Recommend a kayak for a specific person on a specific river!
OK! I have read many requests for recommendations that were answered with requests for more specific descriptions of the type of paddling the person asking intended to do. With that in mind, I am going to try to make my “dumb question” as specific as possible.
I am coming across some good prices this time of the year, but I don’t want to just go on the recommendation of the salespeople!
I am 61 years of age, and of about average condition for this age. I am not a super-jock, but I have managed to ride motorcycles and horses, so I do have a knack for balance type sports.
I am 5’ 10” and 195 pounds in street clothes.
I have had exactly one all-day private lesson from a professional. This was in a Dagger Mamba.
I live very near the Youghiogheny River in Southwest Pennsylvania, U.S. There are two distinct sections of the “Yough”: The “Middle Yough” is class 1 and class 2. The “Lower Yough” is class 3 and class 4. One local outfitter told me that the “Lower isn’t actually class 4 except rarely when at the highest water levels after significant rains. He described the “Lower” as a “Low volume” river the vast majority of the time.
My desire is to buy a kayak capable of “river running” the “Lower”-class 3 and 4 section. I intend to spend next summer learning the skills on the “Middle” - class 1 and 2 section. I am hoping that my age-reduced physical abilities will permit me to attain sufficient skills to “run” the “Lower”-class 3 and 4 section someday. I have no desire to “play” in the class 3 and 4 section… if I can simply “run” this section eventually, I will be satisfied.
I have talked with four local outfitters. A couple of them try to hard sell the Dagger Mamba. I can’t possibly judge from just one day-long lesson, but I had a hard time keeping my paddling angle high enough to get past the “knee bumps” on the deck. I beat my knuckles up pretty badly! My instructor said that I should try a “displacement” hull style kayak for my second lesson. His thought was that I will instinctively somehow just “know” whether I prefer a “planing” style hull vs a “displacement” style hull.
One other outfitter recommended the Dagger Nomad, adding that the LiquidLogic Remix 69/79 is very similar, yet quicker. Yet another outfitter offered a Pyranha Karnali new for $750.
So, that is as specific as I know how to ask the question. If any of you know the Lower Yough, and if any of you are up around the “big 6-0” age, I would really appreciate any guidance you would be willing to offer.
Thanks in advance,
Deck Rigging Gear
Sport Cases (Electronics)
|Table of Contents|
|Messages in this Topic|
I would take a close look at the Karnali|
Posted by: g2d on Oct-10-12 7:23 PM (EST)
and the Remix. River runners that can be used on steep creeks if you "get there."
I know the lower Yough|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-10-12 7:35 PM (EST)
Have paddled it many times. I strongly recommend you get a quality WW boat that fits you (not a transition boat). I am 5' 10", 185 and know there are lots of boats out there that will work just fine. A used Diesel would be a good choice, probably better than a Mamba, but only you can tell. Around here (mid-Michigan) we take students on a slower local river and then go to Slippery Rock Creek, which is near the Yough. The lower Yough is harder than Slippery Rock Creek, so it is a nice progression. The middle Yough is not going to teach you much unless you go with an instructor and you do lots of ferries and catch and leave lots of eddies. The hardest rapid on the Lower Yough is Entrance, which, of course is the first one. There is a website that describes all of the rapids. Just google "lower yough". Read through and see what you think.
The Lower Yough|
Posted by: Kocho on Oct-10-12 10:31 PM (EST)
Posted by: wavespinner on Oct-10-12 10:45 PM (EST)
It is a matter of personal preference and fitting to your style, but my top choices would be the Jackson Zen, Dagger Mamba, Wavesport Diesel, and LL Remix.If you intend to also creek, you could go for a high volume boat but otherwise you're losing edge which can help you hit the eddys. The Zen and Remix are better for attainments, which you also want to consider on the LY. Probably why you see so many old school yaks there. Planing hull is more of a consideration if you intend to surf, spin, etc.
paddle length? |
Posted by: abc on Oct-11-12 10:31 AM (EST)
"I had a hard time keeping my paddling angle high enough to get past the “knee bumps” on the deck. I beat my knuckles up pretty badly! "
Posted by: pblanc on Oct-11-12 10:35 AM (EST)
As was said, just about any boat will do for the Lower Youghiogheny as long as you are comfortable in it.
good analysis |
Posted by: suiram on Oct-11-12 11:21 AM (EST)
I would emphasize suggestion to get a properly sized river runner. Manufacturers usually have recommended weight ranges for each model, aim for the middle, maybe a little lighter.
any of those boats would work|
Posted by: somalley on Oct-11-12 11:29 AM (EST)
another vote for the Remix, etc|
Posted by: bignate on Oct-11-12 2:17 PM (EST)
I also like the Remix a lot. Nice hull design and the liquidlogic outfitting is the best in the business. But as others have mentioned, all the boats you listed would work for the LY. My advice is not to worry about "displacement" versus "planing" at this stage. Start with something that fits you well and you feel comfortable in. Also, if you've started to work on your roll (and you should be!), and one or more of the boats that you've tried feels easier to roll, that's a good selling point for a beginner too.
I cannot believe|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-11-12 4:13 PM (EST)
...that no one yet has scolded you for (not) implying that you paddle in your street clothes!