Builders' Forum Archives
Re: kayak equipment
Posted by Mac on Oct 22, 2005
You can build very nice paddles from plans for a reasonable price.If you decide to go this route - ask here and we'll suggest sources. Meantime don't go with a terribly cheap paddle - it is also used for your safety, as in bracing, and must be at least strongly made.
Wet, and especially dry, suits are expensive - low end or high end. So if you want them get good ones right away and don't waste money on cheap. MAKE SURE they FIT and are COMFORTABLE. (We're probably not talking dry suit here - that would blow your total budget and then some. The odds are you won't stay with your first PFD after paddling for a while, so just get a short bodied one that fits you for now. It can always be used by a casual paddler (guest) later.
A nylon skirt will do for now on flat water, once you are experienced you can move up to expensive neoprene if you feel it necessary (I never have). You'll probably need some thin neoprene gloves at this time of year. Try low end sports stores or the sporting goods section of your big box stores. You can probably find a pair for about $15.00. Again, with some hours on the water, you'll know if and to what extent you'll want to upgrade. The thinner gloves will serve for fall and spring and aren't wasted. Dress in layers (just like Momma told you) perspiration and cold wind = bad.
Are you a good swimmer?
I'm not sure where you live. Again, let us know and the members here will suggest catalogues etc. Personally, I'm a big fan of Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada.
Oh, and Kurt, you will get many more replies from paddlers who are more experienced than I am. So wait a bit before making final decisions - let the southern hemisphere folk weigh in as well - they've just finished their cold season.
Meanwhile - get out there, stay close to shore, be carefull and have some fun - you deserve it!
All the Best!
Mac from Montreal
In Response to: kayak equipment by kurt freewald on Oct 22, 2005