Would this be a good first kayak?

-- Last Updated: Jun-24-14 7:39 AM EST --

Hi all, I'm considering buying a kayak for recreational use. I want something cheap that works 'well enough', so I'm going used. If I'm really into it, I may buy a more expensive kayak later when I have some experience under my belt and know my priorities better. I have paddled a only couple of times in my life, only for an hour or two at a time. Kayak sessions would be a couple of hours, 1 day max, on a large lake in relatively calm weather. I would like something that is stable enough for a relative newbie but reasonably fast, i.e. not a flat-bottomed pig like the ones you get some rental places. I don't mind it if it feels a little wobbly at first as long as I don't end up in the drink too often.
A storage compartment with a lid would be nice, but I guess I can live without it. I'm 6 ft 1 in and around 168 lbs.

Here's an ad I'm looking at: http://olx.hu/hirdetes/tura-kajak-ID2hAjP.html#431d29f725
Would this be a reasonable choice for around 200 USD? The bottom looks pretty flat, I asked for a better picture.
Claimed dimensions: 380x70 cm, 14-15 kg (this sounds... optimistic), made of fiberglass.

12.5’ x 27.5" is not going to be a fast kayak no matter what the hull shape. Those look to be homemade on a mold – I used to have such a boat (though it was a narrower low profile whitewater kayak). The weight is probably correct, they do tend to be fairly light.

Really no way to tell you how this will “perform” since it isn’t a branded commercially made kayak. It will float, I’m sure, but nothing about it suggests impressive handling characteristics. If you get it, be sure to use flotation bags front and rear since it has no bulkheads and will fill with water and be impossible to re-enter (and possibly sink) when and if you capsize. You will probably have to install your own foot braces in it and may also wish to customize the cockpit with some foam. The cockpit is liable to be sloppy. Can you test paddle one of these things? That will be the only way to check performance.

Honestly, I doubt these boats will be much different than the rental “pigs” that you complain about. You are tall and slender and would most likely be happier doing what you plan to do in a longer and narrower boat, like over 420 cm long by 60 cm or less wide.


– Last Updated: Jun-24-14 10:10 AM EST –

Thanks, that sounds reasonable. I was planning to ask the guy about what this thing actually is, and I have no intention of buying anything without a test ride. There's a storage compartment behind the cockpit, so I was thinking that would help in the event that I flip it. The ad talks about a "separator wall" of some sort, so maybe the front end has a bulkhead?

This other guy popped up on my radar today:

There is no info whatsoever from the seller, but it's dirt cheap. Maybe I will contact the seller and get some length/width info.

There's also this one:
Again, no meaningful info from seller. This looks longer and narrower, with a fairly rounded hull shape, so it's probably quite a bit faster, right? No storage space, though.

"storage area w/ lid"
That storage area with lid, as you call it, provides a more important benefit that somewhat dry storage. A compartment (or better yet, one each for front and back) with a bulkhead inside and a hatch to access it provides permanent flotation on the boat. If you flip a boat with these, those areas don’t fill with water.

Hard to tell for sure in those photos, but it doesn’t look like this boat has any bulkheads. So when you flip over, the cockpit will fill with water. Hopefully there is enough built in flotation (often pieces of gray foam) to keep it from sinking and being lost. But not likely enough flotation to allow you to re-enter the kayak while on the water, so you would have to swim to shore to empty it and get going again. So with this boat you’d want to stay close enough to shore that you can swim in (keeping in mind that in cold water, you can’t make it far).

If this boat does not have a lot of flotation, you could improve things by adding float bags.

I know that the storage compartment provides flotation in addition to storage, that’s why I noted that it has one. I would think that if the builder went to the trouble of building in a hatch, then they must have also added two bulkheads, or at least one, to make a sealed compartment. Then again, what do I know?

This one?
Anyone have comments on this one?




It’s a 300 mile round trip to get it and take it to the lake, so basically I’d have to commit to buying it before seeing it in person. No point in taking the trip for a “maybe”.

no advise
just curious. Where are you located?

the domain for the links he posted ( .hu) is the nation of Hungary.

Yes, I’m Hungarian.