Austin Area Paddlers Message Board Advice Needed › Good kayak for a beginner on a budget?

Good kayak for a beginner on a budget?

A former member
Post #: 2
I'm brand new to the sport[ok I've kayaked once before] and I'm interested in getting a kayak of my own! I've been looking at craigslist but there are so many different types...What kind of kayak is best for Central TX?
Bill S
user 9248335
Austin, TX
Post #: 149
If you're on a budget, there are two strategies: look for discount on demo boats, or look for good deals on decent kayaks.

For demo (or discount / clearance) boats, you can check the usual retailers like TG Canoe & kayaks, Austin Kayak, etc. They usually have clearance items listed on their websites. The other strategy requires you to look, and read, a lot. Find new manufacturers who are trying to break into the market, for example. I know that REI carries fairly capable 9-footer SOT (sit-on-top) boats from Emotion. I used to have one ;-)

There are quite a few choices in sub-$500 category. Check online.

The "best" kind is really up to what you want to do. Do you want to kayak lakes only, occasional whitewater, some ocean perhaps? More info, please.
A former member
Post #: 4
Thanks for the help Bill...Not really sure what I'm looking for I guess mostly lakes and mild rivers? Not much in the way of whitewater around here I would imagine...
Bill S
user 9248335
Austin, TX
Post #: 150
While it's true that there's not much opportunity for whitewater, you also have to consider if you're willing to go for a compromise :-) If you could spend more, and get an all-around crossover boat that could run creeks and rivers and handle reasonable whitewater, would you be happy with that? If so, there are options: (keep in mind, these are not cheap, but will take a beating and keep on paddling ;-)

Jackson Villain, http://jacksonkayak.c...­
Jackson Zen, http://jacksonkayak.c...­
LiquidLogic Remix XP 9, http://www.liquidlogi...­

If you're still set on lower-cost option and SOT, there are still great choices:

First, have a look at the clearance page of TG Canoes & Kayaks (I don't work for them, just a happy customer):­

People have taken Big Yaks on some rapids and ocean, and it does OK within limit.


Perception is a good brand that's been there for a long time,


I have a Remix XP 10 that I bought from Mud Outdoor as a demo unit and it was a great deal, so keep looking for those ;-) I just bought my kid a Jackson Little Hero because it's small enough for them to handle and it was a blast.

Whatever you end up buying, make sure it's something you can handle (not too big, not too small, has room for what you want to use it for, ...)
John Van N.
Austin, TX
Post #: 3
I have several types of kayaks and woud be happy to go to Lady Bird with you to demo a few. That would help you figure out what style would suit you best for now. You can call me at 657-2770 if interested.
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