Beginner boat for a fat guy? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-30-2007   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9
Beginner boat for a fat guy?

The subject says it all! And no, a barge is not an option, it will not fit down the Deschutes

I had my first whitewater rafting experience last friday as a company outting on the Clackamas river just south of Estacada, OR and I had a great time, even when I fell out of the boat =)

I'd really like to get into whitewater some more, but don't know enough interested people to fill a raft, and honestly I like the idea of just going out with 1 or 2 other people in kayaks.

I did a search for other "beginner kayak?" posts, but none of them really addressed weight all that much, which I imagine is a concern for someone like me when looking for a boat.

I'm 5'8" and 310lbs right now, and need a boat that I can be comfortable in for 6-8 hours at a time, with room for a few beers/lunch and maybe a camp chair.

From the sounds of it, I don't want to look for something with sharp ends since they are good for speed but tip easier. I'm top-heavy already, so I guess I don't need any encouragement.

Rafting/kayaking looks like it could be the kind of exercise I could get used to, and ideally I'll be able to trade the first boat in next summer for something a bit smaller and more suiting to whatever kind of sport I'm interested in.

Right now I just need something for general class 3/4 whitewater. Any tips are greatly appreciated =)

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Old 07-30-2007   #2
 
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Maybe try an Approach from Dagger Kayaks. Also look into a Mega Rocker. Two big boats that will allow you to learn more. Both should fit you although it is at the top of the range. The Approach is a boat to learn the basics in but can also be used as a fun rec style boat. Go to Dagger to learn more.
Good luck with the search and welcome to paddling!

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Old 07-30-2007   #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
I'd suggest visiting local kayaking shops to discuss gear options. They can answer a lot of your questions and show you a variety of boats, giving you info about pluses and minuses of different boats. They'll also be able to tell you which might work for your size and ambitions. And you can hop into a variety of boats (and other gear), getting the feel for what is comfortable. I'd imagine at your size they might steer you towards creek boats made for big guys (these have rounder edges/hulls and lots of buoyancy relative to the harder edged playboats and river runners).

As a beginning kayaker, you should look into lessons on rolling and basic paddle strokes first (flatwater pond or swimming pool) and start out on class II rivers. Class III is considered intermediate and IV is advanced. I'd suggest having a flatwater roll before trying IIIs . The kayak shop would be helpful for recommending good local sources of instruction and suitable runs for beginners, too.

Welcome to the sport!
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Old 07-30-2007   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Thanks, I'll find a local shop and see what they have to say. Whatever I go with, it'll have to be inflatible since I don't have a roof rack and I don't want to mount anything to the roof of my car.

We have a nice lake about 10 minutes from my house where I can practice different maneuvers, so that's fine.

What else should I look at getting besides a well-rated life jacket, helmet, maybe a splash jacket/skirt and paddle?
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Old 07-30-2007   #5
 
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
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At this time of year a splash jacket should be fine. Regardless of an inflatable or hard boat you will need a helmet, PFD, paddle and proper footwear for safe river running. Also, I don't think you will need a skirt for an inflatable as they are designed as an open cockpit. In the earlier part of the season (aka spring) the water is colder so a wetsuit would be nice. You will be very wet in an inflatable plus the wetsuit offers some bouyancy and protection from the rocks and elements.

h
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Old 07-30-2007   #6
gh
 
pnw, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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you gotta reevaluate your priorities if you dont want to put a rack on your car, i was with ya till ya said that.
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Old 07-30-2007   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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JBL has a yellow titantic or "open boat". Its a whitewater canoe and if it can fit his fat ass, it will fit anyones. I think you could even mount a 15 horse evinrude on that biatch just in case you get caught in a keeper. Plus he's from Tennessee and I guarantee you could damn near take it from him when he's not lookin and he'll think he lost it and go buy knew one. Everyone makes out.
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Old 07-31-2007   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gh View Post
you gotta reevaluate your priorities if you dont want to put a rack on your car, i was with ya till ya said that.
I guess I don't mind putting a rack on my car, but it has to be one that doesn't require drilling any holes and doesn't dent/damage the car or paint. I don't know a whole lot about after-market roof racks so I don't really know what's out there

Still, I would prefer an inflatible boat so I can put it in the trunk/back seat regardless of who's car we're taking
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Old 07-31-2007   #9
 
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
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you're looking for an Aire Lynx, NRS's Maverik or Hyside's Padillac. All good IK's. If you go Aire then avoid the cheapo tomcat's with vinyl bladders. Crap. Get the urethane bladders that will last forever if you got that way.

good luck.
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Old 07-31-2007   #10
 
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Get a raft or inflatable! Pleny of room for lunch and beer. You will not be top heavy in a raft.

If you are set on kayaking go to a pool roll session this winter to see if you even like kayaking.
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