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Discussion Starter #1
well i figure out of all the people on here someone will have an opinion on kayaks.
i live next to a pretty good sized river and also not far from the New River and have been debating on getting a kayak. i'm inexperienced on a kayak, don't need anything fancy, but a comfortable seat and something decently stable. i don't plan on spending over $500. my friend and his wife both have 10' kayaks by Wilderness Systems, the Tarpon 100 models. they both really like them and their uses are on the new river hauling a cooler of beer and they actually each take a dog with them. sounds like a sweet deal to me. well i started looking around and Dick's has this one
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2131656
which looks and sounds similar to my friends but is 1.5' longer and a little cheaper than what they paid.

also, they are both sit-on-top kayaks as opposed to sit-in. how would you compare the differences?

anyone have some input?
 

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I have a sit on top one as well, old town brand and nothing fancy. It's nice if the water is warm, and it is here in FL. In VA though where the water is colder it may be nice to have a sit in where you can wear a skirt and stay drier, also with a sit-in kayak you can store stuff down by your feet if you need. Kayaks are something i'd never buy new either, theres no reason if you dont mind a few scratches. We were given ours by my grandparents who ran a boat/rv dealership but i cant imagine it was too expensive. If the river is slow moving get a longer kayak, if its a whitewater river buy a shortie. There are some nice river kayaks that have steering rudders and storage compartments that would be nice to have, but they will cost more.
 

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http://perceptionkayaks.com/

I have two of the above brand that I got from Gander Mountain, it has adjustable seats that have thick padding. I have a bad back so that was very important to me. They were not to much, don't remember how much.

I got them a few years ago so they don't have the same model on the site above.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
what kind of waters do you use it in? is yours a recreational, and do you know how long it is?
 

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I got into kayaking 2 years ago. I'd stay away from the sit on top if you plan on using it in colder water. Plus they are usually slower and you don't have the bracing needed.

Check out the prodogy 10 or 12 http://perceptionkayaks.com/prodigy-12
A great rec boat and is fine in most sheltered waters. I use my prodogy 10 in creeks, rivers, and even bays on calm days.
I also have a 16.5 Dagger sea kayak and a 16' Necky tandem that are faster and better in open waters, but not as menuverable and you'll be paying $1k+ for those types new.
I paid around $300 new on sale for the prodogy 10 from EMS last year. Add a vest, paddle, and skirt and your around $500 for the package.
That's where my money would go.

Also check out Craigslist in your area. I'm sure you'll find some good deals. I got my 16.5 Dagger Sea Kayak from Craigslist for $325 with a nice CF paddle, skirt, and paddle float. The Dagger went for over $1k when new. But be warned a long narrow sea kayak will have a steeper learning curve then a shorter, wider tub boat. Taking a wet exit/enrty/roll class is helpful too.

Have fun
 

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You can't go wrong with any of Wilderness Systems products. Their "Phase 3" seating system is probably the best out there. Comfortable, adjustable and supportive. And they have some really nice foot rests that adjust easily while under way. Spend some money on the paddle. Nothing with an aluminum shaft (sucks the heat right out of your hands).
 
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