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Finding a comfortable kayak

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My wife and I have an opportunity to get a sub 500 new kayak as a gift, but are trying to figure out how to find a comfortable one. We both have back issues, so the wrong seat angle or padding could make or break it for us. 

 

My my wife is looking for a recreational yak and loves the perception sunrise 10, but of course it is no longer offered. I am going to call perception tomorrow and see if that design is still available under a new name. 

 

My fishing yak will be a sit on but I only plan on carrying one rod and limited tackle. I tried fishing out of the perception listed above and it didn’t workout well. 

 

Our main aim problem is we have one store that allows someone to demo yaks, but almost all of theirs are over 500. Not sure DSG or farm and fleet want us sitting in their display kayaks for a while. 

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If your wife likes the seat in the Perception Sunrise, you might want to look at the LL Bean Manatee 10. It's similar to the Perception sunrise 10 except it has a tank-well you can put a crate in. It's only $399. For $449 you can get a package with a basic paddle and a cockpit cover. The Manatee is made by Perception for LL Bean. 

 

I also have a bad back. I tried many kayaks and eventually decided to go with a sit on top with a frame style seat. Two years ago, when I bought my kayak there were not many options around me so I went with the Perception Pescador Pro 100. This kayak has been comfortable for me. I can fish for hours without much pain. 

 

In your price range kayaks there are not many options with frame seats. One option is the Lifetime Teton Angler which is currently $350 at Dick's. I seen it go on sale for as low as $300. Another option is the Pelican Premium Sentinel 100XR which is $470 at REI. These are not going to be the most stable kayaks and you definitely won't be able to stand, but the seats should be comfortable and they are in your price range. 

 

Most stores will let you sit in the kayak with it on the floor. Just ask. If not, you can take the frame seat out and set it on the floor to try. Many of the manufactures advertise this a feature to use the seat as a lawn chair on the shore.

 

With a bad back you also have to give serious consideration as to how you will transport the kayak. It's not as easy to just toss the thing on the roof. Carrying it in the bed of a truck or on a trailer is easier. 

 

Hopefully other will chime with more ideas. Don't forget to get a PFD. Good Luck!

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17 hours ago, cgolf said:

My wife and I have an opportunity to get a sub 500 new kayak as a gift, but are trying to figure out how to find a comfortable one. We both have back issues, so the wrong seat angle or padding could make or break it for us. 

 

Look at used kayaks.  I know of zero new kayaks under 500 with a seat that I would recommend for someone with 'back issues'.

17 hours ago, cgolf said:

My my wife is looking for a recreational yak and loves the perception sunrise 10, but of course it is no longer offered. I am going to call perception tomorrow and see if that design is still available under a new name.

Please don't let her get hung up on a particular model.  I know full well how easy it is, especially when new to a product class.  However, the breadth of models with real differences and improvements being released every year the past few is truly amazing.

17 hours ago, cgolf said:

My fishing yak will be a sit on but I only plan on carrying one rod and limited tackle. I tried fishing out of the perception listed above and it didn’t workout well. 

You might plan on carrying just one rod, but that isn't likely to last. 

What, specifically, didn't work for you?

18 hours ago, cgolf said:

Our main aim problem is we have one store that allows someone to demo yaks, but almost all of theirs are over 500. Not sure DSG or farm and fleet want us sitting in their display kayaks for a while. 

Don't skip any demo opportunity just because they carry higher end boats.  Demo as many as you have time and chance to do so.  No good way you'll ever know how some features and design elements suit/fit you until you try them out.

I absolutely think you should spend a bunch of time in a good yak shop even if you don't think you'll be able to afford to buy there.  You will learn ten times more in 30 minutes than you will if you spend hours in Dicks and FleetFarm

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Seat time!

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I don’t think you’re going to find much comfort in a <$500 kayak. But I understand that is what you have to work with, so I suggest trying to find a comfortable add on option. 

 

For example- my seat is very comfortable, but an 8 hour tournament day can be rough for anyone. So I bought a gel cushion and back at Walmart for $25. It was in the automotive section. 

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4 hours ago, Choporoz said:

Look at used kayaks.  I know of zero new kayaks under 500 with a seat that I would recommend for someone with 'back issues'.

Please don't let her get hung up on a particular model.  I know full well how easy it is, especially when new to a product class.  However, the breadth of models with real differences and improvements being released every year the past few is truly amazing.

You might plan on carrying just one rod, but that isn't likely to last. 

What, specifically, didn't work for you?

Don't skip any demo opportunity just because they carry higher end boats.  Demo as many as you have time and chance to do so.  No good way you'll ever know how some features and design elements suit/fit you until you try them out.

I absolutely think you should spend a bunch of time in a good yak shop even if you don't think you'll be able to afford to buy there.  You will learn ten times more in 30 minutes than you will if you spend hours in Dicks and FleetFarm

 

The perception sit in I felt casting and retrieving were a little awkward, I felt boxed in. Part of that was because I was carrying my 3500 size tackle bag in my lap. I also felt a bit to low in the water, I think a sit on top may give me a bit more vision. Casting angles are very different yak vs boat. 

 

The kayak my wife likes and used extensively has been at the cabin we rent for a week each year. She has a lot of seat time in it and long trips were very comfortable, was why she was hoping we could still find that model. 

 

As far as one rod goes, most of my fishing will be on a small river, and I have used a spinning rod for everything for a lot of years. Not ruling out multiple, but I would be surprised. Really depends on what type of structure/cover I come across. 

 

We will make a trip to the shop before it gets to cold here. They have some nice looking yaks there, just a bit out of reach of the gift range. I wish they would carry some entry level yaks. 

 

Thanks everyone for the advice so far, and please feel free to chime in with more. 

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Craigs List.

 

I spent $500 and got a WS Ride 115 with an ultra-nice MaxAir Pro seat. It is very comfortable.

 

Even so, after half-a-dozen outings I decided it still wasn't right for me and I will be getting a small boat instead.

 

I too have a bad back (comes and goes) and tendinitis as well. Lifting and moving the boat even short distances and paddling are not helpful with either of these issues. It interfered with my fishing.

 

Maybe you should try a more expensive yak on demo days. If that isn't comfortable than nothing cheaper will be either.

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+1 on the Perception Pescador Pro 100. I got one last year and it has a camp chair, very comfortable. You can put the seat in two different positions, high or low. I keep mine up high because I’m not as nimble as I once was. Brand new they go around $750 but you might find a used one for a lot less. 

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I also have a bad back and a $1500 kayak with a framed seat.....about 5 hrs is my max.

Hoping you and your wife find comfort. 

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