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Q:

What Are the Best Beginner Kayaks?

I'm ready to start paddling more seriously. What boat should I buy?

The right boat will help you work your way up to this. Via Shutterstock     Photo: 2265524729

A:Buying one’s first kayak is a bit tricky. You haven’t boated much, so you don’t know exactly what you want. You’re afraid of making the wrong decision and getting a boat that’s not right. And you don’t want to spend too much.

There are several ways to manage these issues. The main thing to do is rent some boats. Most kayak rental places have several styles, sizes, and even brands of boat. So try several and see what features or designs seem to suit you best. After several hours of boating, you’ll get a sense of what works. Talk to people as well, and get their opinions.

Then when you do buy, don’t gold-plate it. Lots of good boats are very affordable. Once you decide this is really for you, then go ahead and spend the big bucks.

So … three boats for your choice of water.

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