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hey everyone,
I am new to kayaking but actively looking to break in to it. I have a few questions though. I would like to get into whitewater kayaking either river or creek not quite sure what the difference is as far as the boat and what is more prevelant in Northern Colorado. My questions are:

What type of boat should I get IE: size, type/model, important factors to consider? (I am 6'1 185lbs, 26 years old, pretty athletic but no Kayaking experience besides lakes and calm rivers)

Also, if anyone has any used equipment they think would help please let me know!

And does anyone know any good places to learn the basics in the Fort Collins area?

Thanks guys, need all the help I can get!

~Austin
 

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I would also recommend Poudre River Kayaks, those guys lurk on here:

http://www.poudreriverkayaks.com/Poudre_River_Kayaks/Poudre_River_Kayak_and_Canoe.html


Demo as many boats as you can, I would get a river runner or playboat as the first kayak, but many differing opinions. The creek/river runner/playboat will all vary in saize and design so thats why demo'ing to find what you like is important. Take advantage of pool sessions now and join the Fort Collins Kayak Polo league if you still can.
 

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For you, (athletic, relatively young) I would recommend getting something in the river running/playboat category. This includes boats like (in no particular order): Jackson (4)Fun, Wavesport EZG60 (I think the Fuse is the new model), Liquid Logic CR, Dagger Kingpin (larger one), etc. Even some older models like a Wavesport Big EZ, Dagger G-ride, Pyranha S6 would be fine. Whatever you get a lead on, check the specs on the boat to make sure you're around the right weight for it. Make sure the boat is reasonable comfortable to sit it. It will probably feel strangely small and tight at first, but apendages shouldn't be falling asleep and your feet shouldn't be compressed into a tiny ball in your bow.

If you go to Kayaks, Kayak Accessories, Gear, Fishing Equipment, Kayaking Accessory you can get a good idea of the different categories and find what the latest brands and models are. For used boats this site is probably the best place to find them (Gear Swap). In the Spring some shops may offer some boat swaps as well.

If kayaking takes for you, later on in your career you will probably want a creekboat, but no need for that now. I agree with the comment to go to pool sessions now and become a rolling madman. If you don't have an expert buddy to teach you, I think it's worth the $ to take a beginner class. When the water comes, you'll be ready. The Poudre offers miles of great beginner, intermediate, and advanced stretches - it will be your new home.
 

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Buy used and cheap until you know you really like the sport. Then, you can decide what style of boating you're into and get more specialized gear. As far as rivers vs. creeks, the line can be blurry, but generally a river has more water, a wider streambed, and is not as steep (usually less than 100'/mile). Creeks are often run with little water (though not always), have big drops, and can be very narrow and steep. You won't run steep creeks without getting good on rivers, so many people get a river-runner or playboat for their first boat. Playboats will probably get you good quicker as they can be squirrelly and demand more skill to stay upright. But, just as you can take any pair of skis down any run and condition, you can take any boat down any stream. The difference is safety, comfort, maneuverability, speed, and other factors.

My advice, spend as much time as possible in the pool learning how to brace and roll on BOTH SIDES. You will have a strong side for your braces and rolls, but for long-term skill progression you MUST be good on both sides. As soon as there is enough water, get in a river (probably the Filter Plant run on the Poudre for you), and take another lesson to learn about river features.

Also, check out http://www.eddyflower.com/coyakers.aspx . There are more beginners there than here and it's a great group to hook up with non-hair boaters.
 

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I cut my teeth on the Poudre in a kayak. I had years of rafting/rowing under my belt by the time I decided to get in a little hard boat, but I learned the kayaking skillz there. The Poudre is amazing....such a variety of paddling to be had.

Good advice above. Spend the next three months in a pool working on wet-exits, paddle strokes, and hopefully you'll have your roll before the season starts. After that........I say go for it....get in the river and have some fun. You don't have to be proficient at strokes, rolling, etc.....as long as you can swim, you're not scared of it, and you understand the dangers of the river.

Hit up PRKC (poudre river kayak)........Jamie is one helluva guy and they have a good thing going.
 

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I'm in the same boat as bords, new and in the market for used gear. I'm in the Fort and I'm looking forward to cutting my teeth on the filter run this spring. Does anyone know of a pool in the Fort Collins area that allow kayaks?
 

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RMA

Do not shop, take lessons from, or doing anything more than attend a $7.50 roll session. They partake in poor business practices and are generally a non-boater friendly association. It's sad that our only whitewater shop in our great town is a corporate shithole. Look into Poudre River Kayaks... those guys have it down... and are great guys on top of the excellent instruction.

RMA= Awful ... and I know for a fact that I'm not the only believer that this is fact.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks man i have been doing some other research but this really helps, how in PA im from NY originally! Here yoiu are having a cold winter back there!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
THANK YOU EVERYONE! I cant wait for the tax return then it is boat time! Shame is not something i am worried about what do you ave for a boat?
 

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Hey,

Call Poudre River Kayaks (970) 672-1227. We can get you started in the right direction. We have river classes everyday once the water starts running, and we can do flatwater instruction on basically any day. We are strictly a kayak company focused on kayaking. Our class ratios are never larger than 3:1 for river classes, and all of our instructors are at least ACA Level 4 Certified and are swift water rescue technicians. Look forward to hearing from you.

Brian
 
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