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Any Kayakers here?
Old 01-19-2020, 05:30 PM   #1
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Any Kayakers here?

i am planning on pulling the plug on work in a few months. I plan tomove closer to the beach (SC or NC) since there is so much to do year round outside.
I see people kayaking in the lagoons and waterways - fishing or whatever - but i have never done any boating let alone kayak.
Looks like a pretty serene way to spend a few hours.

So.... how easy is it, how do you transport it, etc. I know there are classes - so i am pretty sure i would go that route - but just curious to hear some advice/experiences of those who do it.
What kind of kayak do you have?
Anything to be cautious of when beginning?
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:39 PM   #2
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I love kayaking and I'm going to do more of it when I retire. I have a sit on kayak- mostly because I don't like putting my bare feet in a closed up space where there might be bugs. Mine only weighs about 50 lbs, and I can wrestle it into the water myself (I'm a 5 ft tall woman) You can put a kayak rack on top of your car or put it in the back of a pick up truck.

Longer kayaks are easier to steer, but they're too heavy for me to handle on my own so I don't have one. I find kayaking wonderfully relaxing and enjoy going by myself or with friends. It's ridiculously easy. Kayaks are much more stable than canoes. You'll love it!
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:45 PM   #3
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I have been kayaking for about 20 years. I love it. I highly recommend it. I would advise to find a local kayak outfitter that rents and provides lessons and they usually also provide guided local outings. That will give you an introduction without a big investment. Then you can determine what kind of kayaking you prefer so that you can purchase the right equipment for your needs. Rent for a while and enjoy some short outings.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:47 PM   #4
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One oddball thing you might look into is a folding kayak. Mine is a 12 foot flat bottom folding kayak that fits into two bags that can easily be tossed into the trunk of any car. I've had it for 23 years and used it all over the country and parts of Canada. Takes 15-20 minutes to assemble or disassemble.
I thought growing old would take longer.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:05 PM   #5
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We just went out today at Markham Park, Sunrise FL. I would recommend lakes and canals with slow currents. Once you get comfortable with getting in and out, and the impact to your shoulders and arms, you can decide if you want to get into more rigorous environments. Also, there is a good amount of effort launching and storing these if they are on top of your car.

We have car top racks to handle our 2 9.5' kayaks. The idea of classes/renting should give you a taste before you decide if you want to make a more significant investment.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:06 PM   #6
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We have a two-person kayak. We went this route primarily because DW has limited energy and strength to paddle alone. I recommend strongly that you rent kayaks several times to see if you really like it, otherwise you will have a very large paperweight clogging up your garage.
Also, if you do purchase, spend the extra $$ to get a quality lightweight carbon fibre paddle, like a Werner. You will be able to spend a lot more time on the water without your arms pooping out.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:07 PM   #7
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Yes! DW and I have been renting kayaks for a few years now, and finally bought a couple last year. We really enjoy it. We purchased our kayaks at Sams Club. They were made by Lifetime and are the sit on top type, which we both prefer. Definitely rent a few times before you buy. Also consider how you will transport them, kind of a pain to load on roof racks but we have a pick up so it's not too bad to load them in the bed and tie them down. Remember life vests, hat and sunblock!!
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:40 PM   #8
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I have kayaked for a number of years also. I do not do it often enough to buy one, so I just rent.
I prefer the sit in kayaks as you able to get more back support, plus your center of gravity is lower for more stablity. But YMMV.
It is great fun, and you only have to go as far as you feel comfortable.
One of my best kayaks was in Beauvert Lake in Jasper Park. I wanted to get some shots of the surrounding mountains, so I paddled out to the middle of the lake clear of tree.
Remember, put sunblock on the tops of your feet-very important
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:41 PM   #9
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There are different types of kayaks depending on what type of water you like to paddle on. We have "leisure" kayaks that are good for small lakes and calm rivers. Whenever we camp, we carry them on the roof of the SUV and use them during the day if there is water nearby. They are easy to learn to paddle, though I'd recommend taking a safety course to learn how to self rescue if you were to capsize in open water as well as how to help someone else. I've never capsized, but it is good to be prepared.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:57 PM   #10
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Many of the great kayakers live in the Atlanta area so they can be close to the Ocoee, Nantahala and Chattooga rivers in Western NC, Northeast Georgia and the SC state line areas.

We often go by the Ocoee River and by the Olympic kayaking center. The river is absolutely incredible, and full of kayakers and rafters on weekends.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:57 PM   #11
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I recommend renting and trying out several...sit on top, sit inside, longer, shorter, blow-molded plastic, or carbon fiber($$) see what you prefer. (Dealers or clubs sometimes sponsor a day of sampling various kayaks at a local site. Possibly ask around your area and see if one is scheduled.)

My preference is a sit inside (better back support, lower center of gravity, easier to "pull hard" if you are working against the wind or current/tide, less sunburn of legs/feet...also sheltering lower body if it's windy or rainy.

I also vote for buying a lightweight paddle. It's well worth the ~$250 as it's the one item you move with every stroke...and a few hours of paddling on a windy or wavy day or if the tide turns when you are out...and it makes a HUGE difference in your comfort.

A lasso to keep your paddle attached to the kayak (in case it slips out of your hands) is a good idea, too.

Be sure to have a PFD (personal flotation device) and I suggest you wear it at all times. They even have lightweight inflatable ones that feel like you're hardly wearing one. I have a whistle attached to my PFD to attract attention if I need help.

I suggest wearing gloves (I wear workout gloves, which protect my hands and leave my fingers exposed for doing any knot-typing, etc. activities.), a hat, sunglasses, lots of sunscreen.

And a small dry-bag for your cell phone and car keys).

Have fun!

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Old 01-19-2020, 07:18 PM   #12
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DH and I have tandem kayaked all over the U.S. We use a flat water tandem sit in kayak (not whitewater--not skilled enough for that). Our tandem kayak weighs 60 pounds, we carry it on top of our SUV, we can handle it but we would not want anything heavier. We are considering getting a kayak trailer to pull behind our SUV so we will not have to lift the kayak up on top of the car.
We also have a skirt for our kayak (covers the opening to keep the legs warm) so we can kayak in the cold weather. I wear kayak gloves but DH does not. We always wear life vests.

If you have not kayaked before definitely rent one first. You will be surprised how much upper body strength it takes and how tiring it is. Now we can kayak for miles but we had to build up the upper body strength. We exercise on a rowing machine in the off season, that helps.

We kayak on the NC and SC coast--be careful of oyster beds and be especially careful of alligators. While kayaking in a SC swamp we had an alligator jump from the bank over the top of our kayak, it scared me to death.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:14 PM   #13
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My wife and I bought ultra light canoes last year rather than kayaks. My wife has a 10'5" version it weighs 14 lbs. Mine is 13' and weighs 19 lbs. You paddle with a traditional kayak paddle. I fly fish out of mine all summer long and now can go to some really remote ponds as the boat is so light to carry. The boats are a matrix of carbon fiber and kevlar.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:43 PM   #14
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DH and I retired to a lake house in NJ last year.
Water is calm.
Mid 60s, never kayaked before.
Watched youtube videos to learn a bunch.
Bought a second hand 8ft sit on top from local nextdoor site.
One afternoon and we were hooked.
Bought a second inexpensive Lifetime 6ft sit on top, some vests, paddles and a few dry bags.
Maybe $700 total.
They store covered under our deck off back of house off season.

Transport on top our SUV would be difficult.
We plan on using only on the community lake anyway.
We pull the boats to the landing down the block using these strap on wheelie things.

If we can do it, you can too!
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:05 PM   #15
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We have inflatable 10' paddle boards that we take camping with us, and short trips to many local lakes.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:07 PM   #16
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I kayak quite a bit. I have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, a 12 recreational kayak. We live on a small lake, about 200 acres, so almost all of my kayaking is done in my backyard. I keep my kayak on my dock 24/7 spring, summer and fall. I have transported my kayak in the back of my pickup truck / but only .2 miles to the next lake.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:40 PM   #17
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I'm not a kayaker but I thought I'd mention that I've seen a couple of interesting types of kayaks that you might want to consider looking at while you're deciding what to get.

I live on Lake Norman, near Charlotte, and have seen a few pedal-powered kayaks here. One guy pedals & paddles his, which looks like great exercise & it also goes pretty fast. Pedal-power is popular for fishing kayaks, since it's easier to pedal while fishing.

Another thing that you might want to look at is an inflatable kayak. I just watched a YouTube video of them. The one they had only weighed 17 lbs & packed pretty small. They're easier to store & transport than a rigid one.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:12 AM   #18
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I would not recommend a two person kayak. They take a fair amount of coordination between the paddlers to avoid paddle interference and thus are called "divorce boats". It is also more interesting, IMHO, to each have their own boat.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:45 AM   #19
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Landlocked Arizonan here, but we take small ship active cruses that includes kayaking in fun places.

For me experiences are not good or bad, just different
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:57 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
Landlocked Arizonan here, but we take small ship active cruses that includes kayaking in fun places.

Attachment 33602
Last year I did a UnCruise small ship trip to Alaska and did Kayaking in Glacier Bay and Inside Passage. It was wonderful! I was able to sit and observe a large brown bear that was salmon fishing! Lots of otters!
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