Help A Noob!- Need Gear and Opinions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-08-2018   #1
 
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2018
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 3
Help A Noob!- Need Gear and Opinions

Hey Buzz, I've decided to learn how to WW kayak this summer, and couldn't be more excited. Currently looking at used equipment as I need everything: boat, paddle, PFD, skirt, etc. I live very close to a reservoir and plan to drill hard to master rolling and some freestyle drills before hitting local play areas here in Denver.

Anyhow, my goals are to river run and play, and I think I've found a good used boat that will be appropriate for a beginner. Seller has a '06 Dagger RX 6.7 in great shape, comes with a Carlisle paddle, skirt, PFD, and helmet. I'm 6', 175lbs, 32in inseam, and am pretty athletic. I'm thinking this would be a great boat to start, based on some feedback I've read. Seller wants $350 for everything, which seems competitive, but I have no idea. I'm going to see it next week to sit in it for twenty mins and see how it feels. Also looked at an '08 Jackson FUN today, which was very comfortable, but $325 kayak only.

Wanted to get your opinion on this equipment, or where to source used, value equipment for a frugal beginner. Really trying to get everything I need as a beginner for under $450 as a budget, and would appreciate any leads you have here for a river running/playboat. Is that an appropriate budget goal?

Any other advice you have while looking at used boats? Couldn't really find a "buyer's guide", haha. Based on my goals of learning to freestyle/river run, do you have any budget-minded equipment suggestions?

Thank you!

Lars in Aurora, CO

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Old 03-09-2018   #2
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Longmont, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 58
The JK Fun, as long as it fits might be a good choice. It would be a little harder to learn to roll in that boat, but you'll learn skills.

Paddle sizing: consider a 197-200 mm paddle. I'm anal about paddles, so the things to consider: size, offset, right vs left handed, bent vs straight, fiberglass vs carbon, etc...I'd focus on paddle size and the correct offset (and righty vs lefty).

Then, the helmet, pfd, and spray skirt. You can get these used.

Also, the sooner you get your gear, the sooner you can use it in the pool before the season starts. I'd, join the Colorado Whitewater Association (CWA). You get local shop discounts, and benefits of pool session classes offered at George Meyers Pool. The CWA also has boats to use during classes. Team River Runner (TRR), a veterans group, also has a pool session on Monday nights in Lakewood. You also get the benefit of borrowing one of their boats and get some instruction. It's free to vets, a $15 donation for non-vets.

There are some other social media resources: Facebooks: Front Range Kayakers, Whitewater Mentorship Group, etc...Gear Swap, FoCo Kayaking.

Again, if your serious about getting into WW kayaking, go used and properly fitted. It's about having the correct tools to do it right and having a more positive experience learning. Get in the pool: learn bracing and the roll before the season starts.

Just a few tips.
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Old 03-09-2018   #3
 
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2018
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Thank you for all of that info! Much appreciated.
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Old 03-14-2018   #4
 
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2018
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 3
Hey Guys/Gals,

Just checking in. I bought a boat last night, a Dagger RX 6.7 with a paddle, skirt, and PFD that fit my budget. Thank you for those who reached out privately with some equipment leads; I appreciate it.

Lars
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Old 03-19-2018   #5
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2011
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My advice to beginners is not to focus too much on the roll, and instead focus on edge control with the thigh braces, the various paddle strokes (forward, backward, etc.) and braces (high brace, low brace) and the ability to self-rescue during a wet exit. Because regardless of how good you get at flat-water rolling, once you add current, you're likely to swim. I always say a good boater can combat roll, a great boater never flips...
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Old 03-19-2018   #6
 
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Steamboating is on to something here. A good wet exit to self rescue is a must!

Also, when you do go upside down in the pool, hang out for a while. count to yourself to say "30" before you exit. Open your eyes and look around. Get comfortable hang out upside down before you put your roll together. Learn to hold your breathe for a minute.
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Old 03-20-2018   #7
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Longmont, Colorado
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My opinion on the importance of a roll vs bracing: getting a roll first takes away the intimidation of flipping or working on new skill sets, including bracing. Having had a brace before my roll, I lacked aggressiveness. Having all but my hand roll down, my bracing is good, and love trying new techniques and am not afraid of failure. The world really opens up and kayaking is soo much fun. IMHO and just saying....
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