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Old 04-17-2014   #1
Nashville, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 13
beginner bought ik now need gear

Hello I just bought an aire lynx and now I need some great. I will mostly be doing southeast rivers.
I figure my first purchases should be
Life jacket

What are good websites or places to get new or used gear?
What size paddle do I need? I think 220. I am 5 9

Any help would be appreciated.


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Old 04-17-2014   #2
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655

Welcome to the sport. I started in IK's in the early 90's. For paddles, I like the basic Carlisle take aparts, but not the RS ones. They break. The cheap ones that look like raft paddles will last forever. If you want a real kayaker paddle, buy a real single piece Werner/ Lightning/ Sawyer paddle. The mid level paddles seem to break.
Buy a good vest, that is intended for WW use. Look at sites like NRS, Cascade Outfitters, Down river equipment, The Boat people, Clavey, Man of Rubber, or some of the the vendors I haven't mentioned on this site. Fit a helmet you like to wear, I'm not too brand Specific. It just needs to be intended for WW use.
Footwear is pretty important to me. I have big feet (16EEE) and I don't like them to get injured, so I wear Booties from NRS that protect them, even when it's hot. Saves my toes when I take a spill.
I have no clue what you level of comfort is in water, but I recommend practicing self rescue with your craft before you really need to. Flip it, don't touch the river floor, right it, and re-enter. Make sure you you can quickly. Make sure you hang on to your paddle when you swim.
The most important ingredient on any trip are good people to boat with. I like to have people better than I am on every trip, so I learn and grow, and I love to help out the people who desire some help. The people you boat with are like comrades in war, so that is the level of trust they will expect from you and you should expect from them. I put more thought and care into who I boat with than what I paddle

Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 04-17-2014   #3
Florence, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 178
I'm 5'10' and running a 220 cm paddle and it seems right. is a good bet for gear. Need to add river knife and throw bag to the kit quickly. I think nrs makes a good one piece paddle for about $115, my next paddle purchase.
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Old 04-18-2014   #4
Nashville, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 13
I find 2 l ife vest on nrs for about the same nrs vapor and nrs vista. There see different designs which is better for whitewater?
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Old 04-18-2014   #5
Florence, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 178
vests are a loaded question here. Very personal based on preference. I would recommend hitting a shop so you can try them on. Main thing is being built for paddling specifically and good flotation. Also want it stay in place for a swim and the way it fits will help that. First time on class 2-3 water = first swim guaranteed. Love the sport and still take a swim on occasion.
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Old 04-18-2014   #6
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 44
I would get a small air pump and carry it in the boat at all times, along with a repair kit. Don't count on somebody else to carry the pump, learned that the hard way.

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