-- Last Updated: Sep-06-12 7:06 PM EST --
Hi all! I just joined and I'm looking for advice on buying my first kayak. Due to space concerns (I live in a tiny apartment and like to pack light) I'm pretty set on an inflatable.
My concern is that many inflatables that I'm looking at tend to run very wide, like 30" to 36". I am a short lady with short arms, and worry that it may be impractical to buy a wide sit-inside where I'll have to reach higher and further to paddle. I'm 5'0" tall and my armspan (fingertip to fingertip) is 62".
Are there any tiny paddlers out there who can offer experience? Are my concerns valid? And if so, how much of a problem are we talking about here?
More details if they're helpful:
I'm 5'0", 160 pounds, female. I've rented hard shells for a couple of hours at a time just a few times, but here in Austin I'm near lots of places to enjoy the water. I only anticipate paddling on lakes and unexciting rivers, with possible kayak-camping down the line once I'm comfortable.
After reading lots of reviews I'm considering an Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame (solo version, as seen here: http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Elements-AdvancedFrame-Inflatable-Kayak/dp/B000J2Q0C6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top ) or if I can go somewhat cheaper, the Sevylor QuikPak K5 ( http://www.amazon.com/Sevylor-QuikPak-K5-Inflatable-Kayak/dp/B004E4ERUM/ref=pd_sbs_sg_9 )
I appreciate any perspectives and advice you guys can offer. Thanks!
Edit: one thing I hadn't considered is that my apartment balcony won't accommodate a very long boat, so I'd like to find something shorter than 11'.
Wall Mount Boat Racks
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Feathercraft and Innova |
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Sep-02-12 11:04 PM (EST)
Make nice boats http://feathercraft.com/kayaks/kurrent/ http://feathercraft.com/sit-on-tops/java/
this may help...|
Posted by: TetonJohn on Sep-02-12 11:23 PM (EST)
Posted by: carldelo on Sep-03-12 12:09 AM (EST)
The Advanced Elements Air Fusion is much narrower than the one you mentioned, although it costs more. It will be closer to a hard shell in performance, better glide and tracking, etc.
second the Puffin|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-03-12 1:32 AM (EST)
It's a little above the price of the Advanced Elements, but the 12' long and 29" wide Pakboat Puffin mentioned above has a few advantages. One is that it is a skin-on-frame folding/inflatable hybrid so it has more the performance you are used to in a hardshell. This means it will not be a susceptible to wind and currents as the full inflatables.
Posted by: ByronWalter on Sep-03-12 12:40 PM (EST)
...Folbot skin on frame kayaks. Check out their web site and give them a call. I've read good things about their boats.
Thanks! +More questions...|
Posted by: Aniviel on Sep-03-12 5:52 PM (EST)
Wow! Thanks so much for all of the advice, especially willowleaf's thoughtful reply.
I have a helios 380|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Sep-03-12 6:28 PM (EST)
which is the double and its more suitable as a double than a single but it paddles ok as a single. I got mine used with a rudder for $300 and its 15 yrs old. The single helios would be a great deal if you find a used one. The boat is not fast but it handles rough water well, 10 minutes from bag to water and fits as a carry on if I check the other gear easy to selCan't speak to a puffin, rescue, repaired with a bike tire patch. Watch ebay, craigslist and pnet classifieds
Posted by: paddlesheep on Sep-05-12 5:37 PM (EST)
I have a Helios 1 and it's no problem packing it for a week long trip, as long as you're not carrying all your water. Slow boat but loads of fun.
Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-06-12 12:43 PM (EST)
The Advanced Elements AirFusion is about the narrowest inflatable I have seen. 24" wide or so.
Posted by: Aniviel on Sep-06-12 7:07 PM (EST)
But it doesn't look like the AirFusion has much cargo room at all.
Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-06-12 7:59 PM (EST)
You are correct. It is fine as a day tripping boat, but wouldn't be the best choice for the camping. There is some space behind the inflated "thwarts", but you could only access by deflating the thwarts (so can't access on the water).
Posted by: JonMMartin on Sep-06-12 2:21 PM (EST)
Given your weight but that you want to do camping (expeditioning somewhat).......I'd go middle of the road..........14', medium/moderate profile, 24" wide, two hatches, .......my favorite in this category is a Daggar......I bought one used that's 13'8" and have paddled it to death in all kinds of seas. And I am 5'9" 200 lbs (old guy lol).
Posted by: Aniviel on Sep-06-12 7:10 PM (EST)
One thing I didn't think about when I wrote my original post is that my apartment balcony is only so large. I could fit an 11' boat out there, but that's my limit. Being a short lady, I think I'd actually prefer a shorter boat anyway. The rentals I've been in have all been around the 10' range, and I think I'd prefer more maneuverability over speed.
Have you considered folding kayaks too?|
Posted by: adnelson on Sep-06-12 3:43 PM (EST)
Posted by: Aniviel on Sep-06-12 7:19 PM (EST)
Yes, at this point I'm leaning towards preferring a folding kayak over an inflatable actually. I'm still searching for the right choice.
good deal on small folder|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-27-12 12:46 PM (EST)
I had mentioned the Pakboats -- there is a guy just posted a Pakboat Puffin 12 (predecessor of the Saco and the model I own) for sale on Ebay for $400 "buy now" plus $60 shipping. I doubt you would find a cheaper deal on such a light and good quality folder. It is bid now at $92 but has not met minimum. Looks to be in excellent shape (though the owner must be dislexic as he has it listed as a "Backpack Puffin" though it is clearly a Pakboat.) The "buy now" price is quite reasonable and the cheapest I have seen a used one listed for. If I did not already own one I would jump on this.
Two pakboats for sale|
Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-27-12 1:31 PM (EST)
The guy added a second Pakboat Puffin, this one (seems to have a little more wear) for $325 plus shipping ($60). Even better deal.