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Getting Started - Florida Kayaking

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Schessl | Green Wave Forum
Published Friday, May 18, 2007

Frequently when I'm out kayaking I have people come up and ask how they can get started in the sport. Two questions always seem to bubble to the top - do you have to know how to roll and how much does all of that equipment cost?

Answering the first is easy - in Florida, no, you don't have to know how to roll a kayak. For most of the year, the water is calm and warm enough that an unintentional wet exit is not a problem. You merely push the kayak to shore and dump the water out. Of course, it does help to practice wet exiting a few times to get the feel of it. You should also practice how to get back in the kayak from deep water just incase you can't make it to shore. Always wear your PFD (life jacket) to be safe.

The second question about cost is much more difficult to answer. Costs vary depending upon type of boat, construction and quality of equipment you select. You can go from a bottom of the barrel boat, paddle and PFD for $350 to over $5,000 for top of the line expedition gear. For Florida paddling, I wouldn't recommend either extremes and have picked out some basic, but good quality equipment that will provide years of enjoyment.

Here's a guide for recreational kayaking equipment in Florida (2007):

Recreational Kayak - Necky Manitou 13 foot - $800
Paddle - Harmony Adventure Fiberglass - $100
PDF - Stohlquist Motion Life Jacket - $135
Spray Skirt - Seal Adventurer Nylon Skirt - $60
Bilge Pump - $20

Total $1,115

You may also consider purchasing a rack system for your car or other way to transport your new boat.

Experienced paddlers are bound to disagree with my choices and Internet savvy shoppers can find better pricing, but the list is provided to give you an idea of what to expect to pay for decent recreational-level equipment. So head over to your local kayak shop, drop a few dollars and we'll see you on the water!

Last update Wednesday, August 01, 2007

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Cmt Getting Started - Florida KayakingLogin to Post   
You are in the public comment zone. What follows is not from Green Wave Forum; it comes from other people and we don't vouch for it.
dagger129 on 8/1/2007 12:44pm
some of the local kayak shops also get "demo" boats, which are used...but most of them havent been in the water for more than an hour, and you can get anywhere from $50-$150 off, another idea is to just get a used one.