New Kayaker. Better to be at bottom end of weight range or top? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-24-2011   #1
Thornton, hawksnest34
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
New Kayaker. Better to be at bottom end of weight range or top?

I'm totally new to Kayaking and just took the beginners class.
Now I am looking to buy my first kayak.
I found a decent deal on a Jefe Grande which I hear is a good model but the weights are 170lbs to 290lbs.

I am normally between 165lbs and 175lbs (5'8 tall). Closer to the high end now.

I think I am right at that in between weight were I can go so big or small.

Any suggestions? My fear is I'll get something too big or too small and it won't handle right.

Any suggestions are welcome!

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Old 05-24-2011   #2
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 44
Starting out, if you're going to get a creeker, get a used one so when it wraps around a rock, its not 1200 down the drain. Starting out though you should just get a river runner. Dagger axiom, Pyrana inazone. A playboat will be fun too, you'll be doing class III anyway. And playboats have a steeper learning curve since they're so unstable, you'll develop skills quicker.
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Old 05-24-2011   #3
Thornton, hawksnest34
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Dagger rpm? See a few of those around
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Old 05-24-2011   #4
Steamboat, Colorado!
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 149
I am not sure that my two cents are that helpful but a bunch of us took out a RPM from a friend when we were first learning... it seems to be the beginner boat of choice at least from the people I go boating with. I have only been kayaking for a few years so not an expert by any means but get a river runner it will make your life a lot more fun.
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Old 05-24-2011   #5
norcal, California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 105
I have a Jefe and I wouldn't recommend it as your first boat. It turns on a dime but it can be tricky to keep it from turning when you don't want it to. Not particularly forgiving or fun to paddle (until you get it on a steep creek).
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Old 05-24-2011   #6
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dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 846
Don't buy a jefe/grande or other purpose-oriented creekboat unless you are really fired up about getting good and running hard whitewater fast (I won't opine on the merits of that approach).

Trust the kayak companies. They have 3 types of boats for whitewater: play boats, river runners, and creekers. As a beginner you basically want the middle kind of boat -- a river runner. Stable, fun, easy to roll, not too easy to flip. With a small effort googling or looking on eddyflower, you can figure out what category whatever given used boat you are looking at fits in.

You can learn in an rpm but the design is over a decade old. I would suggest getting a flat hulled river runner or river running playboat for a reasonable deal used -- i.e., about 50% of the msrp or less.

I think a fair amount of people have less fun and end up not getting hooked on whitewater paddling because they start off in the wrong boat. Just because it's perceived as a deal does not mean you should buy the lastest style creek boat designed to run 5+ or the lastest playboat designed to do hudge arial tricks in Canadia.
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Old 05-24-2011   #7
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,328
I'd suggest you get a river runner that will carry your weight +. You'll be wearing lots of wet gear, have spare "stuff" in your boat like, water, lunch, first aid kit, spare paddle, etc. that all adds up. You want your boat to float high and maneuverable and not be riding low getting pushed around in the water column.

Jefe's a full displacement hull creeker that might not be your style. More appropriate in your first couple of years might be a Remix, Mamba, or Hero until you figure out what you really want to do. Those boats will serve you well while you get some river miles under your butt.
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Old 05-24-2011   #8
Concord, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
hey noticed most of you guys are west coast. Do you know any guys out in the carolinas? I'm from Concord, nc and we don't have any big rapids but I'm just starting out and a friend and I are really stoked about just getting out there been a few times and can't get enough. What would you recommend for a guy 6 foot 2 and 270 lbs. I've read what you guys have said. Any advice would be really appreciated. And any guys from the carolinas it would be a blast to get up some time


Sam the newbie lol
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Old 05-24-2011   #9
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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 87
Sam, head to the whitewater center in Charlotte. It's a great place to learn and meet new people to paddle with. I'm new as well and have spent most of my paddling time this year practicing at the whitewater center.
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Old 05-25-2011   #10
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bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 325
I think what boat you choose depends on many things. Are you going to be happy just river running? If so then a creek/river running boat is fine. If you already see people surfing and that excites you, then you won't be happy in a creek boat for long. Can you roll? Then a river/play boat might be better.
I started in a creek boat and that lasted for about 5 river runs. Everyone was hopping onto waves to surf and I just sat in the eddy.
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