I'm new here- avid outdoorsman, and trying to get into kayaking. I've been lurking on this board for some time now trying to get as much knowledge as I can, but I really want to try and get an expert opinion on types of kayaks hopefully. My gf and I are in the process of buying a pair of kayaks- we were pretty set on the pungo 120 based off reviews and such, but as I've read more since, I feel this may not be the best route ( maybe someone will prove me wrong?). What were looking to paddle in mostly, as living in western New York, would be small streams/ slow rivers, calm lakes, canals, and then living by Lake Erie I want to be able to at least paddle te shore line, but not head out far into the deep waters. Again, originally leaning towards the pungo 120- but now I'm thinking I may be more comfortable with something like the tsunami 125 so I could handle mild chop on Lake Erie?? Please help if there are any experts out there as I really don't know alot about this yet. For reference, I'm about 5'8" 170-175 lbs, and the gf is 5'5" and about 110-115lbs.
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Posted by: Celia on May-08-13 9:19 AM (EST)
It is warm and trying to sort this out via a message board is more likely to leave you wasting money on a poor choice than satisfied. If you want to try more adventurous paddling - yes, the Pungo is not your boat. But you don't understand why.
Posted by: willi_h2o on May-08-13 10:57 AM (EST)
Butt time, in the cockpits, of various kayaks.
Posted by: willowleaf on May-08-13 11:02 AM (EST)
I'll give you some reasons why the Pungo is not likely to work for you: no bow bulkhead, oversized cockpit, short and wide with relatively flat bottom. This is a recreational kayak, meaning it is for warm water floats in ponds and shallow slow streams. It will not handle chop or waves well (a large powerboat wake could flip it -- this is a drawback to wide flat boats that seem "stable" in still water). The lack of fore and aft bulkheads means if it capsizes it will sink with the stern in the air and be nearly impossible to re-enter. It does not have sufficient storage capacity for camping gear (I see from your profile that you are campers). The large cockpit doesn't support a spray skirt well which means paddle drip and spray will get water into the hull -- this means cool water paddling will be uncomfortable. NOT a boat for anywhere in Lake Erie or even Lake George or the Finger Lakes. Even a calm day on the Great Lakes can turn to heavy wind and waves in minutes. A father and young daughter drowned last month on Lake Erie after setting out on a "calm day" in similar boats. Putting a Pungo in the Great Lakes would be like driving a golf cart onto the Turnpike.
Thanks for the responses so far|
Posted by: Frost12850 on May-08-13 11:11 AM (EST)
Thanks for the responses- very helpful. I essentially already purchased the kayaks, but haven't picked them up yet so they haven't even been used. I'm sure the store will let me return/ make adjustments accordingly.
Posted by: Peter-CA on May-08-13 11:59 AM (EST)
There are a pair of articles you may find useful to read in California Kayaker Magazine. All issues can be read for free online at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html.
Posted by: poleplant on May-08-13 12:36 PM (EST)
I don't know about you Pete, but I find it difficult to procreate in the Pungo.
it doesn't come with another paddler|
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-08-13 3:14 PM (EST)
Or did you mean by yourself?
Posted by: Peter-CA on May-08-13 8:05 PM (EST)
Obviously wasn't what I meant to write (probably got autocorrected), but I am sure procreating in a Pungo would be possible.
Iam from the Buffalo area|
Posted by: dc9mm on May-08-13 1:12 PM (EST)
Iam in Tonawanda. I use two kayaks the one I use on creeks,canal small lakes is a 14 foot Wilderness systems Tsunami 140. I have taken it out a few times outside of the break wall in Lake erie and its ok. I wouldnt want to use a 12 foot pungo on the lake Erie. The pungo is fine for creeks not BIG lake Erie. I could always let you try my Tsunami 140 if you want. My other Lake boat is a NDK Greenlander Pro.
This could verge on relationship|
Posted by: rpg51 on May-08-13 1:43 PM (EST)
counseling - but I agree 100% with Celia re making sure that your GF is included in the decision making. I went even further that that recently with my wife and backed out of the decision altogether (almost). She had her own conversations with the sales staff etc., she paddled several boats. I was clear that her personal expectations did not include anything other than quiet water paddling - despite my hopes for her in that regard. As a result she picked the Pungo 120 after paddling a number of boats including those that you mention and she is very happy. On the other hand, I am a life long paddler but never Kayaks. I picked a Tsunami 16.5 I think it was and after a week I realized I had picked the wrong boat for me so I went back to the drawing board and ended up with a Zephyr 16 which I enjoy a great deal. If you are not an experienced paddler or you are looking for a boat that is easy to keep going straight but hard to turn, the Tsunami could be excellent. I prefer a boat that is easy to turn and maybe a tiny bit harder to keep on track in the wind etc.
Posted by: Frost12850 on May-08-13 1:53 PM (EST)
Also, I love all these people coming in and giving me advice in the relationship aspect haha. Thanks all for the concerns :) she's actually the reason why were getting into kayaking. We've used them before a few times from renting and have had fun. By all means she is 100% included in the decision making. Her knee has been bothering her so she's taking it easy on the biking/ running this year so well be trying to do more kayaking instead.
Ill join up|
Posted by: Frost12850 on May-08-13 1:50 PM (EST)
I would have loved to come out and give your tsunami boat a whirl. I understand as someone else said that if I get serious about this ill probably upgrade later on anyways- I just want to make sure I get a boat that will be good for recreation and still be able to go along just the coast lines of erie- we've been wanting to get close to the windmills from the water and see how they are up close. I'm actually part of a local search and rescue group, and I believe one of our members was out with you guys last night (I tried calling him for advice as well but think he was out paddling).
Posted by: dc9mm on May-08-13 2:05 PM (EST)
Prijon kayaks - rentals|
Posted by: RavenWing on May-10-13 2:36 PM (EST)
just an aside for Frost & his gf: renting Prijon boats can be a good thing for your search. Good choice for ppl who want to do sometimes rocky rivers and tour lakes as well. Their proprietary blowmoulded HTP plastic flexes a lot like f'glass in the water, but is very tough like rotomoulded plastic more commonly seen in plastic kayaks.
Posted by: angstrom on May-08-13 2:16 PM (EST)
Ok - a few more comments|
Posted by: Celia on May-08-13 3:11 PM (EST)
Great that your GF is equally involved in the choice. But you need to be aware that if she has a Pungo and you get something like a Tsunami, what she has is the limiting factor on where you can both paddle. Handling things like on-water capsizes are much more difficult for the big open cockpit boats like the Pungo, so being safe means that you stay within the capabilities of the least capable boat in terms of managing conditions.
Thanks for the advice|
Posted by: Frost12850 on May-08-13 4:15 PM (EST)
All good advice that you're giving. Yea, I think we are both moving away from the pungo. We do plan on taking classes, and doing meet ups to talk and paddle with more experienced people. Honestly, we probably won't even head into the Lake Erie shores at all this year until we're both comfortable in our capabilities/ safety. Well stick to the calmer waters and build on our skills.
Posted by: ppine on May-09-13 8:25 PM (EST)
It is tough now to get good info about kayaks. There are so many beginner boats and beginner salesmen. If it were me I would buy a kayak at least 15-17 feet long, with a cockpit, not too beamy with decent bulkheads and storage hatches. It would have an arched bottom and some rocker. It would probably be used and made out of fiberglass.
I wouldnt get fiberglass|
Posted by: dc9mm on May-10-13 12:19 PM (EST)
I wouldn't get a fiberglass boat if I was only getting one boat. The OP is in Western NY were Iam from. He said he wants to do creeks plus if he joins the Buffalo Outdoor Meetup group they do MANY paddles were a glass boat would just NOT work. Plastic works every were, glass cant go down say Oak Orchard creek which is popular paddle. You scrape bottom , hit rocks not something for a gelcoated kayak. My glass kayak ONLY goes into the Great lakes or Niagara River which feeds into the Great lakes. Otherwise its my plastic yak. Creeks are too shallow around here to use a glass one on such.