-- Last Updated: May-07-13 8:59 AM EST --
You may want to be open to the possibility of used boats. At 5'2" and 130 pounds, your wife will not have a pleasant paddling experience in the typical rec boat due to its width and depth. She could literally be banging her knuckles as she paddles.
The kit idea is a nice one - I've known more than one couple where it was a Pygmy boat that got the spouse on the water. But if that is not practical for you -
What you are in is a rec boat, so not a speed demon. If you are paddling it that way you could choose to back off when your wife is along. I've seen a lot of guys become solo paddlers when they focused on getting their wife to paddle as fast as them.
One option is to try out something in the rec boat range that is tuned for a small paddler. I have no idea if this boat would work, I've never even seen one, but I found one offering that says it does this in the Perception line. It is the Prodigy XS. So there might be some inexpensive rec boats worth at least finding to have her sit in it in person.
The other option is to go longer for her, again in a small person's boat, to give her some amount of advantage once on the water. You'd probably do best going used there. A boat like the Current Designs Vision 120 SP would give her a boat that is both pleasant to paddle and lightweight. CD boats tend to be available from a lot of outfitters and you might find one of these around.
One final comment on the paddle - do not get a big blade in the mistaken idea that it'll help her go faster. It actually will make her much slower, and be unpleasant to use. Go with a smaller size blade, and figure that she can get her speed via a faster cadence if she wants.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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