Help the Rookie - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-18-2009   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
Help the Rookie

Hey Everyone

I am sure you are sick of all the forums of people asking random basic info. Is there already a disscussion on here for the new guys trying to get tips on what raft, life vests, paddles etc. to buy. I recently became addicted to rafting and am looking to buy a good quality used self bailing raft with equipment but have no clue where to begin. I hear NRS and Aire are good quality brands and I want to buy a quality boat that I can go on day trips on with young adults. There are so many on the market it is hard to distiguish what is good and what is junk. What do you suggest I buy. Make and models of rafts. What other websites are super good to know of. And how do I aquire permits?

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Old 07-19-2009   #2
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 668
There are quite a few threads here already discussing recommendations on rafts. You're on the right track with Aire and NRS. I just went through this, and besides those, I also looked at Vanguard, Hyside and Down River (they're local for me).

You'll find they are all good rafts, and they all have advantages and disadvantages. You'll even find differences among their different product lines. Go to all of their websites, and if you have some local stores, go there and check out as many as you can and ask the store owners a lot of questions. I also spent some time asking friends and guides.

Frames and oars will be similar, but I think you'll get a lot of votes for Cataract or Sawyer oars. PFD's are personal taste and fit mostly, just go try on as many as you can and go with feels the best - you'll be wearing it for the next 5 years...

You might check out some of the used packages that often turn up hear. You might find just what you're looking for ans save you some cash.

Gearing up is half the fun, so take your time and enjoy!
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Old 07-19-2009   #3
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
NRS Otter or something similar in size and quality. Great price for what you get and they'll run everything you want and work for everything you want. Ideal for mid sized rivers with an ore rig yet great with paddle crews on narrow/technical rivers. Will last a lifetime if you take care of them (don't get holes and make sure the driver knows how to read the current, etc). Great for one day to one week trips but could handle a month on the Grand.
If your planning on longer trips get a bigger boat. If your planning on smaller creeks get a smaller boat. If you aren't responsible enough to take care of your boat get something with more rubber. If you don't care if it last a lifetime get something cheaper.
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