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Discussion Starter #1
So good news - I have determined my choice of Kayak is going to be the Dagger Katana 9.7. I think size wise it's perfect for me. I'm 5'8", 140lbs. It also seems to have the best blend of speed on flats and white water capability out of the three I was looking at (Pyranha Fusion and LL XP9 were the other two).

Now it's time to choose a paddle. Austinkayak.com has the best deal out of any website I've found, which will save me at least $400 over buying it from anywhere else, so I want to choose a paddle from them. They basically throw in a free life jacket, in addition to no tax and free shipping, so that can't be beat.

The paddles they offer with the boat in my price range are as follows:
AquaBound Shred Carbon Whitewater Kayak Paddle
AquaBound Shred Hybrid Whitewater Kayak Paddle
Werner Desperado CF Whitewater Kayak Paddle Straight Shaft

The rivers near me are a blend of flat and mild class I to II rapids. If we drive 45 minutes north, we can find class III. I'm thinking we will be doing the latter 70% of the time because of the proximity, and I will have to work my way up to class III as I'm not quite ready for that yet (although I do plan on getting there).

This is why we are choosing crossover boats in the first place. Since these paddles appear to be solely for white water, would I be better off going with a different type?

There's also this one:

AquaBound Sting Ray Hybrid Kayak Paddle - Posi-Lok

The sizing is where I get confused the most. The first three I listed come in anywhere from 190 to 200cm, and the last one is sized anywhere from 210 to 240cm. I think it might be a difference between the first three being solely for whitewater, and the last one being more for flat water. Am I correct?

Ideally, I'd like something that works in both flat and white, just like the kayak. According to sizing charts whether white water or flat based on the width of my boat (25"), 220cm is where it shows I should be.

Thanks in advance for everyone's help. I'm excited to get into this, but I do have tons of questions!
 

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well flat or not its gonna be a big boat to move I paddle flat water just fine in my river runner boats or hell even a play boat I think if down the line you're wanting to excel in the sport these boats are gonna limit what you can accomplish Id set my gaze on a LL remix or Jackson Hero youll still have the gallons that your looking for and they track very well and your question on paddle length since the boat is a whitewater boat for your height I would stick to 194cm or 197cm anything bigger is gonna to be long and hinder the response of your strokes Im 6 foot and prefer a 197cm for river running and a 194cm for playboating just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you really think the Katana 9.7 is that large compared to the LL XP9? Side by side, they look almost the same size with the nine only being 5 inches shorter. From what I've read, the katana is slightly faster on flat which is why I'm leaning toward it. The outfitting also looks pretty comfy, and it has a bulkhead.

I now get understand the difference between white water and flat water paddles and why ww paddles are slightly smaller.

Being a complete novice, I want something that's going to be easy to learn on, but also something that will grow with me as I get better.

The rivers nearby are a mix of ww and flat (mostly I, II and occasionally III) so I don't really want a dedicated ww boat. The crossovers with the skeg seem optimal to me for this reason.
 

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at 80 gallons and 50 pounds yes its a big boat for your size its not gonna be light you're a medium sized boater it might track well in flat water but its gonna be a beast to learn on also to get going and carry. the paddle size is based off of height and the boat width 200plus cm paddles are imo for duckies or extremely tall people and like.. since they have a bigger width factor. I hope this helps If you are just starting Id go with a river runner size medium a decent paddle and go from there you will still beable to run flat water just fine a skeg is just for triming out turns not for speed
and yes the LL x9 is smaller by 8 gallons and 4 pounds




https://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages/expertcenter/equipment/skeg/Skeg-1.shtml
 

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I paddle the fusion. It is a good, fast boat. Outfitting isn't the most comfortable in the world though... I would suggest 197 for paddle length.
 

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So, you got the skinny on WW vs. touring paddle lengths. Good question then about a crossover length. By default, I kept using my touring paddles when I got my crossover -- but I have been using the crossover as a "river touring" kayak (class I, II-). It kinda depends on your approach -- the more serious you are about WW, the more you will want the shorter WW paddle. If you are going to paddle class III, seems like you will really want a WW paddle length -- which will also work to propel you on your class I/II. So that might be a way to go: get a WW paddle and consider renting a longer one once when you are just class I-ing to see If you think it is worth having both. I sometimes purchase from ACK; nice to get their monthly coupon code; I also buy local -- spreading my great wealth.
 

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I would stay away from the XP9 and go with either the Fusion or Katana. The katana would have better outfitting than the fusion but both would be good boats. I paddled a XP9 for 10 days and that boat kinda sucks. As far these boats being to big or hampering your progress. That is far from the truth. Both of these boats will be good on class I to class IV+ easy V. Dont judge boats on gallons, gallons mean nothing. If you are in the weight range for the boat its a good boat for you if you find it comfortable. Like Lmeyers said 197 is probably a good length for a paddle. If you get a bent shaft try each brand in the store as they have different grip widths and ergonomics.
 
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