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Help choosing my first kayak.


My husband and I are interested in buying our first kayak.  Neither of us have ever been in a kayak before, but we live on a lake and and would love to get out there and paddle. I’m not out to win any races, I just don’t want to tip over!  I am short, 4’11” and weigh 100 lbs. My husband is 5’5” and weighs 160 lbs.  We would appreciate suggestions of what to purchase and we can check them out on line.  Thank you very much. Charlene

5 Replies


Thanks for the question and for joining our community, Charlene!

For the kind of paddling you have described, we recommend a recreational kayak. In general, recreational kayaks tend to be a little bit shorter (typically 10 - 12 feet long), wider, and have bigger cockpits. That means that they are easier to turn, more stable, and are easier to get in and out of. In short, they are perfect for having fun on lakes and slow moving rivers.

Please take a look at some of the models contained in the link above. Feel free to come back and ask us any other questions you may have.

Hopefully this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JohnJ  Thank you John!  We now know exactly what we want and have started to look for a Recreational Kayak. Because of your guidance we are no longer confused.  


You're so welcome! We are very happy to help. Kayaking is such a fun activity. When you get your boat and get out on the water be sure to circle back here with some photos!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Chatom A few days back, I was also searching online about the kayak weight limit as I am also planning to buy a kayak for myself. I stumbled upon a resource, a pretty resourceful one.
You may check this. The writer covers almost every aspect you should consider.

@georg3441 This article was very helpful and helped me to better understand weight limits.  Thank you for taking the time to respond!