Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

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Korowin
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Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by Korowin »

Hello all

Browsed on some topics here and decided to join in and ask for your advice. Looks like a nice place with nice people giving meaningful answers.
I am completely new to kayaking, never done it before, but I have decided, that this is the year.

I would highly appreciate some advice because I think I am at the point where I will either buy something quite expensive, that might not be good for me, or something cheap and crappy, that will not allow me to enjoy this sport from day 1.

There is a limited number of choices in Bulgaria, mainly cheaper kayaks. I worry about the warranty if I buy from outside the country.

Here is what I need. I am a tall guy - 193 cm and am 95 killos. I need something, that can hold me, be stable and still move. I have no experience with kayaking whatsoever. Non at all. I will be mainly using it on a lake and need it to be durable. Once or twice a year I might use it in the sea close to the shore (this should not influence the choice though). It will be used mainly by me, but being able to paddle together with a friend would be great so I would prefer a tandem. It needs to be durable, not bend like a taco when I sit in it, have enough room to fit me in. I don’t care that much about luggage. It will be small things in it besides the paddlers. Easy drying would be appreciated. Even though money matters, I prefer to spend on something good and have the best time, rather than go cheap and not enjoy what I do fully. I won’t live for 200 years…

Here is what I have checked on my own:

1. ITIWIT X100+ tandem - it has a drop stitch floor which seems is something good, especially for a heavy guy like me, but looks a bit like an inflatable bed and I am worried about how it will track and if the wind will blow it around.

2. ITIWIT X500 I liked a lot, the tandem one so that I can fit in it. Or at least the looks and the idea of it. What worries me is it's bottom (i know it is not the proper wording) which can make it unstable for a not experienced kayaker like me, which can lead to me being quite unstable in it (those are my thoughts). I would prefer not to drown.

3. SEVYLOR POINTER K2 – looks nice. Please don’t bash me about my comments here 😊.

4. Aqua Marina Tomahawk K 440 - I like it being fully dropstich with flattish bottom, which should make it stable for me. What worries me is the site - https://www.muziker.bg/. It is not based in the country and I don't know the seller

4. YAKKAir BREEZE Full HP 2 - Looks good. Full dropstitch, should be stable for me. I don't know anything about the company though.

5.ORU Beach LT - I like the idea, and I have that one available here, but I fear it might be too light, meaning the slightest wind will influence it badly. Looks also like the ITIWI X500, which I think might be a better option, but they both share the same issues.

6. AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite 2-person AE1007-E - on this one I have spoken with AF and they are quite nice and are eager to sell me one, but adding the additional things like single and double deck cover, footrest, pump, and good paddles, might make it a quite costly choice. I don't know if that one is worth it. I also have some worries with the drying and that it might take some time.

I know exactly how I might sound to some of you guys, but your advice on a specific kayak are highly appreciated and really needed.
PS: I am considering also some lessons, but i don't want to wait and get something after that.

I would like to thank you so much in advance!!!

JohnSand
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Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by JohnSand »

Hello Korowin, welcome aboard!
I have no experience with those boats, sorry. I do understand your challenge, as I am just a bit taller and heavier. My one inflatable kayak was alright for casual paddling at the beach, but flexed to much under my weight. My solution was to buy used kayaks based on reviews and reports. My current folder is a Folbot Yukon, which suits me. I have also purchased a Kayacat, but haven't tried it yet. Good luck, keep us posted.

Korowin
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:32 pm

Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by Korowin »

Thank you, John.
Foldables is actually something, that i noticed rescently and started also thinking on it. Availability wise it is a again a bit tricky here. I see locally Puffin Saco, Puffin Saranac and Puffin Scubi 2. And that basically is it. :)

JohnSand
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Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by JohnSand »

I'm surprised that there are no Kleppers. I remember seeing a Russian military folding kayak years ago, but it was pretty big.

Korowin
paddler
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:32 pm

Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by Korowin »

Well i guess it has something to do with prices. I got those checked now, i don't have any in Bulgaria, but i saw a German store. It is like abouve 4000 Eurpo at which point i probably prefer to strap in some floater and just swimm in the lake. I prefer to have what to eat ;)
Budget wise, because i forgot to mention it, i would like to keep it at around 1000 EU

JohnSand
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Location: Long Island NY

Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by JohnSand »

Yes, the best kayaks are very expensive new. Perhaps in time you will find a good used one for a price you like. Neither of mine cost over $300 US.

mje
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Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by mje »

I think your best bet would be a used Klepper, Pouch, or good European made inflatable, like a Grabner. The Sevylor boats are well made for that price range, but are not as rugged at the other boats. The Oru boats are clever, but basically unrepairable.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Korowin
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:32 pm

Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by Korowin »

How about the Puffin Saranac? I have that one available here in a reliable seller and the prices is more affordable for a new one. Is it a good option?

JohnSand
lord high faltbotmeister
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Location: Long Island NY

Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by JohnSand »

I haven't used one, but I have considered them.
Check this forum for reviews.

Korowin
paddler
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:32 pm

Re: Advice on a 1st kayak - newbie

Post by Korowin »

Thank you all for pitching in to assist me. Having in mind my size, is there something, that i need to consider or a model, that you can suggest?
I am narrowing things down to the Puffin Saranac tandem, Itiwit X500 solo, BREEZE FULL HP 2 or 3. The rest of the suggested kayaks are not available here and most are insanley pricy. Don't know if there is anything that is good from Advanced Elements, that is suitable to a tall guy like me and is drop stitch.

Thank you again in advance

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