Frances asked in SportsWater Sports · 1 decade ago

I love Kayaking! What boat is best for me?

I am female. 5'8, 130 lbs. Looking to do mostly flat, calm water in a sit in style kayak. Going to be searching craigslist and the I'm new to kayaking and only want to spend about $300.


Sorry forgot to mention. Not an inflatable and not a sit on top. I'd prefer a sit in, something with a little storage area..

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the price range of $300 you won't really be able to be picky about what make and model you prefer. Kayaks are wildly popular everywhere and anything used but decent for sale at less than $400 gets snapped up quickly on craigslist (I should know -- I snagged 3 of my 4 boats on there.) You can do it but you have to look every day and then act fast. When you see a used boat for sale, go to the "reviews" section of http://www.paddling,net/ and you'll be able to find out all about that model of kayak before you decide if it might be one you want. I did find a Dagger Magellan plastic sea kayak on CL with a rudder for $400 (a $1200 boat originally) but it was a little rough. Around here, anything under $300 tends to be those chunky little whitewater boats (you don't want those) or clunky and heavy discount store specials.

    Also, remember that you need a PFD and a paddle. A decent PFD is at least $40 new, but you might find one cheaper used (though they show up for sale less often.) One mistake I find that new paddlers make is being stingy about buying their paddle. Having a crummy cheap paddle will have a more negative effect on your kayaking experience than any shortcomings of the boat. Cheap paddles are heavy and stiff and will quickly make you tired and frustrated -- look for one with a fiberglass handle (not metal) and narrow blades (not fat and spoon-shaped). You don't have to spend a fortune -- though my best paddles cost almost $250, I found one on sale for half off last year that only cost $60 with a fiberglass handle. And be sure to get one the right length -- new paddlers tend to go too short, For flatwater you would want one at least 220 cm, even 230 or 240 if the boat you get is wider than 24" at the cockpit (otherwise you bang your knuckles on the gunwales.)

    I would say, look for a plastic flatwater boat at least 10' long with a keyhole cockpit (one where your legs are under the deck, not exposed.) Longer will be faster and will track straighter, so longer is good. Don't worry if it's a funky color or beat up (remember that you don't see much of the boat when it is in the water anyway.) Be sure it isn't "oilcanned" on the bottom (sort of caved in because it was stored on a flat surface.) Also try for something as light as possible -- if a boat is a hassle for you to load on your car you won't get much use out of it.

    You might want to try posting a "kayak wanted" ad yourself. Say you want a paddle and PFD with it for $300. Sometimes people try hobbies like kayaking and then lose interest -- suddenly a few hundred cash in hand sounds a lot better than tripping over that boat you never use in the garage......

    Another option If you really want a fabulous boat for very little money and don't mind doing a little work (or have a boyfriend that loves to build things) check out

    This guy's site has FREE plans for making your own skin-on-frame kayak (just like the traditional Eskimo boats) -- takes most people a couple months of weekends and less than $200 in material. There are dozens of photos ordinary people have sent in of boats they made in their garages and living rooms -- one woman even made the frame out of the aluminum tubing from old crutches! These boats are super cool, very light (half the weight of plastic boats) and quite fast and fun to paddle. One of our local high school shop teachers has kids making boats like this in class now.

    You can even make your own "Greenland style" paddle out of a wooden board for less than $30.

    Even if you decide that is too much work, it is still a fun site to look at with a lot of pictures of people around the world enjoying their boats.

  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Learn Building Boats
  • 1 decade ago

    You would be best to probably start with getting an inflatable kayak, and this way, it is more cheaper and will allow you to get acquainted with the skills of kayaking.

    Also, if you're new at kayaking, please take some lessons. They will show you how to paddle, they will show you how to get out of the boat should it flip, and they will also show you how to generally be comfortable with the kayak.

    Hopefully this helps:)

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I would think that type of person also loves the outdoors so camping gear would be good. Do they have a backpacker stove? I really like my Jet boil. bedroll sleeping mat is good , Helmet , A 3watt LED small flashlight is nice I use one camping/caving, How about a new camera and water proof box for it. Happy Caving Carroll

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  • 5 years ago

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