New To Kayaks, Not Rivers. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-28-2017   #1
 
Arvada, Colorado
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New To Kayaks, Not Rivers.

Hello Everyone,

A little background on myself to help with recommendations: I grew up on the river and have over 15 years of knowledge, experience, and practice in a raft. I can read the water, I know the rescue techniques, and the danger associated with the sport. It has, however, been several years since I have spent any significant time on the water. I am looking to get into the kayaking scene, I did a little bit of it years ago but never did anything grand.

Without much experience in the sport it is hard to say what my perfect day in a kayak would look like. However, I am drawn to fast paced creeks/rivers, big water, water falls, and somewhat technical runs. I would like to do some multi day trips as well, but I would likely be with a raft to help carry equipment. Another boat could be acquired down the road to accommodate such adventures if necessary. I live in Colorado and will primarily on Colorado/Utah/New Mexico/Wyoming waters.

I understand the basics of kayaking, and used to be able to roll--I'm sure it will come back quickly. I am looking for recommendations on a boat that I can keep for years to come. My plan is to purchased used to save some money in the off chance I don't like the sport. I am 5'11" 160lbs. My research has led me to the Dagger Nomad and/or a Jackson Zen (I cannot afford a new model but found a few 2014's). I have read that the first generation Zen (pre 2015) was significantly less stable than the current praised model. Would a 2014 still be an okay boat to start in? Do you recommend any alternatives?

I appreciate any input you guys have!

Cheers,
Andrew

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Old 07-28-2017   #2
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
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With your experience would also add some of the river runner/creekers to your list from liquid logic, wave sport, and pyranha. Biggest decision in those boats is choosing displacement (nomad), planing(zen), or a fusion design for the hull. Head to Confluence Kayaks and Golden River Sports to see the differences. Then a demo would be worth the money even if you are not going to buy new just to get a feel for how they paddle. Should be able to score a fun boat as a lot meet your criteria.

Loved my pyranha Everest, which would be a burn M burn in your size most likely and my karma from Jackson, little bigger than the zen. More room is advantage for overnights and it's amazing how those boats paddle smaller than they are so try out the sizes.

What boats were you paddling back in the day and any opinions about them?
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Old 07-31-2017   #3
 
Arvada, Colorado
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Originally Posted by kayakfreakus View Post
With your experience would also add some of the river runner/creekers to your list from liquid logic, wave sport, and pyranha. Biggest decision in those boats is choosing displacement (nomad), planing(zen), or a fusion design for the hull. Head to Confluence Kayaks and Golden River Sports to see the differences. Then a demo would be worth the money even if you are not going to buy new just to get a feel for how they paddle. Should be able to score a fun boat as a lot meet your criteria.

Loved my pyranha Everest, which would be a burn M burn in your size most likely and my karma from Jackson, little bigger than the zen. More room is advantage for overnights and it's amazing how those boats paddle smaller than they are so try out the sizes.

What boats were you paddling back in the day and any opinions about them?
Sorry for the late response, we were out camping, hiking, and hitting some dirt bike trails.

Thanks for the response and recommendations!I was planning on getting to both of your mentioned stores to sit in them and try them out a little. I wasn't able to find too much information on Pyranha models. The Burn came up but there seemed to be limited information available on specific models.

Do you have a brief explanation of the difference between a planing, displacement, and fusion hull? If not I can Google .

I think I was in an Old Towne. It wasn't really a white water kayak but I had a skirt and was able to learnt he basics. I never ran anything bigger than a small class III. I was maybe 12 last time I was in a kayak on a river. My dad was the paddler but thought it was too dangerous for me as a kid lol.
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Old 07-31-2017   #4
 
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Sacramento, California
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Planing hulls are easier to turn, they also have well defined edges, making them easier to carve. Their primary stability is better than displacement hulls (beginners gravitate to this).

Displacement hulls usually have better 2ndary stability, and have very soft edges, making it much harder for you to catch an edge due to poor edge control, side surfing, or in squirrely and boiling water. They also help you bounce off rocks more predictably. Their downside is they are harder to turn, and require more corrective actions. Their lack of edges means they slide more when catching an eddy or making quick carving turns.

When starting out, you are more likely to prefer a planing hull (not to say expert paddlers don't like them, just beginners almost always prefer them), as you will most likely be paddling in rivers and not on creeks. They also feel more stable to a beginner.

Being used is most likely your best bet, as your opinions on design will change as you learn to paddle better.
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Old 07-31-2017   #5
 
Arvada, Colorado
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Originally Posted by bystander View Post
Planing hulls are easier to turn, they also have well defined edges, making them easier to carve. Their primary stability is better than displacement hulls (beginners gravitate to this).

Displacement hulls usually have better 2ndary stability, and have very soft edges, making it much harder for you to catch an edge due to poor edge control, side surfing, or in squirrely and boiling water. They also help you bounce off rocks more predictably. Their downside is they are harder to turn, and require more corrective actions. Their lack of edges means they slide more when catching an eddy or making quick carving turns.

When starting out, you are more likely to prefer a planing hull (not to say expert paddlers don't like them, just beginners almost always prefer them), as you will most likely be paddling in rivers and not on creeks. They also feel more stable to a beginner.

Being used is most likely your best bet, as your opinions on design will change as you learn to paddle better.
Thanks for the great descriptions! I am definitely buying used!

I found a Jackson Hero and a Liquid Logic GUS. What are your thoughts on those boats?
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Old 07-31-2017   #6
 
SW, Colorado
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Originally Posted by bystander View Post
Planing hulls are easier to turn, they also have well defined edges, making them easier to carve. Their primary stability is better than displacement hulls (beginners gravitate to this).

Displacement hulls usually have better 2ndary stability, and have very soft edges, making it much harder for you to catch an edge due to poor edge control, side surfing, or in squirrely and boiling water. They also help you bounce off rocks more predictably. Their downside is they are harder to turn, and require more corrective actions. Their lack of edges means they slide more when catching an eddy or making quick carving turns.

When starting out, you are more likely to prefer a planing hull (not to say expert paddlers don't like them, just beginners almost always prefer them), as you will most likely be paddling in rivers and not on creeks. They also feel more stable to a beginner.

Being used is most likely your best bet, as your opinions on design will change as you learn to paddle better.
Turning is a factor of initiation, not edges. One can put a boat on edge (planing or displacement hull) to the limits of its terminal stability and still go in a straight line. Without an initiation stroke, consciously executed or not, a boat won't turn.

Edges don't carve. What happens as you lean a boat and initiate a turn water piles up on the hull's bow and creates pressure. It essentially pushes the bow left or right. The same is true of a high performance flatwater hull, but one leans away from the turn to take advantage of a plumb entry point. Same physics apply.

It is the same principle when skiing slushy snow. That is why we teach more edge, less turn. We want the snow to act upon the ski to turn it. With skis however, you do have concave edges which enable turning, although no ski turn is purely carved or skidded.
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Old 07-31-2017   #7
 
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Turning is a factor of initiation, not edges. One can put a boat on edge (planing or displacement hull) to the limits of its terminal stability and still go in a straight line. Without an initiation stroke, consciously executed or not, a boat won't turn.

Edges don't carve. What happens as you lean a boat and initiate a turn water piles up on the hull's bow and creates pressure. It essentially pushes the bow left or right. The same is true of a high performance flatwater hull, but one leans away from the turn to take advantage of a plumb entry point. Same physics apply.

It is the same principle when skiing slushy snow. That is why we teach more edge, less turn. We want the snow to act upon the ski to turn it. With skis however, you do have concave edges which enable turning, although no ski turn is purely carved or skidded.
I don't understand what you are explaining. You are missing a lot of your explanation, and seem to think I said things I didn't. Maybe I worded things poorly.

I said a displacement hull is more difficult to turn (the initiation stroke has more resistance). The hull sitting deeper in the water, makes them harder to turn in the water. The flatter planing hull, makes them spin easier. No where did I say the edges make a boat easier to turn. I said that the edges make the boat carve better or slide less.

Are you telling me that a displacement hull doesn't slide more when entering an eddy, or the planing hull boat with harder edges, doesn't grip the water more and carve into an eddy with much less sliding involved?

Edit: read this, it seems to be in agreement with what I said for the most part. He is calling the edges chines. I seem to find similar info where ever I look. https://community.nrs.com/duct-tape/...tewater-kayak/
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Old 08-01-2017   #8
 
Arvada, Colorado
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I found a couple boats, I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me on weather or not they are a good deal.


One: 2014 Jackson Zen like new condition, serial number is still easily read. It comes with float bags and a skirt. $725.


Two: 2012ish Jackson Hero, like new, comes with a skirt. $400.
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Old 08-01-2017   #9
 
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To know the exact year of a Jackson, Dagger, Pyranha and likely some other brands, the last 2 digits tells the year it was made. Anyway, the 2014 Zen is a decent boat, but it isn't exactly cheap and isn't as good of a well rounded boat as the 2015 and newer. The Hero seems like a better deal for a beginner boat.

Both boats will be good starter boats to learn the basics of kayaking.
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Old 08-01-2017   #10
 
Arvada, Colorado
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Originally Posted by bystander View Post
To know the exact year of a Jackson, Dagger, Pyranha and likely some other brands, the last 2 digits tells the year it was made. Anyway, the 2014 Zen is a decent boat, but it isn't exactly cheap and isn't as good of a well rounded boat as the 2015 and newer. The Hero seems like a better deal for a beginner boat.

Both boats will be good starter boats to learn the basics of kayaking.
I ended up at Confluence Kayaks this afternoon. The gentlemen there informed me they were selling their demo boats. I ended up with a screamin' deal on a full setup, including a 2017 Zen.
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