Do i have the right Kayak size?!?!?!?! Please Help!!!! - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 05-13-2016   #1
 
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Do i have the right Kayak size?!?!?!?! Please Help!!!!

Hi, i am a 16 year old Hardsheller. I have recently accumulated an old 2012 Jackson Zen 75. I weight 150. I did not realize I was accumulating a large Zen, I thought it was the medium. After researching more I know I'm just barley in the weight limit for the 75. I usually paddle class IV for now and looking to do more steep creeking and eventually I would like to progress to class V. There is a Medium 2013 Karma on craigslist right now I could get for for $200 more. So my question is am I fine paddling the large Zen right now or should I switch to a Medium Karma for the Extra $200? I'm also a pretty aggressive paddler, i like to go fast, carve, boof and just play around. Any advice would be great.
-Thanks, Ryan

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Old 05-14-2016   #2
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 74
The Karma is a very different boat.

The main question is: Do you like your Zen? Is it comfortable? Can you make it do what you want it to do? Is it easy to roll? If the answer to those is all yes, there's no reason to change. The advantage of the Zen is that you have lots of extra bouyancy for, say, overnight gear if you get that urge, or plenty of room for winter gear and such. The Karma will be subtly different, due to the chines and hull shape. It's quicker, but won't land as softly on a big drop, and is more vulnerable to being driven off course by shallow rocks.
A lot of people like to be at the bottom of the weight range for creek boats ecause of the extra bouyanncy. There's no magic formula. You should think of the numbers as guidelines. For instance, people with long legs and big feet tend to size up for the additional comfort for their feet and knees. Slicy boat padddlers tend to size down where possible to improve tricks., and we won't discuss squirt boating. That means that, at this point, you should try as many boats as possible to figure out what you want in a boat. Just don't sink a lot of money into the process. Try your friends's boats at lunch stops, put ins, takeouts if you have the energy. If you think you're happy with the Zen, there's no reason to change.
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Old 05-14-2016   #3
 
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallingH20 View Post
The main question is: Do you like your Zen? Is it comfortable? Can you make it do what you want it to do? Is it easy to roll? If the answer to those is all yes, there's no reason to change. The advantage of the Zen is that you have lots of extra bouyancy for, say, overnight gear if you get that urge, or plenty of room for winter gear and such. The Karma will be subtly different, due to the chines and hull shape. It's quicker, but won't land as softly on a big drop, and is more vulnerable to being driven off course by shallow rocks.
A lot of people like to be at the bottom of the weight range for creek boats ecause of the extra bouyanncy. There's no magic formula. You should think of the numbers as guidelines. For instance, people with long legs and big feet tend to size up for the additional comfort for their feet and knees. Slicy boat padddlers tend to size down where possible to improve tricks., and we won't discuss squirt boating. That means that, at this point, you should try as many boats as possible to figure out what you want in a boat. Just don't sink a lot of money into the process. Try your friends's boats at lunch stops, put ins, takeouts if you have the energy. If you think you're happy with the Zen, there's no reason to change.
I have only Paddled my Zen once, I just took it out on a small surf wave, rolled fine, can initiate eddy turns, side-surfs, ferries, even a couple backsurfs no problem, I felt almost as comfortable in that as my old Dagger showdown. But from what you said I think I will tryout some more boats along the way this summer but just stick with the Zen. Thanks so much for the advice! I really appreciate!
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