Define "Recreational Kayak"
Posted by: bogmonkey on Aug-05-13 10:51 AM (EST)
I kayak all the time, on a Wilderness Systems (T100)...I have tried way more expensive boats, way cheaper boats, sit-ins and sit-upons...I love this boat like a significant other!
In my conversations with some saltier yakkers there seems to be some disdain for plastic boats and the "recreational" level (whatever that means)...aren't we all in it for recreation?
Is there an actual demarcation to where a boat is "recreational" versus ??? What do you call non-rec boats?
I am always glad to see my brothers and sisters on the water, be it in SUP's, Yaks, or trolling dinghies - just wondering what this term actually means.
One dude I asked over the weekend said "it's for people who aren't serious about kayaking" (?)
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Posted by: kvw1988 on Aug-05-13 11:22 AM (EST)
I own a rec boat, it's a Pelican, there it's out there I got it on sale at Dunhams, is it fancy? No. Do I love it? Yes.
Posted by: jbd on Aug-05-13 12:13 PM (EST)
My opinion on what defines a rec boat is two fold. One is it a boat for a white water expedition that may involve class 3 through 5 water conditions? Two is it a sea kayak that would be a reasonable choice for large open water/coastal expeditions? In my mind these are not black and white demarcations rather a whole blended shades of gray on how and what the boats are used for. The reality is most kayakers are in it for the recreation and enjoyment of the outdoors.
analogy with bikes|
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-05-13 12:14 PM (EST)
I consider rec boats analogous to commuter bikes, the single or few speed two-wheelers that are fine for paved Rail to Trails and city streets, but not something that would be the best functional or safety choice for long distance touring, highway use or on off road trails.
Posted by: WaterBird on Aug-07-13 10:18 PM (EST)
Oh boy, you should hear bikers fight about what constitutes a serious bike, a touring bike, etc. As soon as you say you need dropped handlebars and 27 speeds for touring 20 people will post photos of their old clunkers with raised handlebars and 3 speeds or no speeds loaded up for a cross-country tour. I was constantly told I couldn't use a hybrid bike for a century . . . so I did!
Posted by: thegoose on Aug-05-13 12:47 PM (EST)
Posted by: ret603 on Aug-05-13 1:24 PM (EST)
Posted by: mrodgers on Aug-06-13 10:12 AM (EST)
"We are becoming a nation of bottom feeders, focused only on the lowest price."
Don't give up|
Posted by: kvw1988 on Aug-07-13 12:52 AM (EST)
Pardon the pun, but you and I are in a very similar boat. I also work a lot so I understand how stress from life can really drag you down. I would say if you're interested in kayaks to look into the ones at Dunhams, just be aware that you will be limited to going out on flatwater lakes and slow rivers. If you don't want to go that route check around online there might be places around you where you can rent for fairly cheap.
irony of "cheap goods"|
Posted by: willowleaf on Aug-07-13 2:05 PM (EST)
Quote: "Today we have cheap Chinese products that makes it easier for half of us to do. That is why we are becoming a nation of bottom feeders. Because the bottom is all we are financially capable of feeding off of."
You have to be resourceful|
Posted by: WaterBird on Aug-07-13 10:46 PM (EST)
I found that poverty taught me extreme resourcefulness that had many concrete payoffs. I don't believe in paying for things, at least not over the long term. I wanted a great kayak. I bought and sold 9 kayaks using Craigslist until I made my way up to the kayak of my dreams. I started out with a used Old Town Loon and ended up with a new Eddyline Journey. My final cost: zero. I made a profit overall. I used the same method to buy a very good Taylor acoustic guitar, lots of high-quality camping gear, and a custom-made bike. I have traveled for free to Boston, New York (many times), and Oregon using Craigslist creatively. I did a barter on Craigslist to find a professional illustrator for a children's book I wrote (about a canoe camping trip, by the way).
Craigslist is full of deals|
Posted by: Yakfisher on Sep-14-13 11:31 PM (EST)
on used boats and paddling gear. I think a lot of people buy a really nice kayak use it a few times then lose interest. I could afford to go buy any kayak I want but I am paddling a used one I bought off Craigslist.
Its just a name|
Posted by: taj on Aug-05-13 1:09 PM (EST)
All kayaks |
Posted by: jmyers on Aug-05-13 1:42 PM (EST)
are "rec boats". But I like the concept of the Small Water Boat "SWB"
here you go, don't mind the pricks|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Aug-05-13 4:54 PM (EST)
What we all started with|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-05-13 6:48 PM (EST)
Posted by: kvw1988 on Aug-06-13 3:33 AM (EST)
As far as turning into a "nation of bottom feeders" we had too after living well beyond our means for so long it caught up with us and now we have to be more careful how we spend our money. A kayak is a luxury item, we don't need them, therefor it is irresponsible for someone to put themselves in debt over one, just because it "tracks straight", or is "fast". I think it is a shame that a person could become discouraged from this hobby (because that's what it is) because all they can afford is a rec and they're being told it isn't good enough. I know that's how I felt for a long time before finally giving in and buying my rec. Now I'm wishing I had done it sooner.
used if cost the issue|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-06-13 9:47 AM (EST)
There may be good reasons to get a rec boat but before buying a new rec instead of non-rec touring I would consider buying a used non-rec boat. I have friends that got some nice fiberglass boats even for near $300 though it takes a bit of looking. Rec boats are fine but there is a difference and 80% of beginners can handle 80% of the non-rec touring boats just fine. They may feel a bit tippy for a few days but then they are happy paddlers.
RecBoat = rescue waiting to happen|
Posted by: seadart on Aug-06-13 11:10 PM (EST)
All of them.|
Posted by: Cliffjrs on Aug-06-13 6:51 AM (EST)
Nothing to be defensive about.|
Posted by: magooch on Aug-06-13 9:59 AM (EST)
There is no reason for anyone to feel superior about having a sea kayak and nothing to be defensive about recreational, or any other type of kayak, or canoe for that matter.
Posted by: wavespinner on Aug-06-13 9:57 AM (EST)
On one side, you have craft that are designed and outfitted with performance being the priority. On the other, comfort and forgiving nature. I think of a non-rec boat as being outfitted with thigh braces, low backband and cockpit rim that will accept a taut skirt.
"Nation of Bottom Feeders"|
Posted by: ret603 on Aug-06-13 10:47 AM (EST)
I didn't mean to offend when I used that phrase, just was stating the trend I have seen for 30 years. The middle class wage decline and job shift overseas by corporations are probably the reasons.
No offense taken|
Posted by: mrodgers on Aug-06-13 7:54 PM (EST)
about the bottom feeders. I agree that we are a nation of bottom feeders. Exactly what you say, decline of the middle class and corporate greed.
Posted by: mrmannerz on Aug-06-13 11:04 AM (EST)
Rec Kayaks are the perfect boat for people who are upgrading from inner tubes. Actually, they're not bad boats for people that aren't serious about kayaking but need access to water - bird watchers, photographers, fishermen, drunks, etc.
It is a category that means something|
Posted by: Celia on Aug-07-13 6:37 AM (EST)
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-07-13 9:40 AM (EST)
I think the best candidate for a rec kayak is someone that may only get on the water once a month or less and so would not likely develop a lot of skills regardless of the boat. For such people the benefits of a non-rec boat won't be realized but the ease of use of the rec boat (easy entry, stable) will be appreciated. Such people wouldn't likely have grand goals that would put them in danger (one hopes).
Posted by: thegoose on Aug-07-13 10:09 AM (EST)
"Recreational boats are also poor at supporting skills development for these environments, such as deep bracing and rolling. Yes, a truly motivated paddler can find a way to equip and learn in a recreational boat beyond the boat's intended use, and people have rolled these. But the fact that some people have figured out how to overcome the boat's limitations does not mean that it is a well-suited craft for other than the original design intent. "
I think celia |
Posted by: landsharc on Sep-09-13 2:10 PM (EST)
describes it very well.
"recreational kayak" is |
Posted by: suiram on Aug-07-13 8:14 AM (EST)
what "recreational paddler" is paddling. The recreational paddler is defined by lack of skills.
boat what you like, but be open to |
Posted by: tdaniel on Aug-07-13 10:42 AM (EST)
Posted by: Peter-CA on Aug-07-13 11:50 AM (EST)
There is a somewhat official category of recreational kayaks. Yes, most of us paddle recreationally (not pros, not racers, etc.), but not all of us use boats that fit the description of recreational kayaks. Just like many people use boats that are considered sea kayaks not on the sea. These are just naming conventions used in the industry (and not hard and fast).
Posted by: emanoh on Aug-07-13 12:49 PM (EST)
My recreation definition: When people ask me about rec vs. true touring boats. I usually reply with something like ďI prefer to use the right tool for the right job.Ē Iíve seen strong paddlers with less expensive gear and Iíve seen paddlers with the latest and greatest gear, but with lousy skills. The boat doesnít necessarily make the paddler. Just because someone doesn't have a full-on expedition boat doesn't mean they're not passionate about kayaking.
All this... but you never defined....|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-07-13 2:52 PM (EST)
"Recreational Kayak" !
Read second paragraph. |
Posted by: emanoh on Aug-07-13 3:58 PM (EST)
But you are not correct in your second..|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-07-13 5:55 PM (EST)
spray skirt on 'typical' rec kayak|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-07-13 6:20 PM (EST)
most kayaks considered rec boats have cockpits that are perhaps twice as long as touring or whitewater boats. As such it can be hard to find a spray skirt and if you do it may not function as well (stay on when needed). This is generally not a problem as the intended user is not expected to have waves of any amount splashing and are not likely to roll the kayak.
Posted by: JackL on Aug-07-13 7:17 PM (EST)
We have them for our little nine foot long Keowees, and use them in class I-II rivers. We recently replaced our old ones with newer ones, and had no problem finding ones to fit
most won't use a skirt on those|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-07-13 7:26 PM (EST)
a quick search for images of a Keowees shows near zero using a skirt. I guess you found a skirt that will stay put nicely with a big wave or rolling? With that big an opening I would think that would be hard, but maybe the right skirt on that particular boat works fine.
Posted by: emanoh on Aug-07-13 9:39 PM (EST)
Jack, is that hot Florida sun getting to your brain? You know enough to know the vast majority of rec boats don't accept skirts and if you get one to fit it's by dumb luck. You'll be hard pressed to find a skirt manufacturer who is designing for the Walmart-special. Plus many rec boaters don't purchase them out of ignorance or lack of availability. I was at Dick's sporting goods the other day and they had maybe 10 models on display, not a skirt in sight.
Posted by: chipheb on Aug-08-13 10:42 AM (EST)
You can order a Seals sprayskirt for a Pungo 120, Old Town Dirigo 10.6 or a Perception Prodigy 10/12 right now on REI.com. Many others as well.
I was just about to come here and |
Posted by: JackL on Aug-08-13 11:18 AM (EST)
say our Keowee skirts are Seals, and you can get them from other mfgrs too.
Posted by: emanoh on Aug-08-13 12:33 PM (EST)
OK, so you can source a skirt for a gigantic cockpit, good job!
Keowees and skirts|
Posted by: Celia on Aug-10-13 10:35 AM (EST)
or other 10 footers...
Posted by: slushpaddler on Aug-08-13 2:28 PM (EST)
A recreational anything is used for|
Posted by: string on Aug-08-13 9:09 PM (EST)
play. A kayak that an Inuit uses to feed his family would not fall in that category.
Posted by: Celia on Aug-10-13 10:25 AM (EST)
The risks of taking a sea kayak on a tiny pond boil down to embarrassment if it capsizes, unless the paddler can't swim out of the problem. The risks of taking an inappropriate boat in WW tend to speak for themselves better than non-white stuff, as soon as someone is actually standing alongside it up close. Not always, but a look at the water itself is a better reality check for WW than for non-white stuff.
I don't agree|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Aug-10-13 10:44 AM (EST)
Posted by: JackL on Aug-10-13 11:20 AM (EST)
I agree with you.
Reread original post|
Posted by: Celia on Aug-10-13 12:11 PM (EST)
and why should he?|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Aug-10-13 2:56 PM (EST)
Posted by: Celia on Aug-10-13 4:48 PM (EST)
You are digging your hole deeper....|
Posted by: roanguy on Aug-11-13 6:04 AM (EST)
and deeper Celia
OK you two|
Posted by: Celia on Aug-11-13 9:07 AM (EST)
Posted by: emanoh on Aug-12-13 9:30 AM (EST)
Who uses the label "recreational kayak?" Does the industry use that term or is it a term used by higher end users to define the type of boat? I know if I open my big-box store ads in the newspaper, they say "kayak for sale," not "rec boats for sale." In the seller's mind they have the buyers hook, line and sinker by getting them to think they are buying a do-everything kayak that is on the same level as a full on expedition boat. Is this a marketing issue or a user issue?
mostly marketing term|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Aug-12-13 11:26 AM (EST)
same as with many other sports. The word is of course vague and will mean different things to different people. But basically it is intended to refer to people that get out occasionally and who don't have expectations of getting "serious" yet. Serious just means that you have plans to focus a lot on skills with 'substantial' goals in mind. There is no clear line in any sport between recreational and serious and often one becomes serious later. Recreational is not quite the same as beginner as a beginner may start with serious goals and start right off with lots of classes and gear that they will struggle with at first while acquiring skills. Likewise you can have someone that has been at it for many years but at a very casual level and so is an experienced but still recreational participant.
Posted by: thegoose on Aug-12-13 12:10 PM (EST)
"When talking with rec boaters, they are launching their kayaks, not their rec kayak. They don't understand the distintion from the get-go. "
It is a manufacturer's term|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-08-13 1:09 PM (EST)
so do I|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-07-13 4:55 PM (EST)
Short fat beginner boat|
Posted by: AnniePoo on Sep-07-13 12:05 AM (EST)
And I love 'em. They've been the perfect boats for my particular situation. I have ten rec kayaks, mostly Old Town, Perception, and a Pungo 120 (my favorite), along with a canoe and a homemade trailer that hauls 8 kayaks.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-07-13 4:54 PM (EST)
Be prepared for the inevitable safety nannying.
Posted by: kvw1988 on Sep-07-13 10:12 PM (EST)
when I was a kid that someone had introduced me to kayaking like you are doing for these kids. Great job :)
There is no clear delineation...|
Posted by: RivannaHipSnap on Sep-08-13 11:57 PM (EST)
...but I'd say that 23" or less width and 16' or + length takes it out of the "rec" category.
Posted by: dc9mm on Sep-11-13 3:22 PM (EST)
Posted by: santacruzmidwife on Sep-12-13 10:20 AM (EST)
I have three boats- an avocet, a pungo, and a current designs kestrel SOT. I have paddled the avocet on a 15 mile open ocean paddle, and I've enjoyed dinking around in small mountain lakes in the pungo. Some boats are designed to move through the water, and some are made for sitting and drifting. It's all good:-)
Posted by: FrankNC on Sep-13-13 12:18 PM (EST)
Rec boats are typically classified as less than 14 or 15 feet wide depending on the race.
Posted by: Yakfisher on Sep-14-13 10:49 PM (EST)