New to Kayaking and need some advice - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-05-2012   #1
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
New to Kayaking and need some advice

Hey everyone, my names chris and I am planning on starting to kayak. I live in colorado and have river rafted numerous times on class V rapids so I have a little experience with the water. I am going to be going on the green river in Utah which said can go up to class III rapids but eventually I want to go on class V rapids. I need some advice to which type of kayak should I get. My trip to the green river will be a seven day trip where we will be camping every night off shore. So I need something that will help me carry camping supplies and equipment. Also am i able to wear a day pack while kayaking (is it safe)? Whats the best way to carry equipment on a white water kayak or the best way to bring the equipment period? Lastly since I will be needing a white water kayak and I do not know any brands or styles, can I get some advice on picking a good fit for me? I have up to 500 to spend on the kayak. Ill probably try to go used for my first one but I am not opposed to buying new. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Any tips or advice for this newbie would be much appreciated.

Thanks Chris

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Old 11-05-2012   #2
Fallingup's Avatar
Summit County, and Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 261
It is quite different to be a passenger in a raft on a class V rapid than it is to row or paddle through one. Kinda how it is to be a passenger on a 747 vs. actually flying one.

My advice would be to take a basic class. This way you get an idea of what kind of paddling you would like to do. This will also allow you to demo some boats and get a feel for the best boat for you. There are many options for classes and there are some roll sessions starting soon.

A boat is only 1/2 of what you'll need. Expect to pay another 200-500 on additional gear in order to boat safely.

Leave the daypack at home; and opt for a small drybag where you can store sunscreen, lip balm, etc.

River running isn't just a hobby; it's a lifestyle.
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Old 11-05-2012   #3
Fort Collins
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 236
Woah, baby steps dude. I agree with Faliingup, find a class, Confluence in Denver has some good beginner pool classes, try some boats, get comfortable looking at fish, and work your way back up from there

For this one trip, it sounds like you need a larger volume boat, they have their perks and minuses, depending on what type of boating you want to get into aside from this trip. How soon is your trip?

I suspect you will want to hit the pool pretty hard this winter, and keep an eye on the classifieds for a while. Semi-frequently, it seems like you can find a decent boat with paddle, and skirt for $300-$400, and then you will have a couple hundred more in additional accessories.

Good luck, it is a great sport!
"If I'm not there, it means I'm dead...or late!" General W.R. Monger
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Old 11-05-2012   #4
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Thanks for the quick replies! My trip is not for another year and a half. I will be taking basic lessons in may through august which involves both river and pool practice. Im not looking to get my kayak now, this is just information building now. I plan to at least get a seasons worth of experience before I take this trip. After this trip I will be planning to continue in colorado usually only day long trips.

Im not worring about money this was just for the kayak itself. I already know about the paddle, skirt, helmet, life vest etc. I was looking for advise on the kayak first. Total I have around 3000 to spend but dont want to go nuts and buy the "best" of everything.

If hauling gear will be a problem how would you say that I go about a 7 day trip at green river? I wont be going alone either, will be around 4-6 people going.
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Old 11-06-2012   #5
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
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Originally Posted by huskey1216 View Post
If hauling gear will be a problem how would you say that I go about a 7 day trip at green river? I wont be going alone either, will be around 4-6 people going.
Is everyone going to be in their own Kayak? or is your group taking a raft or two? Usually you put all your camping and personal gear on a support raft for a long trip like that. I'm guessing your going down the Deso/Grey section of the Green River.
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Old 11-06-2012   #6
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
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If I were you I would rent a expedition style boat for your Green trip. A couple of options would be the Liquid Logic Remix XP and the Pyranha Fusion. Generally these boats have enough room to carry your own supplies, but you will have to go minimalist. It can be tough to carry all your own water for multi-day trips in a kayak.... you should carry a filter and iodine tablets too.

If you want to get into more difficult whitewater day trips I would look at a "river runner" or "creek boat". There is some good information on the different types of whitewater boats here: CKS| Whitewater Kayaks: Rodeo/Freestyle Kayaks, Free Running Kayaks, River Running Kayaks, Creeking Kayaks

Personally I am partial to Pyranha, but every brand has it's pluses and minuses.
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Old 11-06-2012   #7
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,548
Max out your pool time this winter. Learn a good pool roll.

Get an inexpensive used boat. It doesn't have to be a creeker. Some older, higher-volume playboats from 6-7 years ago were lower and narrower and easier to roll, and had decent river running manners.

Get a good PFD from Astral or Kokatat.
If you TRULY want to kayak (lifestyle), spring for a brand new Kokatat Goretex drysuit. They have a lifetime guarantee, and they absolutely stand behind that guarantee. I started right where you are at with winter pool sessions 15 years ago, got my GTX drysuit 10 years ago, and they just replaced the entire suit this spring. Hindsight being 20/20, I really wish I had bought the suit when I first started and would have had it the first 5 years as well.

Take the class.

With your new drysuit, start hitting all your local Class II/III runs as soon as they start running. Find some good boaters to mentor you. Chances are, they'll start hitting the II/III runs in the spring to warm up for the 2013 season. Without that drysuit, you'll be miserable. Most likely, they'll all be in drysuits...and they'll be swimming less than you!

Worry about the self-support creek boat for the trip. Maybe even borrow one for the trip.

Someone else said it in another thread on here where the OP asked if he was ready for Class V....

You're not ready for III until you're playing everything you can find in Class II.
You're not ready for IV until you're playing everything you can find in Class III.
You're not ready for V until you're playing everything you can find in Class IV.
Too true.

For Class II, you need a good attitude.
For Class III, you need good swimming skills.
For Class IV, you need a good roll.
For Class V, you need a great brace.
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Old 11-06-2012   #8
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crested butte, Colorado
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.... Get a play boat and dial that roll.... Starting in a big boat is like showing up at the race track to learn how to race, in a station wagon!!!!.... Playboat for starters.... Somebody will loan you a big boat when you wanna step it up..... I went to west water on day 2 and it motivated me to get a grip on my shit as quick as possible... Get buddies to take you out so you can save the lesson money for gear.....and remember this..... Think up, be up.... "Be the ball Danny"..... Old scared guy420 crested butte.....
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Old 11-06-2012   #9
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In a Van, Down By the River
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I use a wavesport diesel 80 for multiday trips but there are a number of good boats in the "river runner" or "creek boat" class. pyrahna kayaks seem to be nice cuz you can find them cheep and they don't need center pilars. But check out H3, jefe, mamba, burn, just to name a couple. there are tons of boats on the used market that will rock. All your gear should go in drybags in the stern and/or bow of your boat. Don't wear a backpack. 500 bones is a boat only budget maybe you can get a paddle too. Just a kayak z drag unpin kit will run 150. I suggest you also bring a gps. Going from the couch to the green in 1 year is very doable. Just take your time and don't have anything to prove. You'll have a blast! Gook luck.

Google self support kayaking
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Old 11-06-2012   #10
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Posts: 2,111
Your question is a little difficult to answer because it's really two separate questions. Question 1 is: what boat do you want for your Green trip. Question 2 is: what boat should you get to start the path toward learning how to be an expert kayaker.

Let's start with question 2. As usual ...milo... has spot on advice. If you look at the CKS link, most people will tell you to get something out of the "River Running" or "Free Running" categories as a beginner boat. The "Free Running" class tends to be more of a playboat design with some added stability for river running. The bow and stern of the boats will be lower volume and often the edges a bit sharper. The "River Running" class is going for maximum forgiveness with lots of volume in bow and stern, good speed, and lots of stability on edge but with poor play potential.

Anyway, given your long term goal to boat class V and it sounds like a fairly aggressive attitude, you should get a lower volume boat that's more play oriented. Maybe even something in the "rodeo/freestyle" category. It will make whitewater more challenging than using a more forgiving, voluminous boat, but it will also progress your skills quicker and in more forgiving water. If it were me, I would look for a Jackson Fun (whatever size is appropriate for your weight)

For the Green trip, a whitewater touring type boat like the Liquid Logic Remix XP would be the money for dealing with lots of flatwater and plenty of cargo space. You could do it in a river runner or creekboat but with less style. If you could borrow or rent one of these boats for your trip, that would probably be ideal. Unless you think you'll be doing lots of similar multi-day self-support trips, then you might consider buying one. Lots of info here on self-support gear logistics:

As a beginner, winter is a great time to learn. Get a playboat, start going to pool sessions and learn how to roll, balance on your edges, brace, and some basic paddle strokes and you'll be ready to ground running when our huge snowpack starts to break next spring.
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