Any suggestions on buying a kayak and helmet camera for my situation?
I’m moving to Oregon in a couple months and want to take up rapids kayaking when I do. As a novice any tips on buying a kayak and also about how much am I looking at when buying (I don’t care if new or used, just inexpensive as possible). Also I’ll be wanting to get a waterproof Helmet Cam for when I’m on the water. Any suggestions on what I need to make sure when buying it and cost?
I would recommend sticking with the GoPro Hero series cameras. All the whitewater and sea kayak paddlers I know who film their trips use them and swear by their reliability and toughness. The quality of the video from them is outstanding and they have a lot of accessories for helmet or boat mounting. REI stores have displays demonstrating them and stock them. Their salespeople are going to know more about using them on the water than the folks in electronics stores. I’m pretty sure you get the member dividend of 10% after buying one there, too. I plan to pick one up at my REI branch this summer.
There are plenty of GoPro videos on YouTube — run a search and check them out.
As for buying a kayak, you should not do that until you’ve gotten some guided instruction in whitewater. It is NOT something you should try to teach yourself on your own.
There are hundreds of kayak models and dozens of styles — the guided trips will provide you with boats and you can get a feel for the types and for the fit. Fit is very important in a whitewater boat and your body size has to match the boat. Plus there are river runners, playboats, squirt boats, surf boats, etc.
Once you have a sense from taking some training trips of what kind you want, you can usually find used whitewater boats for around $300 to $600. I just bought a 6 year old ww kayak myself (a Dagger RPM) for $275 plus $60 for a good used Harmony whitewater paddle, $30 for a helmet and $40 for a sprayskirt and a set of flotation bags. So, that was around $400 for the whole set-up.
By the way, here is an excellent blog by a guy who builds kayaks in Oregon — super cool dude. Though he is mainly into sea kayaks he also does local whitewater out there and you can find some of his trip reports with photos on paddling the fast creeks out there. He’s a real character and a top notch paddler. Enjoy!
Coleman CSXSWP-S 1080p Xtreme Sports Waterproof Helmet Camera utter DWMSTR video review