My sister and I are looking for couple of kayaks for paddling around on the Ohio River and some of its tributaries. We're new to the sport and would like to keep the price down.
I have done a lot of reading and we have both rented 10' kayaks that we used on a large lake. We were looking at either the Pelican Pursuit 100 or Pursuit 120 to get us started with the idea that we could upgrade later. We have found a great deal on craigslist for the 100, but need to make a decision pretty soon.
I'm 5' 10" 145 lbs and she's 5' 5" and 110 lbs. Would the 10' or the 12' be a better choice for the Ohio River and the waves that are sometimes generated by the barges? We're mostly interested in something that's stable and won't put us in the river every time a larger boat passes.
Hi. This might be a little late as far as replies go, but here goes...
My wife and I are newer to Kayaking as well. We have only been Kayaking for about 2 - 3 years... There are a LOT of decisions out there and a ton of choices for boats so what we did was we went to Backpackers Shop in Avon, OH (by Cleveland, kind of) and just started trying on Kayaks... what I mean was we started sitting in a handful of boats until we found ones that fit us well and we felt comfy in. We settled on two Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125's... 12' 6" boats that we have had on Lake Erie in 2-3 foot waves with no problem, moving (probably like, class 1?) water, and flat lakes and they have just been phenomenal boats -- could not have asked for better beginner boats.
Typically, the LONGER the boat, the narrower the boat is, and I used to have a 17' 4" Necky Looksha and, where it was much faster than my shorter boat, it was nowhere near as stable... if you are new to the sport/hobby/addiction, then you want a boat that's stable and you feel stable in... Swimming, at first, isn't fun. If you go too short, you won't keep up with the big wigs and their "sea" kayaks... so 13-14' is a great length to aim for, IMO. You both are small so boats should be little trouble for you to find... I'm 5'10" and 215, and my boat is very comfortable for me, and I still have room to move about when need be.
You want to stay away form creekers or play boats for beginning, because those things are not stable at all, and you need to be an experienced paddler most of the time to pilot one of those... They like to spin and can tip very easily, which can be fun in the right instance.
I also recommend a safety class... Not sure where you are from, but up by Cleveland there is a group of folks who host safety classes... wet exits, rolling, water safety... and they help A LOT! Hope this helps!
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