1. Due to the amount of SPAM from foreign countries lately, we have made the decision to manually approve all new members. While we regret that this must be done and the added time that it will take for new members to be approved, it is necessary at this time. We hope to have legitimate new members approved in a timely manner, no longer than a couple of hours. If the Administrators are online at the time, it can be as soon as a couple of minutes. Thank you for your patience.
    Dismiss Notice

What is the best kayak for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by stmpdog, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. stmpdog

    stmpdog Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    372
    Greetings, I'm planning on purchasing a kayak this spring. I am newbie when it's comes to kayaks, so not really sure what to look for or even stay away from. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    The plan is to use it in the rivers around my area, and also lake Erie (the bay only). There are some really good sites to bushcraft at. So space for gear is important. I was looking at one from bass pro
    Ascend D10 Sit-In Kayak - Red | Bass Pro Shops: The Best Hunting, Fishing, Camping & Outdoor Gear
    Looks like it has enough space for gear, and sense I'm a double amputee, I can use the space for legs as extra gear space if needed. Thoughts, and comments welcome.
     
    Kraken likes this.
  2. Finner

    Finner Supporter Supporter Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    4,615
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I'm thinking a standard recreational/touring boat would fit the bill. Perfect for slow moving rivers and bays, large opening for ease of getting in and out, and generally very stable for a beginning paddler.
     
    stmpdog likes this.
  3. stmpdog

    stmpdog Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    372
    Thank you I will definitely look into that.
     
  4. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    3,742
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I personally started out with a 9' Kayaki sit on top and am glad I did. Yes, it has it's limitations on open water such as tracking due to it's short length but they are stable, meaning almost impossible to flip, I mean you really have to work to flip them. I ended up buying 2 for the cottage. There is no storage but there is a nice high back seat. Basically, it's a learn how to paddle or take it to the beach or river type boat.
     
    stmpdog likes this.
  5. stmpdog

    stmpdog Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    372
    Thank you. Not sure how I feel about a sit on top. Will have to give that some thought.
     
  6. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    3,151
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    Location:
    Idaho
    Unless you have space limitations that prohibit it, I would advise to go with a little more length. Ideally, 12 feet or more. A 12' recreational kayak will track better and move easier, but still be pretty easy to turn. We have, in our fleet, one 11' 1" kayak, and it is a bare minimum for my 165lb frame. Putting any camping gear in it with me would make handling suffer. That boat is for my daughter. My wife ( 130 lbs) paddles a 12 footer, and it works well for her. If I was to have one for myself (I'm more into canoes) it would be a 14' or 15' kayak.
     
    Timex, stmpdog and hidden_lion like this.
  7. teb_atoz

    teb_atoz Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,164
    Likes Received:
    546
    It depends. If you want something for putting around on lakes and ponds then a sit-on-top is good. If you want it for touring then get a touring kayak, 15 to 18 feet closed cockpit. running river is totally different then take lessons.
    One thing you can do with spring coming many kayak rental places have a free try a kayak day. You can get an idea of what is out there.

    First what do you want to do?

    cheers
     
    Timex, stmpdog and hidden_lion like this.
  8. snapper

    snapper Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    central NYS
    This may sound counterproductive at first but I'd get the kayak that will meet your most advanced needs and/or desires. Although it will be like learning to ride a bike without training wheels, most people quickly adapt to the boat's tendencies and capabilities. You might get wet a bit in the beginning but you'll be a better paddler in the end. You'll also have a kayak that can handle a wider variety of wind & water conditions so future trips will be more comfortable should the weather turn on you while you're out. Just my suggestion. YMMV...

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
  9. hlydon

    hlydon Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    625
    I agree that you should buy something a little more advanced than what you think you need. I assumed I would buy an entry-level sit inside kayak until I researched the heck out of kayaks. I wanted a kayak primarily for fishing lakes and possibly lazy rivers. I bought a Wilderness Outfitters Tarpon 100. It is a 10' sit on top kayak. I couldn't be happier. It has plenty of room and storage space. It balances fairly well. I don't feel like I am going to tip. It has fairly good speed and maneuverability. A sit on top kayak sounds like it would be easier to get in and out of.
     
    stmpdog and hidden_lion like this.
  10. KFF

    KFF Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    515
    Location:
    Finland
    I'd say that go to the dealer/club and see if there is a possibility to try out different models. See what works for your needs.
    I'm still on my first one, going on eighth years now. It's a SOT by Wilderness systems, Tarpon 120. I have tried tipping it with no luck and I hear they do even better more stable ones like the Ride.
    Mine is used for fishing mainly, but it fits all my fishing gear and a weeks camping stuff easy.
     
    stmpdog and hidden_lion like this.
  11. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    519
    Location:
    South fork Colorado
    My first boat was a perception dancer. Would not recommend it fora beginner.Dagger makes some nice entry level boats the Dagger zydecos are wide with twin reverse keels they track well and are easy to paddle with very roomy comfortable cock pits they have a 9 foot and 11 foot models. I'm currently floating a Jackson rouge 10. Lots of room for gear. Did one 5 day trip in it and a number of overnighters.
     
    stmpdog likes this.
  12. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    545
    Location:
    Palmyra, NY
    In my opinion, the best Kayak for a beginner is a rented one...After a few times out, if you like doing it you will want a better kayak. you will outgrow(in skill) the beginner boat fairly quickly. If you may want to go on bigger water like lakes and ocean, you will want a longer boat 15+ feet. Especially if you decide to go further onto lake Erie or lake Michigan (which I highly recommend). I would look for at least a 12'. there are a lot of good boats in that length and you will appreciate the speed when you paddle for an extended time. Being a double amputee, you might find a traditional sea kayak cockpit will give you better boat control over the open and larger rec boat cockpits. you can add foam padding to get good contact with your hips to give you better transfer of power and control. If you have a good paddle shop that rents boats you can try lots of different types to see what will be best for your conditions and interest. It is exciting the amount of possibilities for you to chose from, and a lot of great boat designs. Good luck and I look forward to hearing about your new boat and the adventures it will lead to.
     
    TJC and stmpdog like this.
  13. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    3,141
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Il
    Stmpdog, As others have mentioned, if at all possible, test paddle. Also some shops do have Adaptive Paddling programs and they would most likely be able to assist in outfitting your chosen craft. Above all, get instruction on self rescues and practice, practice, PRACTICE! The goal is to be able to self rescue in actual conditions you'll likely encounter. Once you feel you have those skills dialed in, progress to tougher conditions, so it becomes second nature. Good luck in your search, be safe, and most of all have fun!!
     
    stmpdog likes this.
  14. stmpdog

    stmpdog Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    372
    I thank everyone for their imput & advice. I found a kayak shop in my area, so I will be spending a lot of time in there researching and asking questions. Right now I'm leaning towards a hybrid. I still have a couple of weeks to figure it out. Once again thank you all for your info and advice.
     
  15. FreudianSlip

    FreudianSlip Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    1,834
    I would check out the pescador 12. It is an old design from a more expensive company that is being produced for cheaper. It's a little on the heavy side though
     
  16. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    4,417
    Location:
    Milner Georgia
    I could go on for days with this conversation. I wish you lived close enough to come to one of my seminars. But quickly I will say the following as a guide:
    Sit n top kayaks are more versatile than a sit inside. there may be a couple things where a sit inside might be better but for the most part a sit on top is more for your money.
    All Sit on tops have a maximum weight capacity. you don't want to be more than 60-65% of that weight capacity in your own weight. If you are over that you will have water coming in thru the scuppers instead of going out, as designed.
    When I designed the Predator for Old Town, I had planned on designing the perfect fishing kayak. I found out that was physically impossible. Long kayaks are faster. Narrow kayaks are more efficient to paddle. Wide kayaks are more stable. Short kayaks are more maneuverable. So a perfect kayak would be a long, narrow, short, wide kayak................physically impossible. Hull design can and does help in all of these issues but nothing can really be done about the physical abilities stated above.
    So you have to decide which of these is most important and find a kayak that best suits the most important things.
    Stability is usually what a beginner kayaker wants the most. that is why most fishing kayaks are wide (and getting wider in our industry). But if you are paddling a long way maybe you want to give up some stability in a wide kayak for more efficiency in a narrow kayak. Or maybe speed in a longer kayak?
    Generally a kayak in the 12'-13' range is a good compromise in length. One that is 28" to 30" is a good compromise in width. With those dimensions you get the best of reasonable stability and speed and efficient paddling. You probably won't be able to stand and fish unless you have good balance but it will paddle well, track well and have reasonable stability in most waters.
     
    Kraken likes this.
  17. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    4,417
    Location:
    Milner Georgia
    Oh and paddle every kayak you can get in before buying if possible. Personally I have 23 kayaks at present. If I had to get rid of all but one, I would keep my Ocean Kayak Trident 13. I have a lot of experience and I can stand and fish from it but it is also and efficient paddler.
     
  18. Brudd

    Brudd Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    22
    I don't know where your at near lake Erie, but if your anywhere near Grand rapids, oh. Look up River Lures kayaking. I've bought 3 kayaks from them. Something for every budget.
     
  19. stmpdog

    stmpdog Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2017
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    372
    Grand Rapids is 30min away. Will definitely check them out.
     
  20. wingnuts

    wingnuts Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    589
    Location:
    NJ
    Tarpon 140 was my favorite hull design, I also like the OK trident! I favor SOTs as I fish sedge islands and get in and out frequently also they are self bailing and I feel better to fish from. I stopped paddling and now pedal! I can sit right in a current and fish structure with a few pedal strokes and have both hands free! Good luck and I would go with a tarpon!
     

Share This Page