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Old 04-29-2009   #1
Kent, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 15
General Newbie Question

Seeking opinions from all of you experienced WW kayakers. I am 62 yrs old in reasonable shape although a bit overweight. I just purchased a Pyranha Inazone 232 to begin kayaking in class 1 and 2 rivers with an occassional foray into class 3, as well as use it in the surf at the coast. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Now that I have the gear. I have some irrational (I guess) fear of drowning from not being able to roll or exit. The cockpit seems sort of restrictive to me. I generally don't have a fear of the water having sailed, wind-surfed and surfed for years. Is it reasonable to assume that following an introductory class an old guy like me will overcome this uncomfortable feeling or should I just scuttle this whole idea?


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Old 04-29-2009   #2
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 292
do NOT...I repeat, do NOT ABORT MISSION!
nobody likes being trapped upsidedown underwater, until they learn that they're not trapped! stick with it, you won't regret it.

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Old 04-29-2009   #3
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Sounds like you should take the introductory class before scuttling anything.
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Old 04-29-2009   #4
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
Take a roll class. You may well just learn how to roll! Will probably go over "wet-exit" in class. If not, bring it up. My experience is that if & when it comes time to get out of the boat not much is gonna stop me. Past that some on river instruction can help build skills & confidence. Don't skuttle the idea, Git-After-It !!! You got a good 20-30+ years of paddling in ya.
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Old 04-29-2009   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
Salida is loaded with old farts that retired, moved there and took up kayaking and are kicking ass. You have a decent old boat to learn in so hit it. Def learn to roll but don't let not having a roll keep you from starting to boat. Have some fun out there.
Like it or not, all of us are the result of a sexual act.
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Old 04-30-2009   #6
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
I have an old In-A-Zone 232 that I spent a lot of learning time in. It is a good boat to learn in because it is small enough and edgy enough that you will have to pay attention to make it work. I still have it 7 or 8 years later and I use it for river-running occasionally and I have put many, many hours of ocean surfing on it.

It is kind of a tight feeling boat for its volume. Some of the designers of more recent "river-running" kayaks have figured out how to keep the volume down without crushing your feet and killing your hips so you might want to look at trading up after you get the hang of it. I'm 42 and my hips complain loudly after every session in that boat. I spend too much money on creek boats and lost paddles so I haven't done anything about it yet.

If you are worried about exiting then make sure you practice popping your skirt by pinching a handful of the side of your skirt instead of always relying on the grab loop. Beginners sometimes accidentally tuck the grab loop inside the boat and that can cause some panic after they flip... a few people have drowned from that.

Practice wet exits in a swimming pool. Once you see how easy it is to wet exit then some of your anxiety will go away.

The In-A-Zone is a GREAT ocean surfing kayak so have fun with that but be careful! I broke my neck kayak surfing in the ocean in San Clemente a few years back. Slammed on the bottom, a near death experience and now my neck is bolted together and fucked for life. Mushy waves are the only thing I would recommend. You have no way to bail out so if you go over the falls while stuck in the lip of a hollow wave in a kayak you can only tuck and hope for the best, with a few thousand pounds of force on the bottom of your boat driving you down.
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Old 04-30-2009   #7
Kent, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 15
Thanks to all for the encouragement and advice. I have signed up for a beginner course in a couple of weeks. First day in the pool and lake-second day on the Klickitat River in Southern WA. I'm the only student so it will be one on one instruction.

Thanks again, Mike
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Old 04-30-2009   #8
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
Mike- It sounds like you signed up for a great course. A coupe days with an instructor are invaluable. You probably won't have a solid roll, but you will have learned a lot and with practice that roll will come. Welcome to the world of whitewater.

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