I bought an open canoe last year and have had a few fun trips with some wild camping using that which has kept the family amused, but I really like the idea of sea kayaking (not with the family). Douglas' pages have filled me with inspiration while looking at them on and off for the last year or so. I'll add that I'm booked in for a demo day at Paddle Sport in July.
Time to take the plunge, or at least another step forward. I have loads of basic questions on getting started and though I have used the "search" option, a FAQ page in the Almanac for newbies would be really useful here.... ;o)
1) Suppose I have a buget of £1K for a canoe. I'm 6 foot 4 with a 35 inch inside leg and weigh ~190lbs. What would be a good option for a kayak for me ? No previous experience in a kayaks of any type. So far I've been browsing at the following, in some order of preferance, but have not tried any of them :-
- a) Valley Aquanaut HV polyethelene
b) Dagger Exodus X
c) P&H Capella RM 166
3) Does a beginner need a rudder ? Is it a real advantage ?
2) Roughly, how much should I budget for other gear to get reasonably well kitted out ? eg. Do people normally make do for a while with a Silva Expedition 4 or is it better to splash out from the onset and get something designed for the job like a 58 or a 70UN ? Can I make do for a season with a (climbers) gore-tex jacket or should I go the whole hog and get a touring cag ?
Sorry if these questions seem a little naive, I guess I'm looking for some overall advice on what (plastic) kayak to get and how much I should budget for everything all in. I'm the kind of person that will spend money on good kit if I know it's going to last, rather than going in at the cheaper end only to find that I end up spending more in upgrading further down the line.
... I'm sure I'll have loads more questions if this thread gets moving....