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  1. #1
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    Larger Guy Buying first kayak need help

    I'm an advanced skier and rock climber and I'm just starting out paddling. One of my buddies lives in Charlotte, NC and is teaching me at the whitewater park. I'm looking for some advice on a beginner boat. I'm 215 lbs, 34'' inseam, 6'2'' tall, with size 13 shoes so i'm going to need a bigger boat.

    I'm looking for a playboat that I can also run rivers on. I just moved to Richmond, VA and we have rapids in the city on the james (class II to IV) which I want to take full advantage of. I'll be here for the rest of the year so I have plenty of time to practice on the river.

    Next year I'll be back at school in Backsburg, VA which is right by the New River so I'll have access to that then.

    Does anybody have any boat recommendations? I'll probably be buying used but might also consider a used boat

  2. #2
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    -Jackson 4Fun / SuperFun
    -Fluid Nemesis Lg

    Lots more out there...
    Good luck man

  3. #3
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    If you aren't scared of the learning curve just get a Jackson SuperStar or MonStar and be done with it.

  4. #4
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    I like the Superfun quite a bit. I'm 5 pounds heavier than you and a 2 inches shorter, with big feets, Hershel Walker legs, and a 33 inch inseam. It's definitely the best / most comfortable playboat I've used. For creeking and river running I also like the El Jefe but it's not a playboat.
    "Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
    -- Jack Tackle

  5. #5
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    I have the JK 4Fun and it is a pretty nice play/river craft, you are a bit bigger than I so the Super Fun would be more your size. There are other boats as well, the Super EZ(originally designed by EJ) would be another ride to look at and there should be tons of these on the used market.

    check out http://www.monocacyboard.org/mboard/mboard.php

    DC based forum, might find what you are looking for there.

    Valley Mill Boats(good folks btw) is a JK dealer at Darnstown MD with free demos and just up the road from Great Falls/Anglers Inn.
    watch out for snakes

  6. #6
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    i would probably get a classic superstar if buying new. i don't think they make a new version of the superfun do they? the classic all stars run rivers better than the new ones but it will be more playful than the older funs

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't buy new and have no clue about any playboat newer than a riot trickster.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackboy View Post
    i don't think they make a new version of the superfun do they?
    I have not looked at the JK site in a while, it looks like they do not offer the SuperFun any more.

    I am 6', 200lbs, 32" inseam so maybe the 4 Fun(what I have) would work for him. The website rates the 4Fun up to 220lbs.
    watch out for snakes

  9. #9
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    At 6'4" 160lb and size 11 shoes I'm currently paddling a Liquidlogic CR125. The next step up in size is the Biscuit 65 and then the CR 250. I've paddled a 4fun and Superfun a bunch, and the Superfun floats me way too high, and the 4 fun is just a hair too small.

    I'm currently unsure where my pants have gone, but I do always need to get the longer option for my waist size.

    Anyone know how the new Pyranha playboats size? It seems like they managed some sort of magic at least on the new Burn because I can fit in the small. And the outfitting don't seem like they would give me nerve damage anymore.

  10. #10
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    well i think the 07-9 superstars are between teh 4fun and superfun in size

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    At 6'4" 160lb and size 11 shoes I'm currently paddling a Liquidlogic CR125. The next step up in size is the Biscuit 65 and then the CR 250. I've paddled a 4fun and Superfun a bunch, and the Superfun floats me way too high, and the 4 fun is just a hair too small.

    I'm currently unsure where my pants have gone, but I do always need to get the longer option for my waist size.

    Anyone know how the new Pyranha playboats size? It seems like they managed some sort of magic at least on the new Burn because I can fit in the small. And the outfitting don't seem like they would give me nerve damage anymore.
    yeah but wouldn't the superfun be a better fit for me considering that I weigh 55 lbs more than you? I looked at the jackson site and they do still make the superfun it's just in the older design which i'd be fine with because it costs $350 less than the new model

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    It seems like they managed some sort of magic at least on the new Burn because I can fit in the small. [/SIZE]
    Just because you fit doesn't mean you should. At 160 you should not be in a small Burn.

    P.S. Eat more cheeseburgers.

  13. #13
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    well you can buy any of the jackson boats in a linear version (non-elite) and its cheaper than the cross-link (elite)

    but i would try to find a used 07-9 superfun or superstar

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackboy View Post
    well you can buy any of the jackson boats in a linear version (non-elite) and its cheaper than the cross-link (elite)

    but i would try to find a used 07-9 superfun or superstar
    does anyone have any opinions on the superstar? i just found a local guy with one for sale. i know they're more play oriented than the fun but do they do alright as a river runner as well?

  15. #15
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    yea assuming its the 07-9 version they are great river runners

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Just because you fit doesn't mean you should. At 160 you should not be in a small Burn.

    P.S. Eat more cheeseburgers.
    yup , a boat that floats will be easyier to control than a submarine

    the problem is all the best boaters in the worldand so by definition all the best boat designers ... are smaller guys

    big guys and tall skinny dudes are SOL ... the ideal boater is probably 5'6" ,size 7 feet, ,30" inseam 150 lbs

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    yup , a boat that floats will be easyier to control than a submarine

    the problem is all the best boaters in the worldand so by definition all the best boat designers ... are smaller guys

    big guys and tall skinny dudes are SOL ... the ideal boater is probably 5'6" ,size 7 feet, ,30" inseam 150 lbs
    not really. i am 5'7 140ish and i usually fall in between the small and medium boats.

  18. #18
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    Ok the numbers could vary but being smaller and on the on the cusp of 2 sizes is hardly as big of a problem in boat sizing as the big guys or the lightweight bean poles have

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by plurpimpin View Post
    I'm 215 lbs, 34'' inseam, 6'2'' tall, with size 13 shoes so i'm going to need a bigger boat.

    I'm looking for a playboat that I can also run rivers on. I just moved to Richmond, VA and we have rapids in the city on the james (class II to IV) which I want to take full advantage of. I'll be here for the rest of the year so I have plenty of time to practice on the river.
    Actually you'd be surprised at the number of boats you can fit in. I'm 6'3", 190 lbs and 34" inseam and also size 13 feet and I can easily get myself in a number of boats without seeming cramped.

    I've even fit in some fairly small squirt boats (although I wouldn't reccomend a squirt as your first boat...you don't really enter them, you almost of "wear" them like a tight set of pants...ha ha...they take some getting used to!!).

    I know the James outside of Richmond....it's a good fun river! Lots of big rocks, though, so you'll want something manueverable and easy to work.

    Some kayaks to think about:

    Wave Sport Habitat 74... Has some squirt boat attributes but much more volume, a good compromise. Fun boat!

    But I'd really reccomend a crossover type boat...has a more conventional design, and often water tight rear hatch to stow some minimal gear. 9 feet and 10 feet still allow you good maneuvability in the rapids. Some good crossovers are:
    LiquidLogic XP 9 and XP 10....

    Dagger Approach 9 and 10.

    These crossovers are fun boats in whitewater, and yet paddle well on creeks and backwaters as well, unlike a squirt-type play boat. They are also good for multiday whitewater trips where you will find an assortment of differing waters. You can pack a small tent, food and sleeping bag in these without upsetting your whitewater capability too much.

    Here is a LiquidLogic Remix XP 10:


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Rover View Post
    But I'd really reccomend a crossover type boat...has a more conventional design, and often water tight rear hatch to stow some minimal gear. 9 feet and 10 feet still allow you good maneuvability in the rapids. Some good
    I have no interest in a crossover because I'm only in Richmond working through december. Then I move back to blacksburg, va in the mountains. I'll have the gauley and new right up the road so I definitely want a whitewater boat. Plus I'll be paddling at the white water center in charlotte, nc quite a bit since my buddy lives there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by plurpimpin View Post
    I have no interest in a crossover because I'm only in Richmond working through december. Then I move back to blacksburg, va in the mountains. I'll have the gauley and new right up the road so I definitely want a whitewater boat. Plus I'll be paddling at the white water center in charlotte, nc quite a bit since my buddy lives there.
    Don't let the term "crossover" fool you. These ARE whitewater boats that can run any whitewater courses that Blacksburg or NC can throw at it. They just have little design tweaks here and there that also allow them to do other things as well. But their heart and soul is still totally white-water class.

    Craiglistlist is a good place to find whitewater boats at a good price.

  22. #22
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    Go to the corner and shut up, JONG.

  23. #23
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    I still love my old Pyranah Sub 8. It is an 8' long playboat that does everything except the new loop moves. Granted, I have drifted away from playboating, but it works for me. There is no boat that does it all. The best playboats are probably slow for big water ferries and general river running. I am 6'-4", 225 lbs with size 11 feet. If you are starting out you do not need the newest playboat.

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