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  folders may be one option
  Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-15-12 7:56 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Sep-15-12 7:58 PM EST --

I am a huge fan of folding kayaks, though it would depend what sort of Class II you were going to do. Really shallow and twisty might not be the best match, but if the rivers around you are moderately straight with open whitewater some folders would be OK.

For intro folders it is hard to beat PakBoat. Their Puffin Saco single runs around $1000 and weighs under 25 pounds. I can lift mine with one hand. Takes about 20 minutes to assemble though you can leave it set up all season. You can paddle it with the deck as a sit inside kayak or remove the deck and paddle it open like a pack canoe(without the deck it is only 21 lbs.) Nice boats. Tougher than they look, too. We bought our first Pakboat from a guy who uses them on fishing guide trips in whitewater rivers in Patagonia and in the Northern reaches of Canada and Alaska.

One advantage folders have over inflatables is that they tend to paddle more like a hard shell -- i.e., they track straighter and a bit faster.

Biggest drawback is that it is nearly impossible to find them in dealerships to try out. Where in WV are you? I'm in Pittsburgh and would be happy to let you check out my Puffin if you are ever up in this area. I just broke my arm (on the second day of our vacation 2 weeks ago, no less) so I won't be paddling it any time soon, but it is still set up if you'd like to use it. I'm 10 minutes from a river put-in. Send me a private email if you'd like to get in touch.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:


2-Boat Free-Standing

Kayak Seats

Full Size Sail Rig

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