Tell me about…"ocean" kayaks

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  • Tell me about…"ocean" kayaks
  • Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    OK, so my 60-odd year old mother wishes to return to the world of paddling. She used to do a bit of gentle river and in-land stuff when she lived in Oxfordshire.

    Now she lives near the coast just up the road from Cardigan (boyo!), she'd like to get what she descibed as an "ocean" kayak – one of those sit on top kayaks (canoes?).

    A quick google shows up all sorts of stuff. So, any info, useful sites, recommendations for something suitable for a lady of "afternoon" years, who fancies pottering about, and isn't too pricey, would be very much appreciated.

    Good karma to all respondents – cheers



    I think paddling would be easier in a real sea kayak. Boat would be lighter as well.

    I've got a hobie mirage drive coming but I know it will be slow and fat in comparison to a real kayak. but it fits in my van and I like pedalling! It can sail too.

    My folks have an Aleut 2 and they are both in their 60's. they camp in some luxury for days at a time in that thing and can range up to 25 miles with little effort. 5 knots easy.

    As with bikes try before you buy, get a used one and save cash. prices cheaper at the end of the summer.


    The sit-on kayaks are very stable – more so than a traditional sea kayak. Best bet is to go to a decent retailer and get advice based on the sort of kayaking she'll be doing. Something fairly long would suit the sea better – and with a high prow (Perception Scooter maybe)? Make sure she gets a high-quality backrest – not just the cheapo one.


    They sit pretty high in the water so are prone to getting blown around a lot. Might get to the stage where an elderly and weakening paddler might not be able to counter that effect. I wouldn't have one.

    Maybe better to go for something pyranha masterish…


    I've used a surf ski (effectively a sit on) a few times, it was VERY hard work compared to a sea kayak.

    I think try before buy/hiring etc so she gets a feel for the options might be a good idea. My swimming baths have a regular canoe club session, might be worth a ask around. You can get trailer/trolley dinghies now, they might be comfier and offer more options, she may also be able to crew/try at a sailing club or there might be local rowing clubs etc

    This next bit might come across wrong so apologies if it sounds negative, I'd check some practical things first:
    – if she's going to use it on the sea esp on her own does she understand tides and weather forecasts, offshore wind etc(or the factors impacting where she plans to use it)
    – transport – how will she get it from garage onto car and then to the beach (and back when even more knackered)


    They're ok for a bit of fun and not going very far. The worst bit can be the cold, being exposed to water and wind especially in the spring autumn when there's often great weather and less people getting in the way etc.


    ive just got one of thoes ocean kayaks pulled it out of the local rez last week after some itdiot's thought they would try and have a go but failed misrebly and now im +1 kayak


    have an Ocean Frenzy sit on – never will be a substitute for a sea kayak or any decent kayak but for fun and ease of use it is great. Depends what she wants to do and how serious she wants to get and the seasons when she will be paddling.


    Yep Perception here for playin in the surf and bobbin up the estuary to the pub after work. Great for a couple of hours and have to say I dont notice the effort.

    What I would say though is that they are damn heavy and can be a right pain in arse to get on and off car racks etc.


    has anybody said to ask this on yet. It's the STW of the kayaking world.


    Hellish on the muscles
    Plus if she's put in the position of fighting the current its unlikely she'd be able to save herself
    Even fit canoeists can get into trouble if the tide changes unexpectedly
    Its the strength of the current and the fact you can be fighting it for hours.
    river just isnt the same even in rapids you have banks you can glide over to.Theres nothing offshore

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Just reviving this. I don't think I remember seeing all these helpful responses.

    Apologies for not thanking people at the time – it's very much appreciated!



    Premier Icon NZCol

    Yeah sit on tops are fine for playing on in sheltered water but an absolute nightmare to move around and hard work.
    The blow ups are in the same category but a bit easier to keep moving (but get one with fins or some sort of steering mechanism or get good at sweep strokes).

    FWIW i have a few boats – A Sharp6 multisport boat which is a kayak based on a Fenn ski hull, an actual Fenn Mako6 and a HYpernova double and 1/3 of a Quasar double which is a beast of a machine. LInks to them at JKK Kayaks. Yep, i am a gear slut ! But i do use them all – probably paddle 4 times a week all year. If i came back to the UK i'd get a container and keep my Sharp, SKi and HYpernova + get a new one and bring it back to sell !

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