By Jaime Cary
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
Interested in getting into kayaking, but not sure what kayak to buy? There are many options to consider. Design and material type will cause prices to vary widely, and repairability is also a consideration. The whole decision making process can feel overwhelming. The most important question to ask yourself when buying a kayak is: where am I going to paddle?
If you are looking to go kayaking on lakes and smaller bodies of water where you are always close to shore, then the Old Town Sorrento is a great choice. It comes in two sizes: 10’6 and 12’6. It is extremely stable with a comfortable seat and a drop down skeg to improve its ability to track straight over longer distances. Its roto-molded construction makes this kayak extremely hardy, and reparable.
If you’re looking to get into paddling with your little one, the Old Town Dirigo Tandem is a great choice. It has roomy cockpits, adjustable seats and a rudder to help steer the longer boat. A hatch in the back allows for storage, so that you can take snacks and extra clothes out on the water with you. This kayak is designed for use on lakes and smaller bodies of water. At a little over 15 feet long, it is a great choice if you want to get out on the water with your kids.
For Puget Sound
If you are looking to get out on Puget Sound, you will want a slightly longer kayak with a double bulkhead to help keep you afloat in the event of a capsize and to allow enough buoyancy to assist in a self-rescue. The Wilderness Systems Tsunami series offers ample stability for new paddlers, with the responsiveness needed to take a beginner from their first paddle strokes all the way to overnight adventures and open water crossings. With two bulkheads for storage, a rudder to assist with steering, and bombproof roto-molded construction, these kayaks are great for beginners to start their adventures out on Puget Sound. The Tsunami series comes in several different sizes to accommodate paddlers of all sizes.
These kayaks are a great place to start your paddling career and are all available for sale at Mountain to Sound Outfitters. If you would also like paddling or self-rescue instruction, classes are offered at Alki Kayak Tours.