Purchasing a new kayak can be very simple or very involved. You can run down to your local Bass Pro, Dicks or even Walmart and pickup an entry level kayak or you can visit a local dealer in your area that can help properly match you to a kayak that will fit your needs and requirements. Buying a kayak can be like finding the right fitting shoes so while online reviews can help you nail down a decision, it is a good idea to try the boat first. Do your research and make a wise decision. If you plan to spend hours on end in a singe seat you want it to be comfortable and functional for a good experience. There is no wrong answer here and if all you can afford is a $200 kayak from Dicks or Walmart then go for it. Getting on the water is better than sitting at home. Nothing about my Kayak makes me catch more fish only enhances the experience.
Purchasing a new paddle is just as important as the kayak itself if not more. Your kayak paddle absolutely needs to fit you and the width of your kayak. Here is a link to Bending Branches website to help size your paddle. https://bendingbranches.com/kayak-paddle-sizing-guide. If you have a paddle with an adjustable seat that elevates, it is a good idea to purchase a paddle one size larger. Another option would be to get an adjustable paddle but be sure to purchase one that extends beyond your paddle size. After purchasing a Bending Branches Ace paddle, I realized how much more enjoyable paddling is. I wouldn’t worry as much about trying out the paddle like I recommend trying the kayak. Just be sure to pick the correct size and read all reviews possible. At this time I believe the Bending Branches Ace is the best top tier paddle per dollar. The angler classic is also a great option if the Ace doesn’t fit your budget. I highly recommend getting a good paddle even if you are buying a cheaper kayak. It will make the journey much more enjoyable and your shoulders will thank you.