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Old 03-24-2008   #1
Caldwell, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Help! I'm trying to buy a boat.

I'm just starting to kayak and I'm trying to find a boat that would be really good for a beginner. But I'd really like a boat that isn't a total play boat because I heard that you can't get knocked over very easy on the river. And for my first season I'd like to spend most of it right side up. But I want one that's pretty easy to carry and load. And fairly easy to roll and handle on the river. I'm not really sure what to look for. I'm about 5'6" or so and about 130-140lbs. I'm kind of clumsy and I don't want to have a really hard time getting it to the water. I want to buy a used one to make sure I really like it. I've taken lessons in an Pyranha H:3 but I think its just a little bit too big. I was in the pool and I just felt like there was so much kayak to move about and carry it. Is there anything someone might recommend? Or things to look for when buying one? Any help really would be great. I haven't really found anyone offering a lot of advice or thoughts about buying a new one. I live in Idaho and I'm really looking just to get the feel of it on the Payette river and Hell's Canyon as those are the ones I frequent most. If anyone has anything to share or insight, I'd love to hear it.

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Old 03-25-2008   #2
COUNT's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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A few to look into:

Pyranha Inazone
Pyranha Ammo
Liquidlogic Remix
Liquidlogic Lil' Joe
Wavesport Diesel
Wavesport EZG
Dagger Rx
Necky Jive

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 03-25-2008   #3
rideon's Avatar
Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 148
The Dagger G-Ride (not G-Force) for me was a great boat to learn on, I know it is short but is very forgiving and really allowed me to progress. I am sure some of the newer boats that Count listed like the Rx and Ammo would do well for you. The same answer goes for this question every time...Demo as much as you can and find what you like. Don't be afraid to go short, you will find yourself wanting one soon if you go long.

Also, I too had a similar mentality of wanting to stay upright as much as possible, and I am not sure it served me well. Get real used to rolling often and early, I honestly think the timid mentality is a big hinderance to your progression, it took me a while to move beyond this and now I look back on my first 2 years and see how quickly some of my friends progressed and it took me twice as long! Just go get it and seek out a beatdown or two, I promise it will serve you well and you will be in the big stuff much sooner (if that is your goal)
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Old 03-25-2008   #4
spartankayaker's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 70
just my 2 cents

I agree with both Count and Rideon that you really need to demo as many boats as you can before you buy something... I'm 2 years into this sport and I wish I'd demoed more rather than buying. That said, when you find a boat that you really like and feel comfortable in, be ready to pull the trigger. I have some friends who are in perpetual demo mode and never really commit to a boat and, thus, never develop any feel for their boat. As for types, I've always been an under 8 foot boat guy, but my girlfriend, now wife, put me in a slicey play boat to learn and I've stayed in a playish boat since then (I'm in a Jackson SuperFun... lots of guys don't like them, but it works for me, which I guess is my point from above)

Also, I would also caution you against being too concerned about staying upright. Everyone flips and, pretty much, everyone swims at some time. It is part of the experience. Probably the most important thing that I did during the past 2 years is try to hit at least 20+ rolls every time I paddled... mix it up, flip in easy rapids, moving water, on eddy lines, in boils, etc. It really helps when you need to hit one.

Okay, I'll stop talking... good luck!

Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional
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Old 03-25-2008   #5
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 847
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Just learning? Try a Mamba. Flat hull with forgiving edges for easy surfing, shedding bow and stern decks for quick resurfacing and down river paddling ease. Super, super easy to roll and one of the most stable boats I have ever paddled. Nice thing is it is a great learning boat but as you get better you won't "outgrow" it. It will be a good boat to run bigger and stouter stuff as your skills improve. Here is a link to the full description.

Mamba 7.5 Kayak - Dagger

And if you want to demo one I have all the sizes at my house in Gypsum. Feel free to stop by on the way to Shoshone to pick one up!

Dagger Kayaks
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Old 03-25-2008   #6
Monroe, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137

They have an agent in Idaho who will be on their website and he'll have some boats you can demo. Might even have one for sale cheap.
When the river stands in awe of me as I do her, I'll know I'm a kayaker.
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Old 03-25-2008   #7
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NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Cheap used boat options?

I've seen WaveSport Ez and BigEz's out there for relatively cheap prices ($250-350). While there are more refined riverrunning/play boats out there, if you're looking for something on the cheap, those can be the best combo of a cheap boat yet one that's fairly modern in design, outfitting and performance.
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Old 03-25-2008   #8
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 02
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 183
Along the same lines as fat man. The EZ's are a 2 year or more boat. River runners w/beginning play. Buy used, paddle it, sell it for what you paid for it.
Goood river runner to class4.
God Bless SKA Brewery-Sturgeon General
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Old 03-26-2008   #9
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 35
I'm in Idaho and pretty close to the same size. I learned in a Jackson 2Fun. The boat is nice and light, I think around 26lbs. It was great for learning on the Payette. There are pool sessions in Boise every week and all have boats you can try. Also, there are 2 boat swaps coming up during the end of April and beginning of May. Check the Payette - River information on the Payette River on the events page to see the exact dates. If you are interested in trying a 2 Fun, let me know I may be able to borrow one for you to try and I know of one gal looking to sell hers. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions I can help with.
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Old 03-28-2008   #10
Yrisarri, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 21
For an older boat

Consider a Riot Booster. Probably the 50 size for your ht and wt but a 55 would make you even more stable if you could still "fit" tight in it.

I won't restate all the other good advice in previous posts.


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