be well-loved by the P.net reviewers who’ve owned it (though I’ve noticed the tendency for everybody to over-rate their kayaks in the reviews – guess few people want to admit they spent their money unwisely.)
As to getting “bored” with it – most of us who really get into paddling get bored with our first boat eventually and trade up. If you do get into flatwater touring, you will likely want something longer, narrower and faster, but this is a boat I could imagine keeping around for a loaner or for Class I and II whitewater and shallow creeking. And you can always sell entry level boats on Craigslist for a good percentage of what you paid for them to finance the upgrade if you choose to.
You say that you want to get some exercise and develop some skills. Any boat can do this, and actually a shorter boat that tracks less and isn’t as fast would actually do both of these better than a longer boat. You have to learn how to make it go straight (especially if it doesn’t have or you don’t use a rudder or skeg) while paddling. And if it doesn’t move as fast, then you need to use more muscles to get it moving, which is fitness building.
The challenge will be when you get to group paddles. Depending on what boats they paddle and what pace they like, this boat may or may not work for you.
Weight can be an issue.
I weighed 240 and 12' boats became slugs for me when paddled hard.As Peter pointed out, you can learn basic skills in most boats.
that depends on:
What you like to do, the level of recreation or challenge you typically enjoy, the lakes, streams or oceans at your local disposal.
I have experience with kayaks of this size and have been very comfortable with 215 to 220 cm paddles. There’s no reason for anyone to use a 240 paddle on a 28 inch wide boat. For me that’s way too long.
for your feedback.
I really do enjoy some speed and would like to be able to glide reasonably well even in this short boat. It does get good reviews for its niche.
I figure I can use it through the fall and possibly in the winter (weather depending) and then sell it in the spring when they start doing boat demos again. It’s half the price of the other one I am considering (Perception Tribute).
Do they revise the designs each season? Will there be different styles available in the spring? I really want a Santee Sport type boat (light @ 35 pounds) but with about a foot less of cockpit length (40"-something). I can’t find that combination anywhere right now.
I know I don’t want a ‘dog’ that constantly turns with each stroke or that cannot glide a little when not paddling.
OP you bring that up a lot.
So cut to the chase and skip the absolute rec boat stage… go for something used, 13-14 feet, with real thigh braces, a smaller cockpit and a low backband (either it comes with or replace it). Go for good contact at your hips and knees. Floatation (bulkhead or float bag) in both ends.
With that package, and a lesson or two, you’ll be on your way to developing the strong paddling skills you seek.
No diss to the Emotion…not everyone needs to start w. an inexpensive rec boat.I had mine for a month, and I was bored. Got a boat a little over 13 feet w. the features described, and a full on seakayak 3 months after that.
Don’t go looking for strawberry pie if what you really crave is strawberry shortcake…jus’ sayin’
On trying and buying
Having gone through this fairly recently, here is my take on your dilemma…
If there are no boats to demo or the boats you think you are interested in are not available to demo, and you want to get on the water soon - consider shopping the local used boat market. Look for examples of what you think you have in mind that are in verifiable good shape (that means you stick to the construction materials that you know enough about to evaluate their condition) and expect to pay around 50% or less (much less for aluminum canoes) of the original price for “very good” condition.
Once your first used boat is acquired, you can begin the process of learning proper paddling technique, while at the same time figuring out what you want to do with a boat and seeing how hull shape effects boat handling. You might have to go through a few used boats in this learning process, but if you buy carefully you won’t lose much money - if any.
Don’t worry too much about if it’s the right boat for you until you know what you need to look for. Just concern yourself with pricing used boats which can be later sold for little or no loss. Concentrating on popular models that are relatively common in your local used market will assure that you don’t get stuck with a boat you have to take a loss on. Eventually, you will either find a used boat that does what you need - or you will become confident in your knowledge of which boat you should buy “new”.
Personally - I like this method better than demo-paddles for a newby who has no trusted paddling mentor. Even if you had access to boats to demo - do you have enough experience and/or knowledge to determine which boat you will want to “grow into”?
If you are sure you want to get into paddling, a boat that you buy at “used price” and will spend a lot of time in will tell you more than a short demo, and can be cheaper in the long run than a rental boat.
A bow that twitches back anf forth
in a boat meant to track is a paddler issue,not the boat.It is more pronounced in a short boat than a long one.
I agree with most of your points but it’s important to stay away from some used boats. Many first time buyers end up with very cheap models from the local sporting goods chain that were dirt cheap and handle like a log on the water.
These little junk boats are used once or twice and end up being resold to unsuspecting newbies looking to get a cheap first kayak.
Buying used is good but it’s important to do some research and know what brands to stay away from. Some of the most popular kayaks are not worth owning in the first place.
...are even cheaper when bought used. I agree that some should be avoided altogether, but a $400 new kayak is a $200-or-less "used" kayak. Sell it again and it's likely still a $200 kayak, unless you damaged it significantly. There are exceptions to that rule and you do need to do some homework - but the info is out there.
My point is that it is safer to buy used until you are familiar with the sport and what you want to do with it. The point I think you are getting at is that one should keep in mind that the lower end of the spectrum will often prove to be less fun to use.
it’s the watery version of the poor carpenter blaming his tools
No boat lacks value. That said, if your goals include things that are best suited to longer, narrower kayaks or white water kayaks, a rec boat will be just that. At some point you’ll want to add in more skills etc and you’ll hit the boat’s limitations.
Also true though is that it is quite unlikely you can get to that more perfect boat without seat time, training or a combination of the above.
So - you may be best off getting any old used beater now and staying within its limitations, just to get the seat time, then get serious in the spring.
I didn’t check your location - can you find pool sessions in the winter around you? That’d be a great way to get a start on skills and rescues, and would also give you a concrete feel for the features you’ll want in a longer term boat.
Bing reset now
If you are worried about getting bored too soon it doesn’t have anything to do with the boat. You don’t list a profile, but I would bet that you have been subjected to an overstimulated life style for most of your life and have to keep up that level in order to feel fulfilled. If you are worried about boredom before you even start the answer lies within. Do you get easily bored in other areas, too?
for bored and you’ll be okay. You’re on a lake fer’ cryin’ out loud, not niagara falls. Enjoy the exercise, fresh air, and scenery or go find some whitewater.
Used to blame my golf clubs …
One time several years ago I noticed that the bow of my boat was staying pinned on whatever target I was using to set my course by. Seemed to be pulling to the left … like a car out of alignment. The advice I got: flip the boat over, get down at one end, and look down the keel. If its curved, it’s the boat … if not, it’s you.
We’ll, it was me.
So I started really concentrating on my technique. Looking at videos, etc. Funny thing, the more I concentrated, the more pronounced my left hook became. At one point I was paddling in circles!
After about 5 unhappy paddles, I took a few weeks off, then decided to just go out and have fun, not think about technique. Suddenly could paddle straight again.
Like so many things, such as a golf stroke, paddling often comes down to a state of mind.