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  Kayking (Some Beginer Questions)
  Posted by: KayakKido on Jul-11-13 10:06 AM (EST)
   Category: Kayaks 

-- Last Updated: Jul-11-13 10:11 AM EST --

Hey everyone, I just joined the paddling.net today. I've been (lightly) kayking for almost 2 years now and love it. I use a one of a kind custom (white) Dagger Axis 10.5 that I purchased off craigslist earlier this year and I love it. It came with a AT (Advantage Technology) paddle and some basic life jacket. (No skirt included) I purchased a Nylon snap dragon skirt (tried to get a neopreme, they were out at the time).

So I have a few questions:

(#1): What is a good life jacket to get and use for some mild white-water river kayaking. (Taccoa River) My friend has one that sits above his skirt and fits mostly around his mid/upper abdomen. I like it.

(#2): Where can I found out what size cockpit cover I would need. (wanting to get one for traveling purposes) Refer back to my intro for what type of Kayak I have.

(#3): What are some beginers tips?

(#4): What's the top 3 best kayak's for whitewater kayaking, also top 3 for salt-water kayking?

(#5): Where should I start looking for a Kayak rack for my 4-Door 2012 Toyota Tacoma? (Does anyone have a kayak rack for a tacoma, if so whats a good one to get?)

(#6): Whats are pro's and con's for a neopreme skirt vs a regular nylon one?

(#7): Any suggestions on anything else I might need to purchase/aquire before my next kayak trip/adventure

*I know that's alot, but I had to ask :D


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Messages in this Topic

 

  Responses
  Posted by: Celia on Jul-11-13 10:16 AM (EST)
(#1): Life jacket - for kayaking in general, should be short. Lots of appropriate ones out there, we like the Kokatat MSFit but if you are endowed up top there are better choices.

(#2): Where can I found out what size cockpit cover I would need.

Call and/or check the size charts on the manufacturer's web sites. Either SnapDragon or Seals will be reliably helpful, probably others that i forgot.

(#4): What's the top 3 best kayak's for whitewater kayaking, also top 3 for salt-water kayking?

This does not exist. All kayaks are best matched to someone's size to make them easy to manage, weight and height, so the best ones for you may bear no relationship to the best ones for a taller bigger guy.
If this is not something you understand, you need some work in skills to understand why it matters.

(#5): Whats are pro's and con's for a neopreme skirt vs a regular nylon one?
If you want to roll neo is better. I am guessing you haven't tried learning this. If you want to do whitewater, find a place and start trying.

(#6): Any suggestions on anything else I might need to purchase/aquire before my next kayak trip/adventure

Lessons. The above questions indicate that there are a lot of gaps in your understanding. You should start increasing your safety margins by learning more. Rescues too.
 
 
  Thanks!
  Posted by: KayakKido on Jul-11-13 10:29 AM (EST)
Thank you for your answers info and tips. I haven't rolled any yet so no experiane, might try it out in my pool first with some friends of course.

Also, I didn't think abou it but it does seem logical to me now getting a kayak based on me and my physical make-up.

Thanks again for your quick response!
 
 
  Tacoma Rack
  Posted by: Duster on Jul-11-13 10:57 AM (EST)
In regards to your Tacoma rack situation it depends on how you want to load it. For my 2006 Tacoma I opted for a hitch mount and single crossbar over the cab. That way our kayaks are carried over the bed of the truck and not the cab of the truck. I liked this idea better since it lends to a wider base for support of the kayaks.

However, if you go this way you're more or less going to have to piece it together yourself. You can't go to Yakima or the Thule website and have the website build it for you.

So long story short: If you want a set up like mine I went through Yakima and bought a single crossbar set up (2 q towers, 2 q clips), the drydrock hitch mount, a set of crossbars (one for the cab crossbar, another for the drydock setup), and finally you need to decide how you want to mount your kayak to the rack, of which Yakima has many options.

OR: You could opt to carry it over the cab of your truck and have the Yakima and Thule websites build it for you through their "fit my vehicle" sections.

Either way, if you decide to go directly through the supplier you're talking a good $500 - $700 when all is said and done. If you're savvy you can save some money by finding the parts you need at sites elsewhere...
 
 
  Thank you
  Posted by: KayakKido on Jul-11-13 11:08 AM (EST)
Thanks a bunch, I currently have a hitch mount T-bar that allows me to drop the tailgate and lay the kayaks the bed of my truck but, I have about 6 feet of kayak hanging out the back and 0 bed space. So I do eventually want a kayak rack so I can just toss it on top of the truck. I was figuring around $300, so might be a while before I buy one since there gona be at least $500.

Thanks again for your reply
 
 
  misc answers - PFD, cockpit size, skirts
  Posted by: Peter-CA on Jul-11-13 11:36 AM (EST)
(#1): What is a good life jacket to get and use for some mild white-water river kayaking. (Taccoa River) My friend has one that sits above his skirt and fits mostly around his mid/upper abdomen. I like it.

Go to a paddlesports shop and try on PFDs to find the one you like. Best to go to a store where you can sit in a boat like yours and try it out (so not likely a big box store, but instead a paddlesports specialty store).

(#2): Where can I found out what size cockpit cover I would need. (wanting to get one for traveling purposes) Refer back to my intro for what type of Kayak I have.

Seals has an online sizing guide at http://www.sealsskirts.com/sizing/fitter.php. If you get Seals products, you would get size 2.2. The larger the number, the larger the size.

(#4): What's the top 3 best kayak's for whitewater kayaking, also top 3 for salt-water kayking?

There are different types of boats for different needs, along with the mentioned different sized people. Even within white water, there are play, down river, creek, etc. boats. Each has a different goal. You may want to read an article in California Kayaker Magazine's Spring 2013 issue on basic types of kayaks (can be read online for free at http://www.calpaddlermag.com/magazine.html).

(#6): Whats are pro's and con's for a neopreme skirt vs a regular nylon one?

Neoprene is more waterproof and fits better (less likely to pop off under pressure). But it also stays on harder (so more effort to pop it off). The cockpit opening on your boat is rather large, so not sure if neoprene is available for that size. That large size also means your boat isn't made for large waters, as a skirt would easily get knocked off by a wave hitting the deck.

(#7): Any suggestions on anything else I might need to purchase/aquire before my next kayak trip/adventure

I would take a class or two. If you see yourself doing more flat water kayaking, take a class in sea kayaking. If more white water, take a white water class. Short of that, read books and magazines. You are currently in the unconscious incompetent stage, which means you don't know what you don't know (everyone starts there). There are some real dangers to kayaking which can easily be avoided, but only if you know of them. A class will cover these and how to avoid, along with teach you how to be most effective at paddling.
 
 
  why repeat Celia?
  Posted by: suiram on Jul-11-13 12:47 PM (EST)
I understand if your post were within a minute or so, but you waited a whole hour before posting near identical content.
 
 
  sorry I offended
  Posted by: Peter-CA on Jul-11-13 1:47 PM (EST)
Sorry I offended you. I felt I was adding additional info to the post that Celia did, such as more details on skirt size (such as the link to Seals and seal's specific size, a reference to reading which would provide more info on boat types, etc.).

And reiterating on lessons was meant to support that, in the hopes that the OP would take that comment seriously.
 
 
  Hey guys
  Posted by: Celia on Jul-12-13 10:18 AM (EST)
Thanks all, I am not at all offended. In fact the P filled in some useful details on that skirt, like that the one her present boat takes might be out of range for a neo deck skirt. I am presently online by hopping someone else's WiFi in the enclave where we are staying, so my research is a bit thin compared to usual.

And getting instruction of some kind to help move up - reminded again recently that it just can't be hit hard enough. We had friends visit and took them very carefully around a nearby point in an ocean bay, keeping them within swimming distance in their Pungos on a nearly flat day. Two years after getting these boats and using them heavily in places including Lake Champlain, one of them still has to be told that his paddle is upside down. You can guess the rest of it from there...
 
 
  offense?
  Posted by: suiram on Jul-12-13 10:34 AM (EST)
I did not interpret the post as an offense
 
 
  Thank you
  Posted by: KayakKido on Jul-12-13 10:45 AM (EST)
I appreciate your response and helpful tips!
 
 
  Consider joining a club
  Posted by: pblanc on Jul-11-13 2:11 PM (EST)
Joining a club for a year or so is a relatively inexpensive way to meet other paddlers, learn about nearby rivers, take care of shuttle logistics, and get introduced to a wide variety of boats and gear.

Did you mean the Toccoa River, which is the name of the Ocoee River as it flows through northern Georgia before it crosses into Tennessee? If so, I assume you are somewhere in the northern GA, western NC, or eastern TN area. If that be so, some logical choices would be the Carolina Canoe Club: https://www.carolinacanoeclub.org/
the Georgia Canoeing Association: http://www.gapaddle.com/
or the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club: http://www.tvccpaddler.com/TVCC_Home.html

These organizations provide spring training clinics and paddling Rendezvous as well as scheduled trips on rivers of varying difficulty throughout the year. The clinics are typically relatively inexpensive. The Carolina Canoe Club for example, just completed their yearly "Week of Rivers" paddling rendezvous (9 days, actually) in that area.

As for carrying your kayak, the vast majority of whitewater K1s are now well under 10.5 feet in length but that was not the case back in the early 1990s. I had many friends who just tossed their long boats into the truck bed diagonally with the tail gate up and drove hundreds of miles that way. I drive a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and have used a Thule rack for many years and it is rock-solid, but Yakima products are fine as well. With 4 doors you should be able to get enough crossbar separation for your kayak with either system.
 
 
  Axis
  Posted by: ShadyClip on Jul-11-13 2:37 PM (EST)
I have an Axis 12.0 but pretty much the same size cockpit as the 10.5. Never saw a white one that is pretty cool...

Austin Kayak sells a Dagger Axis Seals spray skirt but it really is just a Seals Sea Sprite 2.2 skirt. I confirmed with them that it is just the stock Sea Sprite (and same price) and that they just list it that way to avoid confusion for Axis owners. They list the same skirt for the Remix XPs as well as being Remix XP skirts.

The Sea Sprite is a hybrid neo/nylon skirt and has a neoprene deck but a nylon tunnel. The neo/nylon is probably a good choice for the Axis as you probably shouldn't take into hard white water, beyond 3, whitewater anyway. The neo will give you some good splash protection and the nylon won't be as confining or tight.

I ended up going with a custom Sea Sprite to get a larger tunnel. Good skirt. You shouldn't have problems getting any of the Seals 2.2 covers or skirts to fit the Axis. Honestly you probably can get by without a skirt in an Axis in light white water. You might have to pump a bit but the sides are fairly high so you even can lean a brace a bit without a skirt and stay mostly dry.

The seat back can be leaned back and dropped pretty low but you do get a bit of the top of the seat sticking above the cockpit. This could be a problem with skirts with tighter tunnels, like pure neo ones, and could be uncomfortable with some PFDs if the back hits the top of the seat. I wear a Stohlquist Rocker on moving and whitewater but due to my build it easily clears the seat back -- I keep my seat low and out of the way. I met another Axis owner who did the same seat placement but couldn't wear the Rocker as it was pushed up by the seat.

If you like the seat back high and pulled forward to support your back this will impact what PFDs you can use as well as probably hinder tight spray skirts -- half-skirts and ones with looser nylon tunnels are usually ok.

Always good advice to try PFDs and skirts in your brand kayak before buying if possible.

Also if you want to get a bit more performance or fit they do sell Axis Thigh Braces (also check Amazon and ACK): http://www.harmonygear.com/products/9692/Harmony-Thigh-Braces-for-Dagger-Axis.html

I have also added the Harmony Hip Pads (just need a pop rivet gun):
http://www.harmonygear.com/products/9678/Hip-Pad-Kit.html

 
 
  Very helpful
  Posted by: KayakKido on Jul-12-13 10:48 AM (EST)
Thanks a bunch, I've been a few times on a few calmer local rivers without the skirt, but the taccoa river (Yes the GA side) was to choppy and crazy to go un skirted, I like the idea of a Hybrid skirt also, didnt even know they made those. And yes the guy I bought the dagger from worked for dagger and he got it custom made from them, I wanna say it's the only white dagger in the world if im not mistaken
 
 
  white Dagger
  Posted by: pblanc on Jul-12-13 11:26 AM (EST)
I wouldn't know if it is the only white Axis 10.5 but I paddled a white Dagger Crossfire kayak back in the early 1990s.
 
 
  Ahhh
  Posted by: KayakKido on Jul-12-13 12:18 PM (EST)
Yeah I figured there probably was a few, still love the white though super cool and less heat
 
 
  skirt
  Posted by: bignate on Jul-12-13 4:43 PM (EST)
If you're going to be doing any sort of moving water, I'd definitely recommend a neoprene skirt. They're much more watertight than nylon and I'm sure there is one made that would fit you and your boat.

I've never really understood the appeal of nylon skirts. I guess maybe they provide some sun-shading for your legs?
 

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