Beginner looking for advise on selecting a kayak. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-14-2004   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1
Beginner looking for advise on selecting a kayak.

Looking for your experience to help me buy my first kayak. On the river a few times last season with instruction. Almost got the roll down in the pool. 5'-9", 165lbs., just turned 50, lousy lower back but still going strong. Not a player yet (or maybe ever), probably makes sense to buy a used kayak that is easy to roll and can learn a few play moves in. Am planning to visit the swap in Silverthorn. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-15-2004   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 416
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Hey TL
Great to see another person anxiouse to jump in the sport.
Well you have a bunch of options. Pretty much, my guess is that you would fit well in a river running boat of somesort. The way I look at it is, people of all ages tend to just start out river running, and then all the sudden see cartwheels and wanna try that, so you might also look for a boat that has Options as far as river running capabilities, future play, and perhaps even hull speed for when you wanna catch those waves. My guess is anywhere from a WS EZ (possibly super EZ) all the way to a G-ride type of rig. It all just depends on where you think you will take your paddling. Another option is the WS diesel.....Combines Playboating as well as river running. What I would do, is demo a few boats, and see which you feel most comfortable with (for your back). As well as which you think is right for you.

I'l be at the WS booth at the Expo if you need help with a boat purchase......

Hope this helps

Ben Guska
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Old 04-15-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46

I agree with what Goos has to say. Look for a river runner with play capabilites. For beginners, it's all about comfort. Each manufacturer has their own "fit". You might find that you'll be loyal to a specific boat manufacturer because you like their fit. I've always been a big fan of Wavesport's comfortable and easily adjustable outfitting. I don't think you can go wrong with a used EZ or Ace, if you fiind their boats comfy. Lot's of those available in gearswap at great prices.

Everyone says to demo, demo, demo. But in reality, demoing a range of boats on water is really difficult, especially early in the season. Sometimes you've just gotta' go with your gut instinct, talk to a lot of people about boat design, and sit in a lot of boats. I think this is true for a beginner when you'll not be as receptive to minute design issues, such as hull length, rocker and chime depth. I think once you sit in a boat, you'll know if it's right for you.

If you buy a used boat, scrutinize the boat for cracks. If in any doubt, ask the seller if you can fill it with water from a garden hose to look for leaks. Scratches and small gouges are to be expected. Make sure all the bolts are in place. Don't ever buy a boat that's been stored outside and exposed to the elements (look for leaves and debris inside as a tell tale sign). Offer the seller $10 for a trial run just to make sure before you buy it. You can expect to pay between $350-500 for a recent used boat in great shape.

Good luck,

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Old 04-15-2004   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 44
I sort of concur. Wavesport EZ or Big EZ are great bets. The stock thigh hooks are a bear to get past when getting in and out though. In addition to looking at used boats, I'd consider a leftover new boat if any retailers have them. The prices of EZ's have been dropping each year. I suppose this is because the molds for the hulls have been amortized. If you buy a brand new one, you can be sure all seat pads, hip pads, thigh hooks, foot box etc. are intact and in good shape. This way you can make any modifcations as you see the need for them rather than live with someone else's. And, if you resell an EZ, you won't take a big hit on your investment. For example, if you push your local shop, you can buy a new boat for $800 or less, and they throw you store credits and discounts for everything else you need such as paddle, pfd, floatation, skirt etc. You can get $500 to 550 for an used EZ without working hard. And you've still got all your other gear at a discount and you can use it on your next boat. Just an idea.
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Old 04-15-2004   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
You would do well with a used Wave Sport X. A great all around beginner boat in many people's opinion. If you are new to the sport and demo some boats, how will you know what you are looking for except comfort? I say start with a good all around boat like the X or the Big EZ and paddle for a season. Then is the time to demo because you will know how to ferry, you will know how to roll, you will know how to make eddy turns and do peel outs. As a rookie, you might just be having a hard time doing all those and won't know what you're looking for when you demo.

Have fun. :P
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Old 04-16-2004   #6
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8
How about an Eskimo Xeno

New Boat. Full warranty. Never paddled. $500 includes shipping from Birmingham.

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Old 04-20-2004   #7
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 14
Hey tl,

I was recently doing the same thing that you are. I ended up buying a Dagger GT but I was also looking at the Lil' Joe by Liquid Logic (good boat too). I do know that there is a used Lil'Joe for sale at CKS and it is on their website. I can tell you that my GT is incredibly comfortable.
Good luck!
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