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Choosing a kayak

KayakerQ. I am looking to buy a kayak but there are so many possibilities. Which one should I pick? Help me!

— Kayakless Cameron, Sandown, N.H.

A. You’re right Cameron, the number of kayaks on the market can be dizzying. Before picking a boat, it’s important to consider where you’ll be paddling.

If you plan to kayak mostly in lakes, slow moving rivers and mellow seas near the beach, then you’ll want a open cockpit boat that’s around 10 to 12 feet long, about 27 to 30 inches wide or so, stable and comfortable to paddle. A couple of good places to check are Old Town ( or Heritage Kayaks ( A sit-on-top style kayak is great choice for fishing too.

If paddling whitewater rivers is your goal then you’ll need a shorter, narrower, more responsive river runner that’s designed to be rolled back up (a.k.a. the “Eskimo roll”) when you flip over in the rapids. Jackson ( carries a few stable, predictable kayaks—perfect for learning to run whitewater.

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5 Comments on Choosing a kayak

  1. kayaker in 477 // October 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm // Reply

    I kayak a dagger blast and it has bin through a lot , I have kayaked the ocoee and that kayak has taken good care of me so you should get the dagger blast.

  2. I Love Kayaking so much !

  3. i have always
    loved to kayak

  4. As an avid kayak angler i would highly recommend attending a local shops “demo” day and paddling a boat for a brief time before buying. This will allow you to see how it feels for you. If there are no scheduled demo days most shops will allow you to demo a boat for a small fee which they will usually apply to the purchase price if you buy a boat from them.

  5. cool

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