Since my kayak classes finished up February 9th, I have been itching to get back in a boat. Unfortunately that did not happen until March 30th. The beginner course I am taking includes a flat water, moving water weekend. For this weekend, we are expected to bring our own gear. In my case and I assume for most others that will be rental gear. To that end, I decided to drop by Golden River Sports and see how that works.
Sully was incredibly helpful and I had a chance to check out the Pyranha Burn and the Wave Sport Diesel. These should both be comfortable boats for me as a beginner. I also got to try on a dry top which is often considered the 6th essential by Colorado boaters.
Pool rental equipment is very reasonable and if Golden River Sports is taking a truck to Meyers they can bring a boat for you. In my case, I borrowed the wife’s Subaru and strapped the Medium Pyranha Burn to the roof rack. Securing the boat using 12 foot tie downs was pretty straightforward. I also rented a spray skirt with Large tunnel and a 197 cm paddle.
Unfortunately once I got there, I had a heck of a time getting the skirt over the cockpit. Kayakers being the friendly folk that they are offered to help and even let me borrow extra skirts that they had. So I ended up doing stroke work for about 45 minutes and then spent 30 minutes with Walter working on hip snaps which should eventually get me to a roll.
Golden River Sports was very understanding and related that early in the season the skirts do tighten up a little bit and after soaking in the water a few times and giving it a good stretch standing on the bottom and pulling the top, it should have loosened up. They even offered to comp the rental session.
All things considered I very much like the Pyranha Burn and thought it was just as suitable as the Dagger Mamba I had for my class. If I get the chance, I would also like to try out the Wave Sport Diesel, however in the pool, I may not recognize the distinctions.
If I choose to invest in gear, I will probably start with a helmet and PFD. If that goes well, I would consider a spray skirt and dry top as well. The spray skirt would be contingent on it fitting all of the boats I was still considering. The boat and paddle would be the last items I buy when I am more experienced and know what I am looking for in each. Selecting a helmet and PFD should come down to fit and features universal to a beginner or seasoned kayaker.