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First Kayak Purchase: What to do?

1467 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  coalbee26
Hi all!

I am ready to take the plunge into purchasing my own whitewater gear. I tend to run class III/IV rivers, and have done so in a Sevylor River X IK (red) for the past few years. Reading forum posts, everyone seems to give these boats negative reviews... Despite the reputation, I have actually found my dad's little Sevylor to perform great in white water. I recently ran the Rogue in it and was never dumped (although we avoided the Class V, Rainie Falls).

Unfortunately they don't make the River X anymore, so I was hoping to get recommendations on something comparable. I'm very light (135 pounds, which might be why the Sevylor has been OK), use knee straps and foot pegs, have a cheetah-like seat, and prefer a large rocker in the tip. The high-end IK's (AIRE Lynx, for example) are so expensive, I'm wondering if I should start getting into hard-shell kayaks.

So, does anyone have a recommendation for a cheaper inflatable kayak, or should I step up to the higher price bracket, or should I make the switch to hard shell?
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I find that IK's are brilliant fun, although for the ultimate control and connection/feel with the water you can't beat a hard shell.

It depends what you are after in your boating though and how you want to develop. There's nothing wrong with IK's or Packrafts etc, but it is a different experience to a hard shell.

If you want to be able to carve your boat into eddies and shred up waves and have more directional control and to feel more connected to the water then I would say definitely start looking at hard shells.

If the idea of being inside a boat with a spraydeck doesn't appeal then both Fluid and Pyranha are now making whitewater SOTs. The Fluid one is based on the Bazooka creek boat, while the Pyranha version is based on the Fusion.
The SOT hard-shell kayaks are an interesting option! Looks like people are able to do just about anything in them too. Thanks for the insight.
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