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Old 04-28-2013   #1
Farmington, New Mexico
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Starting over after 10 years. Any tips?

Well, I was going to type out a whole essay worth of information, from back story to present, but decided to just keep it short and simple for now. Basically I started whitewater kayaking about 15 years ago, ran the lower Animas for a few years, and quit due to work and schooling. I've decided I wanted to get back into it again after it popped into my head a month ago, and I've been obsessed with the thought ever since.

Right now I'm looking to purchase a whole new setup in the next month or so. I'm still a beginner who prefers class I-II and the occasional class III, and I'm not much into playing yet. I simply want a boat that's forgiving and easy to work with, that will get me down the river. Through a lot of research I've narrowed my top choices down to the LL Remix or Stomper, and haven't yet determined which would be best, so I thought I'd ask opinions. Any input?

Also, I do plan on retaking some lessons, getting in some pool time to practice my rolls, and practicing those rolls until I can do them without thinking. I plan on working on my skills until I know them well, and continuing to progress and improve. A few lessons or refreshers here or there can't hurt.

Any advice, good or bad, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 04-28-2013   #2
Kayak & SUP Lessons
SSJ LLC's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
Hi Erin,

We would be ecstatic to help you get back into the lifestyle of whitewater kayaking.! Love to hear that you have been bitten by the bug and it hasn't left your mind in ten years, that really says something about the rewards of the river. As far as boat choice goes, try a few. Remix and Stomper would both be good choices, I would encourage you to try them both through a demo program before you buy, (4CRS has a great program) they also have a gear swap coming up in two weeks. Surf the San Juans is a JACKSON kayak super school offering coaching in all the latest Jackson boats. I think you might enjoy the comfort of the new Karma or Zen as well. Check out our site at and let us know how we can be of continued assistance...

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Old 04-29-2013   #3
yourrealdad's Avatar
185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
Paddling Since: 1864
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 917
Find someone who is willing to loan you out some beater gear and a boat. Go down the river with them and see if it is what you are thinking it is. Hit easy stuff/pool to get confidence back. Do you like it? If so drop some coin. We have to keep the companies around so I guess buy all the new gear you can, but I have always told beginners just to buy a bunch of used gear until they know that they are hooked.

Your boat choices are fine, but if you think you are ever going to want to play even a little those won't do. So I don't know your $$$ background, but paying all that money for a newer model and then having to buy another boat later....That being said you will be comfortable in every sense in those boats.
970-217-21 six six
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Old 04-29-2013   #4
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 184
Farmington scene

Search out Marcel and the fine folks at San Juan College for classes and possible rental gear.
They run a weekly pool session and you can get back into a great boating community.
Farmington has many nearby opportunities and even a park-and-play in town on the Animas.
+1 for Four Corners shop up in Durango is a great resouce for new gear, even for us in Albq, and as already mentioned their annual swap/sale is May 4.
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Old 04-29-2013   #5
Farmington, New Mexico
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Thanks for all of the responses!

@SSJ LLC: I have looked at SSJ and am keeping that as a probability for some instruction over the summer. As for the demos, I believe it is a good idea, and will probably take a few before I purchase. I just have to narrow down my search enough so that I'm not paying a new boat's worth of demo fees. I will definitely check out some of the Jackson boats and compare them. Thanks for the ideas!

@yourrealdad: Thanks! I do plan on demoing some boats beforehand just to get a feel for the boats. And I do plan on sticking to lakes, pools, and easier flat water until I can secure a good, reliable roll. My biggest challenge was nailing my rolls, especially combat rolls. I want to make sure that I feel confident and comfortable with the basics before I attempt something that I'm not ready for.

As for the play boat issue, I'm not too worried about losing out on a playboat at the moment, as I more or less simply want a boat that isn't touchy and that will help me regain some confidence. I'm not saying it's impossible that I'd ever get into playboating, but it's not on my radar right now. I simply want to get out, get wet, and enjoy the nice weather. The way I figure it, I'm stable enough financially, and if I'm confident enough to start playing, then I'd be more than willing and able to purchase a second boat. You can never have too many boats... right?

@Rojo: I haven't looked much into SJC for paddle instruction (not sure why), but that sounds like a great idea! They are local, so there's no distance issues. And I do like the pool time training as well. Right now I'm starting to get the itch to go out due to the warm weather, but then remember how cold the water is still, so a pool would make a big difference.

And yes, 4CRS is a great shop, and they are one of the retailers I'll likely buy from as well. I learned to paddle ages ago in their paddle school actually, so I'm fairly familiar and happy with them to begin with. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where I have all of these options.
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Old 05-02-2013   #6
Farmington, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3
A couple of tips, there are not many kayakers in Farmington, I don't really know why this is. So it is allways good to hear from someone here in town wanting to get back into kayaking.
The San Juan Collage Outdoor Program has a good supply of whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, inflatable kayaks, rafts and camping gear in their rental department. Some of the staff there are avid kayakers and may be helpful about local boating.
Kayaks and equipment have changed and improved a lot in ten years, so be careful not to buy equipment that is either outdated or not right for your size, weight, or ability, the crew at FCRS in Durango can help steer you to what will work best.
You may also find some used eqipment at the FCRS swap meet this weekend, but if you don't find just what you need, then I usually reccomend to buy something new that is good quality, that way if you decide the sport isn't for you, then you can sell your equipment, the cheap crappy stuff won't be in demand.
For roll practice and flat water training, you might consider Morgan Lake, next to the Four Corners power plant. The water is warmed by water from the plant.
For other kayak info call me at 505-three-two-six three-eight-three-seven and ask for Scott.
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Old 05-06-2013   #7
dork, confusion
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 204
my advice.... stick with it this time..... even if you get a job, or go back to school or get a girlfriend...
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Old 05-06-2013   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408

What ever you do, start a good stretching routine and do it on a schedule.

Most any river runner kayak will work. I own and recommend a used if you can find it Liquid Logic Remix in the size that fits you best.

The Remix is a easy to paddle all around kayak that you can learn in then take your boating up to what ever level you want. The Remix will work for you.

Lots of other good tips already posted. The more instruction you get, the easier it will be to boat.

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