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Old 08-01-2015   #1
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8
First creek boat

Just getting into kayaking really wanting a creek boat for cheap. I was looking at the Jackson karma any other suggestions on cheap boats or ideas?

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Old 08-01-2015   #2
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 339
Karma would work fine !

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Old 08-01-2015   #3
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
CKS has a like new Remix 59 for 699 and 69 for 799 as well as a Pyranha Everest for 375 right now...
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Old 08-01-2015   #4
duct tape's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 636
Mostly paddle rafts rather than oar rigs now?
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Old 08-01-2015   #5
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by the_white_water_rage View Post
Just getting into kayaking really wanting a creek boat for cheap. I was looking at the Jackson karma any other suggestions on cheap boats or ideas?

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Karma!!! - I sound like a broken record on these kinds of posts. For real, though, you will not regret your hard earn money being spent on a Karma.
The next best would be the Villain.

The Karma is an amazing performance achievement ... providing unbelievable stability (primary, secondary), carves, pushes out from holes and drops, boofs easily, soft landings, is fast, dry, quick edge to edge, hovers over seams/boils/swirly waters, is the safest boat (unishock bulkhead) and comfortable, is enjoyably lighter than all other creekers, and is driven by the boater rather than pushed everywhere as a paddler.

Most everything else are descent boats and many try to achieve some similar design performance, but ... they fall short in one way or another. It doesn't mean they aren't going to provide some performance, but in my experience and others that I work and boat with, the others brands all have less overall performance, construction achievements, and satisfaction.

That's my advice and I'm sticking to it. I am unsponsored. Others will chime in with their affection for whatever they own or are sponsored by now.

PS: Be aware that the Karma and Villain are high performance boats that activate their best performance responsiveness upon exactly locating the seat position to your weight distribution. As will any boat. It takes experimenting on the water, not just sitting in and adjusting for a living room type appreciation of feel, but more like a race car with precise weight distributions and steering adjustments. Dial it in for best performance.

No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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Old 08-18-2015   #6
Three Rivers, California
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 86
All I can say is demo, demo, and demo some more. All kayaks have their plusses and minuses, and some love what others hate. Ken obviously adores the Karma, I on the other hand couldn't be paid to paddle it. I enjoyed the Villain but loathed the Karma. So in that light try borrowing boats from friends and demoing from stores. In the ideal world try each boat on a run you know well, and one you don't. That's all if you're going to spend some serious $ on a boat.

As it's your first creeker I'd suggest just going with something used and cheap to find out what you like. Speed vs boofing, ability to turn vs holding a line. Planning hull vs displacement. Every boat makes compromises, I'd find the one that compromises where you are strong and excels where you are weak.

Darin McQuoid
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Old 08-18-2015   #7
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 108
Any modern creekboat that fits your weight range according to manufacturer specs should be fine (make sure you are somewhere in the middle and not at the top and bottom of the range). As a new boater I dont think you will be able to tell the difference between boat designs.

If you can spend around $500 you can get a boat 2-5 years old in really good shape, and this should last you for a while. For $250/$300 range you are probably gonna get something either pretty old or beat up. If it is cracked dont buy for more than $50 if they wont give it to you for free. My first boat was a cracked pyranna M2 I bought for $50. I fixed the crack then paddled it for a full season and it worked great. Bought a newer boat the next year after the whitewater addiction took hold.

There are some decently priced used boats on the classifieds right now.
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Old 08-18-2015   #8
leeds, Alabama
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5
liquid logic just started a sale im new myself been doing it maybe a month and i bought a flying squirrel 95 from LL and love it im 6ft 220 and fits me well and floats me great obviously im new so have no experience to talk from but i took my first trip in it down the nantahalla and man it was a nice ride went down with ease stable as well
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Old 08-18-2015   #9
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 232
Is this going to be your first kayak in general? I'd advise just getting a good deal on a used boat. It's hard to know if you'll even like it if this is new to you and until you'd developed some skills, what you like will change.
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Old 08-18-2015   #10
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Just get a relatively popular cheap boat that is comfortable and you are in the middle or low end of the weight range for. Paddle it. If you decide you want another boat, sell that boat and get an new one. Demoing is a lot of work. Buying and selling used boats for a fair price is easy...$300 to $450 range. Some "popular" boats to consider in no particular order: Jackson Karma, Villan, Hero; Dagger Nomad or Mamba; Pyranha Burn or Shiva; Wavesport Habitat or Recon; Liquid Logic Stomper, Squirrel, Remix or even Jefe. Check manufacture website to figure out which size is right for you.

Granted, that's an answer for someone who just wants to get on the water and not obsess about which is the *perfect* kayak. I think my first "creek" boat was a Pyrhana H2. Perfect creek boat? No. But, it was cheap, easy to sell when I moved on and got me on the river.

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