erich you think you can write an article about what to look for in kayaks?

12:14 p.m. on October 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich just found out I live not far from class 2 and 3 rapids for canoeists and kyakers. Woundering about  kyaks. Since you are the paddle guru on TS was woundering if you could write an article about kyak's. What to llook for and styles etdc. Thanks

8:37 a.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Rita and I are toying with the idea too. But we would be on lakes.

7:28 p.m. on October 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Denis and Mike, sorry for the late reply, I've been out paddling. Let me put my thinking cap on and come up with something to help you guys out. As with canoes, kayaks that are capable of whitewater, won't be lake kayaks and vice versa.

Best,

Erich

10:13 a.m. on October 19, 2011 (EDT)
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I am no paddle guru but have been flat water kayaking for two years and love my big Old Town Vapor 10 footer. It is very open and quite controlable. I actually ordered it from Amazon because I paid no tax and no shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Town-Canoes-Kayaks-Recreational/dp/B003JGYP80

I also have a lid on the back hatch that I insulated and use somewhat as an ice chest on hot, all day paddles. Though mine came with the lid, now you have to get a kit and add it

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Town-Vapor-Rear-Hatch/dp/B003JFMZ7O/ref=pd_sim_sg3

Many of my friends in the Las Vegas Kayak Meetup groups have similar kayaks and we all get on pretty fine on the waters of lake mead, Sand Hollow, The Colorado River and Lake Mojave. As time goes on, I may get mroe sophisticated, but this kayak serves me quite well. As a matter of fact, the outfitters around here usually rent similar kayaks. Though you can rent more sleek Kayaks with rudders as well.

11:37 a.m. on October 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Getting out on the water in any craft is an enjoyable one for me. Safety and function are key factors. For short trips around home, many boats will be adequate. The longer the trip, the more difficult the conditions, or the possibility of the latter, and the boat options are not as broad.

5:37 p.m. on October 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I think we will rent for the time being. That way we can get the feel for what we are looking for.

6:24 p.m. on October 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Renting is always a good option to get started. If you unsure of your skills, a week end course will get you started. As well, it a great way to meet like-minded people who are also at or near your skill level.

9:59 p.m. on October 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich renting sounds about right. But alot of people are selling their kyaks they have extra of. So like you statyed certain kyaks for short trips ect. Now i know 2 people selling about the same kyak giftofgab hasd one with paddle vest and skirt. For a good price but dont knoe if thats what will handle class 2 and 3 rapids. Yes a course is also on the planning stages.

11:55 a.m. on October 21, 2011 (EDT)
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If it is what I have, it is really made for flat stuff and not very manuverable for anything technical. I have had it on rough water but not rapids. In rough water it will work you more. I wouldn't take it or anything like it on rapids myself. This time of year the outfitters are often selling their rental crafts. You may want to wait and rent...then buy their stuff from next years sale.

1:01 p.m. on October 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Denis, these are recreational kayaks, intended for small lakes and protected waterways. These are not whitewater boats, nor are they intended for kayak touring, meaning large bodies of water, or exposed crossings. I really think that the International Scale of River Difficulty needs some modification to it's language. Class II is considered Novice and Class III, Intermediate. However, those designations can be misleading, both by variations in regional interpretation, as well as individual interpretation. More specifically Class II means waves to three feet, obstructions that be present include rocks, sweepers and holes. Wide clear channels that are easily avoided by trained paddlers. 

The cockpits on these boats are large, and while performing a roll would not be impossible for a skilled paddler, it would not be especially easy. There won't be adequate floatation in these boats, and their shape is not conducive to turning or staying dry in large waves.

Here's an example; I'm running a fairly easy Class II in an OC 1.


IMGP1147-JPG.jpg
 A further example is this photo.

I might consider this a II+ or low III because of tight lines and a large dangerous falls just downstream. Visually, it may look easier than the last photo, because the waves don't look as big. However, the channels were obvious but very tight, requiring precise moves.
IMGP1272.jpg

5:27 a.m. on October 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Erich the photo's are very helpful to understand classification  of rapids. Also that th lake kyaks are different. Would love to know what type of constructive body IE fiberglass etc I should be looking for.  plan on taking a course at the NOC.

11:26 a.m. on October 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Carolina by Perception. It is considered a touring kayak but because of its stable design (width, gentle kine) it is really more of a recreational kayak. Very nice for 2 or 3 day trips on flat water. I took it out to Cumberland Island one February from the Crooked River with a lot of wind and chop and altho it rode well, the swells, chop, and gusty conditions really made me uncomfortable on the areas of large open water. This kayak is 14.5' long made of roto-mold plastic, which with all the oyster beds where I paddle is imo the best suited. fiberglass and kevlar while lighter would tear up pretty quick. By the way I purchased my kayak(s) (I have 2) from a local kayak rental/guide who wanted to upgrade his stock and got a pretty good deal. I have had them 10 years and they have held up very well.
Cedar-Hill-07-31-11-004.jpg

2:06 p.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi Denis,

Most whitewater kayaks and a great many flatwater(both recreational and touring) kayaks are being rotomolded out of poly. While historically, K-1s and touring kayaks were built in composite construction, that has changed dramatically in recent years. Poly boats will be tough, but heavy and difficult to repair. They will also be cheaper, and being more common, are most likely the boats you will find.

July 28, 2014
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