Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Re: freestyle kayak on the ocean?

Creek boats are more all-around stable, safe boats. They're not just for bombing rocky descents. If you want to go the way of a whitewater boat as a multipurpose boat I'd recommend the Pyranha Burn or the Jackson Zen. I've paddled them both- the Pyranha is quite stable, especially secondary stability which will likely not matter to a beginner on flat water because you will not tap into it, and turns extremely well. I love boats with strong secondary stability because in ww that's where you need it, not primary. The Jackson is quite fast and fairly stable, again more stable in secondary stability. The Zen rolls much easier than the Burn, but I not to boast, but I'm a very strong roller and I can roll anything well, so it's hard to compare. There is not a boat made that I can't roll up strongly on the first try. It's survival instinct.

If you want a true multipurpose kayak, I would highly highly recommend the Dagger Green Boat. I am not a fan of long whitewater kayaks. I paddle an All-Star, and it's 5'10" long. I can't imagine paddling an 11' 9" boat, but they used to paddle boats like that all the time. I see a lot of raft guide safety boaters using Green Boats. They're fast. Fast enough you could out paddle rec boats and keep up with touring boats if you're strong and technically sound.

If you want to take a step toward rec/touring, I'd recommend the Jackson Ibis.

If all you want to do is learn to roll, the Dagger RPM is THE boat. it' is so easy to roll- The cockpit area is so low I can literally twist around and get my face out of the water while capsized. When I started learning hand rolls I made it on my first try in an RPM no problem.

Best of luck-

Mike