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Thread: Help! Newbie here!

  1. #1

    Default Help! Newbie here!

    Hi all,

    I'm 300lbs, 6ft and really want to learn to kayak as there are so many wonderful rivers and coastline near to where I live. I also want to improve my fitness while being out in the fresh air.

    Although I am not concerned for my fitness level - I'd stick to the simpler shallower waters for now, I wanted to ask about what I should kayak/canoe on! Open and/or sit-in look they'd probably be the best option until I've shed some weight, but how do I go about getting one that has a high enough weight limit?

    Am I completely insane for even considering kayaking?!

    And and all help appreciated - I live in Sussex ☺️

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    22,378

    Default

    Hello and Welcome!

    Sussex is indeed a fine place for paddling, and much of it is coastline or estuary.

    Of course you're not insane.

    Sit on tops are one of the better craft for those conditions, but I don't know enough about them to know the weight limitations. A good shop should know, or be able to find out, but look at a reasonably long one.

    Open canoes that are generally available are often tandem ones with a good additional cargo capacity, so they will be able to carry the weight in most cases with no problems. The only thing I would say is that they are not the best for open water, i.e. the sea, as they are affected more by wind and waves, especially as a beginner. Don't be tempted by a shorter length one, look at close to 15' and above.

    The other thing I would add is to consider either joining a club or getting some coaching. That will allow you to explore the coastal waters more safely and with confidence, and these are some of the most interesting places in the south to paddle. However, many of them are not places for first timers.

    As you say, start out in sheltered areas. The Chichester or the Wey and Arun canals both offer safe sheltered water to learn on without any of those flows or pesky tides to worry about.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    3,573

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    Of the two types you've mentioned it somewhat depends on which type of water you'll actually be paddling on. Normally you'd want a kayak for sea paddling and a canoe for inland waters, although that's not set in stone. Canoes can be dangerous on the sea as they can be easily swamped.
    It's a very long time since I paddled a kayak, but for someone of your size, I personally wouldn't recommend one yet unless you're quite nimble.
    A canoe should fine as long as you get a decently stable one .
    Another craft which might be more suitable initially is a Sit on Top. As long as you get one that's rated for your weight, they're pretty stable and will do both inland waters and the sea. A SOT could also be a cheaper option to what you had in mind.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    6,920

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    I'm agreeing with the other two posters that a sit-on-top might probably be the way to go. My general recommendation is that if it looks more like a sea kayak than a bath toy, it's likely to perform better. Wilderness Systems make a nice Tarpon 14 but maybe a bit dear. Perception Triumph doesn't look bad, or the Venture Isla. Go for a longer rather than shorter craft, the load bearing will be better, the handling easier and the speed across the water faster. Try to avoid one designed for fishing, they will be wider for stability and therefore sluggish.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks everyone, I'm going to look into local places to go and have a chat with a outdoor hire place - just to get a feel for it and see what they recommend.

    ☺️

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    3,573

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thefairophelia View Post
    Thanks everyone, I'm going to look into local places to go and have a chat with a outdoor hire place - just to get a feel for it and see what they recommend.

    ☺️
    Good man - try before you buy is always something I normally recommend if it's possible to do so, and it was remiss of me not to mention it in my first thread.
    With regard to canoes, most people here can be very accommodating when asked if you can have a test paddle in their boat.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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