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Discussion Starter #1
Hello I just bought an aire lynx and now I need some great. I will mostly be doing southeast rivers.
I figure my first purchases should be
Life jacket
Paddle
Helmet

What are good websites or places to get new or used gear?
What size paddle do I need? I think 220. I am 5 9

Any help would be appreciated.

thanks
 

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Jared
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733 Posts
Welcome

Welcome to the sport. I started in IK's in the early 90's. For paddles, I like the basic Carlisle take aparts, but not the RS ones. They break. The cheap ones that look like raft paddles will last forever. If you want a real kayaker paddle, buy a real single piece Werner/ Lightning/ Sawyer paddle. The mid level paddles seem to break.
Buy a good vest, that is intended for WW use. Look at sites like NRS, Cascade Outfitters, Down river equipment, The Boat people, Clavey, Man of Rubber, or some of the the vendors I haven't mentioned on this site. Fit a helmet you like to wear, I'm not too brand Specific. It just needs to be intended for WW use.
Footwear is pretty important to me. I have big feet (16EEE) and I don't like them to get injured, so I wear Booties from NRS that protect them, even when it's hot. Saves my toes when I take a spill.
I have no clue what you level of comfort is in water, but I recommend practicing self rescue with your craft before you really need to. Flip it, don't touch the river floor, right it, and re-enter. Make sure you you can quickly. Make sure you hang on to your paddle when you swim.
The most important ingredient on any trip are good people to boat with. I like to have people better than I am on every trip, so I learn and grow, and I love to help out the people who desire some help. The people you boat with are like comrades in war, so that is the level of trust they will expect from you and you should expect from them. I put more thought and care into who I boat with than what I paddle ;)
 

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I'm 5'10' and running a 220 cm paddle and it seems right. nrsweb.com is a good bet for gear. Need to add river knife and throw bag to the kit quickly. I think nrs makes a good one piece paddle for about $115, my next paddle purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I find 2 l ife vest on nrs for about the same nrs vapor and nrs vista. There see different designs which is better for whitewater?
 

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vests are a loaded question here. Very personal based on preference. I would recommend hitting a shop so you can try them on. Main thing is being built for paddling specifically and good flotation. Also want it stay in place for a swim and the way it fits will help that. First time on class 2-3 water = first swim guaranteed. Love the sport and still take a swim on occasion.
 
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