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Old 04-04-2014   #1
 
North Conway, New Hampshire
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Help Finding/Suggestions for a Great Creek Boat for Women

Hello! My name's Laura. I'm looking to buy my first whitewater kayak, and I'm looking for a Creek boat that would be well suited for my size. I am 5'3" and 120 pounds. I am a beginner kayaker, but experienced ww canoer, and looking for a boat I can grow with. I'd love any insight/suggestions!

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Old 04-04-2014   #2
 
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subaru, down by the river
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 71
liquid logic remix 59
wavesport diesel 60 or 70
dagger nomad 8.1 (true creeker)
dagger mamba 7.6

You seem to fall right at the top or bottom of the weight range. Most people like to be closer to the bottom of the weight range than near the top, but I'm not sure for a beginner. Your gear will add some weight, and its nice to have the extra volume for steep creeks and multi-day trips. The nomad is one of the best designs ever but I would normally say a beginner should learn in a planning hull boat with some edges to help learn edge control and ferrying, but since you ww canoe you probably understand that? I'm not an expert by any means so hopefully someone else will chime in.
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Old 04-04-2014   #3
 
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subaru, down by the river
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-also demo if at all possible and buying a used boat is a great way to go for your first boat.
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Old 04-04-2014   #4
 
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Silverton, Oregon
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Maybe check out a Jackson Karma S too.

Kind of the best of both worlds (forgiving, but with some edges), and you're dead center in the weight range (Specs/ Pricing - Jackson Kayak - Whitewater Kayaks, Fishing Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks Jackson Kayak – Whitewater Kayaks, Fishing Kayaks, Recreational Kayaks).
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Old 04-04-2014   #5
 
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle83 View Post
liquid logic remix 59
wavesport diesel 60 or 70
dagger nomad 8.1 (true creeker)
dagger mamba 7.6

You seem to fall right at the top or bottom of the weight range. Most people like to be closer to the bottom of the weight range than near the top, but I'm not sure for a beginner. Your gear will add some weight, and its nice to have the extra volume for steep creeks and multi-day trips. The nomad is one of the best designs ever but I would normally say a beginner should learn in a planning hull boat with some edges to help learn edge control and ferrying, but since you ww canoe you probably understand that? I'm not an expert by any means so hopefully someone else will chime in.
Hmm. I'd want more information about what you're expecting to run, your "aggressiveness", strength/fitness, and willingness to trade boats as your skills increase before making a specific recommendation. Are you more interested in running hard whitewater, having a good time playing and river running, doing rodeo moves, or learning as fast as possible? Do you know how to roll, or have the opportunity to learn quickly? What's your tolerance for fear and being upside down in rapids?

I generally think you're a _lot_ better off starting with a general river running boat that fits you. With an emphasis on "fits you". Boats have surprisingly different fits related to the size/length of your thigh, torso, hips, etc.

You're small, and unless you're incredibly strong, the Diesel 70, for example, is going to be a pig, as will most other creek boats (I had a Diesel 65, and I'm 5' 10", 150 lbs and very experienced). The Diesel 60 could be a good choice IF IT FITS YOU. I'm use a Burn S, and I think it's perfect for my 150 lbs. The med Burn was way too much for me, and I suspect most 120 lb paddlers work hard to move the Burn around. My wife is your height and a bit lighter, and she needs a _really small_ boat, even though she's strong. If you have a short torso, you're may also have issues with the height of the deck relative to the seat (e.g., look for a low deck, maybe use a thicker pad on the seat). The Remix 59 could work. Both the Diesel and Remix are good all-round designs, but not real creek boats.

It could be very helpful to sit in some boats and see how they feel, and to have a trusted kayaking friend advise you on a good boat for learning (be careful here - probably NOT the most gung-ho kayaker!). I suspect you'll be better off in a good river-runner to learn in, and then get a creeker later, when you have enough experience to know better what's available and what your style is. If you're into kayaking, you'll eventually end up with several boats anyway.

Creek boats are heavy, don't surf or play well, and they're just not that much fun for general river running. I wouldn't recommend a full-on creeker for a beginner, even with ww experience, unless they were really aggressive and not afraid of getting destroyed. If you want to run the Boreas and Moose, get the creeker. But if you want to surf, play, and run cl. 3 and 4, get a river runner. It'll be easier to paddle and a lot more fun.

Sorry for the long response - lots of things worth considering.
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Old 04-05-2014   #6
Abron Cabron
 
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
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Try and demo a Jackson hero. Make sure its 2011 or newer....as i understand it, the older ones were not that good of boats.

They are really good beginner /intermediate perform really well in low volume creeks, run rivers , super stable and super easy to roll... Also packs up for self support trips pretty exceptionally for a creeker/riverrunner. we just did 3 days on the salt river, with a hero, superhero, and a remix xp9. We were not skimping on anything and made use of every cubic inch of boat space, but the boats performed remarkably well maxed out..
Frozen beers, filet mignon and manhattans. In the middle of the desert. (Frozen to thaw out by night 2). But i digress....
. I have had a superhero since 2011 and highly recommend the jk hero series for a progressing beginner/intermediate paddler. They will help your confidence immensely...
A Negative would be that they are not that fast. Got to work a bit to track in flat water. I still love my boat tho....
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Old 04-05-2014   #7
 
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Silverton, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abron View Post
Try and demo a Jackson hero. Make sure its 2011 or newer....as i understand it, the older ones were not that good of boats.

They are really good beginner /intermediate perform really well in low volume creeks, run rivers , super stable and super easy to roll... Also packs up for self support trips pretty exceptionally for a creeker/riverrunner….

highly recommend the jk hero series for a progressing beginner/intermediate paddler. They will help your confidence immensely...

A Negative would be that they are not that fast. Got to work a bit to track in flat water. I still love my boat tho....
I'll second the Hero as well. I own a 2011 (and they did improve from that year onward), and it is the boat I did most of my WW learning in. Great boat for all the reasons abron mentions.

I will mention one other possible negative though. The Hero is relatively 'tall.' The height is 15," whereas the Karma and Diesel 70 are 13.5," for the sake of comparison. Especially with you being 5'3", this means you will feel like you are sitting deep down in the cockpit, which can be uncomfortable. However, if you sit on a Sweet Cheeks 100 (or 150, or 200), which I highly recommend, you will raise up a bit. This can make the boat feel a bit more unstable because of raising your center of gravity, but at 120# you will probably feel stable in a Hero almost no matter what. My wife is 5'6" 135#, and I'm 6' 135# and we both paddle it regularly.
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