I recently moved to a house with a nearby small lake and I'm in the market for a kayak. I've been out on one a few times before and have really enjoyed it. I've been looking at the Potomac pathfinder from Dicks for $199 because it meets a lot of my criteria but there seems to be some mixed reviews of it online. I'm looking for 3 main things in a kayak.
Weight, the lake is short walk from the house less than a quarter mile but I have to store it at my house so something lighter is appealing. In not sure how hard it would be to carry it to the lake.
Size, I'm 6'2 ~ 240 so I want to make sure I can fit into it. It looks like most people say a 10' boat will be fine.
Price, I'm really just looking for something to go out and splash around the lake on and maybe do some fishing but I'm a beginner at fishing too so I don't need anything fancy. Id like to stay under $300, $350 tops or ill have to save up for another season. I like the idea of the pathfinder at $200 b/c with 2 very young kids I don't know how much time I will have to use it. Also $200 leaves some bufget room for paddles jacket, axcesores. I was thinking at $200 I don't have a huge investment and can "test the waters" if you pardon the pun. If I do get into it, I'd plan on getting a nice boat and having the pathfinder for friends or the kids when they get older.
I've looked at a few other entry level and they seem to be about te same or much heavier than I think I would like. Please let me know what you think!
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May be a good match|
Posted by: edzep on Apr-09-13 11:49 PM (EST)
A lot of people buy cheap, not realizing how they will be limited, or that they will probably be buying another boat, later. It looks like you know what's what. Two things: Verify that your weight is not pushing the boat's stated weight capacity. And, consider taking a look at used boats; you can often buy more boat for your budget, that way, though the process would take longer.
Posted by: Uncjibble on Apr-10-13 12:06 AM (EST)
The listed weight is 275 so I figure with some light fishing gear and a beverage or two I should stay under 250 which gives some wiggle room. I've been checking craigslist for used but there hasn't been much other than really nice whitewater boats that are out if my price range (and ability level too!).
Posted by: Uncjibble on Apr-10-13 12:11 AM (EST)
Oh I forgot to mention I was looking also at the future beach trophy 126, b/c i would like to fish, but I don't know if its worth the extra $130 for all of the fishing features and that's really the top of my budget so I'd not have much left for a good paddle.
Swim from the middle|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Apr-10-13 12:29 AM (EST)
I've got one of those and I'm 240|
Posted by: pirateoverforty on Apr-10-13 1:26 AM (EST)
Just a note re beginner kayak|
Posted by: Celia on Apr-10-13 9:50 AM (EST)
It sounds like a rec boat, the kind of one you are looking at intended for flat, quiet water is the right start for your use. Have fun with it.
You can return it|
Posted by: dc9mm on Apr-10-13 3:51 PM (EST)
Nice thing about Dicks Sporting Goods is you can try it and if it does sit to low or what ever you can return it.Get a PFD of course and always wear it, too many stories of people drowning in small lakes.
Posted by: edzep on Apr-10-13 4:16 PM (EST)
I don't think it's realistic to expect to test paddle a used kayak being sold by a private party. If a person can, that's great. But, logistics are usually highly impractical. As kayaks are specialty items (rec boats less so, admittedly), they are often purchased by people who may be from out of town by several hundred miles or more, which -- along with time constraints -- makes identifying and getting to test locations even harder.
Posted by: dc9mm on Apr-10-13 4:31 PM (EST)
Posted by: edzep on Apr-10-13 5:35 PM (EST)
The "test paddle rule" you mention is to paddle the model of boat you are considering -- not necessarily the specific boat. Many of us have had new boats shipped to us.
No floatie - no purchase|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Apr-10-13 7:40 PM (EST)
that's what he was asking YOU to do|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Apr-10-13 7:57 PM (EST)
Nice job. Maybe next time you could help out.
Can you read the prior posts|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Apr-10-13 11:18 PM (EST)
Posted by: Travisma on Apr-10-13 11:33 PM (EST)
My first yak was a Swifty 9.5. I'm 6 foot about 225. It works for me. Since then I've gotten 2 more yaks, bigger, faster, more expensive. But I still take out the Swifty when I just want to grab and go for a quick paddle. If this one is all you can afford and it gets you out on the water, then go for it. Learn its and your limitations. Above all have fun.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Apr-11-13 11:36 AM (EST)
To play devil's advocate, if everyone waited until they knew exactly what they wanted, no one would ever buy a boat.
article to read|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Apr-11-13 12:31 AM (EST)
Issue #6 of California Kayaker had an article on how to choose a recreational class kayak, which is what you are looking at. Was written by a guy who works for an independent kayak dealer, so sells more expensive boats that Dicks and the like, so is slightly biased, But worth a read none-the-less. Starts on page 22.