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Hi everyone, I just recently started going whitewater rafting and hopefully soon kayaking. I'm looking for opinions on what the best gear and kayak to get is though.

I'm on the small side I'm only 5'4" and weigh 110lbs and have very limited whitewater experience or experience on the water period for that matter. I have run the yough "loop" at Ohiopyle and the entire lower yough in a guided raft, shredder, and on my own in an airforce but that is the extent of my experience on the water.

I need everything so I'm starting from scratch. I have been using gear from my friend who's uncle owns Ohiopyle Trading Post so once I get up there I'll have plenty of people to teach me and get me going. Just to put it out there they deal primarily with NRS for their rafts and I know they sell PFD's, paddles, etc. so I'm sure I can get stuff from them at a discount or used. Just need recommendations on what to look for.

Also as for the kayak itself I know Daggers and Liquid Logic seems to be pretty popular up there so that's probably what I'll be able to find used most likely but please recommend anything that you guys think would be best for me. Thanks!
 

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My advice would be to buy the best gear you can comfortably afford right now, practice your roll and river running skills and then upgrade when you have a better idea of exactly what you want. The "Gear Swap" feature on Boatertalk.com is usually a good source for right coasters.

You can learn in just about any boat. More important than the design is the outfitting. Have an experienced kayaker help you cut hip pads and adjust / or make the bulkhead so it fits you well. Also, any skirt that fits you and the boat and keeps water out is fine.

A good helmet is paramount. The WRSI helmet is a good choice for an affordable and safe lid.

The biggest impact from a single piece of equipment for me when I was starting out was the paddle. A Werner with a 45 degree or less feather made a big difference for me. I would still choose a really nice stick over a brand new boat any day.

Most importantly safe and consciencous paddling buddies, good instruction, respect for the river, and safe decision making will get you where you want to go.

Good luck!
 

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I agree with everything Matt J said. just make sure the boat you get does not have very sharp chimes. a boat with a square hull will be less forgiving and tipicaly harder to roll.
 
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