Hi - I'm brand new to kayaking and am considering one of these two kayaks (both second-hand, in great condition): Current Design Storm 17 or a Necky Zoar Sport 14. I'll primarily be using it from my oceanfront cabin but may also want to load onto my jeep if possible in order to take it to a lake or join a paddling club outing. I'm female, 5'6", 140 pounds. I appreciate both choices are pretty heavy I think but I'm willing to work with that. Any advice very much appreciated!! Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have on making a choice between these two
Welcome to kayaking and the WestCoastPaddler forum!
Where are you located? I don't know how many kayaks are available in your area, but it is springtime, and boats will start to hit the 'For Sale' listings once the sunny days arrive- so there may be more choices than you might think.
For the Storm:
While predictable and stable, the Storm is also a graceful kayak that’s as fast and manoeuvrable as any boat in her class. Little Goldilocks might want a smaller boat like the CD Squamish, but for an ex-pro wrestler like Goldust or any other mid- to large-sized paddler looking for a durable, affordable plastic kayak with room to carry gear on extended voyages, the boat that was “juuust right” to begin with is now even better.
CD Storm.JPG [ 42.24 KiB | Viewed 274 times ]
Necky Zoar.JPG [ 72.13 KiB | Viewed 274 times ]
You will soon notice that almost all commercial kayaks seem to be designed for an 'average'
male paddler -a strapping 6-footer weighing 180-200 lbs.......so when a boat is advertised as having 'an extremely large cockpit', or suitable for a paddler weight of 150-250 lbs, you should probably look further, unless you want a boat for (slow) flatwater paddlng or photography.
IMO, most women should be looking for boats 'designed for the smaller paddler'.
Using that standard, I wouldn't recommend either the Necky Zoar or CD Storm for you.
Are you planning to take lessons? Your instructor will have some good ideas on boat choices.
Can you rent boats in your area? If you are 'itching to get going', getting a rack for your vehicle, a good PFD, a decent paddle, etc. can be your first steps, while deciding on a boat.
You don't find many paddlers complaining that their boats are too slow or too light ! Even on a budget, there are choices out there.