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Pittsburgh Kayakers Message Board › Beginner kayaker, Decided to join the group

Beginner kayaker, Decided to join the group

Julia K.
juldga
Aliquippa, PA
Post #: 1
I am not very good at meeting new people, but I decided to join the group anyway. I started kayaking last year in an inflatable sea eagle, but I kept putting holes in the thing! I kayaked on raccoon lake at least once a month and at Moraine a handful of times. I decided to buy a tandem kayak. I am most likley going to get the Old Town Twin Heron. I am a single mom, my daughter is 3 years old. I went back and forth on a tandem, but I have to take her with me most times and she will be getting bigger LOL so I decided a tandem would be best.
I havent quite mastered the paddling skill yet. I find myself in circles quite often. And my most desired kayaking skill is to learn how to gracefully enter and exit the kayak! Hopefully I will come to an event or two. I am most interested in River trips but do not want to kayak on a river alone.
eileen b.
eileenbyrnes
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 10
Hi Julia, I had an inflatable kayak, and found that I spent a LOT of time in circles as well...and then I got a skeg to put on the back, and that helped a bit. I now have an 8ft hard kayak (about the same size as the inflatable), and it tracks much better - in fact, I haven't been in a circle yet! Maybe part of the difficulty is paddling a tandem by one person? As far as graceful entrances and exits go, I give up - ain't gonna happen for me (:

e

PS - I live on the Northside, off of Rt 65 (down the road from you, so to speak). I work odd hours, and once it warms up, shout if you want company.

e
Julia K.
juldga
Aliquippa, PA
Post #: 3
For sure! Im alone all the time. I'm pretty lucky. i work mon-Fri 7-4 and I'm off every weekend.
Doug M
user 14437772
Turtle Creek, PA
Post #: 124
Julia, I too am a beginner so take my advice with that in mind. I would strongly recommend that you somehow make other arrangements for your child when you kayak. First of all it is not a good idea to boat by yourself and if you are going out by yourself with your child that is downright dangerous. Second, tandems are just much harder to control than solos. I see that with two people in them (unless they are very good) and it must be the case that they are harder to control solo though I have never seen someone doing that. Do you know how to reenter a boat if it capsizes? Can you imagine doing that with your child? Capsizing in flat water and flat water kayaks is rare but that doesn't mean it never happens.
Julia K.
juldga
Aliquippa, PA
Post #: 4
There are no other arrangements. Its rare i can find a sitter. That being said i never kayaked without a partner when i had her with me. I used a tandem inflatable all last year. Do you think a regular tandem would be much different?
Snakeguy
Snakeguy
Allison Park, PA
Post #: 7
Hi: I am a kayak instructor with L.L.Bean in Pittsburgh. We offer educational courses and tours at North Park, Allegheny County. We also have knowledgeable product specialist at the store.

Here are a couple of courses that would be helpful
Introduction to Recreational Kayaking: http://www.llbean.com...­

Kayaking Discovery Course:
http://www.llbean.com...­

Best,
Robert "Snakeguy"
Julia K.
juldga
Aliquippa, PA
Post #: 5
Thanks I didnt know that! I will be taking an intro course this year
Doug M
user 14437772
Turtle Creek, PA
Post #: 125
Julia, glad you're not going solo with the child! With all due respect to Snakeguy and to LLBean in general, (they are doing some nice things with their meetup group) I'm guessing you already know everything that is typically covered in a simple 1.5 hour introductory kayak course (such as the one Venture Outdoors does). Exkursion (in Monroeville) does much more in depth half day courses that everyone praises highly. (I haven't done them yet myself.) There is also a place in the North Hills area that everyone also likes whose name escapes me at the moment. (I want to say Wind & Paddle but that's not it.) They have a big demo day every spring (I think at Moraine) where they let you try out everything they carry (as does Exkursion) and I think they may also do more detailed courses. Venture Outdoors has an in pool course that includes reentry techniques and if you are not yet familiar with that that is an important thing to know. Last year I talked with Mike C (the organizer of this group) about seeing if the group could offer classes or just put together some pages with information about things like where to get instruction, rentals etc. He thought it was a good idea but obviously it takes time and it hasn't happened yet. (Hint hint .... :)
Ben S.
user 37256282
Wheeling, WV
Post #: 14
I have a loaner setup you can use if we attend the same Meetup. Mike and Linda can also help you with a loaner if you go to one of their Meetups. It may be a good idea to try a few boats to see how they work for you. My loaner is a flat water boat, and I found it unsuitable for streams. I purchased an Axis 12, a combination boat, last spring and find it a joy on lakes and in streams. It is very stable up to class 3. Lakes are OK, but I find small streams more enjoyable.
Julia K.
juldga
Aliquippa, PA
Post #: 6
WOW so much information LOL thanks everyone.
I looked through past meetups and seen the meetups at venture outdoors. I would prrobably do one of those, it sounded like the best. Hopefully this spring I will get to meet some of you all
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Glenshaw, PA

Founded Jun 21, 2006

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