Boat brands to avoid - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-09-2011   #1
 
WetExit's Avatar
 
Denver, Colorado
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Boat brands to avoid

Hey Guys,

I'm new to kayaking, only having done a flatwater class and a 2 day river class. I'm hooked, and can't wait to get out as much as I can. I've been pouring over mountainbuzz for info on boats, rivers, etc for beginners...

I get it that boat choice is pretty personal and to try different brands and styles for the right one for me to keep learning on. I'm looking for a used Mamba or Hero, something along those lines for entry level..

My question is, there's obviously the big names in kayaks (Jackson, Dagger, Pyranha, etc), but there's others out there that I'm not so familiar with. Any cheapos or shabbys that I should avoid altogether?

Thanks. BTW, mountainbuzz is pretty awesome, you guys have a fantastic community here in kayak world! I'm lovin it!

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Old 09-09-2011   #2
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
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I think any major whitewater manufacturer is the last 5 years will be fine. I think most of the cheaper and off brands are going to be more of the crossover/fishing/flatwater boats.

Add wavesport, liquid logic, and fluid to your list and any boat from them should be good for you. The design and boat types of the mamba and hero are what a lot like to start paddling in so you have a good direction - demo.
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Old 09-09-2011   #3
 
Beaverton, Oregon
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Yeah, anything sold as a whitewater boat is going to be solid. (Jackson, Dagger, Pyranha, LiquidLogic, WaveSport, Prijon, Fluid, Bliss-Stick, Big Dog)
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Old 09-09-2011   #4
 
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Seconding those above, though I would avoid DragoRossi and older Riot boats as a new boater. It's a generalization, but they tend to reward good form but punish poor form more severely than most other boats. You won't run into them much though.
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Old 09-09-2011   #5
 
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Poundtown, Wokastan
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Its not so much the boat as much as condition when buying used or even new boats.

Avoid List:

Any and all cracks including those around the cockpit. Cracks tend to be due to brittle plastic that could come from anything from sun to cure process.

Sometimes boats cool differently and the deck height could be as much as 1' difference on boats of the model. Sit in every boat at the showroom.

Never buy a boat that have been subjected to a heat gun or a tourch to mod the plastic. Sometimes this can be had to tell, but look for uneven coloration in the plastic. These boats too tend to get brittle and crack in the heated areas.

Never buy boat that has faded outfitting. If the outfitting is faded the boat has been laying in the sun too long and this too causes brittle plastic and can crack.

Never, pay full price for a new boat. Most retailers well tell that thier supplier has "strick" policy on pricing. But if one saleman says no just go to the next. Some will cave. I just got a project x for $800. And no I'm nowhere near pro and I didn't know the saleman and no I wont turn him in for doing me a favor!

Never buy a boat that you didn't sit in for a good 30 minutes. Remember, any ass can take a pounding for 5 minutes but youre gona put youre butt in there for hours on end...
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Old 09-09-2011   #6
 
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I thought of a couple more.

Never buy a boat sight unseen over the internet. nuff said. They will dish the boat they think they have worst chance of selling in the store.

Make sure the boat is clean. A dirt girl friend is ok, but a dirty boat shows that nobody really cared for the boat. Most boats are preaty clean.

Always check the inside of the boat for plastic damage. I have seen new boats with serious damage around the area that the pilers meet the hull. double check all points of contact between outfitting and hull.

A little oil canning is ok, but be carfull of serious oil canning.

Never, strap you kayak on to your car rack too tight. You could cause oil canning and deformation of the plastic with tight straps and hot sun. Run your straps through the safty anchors and snugg the strap no tighter that nessassery to keep the boat in place.

Allways tell people that you just pee in your boat and wash it out when you done floating. That way nobody want to try your new boat out.

Final piece of boat advice is to take advantage of any pro in the eddy line. Just say to him "I can't believe your pro, I'm so much better than you." or "I'm the best kayaker on the river, so if ya hear about someone who was killing it. That would be me!" Thats how you can score some serious GNAR points.

Above all kill it and have fun, joke around, thats what its all about
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Old 09-09-2011   #7
 
SW, Colorado
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To see what to avoid, visit a store like Gart's, Dick's, Sports Authority, etc. They will have some truly POS short-to-medium length kayaks (I hate to even call them that) being marketed as fishing or lake kayaks or some other insult to the real things.

They are basically the cheapest of the cheap rec kayaks (recreational, a stupid name if ever there was one since ALL kayaks in the U.S. are for recreation). Even as a newbie, you'll notice that they have gigantic cockpits, crap for outfitting, and cheap plastic. And they are wiiiiiiiiide.

I have yet to see a WW boat that is an off-brand. Probably the manufacturers tread MUCH more carefully about calling a POS a WW kayak due to fear of getting sued over boats that fold up and crumple, leak too much, are difficult to maneuver, etc.

But, boy, do they put out some absolute sheeeit in the "lake kayak" and "fishing kayak" categories.

Rant over.

Have to say that a few years ago I saw a WW playboat-looking thing that had a totally unfamiliar name. The owner said someone gave it to him and the brand was a real one...from another country. So you never know what might turn up in used boats!

Remember that you can rent at reasonable rates in the Denver area. Don't know what they charge now, but Confluence charged me about $20/day or $100/week back in 2008, to rent a new kayak. Golden River Sports and Alpenglow (R.I.P.) had similar rates. You can get an idea of what you'd like that way, even if you don't plan to buy new.
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Old 09-10-2011   #8
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbagkayaker View Post

Allways tell people that you just pee in your boat and wash it out when you done floating. That way nobody want to try your new boat out.

Dude, that's the best piece of advice anyone's given me so far!

Seriously, thanks for all the tips. I'm a suspicious cheapskate by nature, hopefully that'll keep someone from taking advantage of the newbie, but knowing what to look for will help quite a bit. Thanks again.
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Old 09-10-2011   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H2UhOh View Post
Remember that you can rent at reasonable rates in the Denver area. Don't know what they charge now, but Confluence charged me about $20/day or $100/week back in 2008, to rent a new kayak. Golden River Sports and Alpenglow (R.I.P.) had similar rates. You can get an idea of what you'd like that way, even if you don't plan to buy new.
I didn't even think about that, but it makes sense. I don't plan on buying new, since I'm guessing I'll f up my first boat sooner or later, but I'd like to get a feel for different types. So far all I've been in is a Dagger Mamba.
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