What is a good starter kayak? More details provided inside.

I have been doing a lot of research for the past couple of months because I have decided that I really want to get started in kayaking. I want a kayak that has good tracking, but also has good handling. Personally, I am thinking about a ten to twelve foot one, but I don't know how that would do never truly using a kayak. I plan to mostly use it on rivers and lakes, and I would like to be able to make longer trips such as four to six day trips with it. Also, speed is something that I would like, and I believe that normally comes along with a narrower width. I am comfortable on the water, so initial stability is not a concern of mine. Does anyone have any good suggestions? Please correct me on anything that I am talking about if it is wrong.

smkoberg8 years ago
Renting is never a bad idea. But if you must purchase... I was lucky enough to receive a 17' Perception Eclipse sea kayak for my birthday a few years ago and I love it. Sadly I moved away (from DC area to Southern Louisiana) so I only get to use it about once a year. I've used it off the coast of Maine, in the Potomac river (no sort of rapids though, not designed for that), off the coast of Delaware, so it's seen a bit different types of water. Works really well for me. If your planning to do a river tour with the possibility of rapids, try something shorter. That will give you better control for when you hit the rough spots. Longer kayaks cut through the water easier giving you more speed. They also come with rudders to help with steering via foot pedals in the cabin area. If you have a sporting goods store that caries Kayaks, try sitting in a couple to check for comfort. You wouldn't want to be stuck in that small space for hours at a time and not be comfortable.
My number-one suggestion is to rent or borrow one and practice with it for a few days. Get to know it and take note of the things you like and don't like. More importantly, this gives you the opportunity to learn without a massive investment. Best of luck.