How do you know what makes sense for you? How do you separate hype from fact? How do you ensure that you'll wisely spend your money and buy gear that you'll really have fun with? How will you ever find out how to do this?
Unfortunately there isn't a formula. The information can become an overwhelming conglomeration of fact and falsehood and you have to sort it out. Nobody else will do it for you and you really shouldn't ask them to. Nobody else will paddle the boat for you. You must learn to paddle it yourself.
Our single most helpful recommendation is to talk to people and ask questions. In doing this, it's very important to understand the biases and experience level of people you listen to. You probably don't want the favorite boat of someone who is very different from you. At Carl's we try to be neutral in order to be able to more clearly understand the signals you send about what it is that will please you most. We try to be neutral because we're skilled paddlers with wide experience and realize that what we like now isn't always what we liked at other stages in our paddling careers. We try to be neutral because we want you to feel that you have received the best, most thoughtful advice anywhere in your search for help. We'd love to have you call us and lay out your concerns. Before you do, ask around to find out what people think of our style, knowledge, and advice. Do the same when talking to friends who paddle and might help make things more clear for you. However you proceed and whoever you turn to, be open, ask questions, and have a conversation. If you talk to the right people, you'll learn more, and more quickly than you will from books, magazines, or the internet
Explore this site. We've tried to be neutral and informative and we know we won't always have what is best for you. We can help though and our buyer's guide should get you started with valuable information and help you become a better informed customer.