New to Kayaking: Where to start.

Submitted byGooffy550 onThu, 04/11/2019 - 13:44

Hello everyone.  I'm new to kayaking  and kayaks.  I'd like to build build my own.  I live in west central MN with access to many small and large lakes including lake of the woods and some small rivers with small rapids.  I'd like to build a kayak that would would be a good around boat.  One I can use on afternoon river outings and weeklong fishing trips in the Boundry Waters.  Is this possible out of a kayak?  If so which one?  Thanks for any and all I fo you can supply.


Thu, 04/11/2019 - 14:42

My advice:

Take some lessons with a qualified teacher who will supply the boat.

You'll find out what you like and be able to ask questions and get relevant answers.

Then, buy a cheap (used) boat and get the gear you need.

Go paddling and take more lessons.

Then, pick a boat project to build.


I wish I had been given this advice! I did the 'build a boat first' thing.....

I agree with John paddle enough to know what you want before you build.  Buy an affordable used kayak first and then you will have a spare kayak for a friend when you build one.  Many people say the Boundry Waters are better with a canoe because of the portages and I tend to agree.  A touring kayak can easily carry enough gear for a week or two if you don't get a low volume one.  This video will give you a feel for long trips in a kayak.


Hi New Kayaker, 

my introduction into kayak building was a short kayaking trip with a friend....and then i said i would like to have one of these....and when i looked at getting one, i saw that you could build one....and i did a bit of research and picked one and built it.   No regrets.

my focus was similar to yours, what am i trying to do with it and then,  i focused on making sure it would be the right size for me and simple enough for somebody who had not built one before.

after building it, i paddled it...and had fun...and learned some more about paddling and over the years, my paddling and building have gotten pretty good.

but what i wanted to say is, if you want the experience of building a kayak, i don't know what buying a built kayak does for you?

fwiw my first boat was a CLC Chesapeake 17LT (over 20 years ago)....and it was pretty good.  

if you are new to building and that is what you want to do, my recommendation is check out the site   a lot of us here also use that site but i think it may have a bit more resources for somebody who is thinking of a first boat.   based on what you are asking for, i would check out the shearwater sport.  i don't know anything about your size....but if it fits you...sounds very close to what you say you are trying to do.  pretty good looking boat too.

anyway...that's my 2 cents...


John VanBuren

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 22:49

One option would be to build a fuselage frame kayak. They are pretty easy to build. And one of the cheapest types of boats to build. Dave Genty and Jeff  Horton both offer excellent plans and instructions. Plus they are pretty good kayaks.


John VB

Trying a few is a good way to get started so (obviously?) I didn't and started by building 2 one year, one for my daughter, one for me and then learnt about kayaking then went on a multiday trip with a group and later to forums and learnt more and did more trips. The trips I'm talking about were multiday coastal trips after originally messing about day paddling for a couple of weeks.

However I had been at sea off and on for most of my life, mostly sailing so probably knew that water was wet.

The first ones? A very battered blue-print that someone at work had built 2 from. It seemed it was a Kayel design (1969?) which I modified. A few years later I ran a building class and we did 4 to my later design. A decade(?) later my partner built the first of the current design of which maybe 50 have been built. She did start a second one but it has been finished by someone else.

So the right way to go about it? Depends on your ability to know what works.

Your ideas for kayak use suggest to me a 16' - 17' kayak with decent storage volume and good stability, which implies nothing skinny. You want stability and comfort, good tracking, while still avoiding too much drag due to water resistance. Find a local kayak rental company and try everything they have, keeping in mind that you'll want adequate storage for kayak camping. I use a kayak that has higher volume under the decks for equipment storage while still narrow enough for decent ease of paddling with excellent stability. As John and Scott have already stated...TAKE COURSES...then decides on your boat. Kayaking is a beautiful also has risks. Underestimate nothing. I've been at it for 19 years now with only one near-death experience. I didn't take courses...I was warned to but I didn't. Nick has some great boat designs...I'm sure you'll find something you love amongst his creations.

Robert N(ever do what I did) Pruden


Sun, 08/01/2021 - 07:27

Kayaking can be a satisfying hobby which can take away your stress and make you feel lighter. When you are starting out something, there's a natural tendency to be impatient. But patience and proper planning can make the activity enjoyable and worth the wait.

So, if you got a new kayak or have been bitten by the kayaking bug and are planning to go out on the water, here are some basic beginner tips to keep in mind. Following these tips will definitely make kayaking much more fun.

Make sure you have a mentor with you

For those initial trips when your excitement is at a high, always have a mentor or guide with you. Having a mentor will make sure you do it the right way plus you will also get a confidence boost once you start to get the things right.

Also sometimes the waters have varied amount of current. A mentor is utmost in those situations as you will know firsthand how to tackle those.

Always do a Warm-up & Cool down exercise.

Before starting any sport, be it football, badminton, tennis etc. people always do a basic warm-up exercise. This is done to prepare your body for the incoming action.

For kayaking, do basic stretching exercises before going out so that you don't find yourself in pain after that first energetic paddle trip.

Also once you are done kayaking, you should again do those stretches that you did before paddling.

Definitely wear life vests

Don't be a merman / mermaid and do wear a life jacket always while kayaking. It only takes a while to getting used to. Also real life heroes always wear life jackets. Have a look at some of the rescue operations and you will see.

Without a life jacket,you won't be able to keep yourself for long in case you get tipped over and are quite some distance from the shore.

If you are in a cold weather, life jackets help keep your body warm.

Do a Weather Check

It is always good to check the local weather conditions before heading out to the open waters. Rough weather conditions can make kayaking less enjoyable if you are just starting out. Also a weather check can save you from expected extreme fast currents.

Learn Basics of paddling

Well if you are just starting out, its important that you know how to paddle correctly and efficiently. Try out a basic rafting session with a local rafting tour guy. It will help you get the fundamentals right. You will also know basic positions and how to tackle mild currents. Additionally, it will add more excitement to the already growing desire to go out kayaking. Armed with the basics you will be more confident the next time you plan that kayaking trip.

Carry some communication device

Always carry a cell phone (or a satellite phone in case you got one) for those emergency situations. You never know but being prepared beforehand is the best way to go about it.

These are just some basic things that will allow you to have a good as well as a safe kayaking trip.

Article Source:

Stretching exercises? Oh? The same with bicycle touring. My mentor, OK touring mate, definitely rubbished that. He has only been riding bikes for about 70 years, across Australia, America, Iceland, Europe, etc. so I don't suppose he knows much. Simply start easily and get into a rhythm. Remember it is your body that does the work, not elbow bending. Cool down? Getting the kayak and gear ashore and loaded on to the vehicle will keep you busy and exercised enough.

So what I'm saying is in 4 decades of paddling, multi-day, paddling various bits of the world, I've never done warm-up or cool down exercising. however it is up to you whether you do.

Weather - that is the crucial item. Know how it works in your area and always listen to a weather report as close to the start as practical.

Communication - probably a good idea though for 5 decades I never had any, starting from being on the open sea, sailing, on all day trips as a teenager to reasonably recently when I was given a VHF radio. There is no cell coverage in most places I paddle in and if you rely on a cell phone, how good is coverage in your area?

The link (they are both the same link) given by Johnmarsh2 to "the Best Paddle" is typical of the wrong information. First they can't spell which says something. Next the lengths are way too long. Always be warned, if the title says "Best" it will be referring to price and be advertising, not quality for the job.

Paddle length, about 210 for experienced paddlers. Yes I use longer but mine are Greenland paddles, which are the best...


Mon, 08/02/2021 - 08:04


I’m looking for a tandem best inflatable kayak for me and my younger brother. I would need it to be tough (sometimes my 15 kg dog will come with us) and as multifunctional as possible. 

I’ve seen the advanced elements convertible elite and the Bic Yakkair

which one would you recommend?

any other suggestions?



Thu, 08/26/2021 - 05:36

Best Full Face Snorkel Masks for 2021

Full face snorkel masks have existed for a few years now. The good news is, they have only received far better.

They are a fun way to achieve under the water your life, never the less, there are many key points you must remember before acquiring your own personal.

If a mask’s design is faulty it can lead to serious injury, as full face snorkel masks completely cover your face.

Due to this, we certainly have preferred and merely endorse reputable products that have a great deal of enjoy in the business (even though you will discover less costly, reduced reputable and most likely perilous bad quality companies on The amazon marketplace).

From quality caliber up to the most basic now we have made the study for you personally and found our key chooses belonging to the best styles currently available.

Aqua Lung Hobby Sharp Full Face Snorkel Mask

The Aqua Lung Outdoor activity Great benefits hi-tech and hypoallergenic resources in such notably happy full face snorkel mask that includes a nice secure.

High quality and stable, the Aqua Lung Sports Intelligent Full face snorkel satisfies most size and shape of facial looks. The plastic material bands are comfortable and strong, also, they are without difficulty changeable.

The mask comes as a significant smooth structure compared with other versions available to buy, this toned face cover up provides a remarkably smart 180° sight with very little distortion concerning the sides.

The contra--fog make is excellent and provides buyers to appreciate snorkelling without having to clear out their mask. The snorkel is completely removable, an excellent option for carrying or packaging the mask straight into a luggage.

The hypoallergenic resources used on the straps and skirt of your Aqua Lung Activity Great full face snorkel signify that it stays warm and doesn’t irritate the skirt.

Ocean Reef Aria QR Full Face Snorkel Mask

One of the crucial technologically advanced full face snorkel masks, the Seashore Reef Aria QR does have a walkie talkie connection that permits you to talk to other types when snorkeling.

Water Reef have perfected the full face snorkel masks, with masks which have the greatest field of scene avaiable for purchase. As well as the Sea Reef full face snorkel masks are incredibly suitable.

The Seashore Reef Aria QR is comfortable and easy to employ, all the same, it is most interesting attribute relates to the walkie talkie attachment which are often used to speak to a walkie talkie upon the shore or to many other snorkelers. Appropriate for almost all Water Reef Aria range, these walkie talkies make snorkelling significantly more pleasurable!

Tribord Subea Easybreath 500 Full Face Snorkel Mask

The Tribord Subea Easybreath 500 is a enhanced variation of your Subea Easybreath, which is considered the most requested full face snorkel masks available.

A style oriented plan, the Tribord Subea Easybreath 500 full face snorkel mask is stable nevertheless functional. Simple to operate and produced with quality fabrics Tribord can be described as favored selection for just about anyone wanting to take a look at the full face snorkel masks.

With both adult and child sizes available, it is family friendly and worth the purchase, especially for those unsure if they will enjoy the new snorkel experience.

Source :