Buying advice pls -playful well fitting kayak

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by NatashaE, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. NatashaE

    NatashaE Paddler

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    I am in the very early stages of looking around for a kayak and am looking for some ideas about what I should be putting on the list of options so I can keep an eye out for them used and demo when I get the chance.

    Me: 5'5" (165cm), 165lbs (74kg), female. Intermediate sea kayaker with lots of whitewater experience.I am used to having a snug whitewater boat that I can control with my hips.

    Intended Use: Mainly day trips, but occasional long weekend trips. I am looking for a fun playful boat that fits me well.

    The necky Eliza is one option. I like the handling of the Cheltham 16 but find the deck too low to comfortably get my thighs under (but I haven't explored if outfitting adjustments can address this). When I've paddled a sterling illusion I found the thighbraces to be way too far forward but again a seat position change might address this.

    Let me know what you think I should consider
     
  2. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Are you only looking at plastic boats, or composite boats an option?
     
  3. NatashaE

    NatashaE Paddler

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    Plastic or composite. Composite has some advantages, but plastic has the price advantage so keen to get a better feel for what is out there then weigh the pros and cons of each boat once I have a short list.

    Also forgot to mention, I generally don't like using a rudder. So looking for either a skeg boat or one that isn't rudder dependent and I can leave the rudder undeployed.
     
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    The thigh braces on my boat are adjustable. Aren't they all?
     
  5. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Ok, fun playful day tripper rudder-free boat suggestions that come to mind (definitely not an exhaustive list):

    P&H Delphin. I think the "surf" version comes with whitewater type outfitting, which you may prefer. But these boats are beastly heavy. There is a composite version called the Aries.

    Dagger Alchemy - a little shorter and easier to turn than the Delphin. You might find the cockpit opening a bit large. Most people seem to prefer the large over small (even smaller people). This is my daily driver.

    Valley Gemini RM - less rocker than the other two mentioned - paddles faster than you'd think a 15' boat would, but not as maneuverable.

    Valley Avocet LV composite - liked by many women. Plastic version isn't as well liked by women, but still may work.

    Necky Chatham 16 - you already mentioned as an option.

    I am less enamored by the Eliza - a little two wide for my preferences for a boat for ladies.

    On Sterling - they are custom made. So if the thigh braces couldn't move on the one you paddled, if you had one custom made for you, they would put it exactly where you want. Excellent boats, excellent service. But there is a price to pay... If I ever win Lotto, I'll be ordering a Reflection...

    Keep in mind that most boats can be custom outfit to make fit better, so even if the thigh braces or such aren't right, that is likely fixable.
     
  6. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    Add to the list: NDK Romany
     
  7. Seadddict

    Seadddict Paddler

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    A friend of mine is a touch shorter & lighter than you. She tried my regular Avocet and likes it better than the Gemini she has been paddling. I tried a Gemini SP and found little to recommend it over my Avocet, and with decreased capacity to boot. YMMV I suggest you try a regular & an LV Avocet if you can.
     
  8. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

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    A lot of fiberglass boats have molded thigh braces. They're "adjustable" as in you can add bits of foam to make it fit you a bit better, but not like your boat where you can move them around or tighten them with ratchets, etc.
     
  9. Jameyt

    Jameyt Paddler

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    Add a Valley Etain and a Tiderace Xcape or Xplor to the list.
     
  10. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

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    Not something you're likely to run into, but I'm really having fun with my Point 65 Whisky 16. I'm sure it'd fit you, and it's super manouverable and fun to play with. Build quality is... meh.

    I finally tried a Romany last week and I get why they're so popular. Great fun, easy to paddle and (like my whisky) makes me think I'm a much better paddler! I also squeezed myself into a Pilgrim.. I'm 5'10" and it was HARD to get my legs through the smaller cockpit opening, but it fit well once I was in there. I have a feeling you'd be pretty snug, which you might enjoy coming from whitewater boats.

    FYI, if you're in Vancouver - Deep Cove is having their last demo day of the season on Saturday :)
     
  11. NatashaE

    NatashaE Paddler

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    Thanks everyone for your input. Definitely a few options to consider. If you think of anything else feel free to add it to the list.
     
  12. BCWave

    BCWave New Member

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    I just picked up a Zephyr 155 from the local fleet sale. I was recommended to the boat by pretty knowledgeable local paddlers as a good boat for skills development. It is plastic, economical, outrageously green and very fun. I'm 5'8" and 150 lbs and it is a great fit.