Kayak help

12:55 p.m. on October 5, 2007 (EDT)
17 reviewer rep
15 forum posts

I don't know if anybody here does kayaking, but a buddy and I are looking for good but cheaper kayaks in order to dabble in the sport.

Here's what we think we want:
1. Sit-in. Going on overnight trips, but nothing more than 1 night.
2. Inexpensive. If there is a kayak in the sense of the word. :)
3. Something that can handle some class 1 or 2 rapids. That is the lowest ranked right?


6:41 p.m. on October 6, 2007 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
22 forum posts

check out www.paddling.net - they are geared towards paddle sports and have gear reviews (though it's nowhere as near as nicely put together site as this one...). That said (having just started dabbling in kayaking myself but also being a big fan of this site...), here are some things I've learned from my hiking pal who sort of got the rest of us hikers into kayaking:

If you want to do an overnight trip, figure out how much weight you want to carry plus your own weight so you make sure you get a kayak rated to handle the weight.

The longer touring boats are built to track straight so that you can concentrate more on just paddling than trying to keep the boat going in a straight line - which then means they are a lot harder to handle in rapids (they really are not fond of turning, but that's kind of the point of a touring boat).

Recreational kayaks are in between the touring and white water versions - usually shorter than touring and longer than white water. They will track straighter than the white water boats, but not as well as the touring boats. Depending on how much gear you're planning to take and how much playing in small rapids you're planning to do, a recreational boat might do the trick.

I'd say if possible, see if you can rent a couple of different styles of boats to get a feel for them.

One way to get a deal on a kayak is to look around this time of year - a couple of the places out here (I'm in UT) sell off their rental boats starting in Sept-ish at really good prices. Though do make sure to check the boats out - they have been rented, after all. Also, some places may have had them outside in the heat throughout the summer months and they may have warped in the heat, among other things...

Definitely check out the site above - I've picked up some really helpful info there.

I scored an amazing deal on a re-branded Old Town Otter - from of all places, Sam's Club. It's only 9'6" long, and I'm not sure if it'd handle an overnighter - not alot of room to stow gear. It is great for messing around for an afternoon or so on flat water (it tracks fairly straight and has surprisingly decent stability), and it's been alot of fun on the small rapids of the Provo River. I had rented a 10'6" Blackwater that had a rudder on it prior to picking mine up, and it was pretty nice - with the rudder down, it tracked nice and straight for flat water. With the rudder up, it was fairly responsive for the ripply stuff (the Provo has class II and mostly class I).

Hope some of this helps -

Happy "Kayak hiking"!

3:29 a.m. on November 10, 2007 (EST)
3 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

Check out the OT Sport - Jolt. There are 2 different lengths. I have paddled the 11'6" many times and it is the best all around kayak I've ever been in. It's supposed to handle class II rapids and even be rollable yet it is fast and comfortable for most body sizes. It is a bit on the heavy side but it is very durable. You could find a used one for 4-500 I bet.

April 21, 2018
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