I have no Kayak Smarts and need smart people help! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-26-2010   #1
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1900
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
I have no Kayak Smarts and need smart people help!

Okay guys,

So here's the deal. I'm moving up to Colorado soon and I'm planning to buy myself a kayak and all the gear that comes with it when I get there. So my question(s) to you all is: What brand sells the best boats, what's the best all around suit to get, and is there any kind of helpful tips I should know when buying a kayak?
Also, I'm very small... short like 5'1 short. Is it best to get a custom boat?


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Old 05-26-2010   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,722

My take is most every person on this msg board has a favorite kayak, paddle, gear brand

Which means you are going to get conflicting recommendations

Truth is all the major white water kayaks are pretty good.

Same for gear with Kokotat and Stohlquist being very popular and Werner paddles being very popular

If you have the money, go to Outdoorplay.com or google CKS and look at their package deals.

Otherwise, look on this msg board for used gear, which is going to be confusing at best.
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Old 05-26-2010   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 767
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okieboater is right. As for the custom boat, they don't really exist outside of the very specialized worlds of slalom and squirt boating. Look at the smaller ends of most of the major manufacturer's lines, and you'll find something.
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Old 06-30-2010   #4
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 572
Most manufacturers of kayaks list the specs on the boats on their sites. One of them to pay attention to is the weight range for a given boat.

It might be worth a drive over to Colorado Kayak just to figure out what is what. For a new boater with used gear, you shouldn't have to spend more than abount $1000-$1500.
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Old 06-30-2010   #5
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Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 112
I got started this season in boating and the best advice i can give is to find a used boat that fits your weight range (or demo if you are in area that demos boats). I got my boat on the swap section of this site and it's worked out great. Then, for gear, drive to buena vista and go to Colorado Kayak Supply. The people there were super helpful and gave tips and advice of what to get and when to get it. Finally, take a class. Almost every region in CO offer some sort of kayaking class and it will really accelerate your learning curve than if you just go out with zero knowledge of paddle strokes or how to roll. Plus, you'll meet some other people who paddle at the same ability level as you do. Have fun!
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Old 06-30-2010   #6
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
I don't recommend buying gear right off the bat. I would guess the % of people that stick with the sport after trying a couple times is somewhere around 20%. Bad investment for the other 80%, but that is how many of the 20% get their boats.

When you get here, call up Confluence Kayak in Denver and sign up for a lesson. They offer a two day class, one day on a lake and one on a river. If you're super psyched after the river day, maybe then invest in some gear. CKS is a good shop too, but they're 2.5 hrs away from Lakewood.
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Old 07-01-2010   #7
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 297
Hi There,

I would be remiss not to recommend Golden River Sports (www.GoldenRiverSports.net) as a great retail location in the area and Renaissance Adventure Guides (www.RAGuides.com) as a fantastic local kayak school.

However, the best advice I can give you is do not buy off the internet. Get to know someone (hopefully a professional involved in the business) who knows the sport and the awesome gear it has to provide. Everyone has a different opionion on what's best (what works for them may not work for you) so seek out the professionals and don't take blind advice. Demo. Demo. Demo.

Also consider joining Colorado Whitewater. It's a Club for paddlers and water-minded folks. When I moved to Colorado, its how I met all my friends, how I learned the rivers and how I figured out my skills and ability. Tons of fun...$30 a year to join plus you get amazing discounts at local retailers who choose to honor it. www.ColoradoWhitewater.org
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