Submitted: 08-25-2008 by Old_Man_in_the_Kayak
After some research and a day of demo paddles, I purchased a Pungo 140 from Alden of Sunapee in NH 3 years ago. As a true (and permanent) beginner wanting to only paddle in calm or slow moving water, the 140 had what I was looking for (large cockpit, stability, and a comfortable seat); I fit nicely (6'2" 250+); and, with very little technique, I can paddle it quick enough and straight enough.
This summer, after trying a couple of times to paddle a tandem with my wife, we traded the Pamlico 135T in for a new Pungo 140 Duralite for my wife. In addition to the lighter weight, the new model has some nice upgrades, including the padding on the cockpit opening (which help protect the knees when paddling, and the shoulder when carrying it) and the dashboard (which gives you some nice small water tight storage).
Thanks to the sales lady at Aldens, we went with the 140 for my wife rather than the 120 which we originally thought about buying. We are glad that we did, although after a couple of times out, she was not just keeping up, but passing me on occasion.
If you are a big boy or girl looking for a recreational kayak that will make you seem like an experienced kayaker, the Pungo 140 is a sure bet.
If you live in the Northeast, you should check out Alden of Sunapee in Newport, NH as a place to shop. They are a small shop with everything you need. They have the knowledge, the advice, the service, a wide range of inventory, and a great place to try them on the water before you buy.
If you are looking for a good place to paddle after you buy it, you should take a trip to Wells Harbor in Wells Beach, ME (Maine). There are a variety of places to paddle, all protected from the ocean. Don't forget the sunscreen!!!