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Help with boat sizing!

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:03 pm
by RKenny749
Hi, I'm first time kayak buyer who has been using club boats till now. I'm 5ft 4 and 100lb and I'm looking to buy jackson fun 1.5 kayak. I haven't paddled this kayak before but have kayaked the rockstar small before along with other river runners. I'm looking for a kayak that's good on mix of types including river and surf and I think this kayak would suit my needs. The optimum paddler weight is up to 120lb and I'm wondering how do you think my weight would fare? Also do you use airbags with this kayak? I have jackson happy feet and I'm unsure if I'd need more airbags? Any words of wisdom and tips would be great!
Thanks for any info you can provide!

Here's a photo for reference

Re: Help with boat sizing!

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:40 pm
by countvoncount
Hi RKenny,
It's very exciting to buy one's first kayak! Airbags in the back of a boat are there so that when you swim, less water fits into the boat (since the bags take up a lot of space and displace water)--which means it will be much easier to rescue the boat and to bail it. So you definitely want airbags in the back. Up front you won't need anything other than the Happy Feet. In a big creeker you might put an airbag up front as well, beyond the footrest, but with a low volume boat this is not a concern. Weight-wise you should be fine in the boat: it will be more playboat than river runner for you, perhaps, but easily capable of running up to grade 3(+). This kind of boat is fun to surf and throw around; in does not punch holes/stoppers as well as a bigger boat but you will figure out how to work around that. Enjoy!

Re: Help with boat sizing!

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:12 pm
by gp.girl
Sit in it before buying one, ideally actually paddle it too - on the water you normally paddle. If not buy it secondhand and you can always sell it on. There's a certain fun to just getting on the water and seeing what happens!

Re: Help with boat sizing!

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:02 pm
by Jim
I think that will depend on your skills, ambitions and the people you paddle with.

Before modern creek boats we all used to run rivers in playboats, but there aren't many of us left and the boats have got a bit shorter - what you are looking to do isn't the normal way people seem to go these days.

However, if you are sure that's what you want to do, I would expect a fun 1.5 to be a reasonable choice of boat for it - I've never tried one, being over twice your weight, but I did paddle the grand canyon in a 4 fun (i.e. the fun in my size) and found it to be a very capable river runner, actually more comfortable and stable than the boats I used to use for that sort of thing 15-20 years ago. Actually, it was too stable for some of the tricks I was trying to do, or maybe my initiation wasn't powerful enough ;) I can't specifically remember what it was like surfing river waves, so it must have been pretty good or I would have remembered, there are a lot of waves to be surfed in the canyon.