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Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:41 am
by MartinP
Hi all,

New comer looking to get into some recreational river kayaking on the Thames and need some advice please.

Living close to the Thames I’ve been wanting to purchase a second hand kayak for a while but I’m not sure what sort of thing I should be looking at?
I’d like something that you can paddle/tour around in for a few hours but also with a couple of weirs very local something that could handle the more turbulent water for more fun, I’ve no idea if you can get a kayak that would do both so out of the two I’d prefer something that could handle the more turbulent water.
I have a club local which I’d eventually like to join and paddle with but obviously with all the COVID situation at present that is all closed up and I can’t get any help or information from them.

It’s getting the right kayak for my height and weight I’m unsure about so any help would be greatly appreciated - I’m 6’1” and approx 96kg

Thanks very much

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:33 am
by andynormancx
The boats you probably want to look at are the so called crossover ones. They have whitewater style hulls, that have been stretched in length to make them more enjoyable for long trips and to add storage.

The two obvious examples are the Pyranha Fusion and the Wave Sport Ethos. The Fusion comes in S/M/L, the Ethos comes in two sizes the 9 and 10.

I'm 6'2" and 95kg, I've got a medium Fusion. It certainly is a compromise, in whitewater I'd rather be in my Wave Sport Diesel and touring I'd rather be in my 15 foot canoe. But if you aren't able to have an array of boats on hand the crossover boats make sense.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:42 pm
by MartinP
andynormancx wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:33 am
The boats you probably want to look at are the so called crossover ones. They have whitewater style hulls, that have been stretched in length to make them more enjoyable for long trips and to add storage.

The two obvious examples are the Pyranha Fusion and the Wave Sport Ethos. The Fusion comes in S/M/L, the Ethos comes in two sizes the 9 and 10.

I'm 6'2" and 95kg, I've got a medium Fusion. It certainly is a compromise, in whitewater I'd rather be in my Wave Sport Diesel and touring I'd rather be in my 15 foot canoe. But if you aren't able to have an array of boats on hand the crossover boats make sense.
Thanks andynormancx,

I’ll definitely look at the crossover versions if I can find a second hand one👍

There is a second hand wave sport D75 for sale near me, it’s the correct weight limit for me as it’s up to 109kg I think but I was unsure if it would be the right size for 6ft plus?

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:20 pm
by charleston14
Wiers can be a very dangerous place and can look deceptively benign. Please be careful

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:09 am
by MartinP
charleston14 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:20 pm
Wiers can be a very dangerous place and can look deceptively benign. Please be careful
Thanks charleston14.

Sorry I should of added that I’m not a total novice looking to get into it, I did own an old glass fibre kayak and paddle the local Thames/weirs back in the day but that was 30yrs ago, now looking to paddle again I’m well out of the loop as to what sort of kayak would be ideal.

I will be looking to join my local club and paddle safely in a group I’m just after some ideas of what to be looking at for when the club reopens again post COVID lockdown.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:22 am
by andynormancx
The D75 was the largest of the previous generation Diesel. I've got a Diesel 80, which is the largest of the current generation.

The D75 is a little bit smaller than the 80, but should* fit you fine. You never no for sure until you sit in a boat though.

* guessing at fit isn't as simple as just looking at people's height. I've got relatively long legs for my height and there have been plenty of times when people around my height have said "sure, you'll fit in boat X", only for me to jump in and find there is just no where for my feet to go...

And people with a heavier build can easily have an effective leg length 4-5 cm longer when they are sat down. And of course cold weather gear make a very big difference to, my Diesel is a much tighter fit for me when I've got big boots and a drysuit on.

https://www.wavesport.com/en/products/d-series-d75-club
https://www.wavesport.com/en/products/d ... e-whiteout

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:23 am
by andynormancx
While the local clubs aren't open, you might still find local coaches doing social distanced 1-to-1 coaching sessions, which might be a good way to help you get back on the water.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:39 pm
by MartinP
andynormancx wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:23 am
While the local clubs aren't open, you might still find local coaches doing social distanced 1-to-1 coaching sessions, which might be a good way to help you get back on the water.

Thanks for both replies👍

I hadn’t thought of a 1-1 session I’ll have to check that out 👍

There were 3 guys in one of my local weirs this morning, 2 had short stumpy wave sports and the other had a Dagger, couldn’t really gauge their sizes from where I was watching from but all 3 were short at the front.
I would say for my height I have a fairly normal leg length but are longer in the body.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:37 pm
by Franky
MartinP wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:39 pm
I would say for my height I have a fairly normal leg length but are longer in the body.
Surely if your legs are normal length, your body (torso?) must be normal length as well? Unless you have a small head.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:57 pm
by andynormancx
Sounds like they were probably paddling playboats, extremely short boats designed for playing waves and doing acrobatic "freestyle" tricks.

They get away with being a lot shorter as you tend to have you knees higher in them than normal boats. Even then, I've still only found one playboat that my legs fit it...

https://www.wavesport.com/en/products/m ... 5-whiteout

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:53 pm
by MartinP
andynormancx wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:57 pm
Sounds like they were probably paddling playboats, extremely short boats designed for playing waves and doing acrobatic "freestyle" tricks.

They get away with being a lot shorter as you tend to have you knees higher in them than normal boats. Even then, I've still only found one playboat that my legs fit it...

https://www.wavesport.com/en/products/m ... 5-whiteout
Only going on what the Mrs says about normal legs long torso🤷‍♂️

They were definitely little stubby things that they were entering into the white water and just gliding backwards with the current

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:41 pm
by thomaspkayaks
do you want to get into playboating? if so a playboat!
to get started id go with an older boat, more slicey easier to get started with. shouldn't lose much value. once you're ready upgrade to something like the Jackson rockstar or pyranha je.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:41 pm
by thomaspkayaks
pyranha jed*

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:20 pm
by MartinP
thomaspkayaks wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:41 pm
do you want to get into playboating? if so a playboat!
to get started id go with an older boat, more slicey easier to get started with. shouldn't lose much value. once you're ready upgrade to something like the Jackson rockstar or pyranha je.
Hi thomaspkayaks,

I guess maybe in the long term after I get to some sort of level where I could safely play around like that, short term I’m just looking to get into it learn to paddle properly and safely then go from there.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:39 pm
by thomaspkayaks
MartinP wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:20 pm
thomaspkayaks wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:41 pm
do you want to get into playboating? if so a playboat!
to get started id go with an older boat, more slicey easier to get started with. shouldn't lose much value. once you're ready upgrade to something like the Jackson rockstar or pyranha je.
Hi thomaspkayaks,

I guess maybe in the long term after I get to some sort of level where I could safely play around like that, short term I’m just looking to get into it learn to paddle properly and safely then go from there.
id go for something cheap but with a good reputation. if your budget is around 200 for a playboat go for a dagger geforce or kingping, somewhat boxy which inspires confidence on low grade water. under 400-500 a wavesport project x or a pyranha jed would be a goo starter.If you can get your hands on a blisstick tey are FANTASTIC beginner boats, but I justsold my old one as it was too small. At the end of the day its personal preference but these are all trusty boats :)

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:24 pm
by MartinP
thomaspkayaks wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:39 pm
MartinP wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:20 pm
thomaspkayaks wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:41 pm
do you want to get into playboating? if so a playboat!
to get started id go with an older boat, more slicey easier to get started with. shouldn't lose much value. once you're ready upgrade to something like the Jackson rockstar or pyranha je.
Hi thomaspkayaks,

I guess maybe in the long term after I get to some sort of level where I could safely play around like that, short term I’m just looking to get into it learn to paddle properly and safely then go from there.
id go for something cheap but with a good reputation. if your budget is around 200 for a playboat go for a dagger geforce or kingping, somewhat boxy which inspires confidence on low grade water. under 400-500 a wavesport project x or a pyranha jed would be a goo starter.If you can get your hands on a blisstick tey are FANTASTIC beginner boats, but I justsold my old one as it was too small. At the end of the day its personal preference but these are all trusty boats :)
Nice one thomaspkayaks, thanks for the info.

Budget really will be £200-£350 maybe depending on what I can pick up second hand.

Are all those you’ve mention good for paddlers 6ft and over?

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:01 pm
by Franky
All the boats thomaspkayaks mentioned are playboats. Something gives me the impression he likes playboats :)

A playboat definitely *isn't* a boat for touring in, unless you're a masochist. On flat water it will travel at a fraction of the speed of a touring boat or even a crossover.

You can however do short-distance touring in an entry-level white water boat like the Dagger GT. Such boats are commonly referred to as "river runners". They are are slower than crossover boats, but are much more fun for playing on waves with, without the serious compromise in forward speed of playboats. Paddling them is still a slog compared with touring boats, but as someone said above, if you want a single boat that does a bit of everything, it will always be a compromise. Most people who get the paddling bug end up buying at least two boats over the years. Often more!

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:56 pm
by thomaspkayaks
Franky wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:01 pm
All the boats thomaspkayaks mentioned are playboats. Something gives me the impression he likes playboats :)

A playboat definitely *isn't* a boat for touring in, unless you're a masochist. On flat water it will travel at a fraction of the speed of a touring boat or even a crossover.

You can however do short-distance touring in an entry-level white water boat like the Dagger GT. Such boats are commonly referred to as "river runners". They are are slower than crossover boats, but are much more fun for playing on waves with, without the serious compromise in forward speed of playboats. Paddling them is still a slog compared with touring boats, but as someone said above, if you want a single boat that does a bit of everything, it will always be a compromise. Most people who get the paddling bug end up buying at least two boats over the years. Often more!
i was assuming playboats because of the playboater bible link at the top. but youre right. i. love. playboats.

kayaks are generally sold by weight, playboats generally have cramped leg room but thats part of the fun of it lol. if youre looking for a creek, maybe a pyranha burn? depends what you want out of the kayak. happy to help!

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:24 pm
by MartinP
thomaspkayaks wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:56 pm
Franky wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:01 pm
All the boats thomaspkayaks mentioned are playboats. Something gives me the impression he likes playboats :)

A playboat definitely *isn't* a boat for touring in, unless you're a masochist. On flat water it will travel at a fraction of the speed of a touring boat or even a crossover.

You can however do short-distance touring in an entry-level white water boat like the Dagger GT. Such boats are commonly referred to as "river runners". They are are slower than crossover boats, but are much more fun for playing on waves with, without the serious compromise in forward speed of playboats. Paddling them is still a slog compared with touring boats, but as someone said above, if you want a single boat that does a bit of everything, it will always be a compromise. Most people who get the paddling bug end up buying at least two boats over the years. Often more!
i was assuming playboats because of the playboater bible link at the top. but youre right. i. love. playboats.

kayaks are generally sold by weight, playboats generally have cramped leg room but thats part of the fun of it lol. if youre looking for a creek, maybe a pyranha burn? depends what you want out of the kayak. happy to help!
Thanks both of you, it sounds like a dagger GT might be what I should look at as a decent starter allrounder?

I’ve managed to find a coach from my local club who will give me a 1 - 1 lesson on Friday👌

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:22 pm
by Franky
MartinP wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:24 pm
Thanks both of you, it sounds like a dagger GT might be what I should look at as a decent starter allrounder?
I only mentioned the GT because it's what I learned in. There are others - Pyranha Burn, Wavesport Diesel, Dagger Axiom - all available second-hand for good prices because they've been making them forever and there are loads of them about. I liked the GT because it was relatively low-volume, which meant that on flat water it felt more agile than the Burn and Diesel. I was paddling the GT on my very placid local river for a couple of years before I went anywhere near white water. Still, don't take my word for it. Choosing a kayak's a very personal thing - if it weren't, there wouldn't be so many different types of boat around, and the ideal (not easy at the moment I know) is to try out as many as you can before buying. I was fortunate in belonging to a club that had a lot of boats to try out and it was the GT 7.8 I settled on to learn in. If you did get a GT, at your size you'd probably want the bigger GTX.
I’ve managed to find a coach from my local club who will give me a 1 - 1 lesson on Friday👌
Nice one. There's no substitute for actually getting on the water. In current circumstances it's easy to spend too much time theorising!

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:35 pm
by MartinP
Franky wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:22 pm
MartinP wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:24 pm
Thanks both of you, it sounds like a dagger GT might be what I should look at as a decent starter allrounder?
I only mentioned the GT because it's what I learned in. There are others - Pyranha Burn, Wavesport Diesel, Dagger Axiom - all available second-hand for good prices because they've been making them forever and there are loads of them about. I liked the GT because it was relatively low-volume, which meant that on flat water it felt more agile than the Burn and Diesel. I was paddling the GT on my very placid local river for a couple of years before I went anywhere near white water. Still, don't take my word for it. Choosing a kayak's a very personal thing - if it weren't, there wouldn't be so many different types of boat around, and the ideal (not easy at the moment I know) is to try out as many as you can before buying. I was fortunate in belonging to a club that had a lot of boats to try out and it was the GT 7.8 I settled on to learn in. If you did get a GT, at your size you'd probably want the bigger GTX.
I’ve managed to find a coach from my local club who will give me a 1 - 1 lesson on Friday👌
Nice one. There's no substitute for actually getting on the water. In current circumstances it's easy to spend too much time theorising!
I’m Not sure what they’ll have to try at my local club but they’ll definitely be adequate for the conditions so that should give me a good guide as to what to look out for.

Roll on Friday, 2hr one to one for £30 including using their kit👌

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:10 pm
by MartinP
Well that 2hr lesson was interesting in very testing conditions on the Thames, my instructor said that normally they wouldn’t allow a novice like me out in conditions like that, I don’t mind admitting I was bricking it a little and she even said no pressure we don’t need to go onto the water if I didn’t fancy the conditions, time to grow a pair!!

We spent an hour talking about boats/fitting/posture everything, I learn a massive amount which has really put me in the right direction.

I tried 2 boats, a dagger gtx 8.1, this really surprised me especially as we had to slide in a foot or two off the bank to get in straight sideways into the current, I wasn’t expecting it to be as wobbly as it was and i nearly toppled straight over🤦‍♂️
it took me a few minutes to gain a bit of confidence but once I’d learnt with my coaches guidance to just ‘go’ with it instead of fighting it when I went past 11 - 1 o’clock it felt much better.

2nd boat was slightly longer and a dagger G series(slightly older than the GT series I think?), sliding in this time this felt really stable and no wobble at all, in an instant the boat filled me with confidence and we were soon paddling away upstream comfortably.

Had a great and informative couple of hours and was magical paddling along in the cold morning mist.

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:23 pm
by thomaspkayaks
MartinP wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:10 pm
Well that 2hr lesson was interesting in very testing conditions on the Thames, my instructor said that normally they wouldn’t allow a novice like me out in conditions like that, I don’t mind admitting I was bricking it a little and she even said no pressure we don’t need to go onto the water if I didn’t fancy the conditions, time to grow a pair!!

We spent an hour talking about boats/fitting/posture everything, I learn a massive amount which has really put me in the right direction.

I tried 2 boats, a dagger gtx 8.1, this really surprised me especially as we had to slide in a foot or two off the bank to get in straight sideways into the current, I wasn’t expecting it to be as wobbly as it was and i nearly toppled straight over🤦‍♂️
it took me a few minutes to gain a bit of confidence but once I’d learnt with my coaches guidance to just ‘go’ with it instead of fighting it when I went past 11 - 1 o’clock it felt much better.

2nd boat was slightly longer and a dagger G series(slightly older than the GT series I think?), sliding in this time this felt really stable and no wobble at all, in an instant the boat filled me with confidence and we were soon paddling away upstream comfortably.

Had a great and informative couple of hours and was magical paddling along in the cold morning mist.
theres a dagger g ride for sale on here i think - maybe once youve got your confience up that could be good! if you want an all out creek you cant go wrong with a dagger mamba (im not a dagger fanboy i promise, even though i do a limited release gforce lol). solid fairly cheap boats!!!

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:37 pm
by MartinP
thomaspkayaks wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:23 pm
MartinP wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:10 pm
Well that 2hr lesson was interesting in very testing conditions on the Thames, my instructor said that normally they wouldn’t allow a novice like me out in conditions like that, I don’t mind admitting I was bricking it a little and she even said no pressure we don’t need to go onto the water if I didn’t fancy the conditions, time to grow a pair!!

We spent an hour talking about boats/fitting/posture everything, I learn a massive amount which has really put me in the right direction.

I tried 2 boats, a dagger gtx 8.1, this really surprised me especially as we had to slide in a foot or two off the bank to get in straight sideways into the current, I wasn’t expecting it to be as wobbly as it was and i nearly toppled straight over🤦‍♂️
it took me a few minutes to gain a bit of confidence but once I’d learnt with my coaches guidance to just ‘go’ with it instead of fighting it when I went past 11 - 1 o’clock it felt much better.

2nd boat was slightly longer and a dagger G series(slightly older than the GT series I think?), sliding in this time this felt really stable and no wobble at all, in an instant the boat filled me with confidence and we were soon paddling away upstream comfortably.

Had a great and informative couple of hours and was magical paddling along in the cold morning mist.
theres a dagger g ride for sale on here i think - maybe once youve got your confience up that could be good! if you want an all out creek you cant go wrong with a dagger mamba (im not a dagger fanboy i promise, even though i do a limited release gforce lol). solid fairly cheap boats!!!
Thanks thomaspkayaks, the 2nd boat was actually a Pyranha G series

Re: Which kayak should I be looking at?

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:36 pm
by MartinP
What are people's thoughts on the

Riot thunder 76
Wavesport D series
Wavesport Diesel
Dagger GTX

For a beginners boat to both learn and have fun in, I want to get something that I’m not going to want to sell in 6 months time because I wanted something better or slightly more advanced please?