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Archive for the ‘Kayaking’ Category


Get Hooked on Fishing

With the right gear, you can seek, catch and enjoy the rewards of your day’s work.
 
Fishing can be a great way to make memories with family this summer. And it doesn’t take a lot of gear to get started. You just need some basic pieces of equipment and a body of water!
 
If you’re interested in getting a little bit closer to the sport, try one of many kinds of watercraft that’s perfect for fishing, from motorboats to canoes to kayaks (see “No Motor, No Problem” article on page 10). No matter your vesicle of choice, fishing is a great time for all.
 
Get the Basics
 
A basic tool of any fisherman is the hook. If you’re looking for the perfect hook for your expedition, try Eagle Claw. With the Eagle Claw brand hooks, you can get a high quality for a competitive price.
 
“Eagle Claw hooks are the only hooks Made in the USA, and are built with integrity, honesty and 85+ years of hook-making experience and heritage,” said John Vander Sloot of Eagle Claw.
 
To get all your equipment out on the water, try a Plano tackle bag. The Weekend Series comes in two sizes. The smaller 3600 model is great for fishermen using a kayak or smaller boat. Both the 3600 and larger 3700 models will come with two stowaways and three exterior zippered pockets. They also have shoulder straps for easy transportation.
 
If you have more equipment to carry, you could try the Plano M-Series tackle bags, which also come in a smaller 3600 model and a larger 3700 model. These bags come with four stowaways and room for eight total. They also have several exterior pockets to keep your favorite tools close at hand. They also have an impact-resistant, waterproof base to keep your equipment dry.
 
“These bags will make a great storage option for any hardcore angler,” said Nate Rice of Plano. “Dunhams offers a large selection of Plano Stowaways in many sizes to accommodate every angler’s needs. If an angler is looking for large size stowaways for big jerkbaits or small stowaways for hooks, split shot and flies, Dunham’s and Plano have you covered.
 
At Dunham’s you’ll find a variety of South Bend combos, such as the Ready2Fish Multispecies Spinning Combo. This combo comes with a reusable tackle kit. There’s also the Ready2Fish Multispecies Spincast Combo. Both models come with line prespooled, ball bearing drives and a graphite reel seat.
 
Eagle Claw doesn’t just have hooks. They also offer a rod that works perfectly for the kayaking fishermen. The Packit rod and reel combo has a spinning reel with a 5’6” rod.
 
“This combo is favored by kayak fishermen because of the telescoping ability of the rod,” said Vander Sloot. “Instead of maneuvering to one’s next fishing spot with a rod dangling in the kayak, the Packit rod telescopes down to 18 inches. This makes it much more convenient for the kayaker to move to their next fishing spot.”
 
You could also try the Ugly Stik GX2 combo. Jim Burrows of Pure Fishing said this combo is designed to be extra durable. Pure Fishing offers several products for all kinds of fishermen, including the Abu Garcia Max Series.
 
“Pure Fishing is constantly redesigning and redeveloping our products on a continuing basis,” Burrows said. “We do this so that our products represent and afford the best possible product one should consider.”
 
A Growing Trend: Kayak Fishing
 
There is another fishing tool gaining popularity in recent years: the kayak. Fishing from a kayak can offer a different kind of experience from wading or using a boat with a motor, which is why it’s growing in popularity.
 
“It is much quicker and easier to throw a kayak in the back of your truck or SUV,” said Mike Reis of South Bend. “It also enables you to go fishing in places where launching a boat is impossible. And as every angler knows, if you fish where there’s not a lot of pressure – the fishing is usually amazing!”
 
Reis’ piece of advice for kayak fishermen is to make sure all your tools are secured to the boat. Try attaching some fishing rod floaters or rod leashes to your combos so you won’t lose them in the water. Reis also suggests a lip gripper if you’re fishing for larger game. This will make it easy to grab the fish from the water without ending up in the water yourself. And as always, remember your life jacket!
 
“There’s an old joke about kayak fishermen. There are two kinds: those who have rolled their kayak, and those who will roll their kayak,” Reis said.
 
We have everything you need, whether you’re a wader, kayaker or any other kind of fisherman. Get everything you need for a successful and fun fishing season and Dunham’s Sports!
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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No Motor, No Problem, Give Kayak Fishing A Try This Season

Summer is here, and that means it’s time to get back on the water. Try adding a new tool to your fishing equipment this year: a kayak! No matter what kind of fisherman you are, Dunham’s Sports has the right kayak and accessories to meet your needs.
 
Matt Yablonowski of Perception said people are using kayaks to fish for a number of reasons. Kayaks are less expensive to own and maintain than a traditional motorboat. And because they use paddles rather than gas, you can get great exercise in a kayak. They are also much quieter than a motorboat and smaller, making getting into shallow water or tight spaces easier.
 
Yablonowski said sales of fishing kayaks have gone up year over year for the past six to seven years. But the rise in popularity of kayaks doesn’t mean anglers are abandoning their old watercraft. Some people are simply adding to their fleet.
 
Kayaks come in two basic varieties: sit-on-top and sit-inside, or sit-in. Yablonowski said the sit-on-top variety is more popular in warmer climates, but it’s increasing in popularity in other regions because the open deck offers the convenience of having gear readily available. The more traditional kayaks are the sit-inside models. These are more popular in northern regions for freshwater fishing.
 
Yablonowski suggests looking for a kayak with comfortable seating in addition to stability, storage and rod holders. A place to put your paddles while you cast and a work tray for tackle are also features to look for. And if you already have a kayak, you can add after-market accessories to your boat to make it fit your needs.
 
Kayaks Have Character
 
You can find both sit-on-top and sit-in fishing kayaks at Dunham’s. See which one feels more comfortable to you. Matthew Ross of Pelican International says that kayaks built for the rider to sit on top are generally more popular with fishermen as they offer more range of motion.
 
“Fishing from a kayak has absolutely exploded over the last couple of years,” says Ross. “More and more fishermen are either also fishing from a kayak or are making the switch to kayak fishing from traditional angling from fishing boats. Kayak fishing allows you to fish in more shallow waters. It doesn’t pollute or use any gas, and the additional paddling exercise is very beneficial.”
 
Ross says fishermen should look for a kayak with plenty of storage for all their gear. It’s also a good idea to look for a boat with rod holders, which can be either flush mount or swivel.
 
“Anglers of all walks are turning to kayaks for their relatively low cost (compared to large bass- or multi-species boats), small footprint, minimal maintenance, health and wellness component, ease of launching, and getting into fish-holding waters that bigger boats cannot reach,” says Jim Edlund of Old Town. When searching for the perfect fishing kayak, Edlund suggests looking for stability, comfort, ease of rigging, ease of transport and maneuverability.
 
Check Out these Kayaks at Dunham’s
 
One of Perception’s models is the Pescador PRO. This sit-on-top kayak comes in two sizes—Pescador PRO 10 and Pescador PRO 12—both of which feature a two-position, stadium-style seat, a tankwell with a bungee, a mold-in cup holder, and rod holders.
 
Perception also offers its sit-in Prodigy 10 Angler exclusively at Dunham’s. Beyond the basic features of its Prodigy 10 base model, the Angler features two flush-mount rod holders, one Scotty rod holder, an anchor and an anchor trolley.
 
Pelican’s sit-in model, the Bounty 100x Angler, is great if you want to keep your legs dry. It has flush-mount rod holders and a swivel rod holder, adjustable footrests and padded backrest, and a cockpit table with a bottle holder and compartments.
 
There’s also the Catch 120 kayak from Pelican, which is great for fishermen who prefer to stand. It offers a 400-pound capacity, a water-resistant hatch and a storage platform. It also has a seat that can be adjusted or completely removed.
 
Old Town offers its Vapor 10 Angler at Dunham’s. This kayak is just 10 feet long and 49 pounds, making it easy to unload, launch and stow on your vehicle’s rooftop or bed—and great for anglers of any age. The boat has an adjustable comfort flex seat, foot braces, an anchor trolley system, and flush-mount rod holders.
 
Try something new this fishing season. Come to Dunham’s and check out our selection of fishing kayaks.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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What’s Up with the SUP?

Enjoying the lake or ocean, until recent years, had been limited to the usual suspects: boats, kayaks, canoes… you know, your typical vessels. However, there’s now a new way to get out on the lake and get you standing up at the same time.
 
The stand-up paddleboard, or SUP for short, it’s like a combination of a kayak and surf board. Paddlers stand up on the board and use a regular paddle to direct around the water. But not every board is the same for every paddler. They range in weight, weight capacity, material and flexibility, just to name a few. But just like purchasing a canoe or kayak, customers first need to decide what they want to use the SUP for.
 
Different Strokes for Different Folks
 
“There are different types of boards on the market, but most paddlers are either using an ‘all-around’ board or a “touring or cruising” board,” explains Nöel Basque of Pelican International. All-around boards are more stable, perform well, but tend to be slower than a touring board. Paddlers should consider, weight, and capacity on the boards, and depending on where they will be using the board, flexible fin or rigid fin.”
 
The width of the board is crucial when selecting an SUP. The wider the board, the more stability is offered, which is important for a new paddler. If you’re new to stand-up paddle boarding, it might be wise to select a wider board until you get the hang of it.
 
“Stability and width go hand and hand,” says Ken Harris of KL Outdoor. “A minimum of 30 inches in width is recommended for anyone up to 200 pounds. The bigger the person, the wider the board. The Seaquest 10 offers 33 inches in width. Generally 10-to-12-foot boards are truly a multi-purpose board from yoga, fun with the kids and exercise.”
 
So once you nail down what you’ll be using the board for, the next step is to make the right selection. But where do you begin? With so many new technological advances and added features, it can be complicated to make the best choice. But thanks to Pelican’s Vibe, Flow and Rush along with KL Outdoor’s Sun Dolphin Seaquest 10, it’s tough to go wrong.
 
With the Pelican line of SUPs, they’re made from HDPE (high density polyethylene extract), which makes them extremely durable. Also, all Vibe models come with a stomp pad, tie-downs for stowing gear and are built for all-around use. With the Sun Dolphin Seaquest 10, you’ll get a non-slip pad, carrying handles, storage compartment with shock cord and even a recessed cooler!
 
If it seems like these boards are getting more and more advanced in terms of both features and construction, it’s because they are. Brands like KL Outdoor and Pelican are constantly innovating their products, making them more fun, safer and more durable.
 
“The technology of stand-up paddle boards has evolved to be more of an all-around board offering maximum stability and width,” explains Harris, “giving all skill levels the confidence they need to experience the trending activity.”
 
Basque of Pelican International adds in that their Twin Sheet Technology adds to Pelican’s product construction.
 
“Technology has enabled manufacturers like Pelican to bring boards to the consumer that perform well, are as tough as nails, and affordable,” says Basque. “Pelican manufactures in TST (twin sheet technology) using the best materials to ensure this.”
 
Safety is Key to Having Fun
 
Safety comes first with stand-up paddleboarding, as it would with any new aquatic activity. Paddlers should also ensure they’re getting the right safety equipment along with the board as well as make note of a few tips to make sure the experience is as fun as it is safe.
 
“New paddlers should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD), start using the board from the kneeling position, and when comfortable, get up on their feet, keep legs bent and back straight,” says Basque. “When paddling, use the whole of the paddle blade in the water and enjoy the ride!”
 
“All you need is a paddle and a life jacket for safety,” explains Harris. “Where you stand affects mobility. Place feet shoulder-width apart in the middle of the board. Keep the paddle straight while paddling.”
 
While paddlers should always be sure to wear a PFD, another accessory that’s a must when getting out on the water is an ankle leash. This will make sure if you’re to fall off the board and into the water, the board stays near you at all times. You can even make your SUP perform as a kayak!
 
“An ankle leash to ensure the board stays with the paddler can be useful in faster moving water, and some boards can also be equipped with a seatback and used as a sit-on-top kayak,” says Basque.
 
Summers are meant to spend outside getting in the water as much as you can. And while the old reliable kayaks and canoes are still great ways to navigate your favorite waterway, the SUP is a fun, innovative way to not only get exercise, but to get the best of what summer has to offer. And thanks to Pelican and KL Outdoor, it’s never been easier.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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Take to the Water in a New Kayak

Looking for something new to do out on the water this Spring? Why not try kayaking! There are just a few things to know before picking one out for yourself.
 
With so many features and models on the market, you can find a kayak for almost every kind of water and condition. You should first determine where you’ll be doing most of your kayaking. Will you be out on a calm lake or traveling down a river? You also have the option of either a sit-in model or a sit-on one.
 
“Beginners would typically start with something wider, more stable,” said Luke LaBree of Old Town Canoe and Kayaks. “More experienced paddlers, with maybe the exception of anglers, tend to veer toward narrower kayaks as they can cut through the water faster.”
 
Dunham’s Sports is currently offering the Old Town Vapor series, which features padded adjustable seats, adjustable foot braces and a cockpit tray.
 
Greg Larson of Perception Kayaks said that the size of the person kayaking should also be considered. A larger person would need a boat with more surface area to hold the boat above water. This can mean getting a longer or wider boat. A small paddler, on the other hand, should opt for a smaller boat. That will ensure that the boat doesn’t sit too high on the water. Both being too low in the water or too high up can make it difficult to operate the kayak.
 
One model offered by Perception is the Swiftwater. The 10.5-foot kayak is made for navigation on both lakes and rivers. It is versatile enough to over rapids but also stay straight on a calm lake.
 
Noël Basque, of Pelican Sport said beginners should look for a kayak that is stable, light and easy to paddle. Experienced kayakers can look for models that will move more swiftly through the water.
 
And you don’t have to kayak alone! Pelican is offering a new sit-in, tandem model this year, the Alliance 136T. All Pelican models at Dunham’s this season will have better ergonomics and new seating systems.
 
When you’re shopping for a kayak, be sure to first sit in it at the store and be sure it feels comfortable.
 
So what’s the best thing you can do to prepare for a day of kayaking? Never forget to wear a personal flotation device, and always stay within your experience level. If you stay safe, you’ll be sure to have a great time!
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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Got two Paddles… Where’s the Creek?

Summer is all about getting physical activity while enjoying the beauty and pleasure of the outdoors. One great way to get your exercise and experience the beauty of Mother Nature is to go canoeing.
 
Mark Palinsky, of Old Town Canoe and Kayak Co., said that families should consider what kind of canoe trip they want before they head out. Does your family want a long trip or short one? He said that making a decision about how long the trip will be is probably the most important decision to make. If your family is new to canoeing and not used to camping, start with a day trip and work your way toward weekend adventures.
 
You should also consider how experienced everyone in your family or travel party is when it comes to canoeing. It is important to look for bodies of water that will match up with the skill level of everyone involved. That way, no one gets left out of the fun! Palinsky suggests that beginners and families stay away from rivers that have class-numbered rapids, as the weather and other factors can increase a river’s class at any time. Canoeing a river that is out of your skill level could be very dangerous.
 
One other word of advice from Palinsky—buy an extra paddle. It’s a $20 investment that could save your whole trip!
 
Noel Basque of Pelican International Inc., also said families should consider the skill level of their group. Trips of just a few hours would be more appropriate for beginners. The proper equipment, including life vests, an extra paddle, water, food, and rain gear, is also a must. Camping gear and waterproof bags should be brought as well if you are in for a longer trip.
 
“Paddling is a great family adventure,” Basque said. “Beginners should always do short paddles first to get used to the canoe and to assure that they are comfortable in their abilities.”
 
There are guides you can check out to see what to expect from certain rivers. Check a bookstore or look online for guides related to your travel destination’s canoeing opportunities. You certainly will not have to travel far to find a suitable canoeing spot. There are popular canoe destinations in every corner of the country!
 
“Rivers don’t have to be big or long to be pleasurable for an afternoon,” Palinsky said. “Almost all states have some good water.”
 
Basque suggests www.americancanoe.org to find more information on rivers and lakes in your area. He says there are spots to canoe all over the U.S.A. You just have to go out and find them!
 
You could also go to travel sites such as TripAdvisor to seek out canoeing destinations. Senior Public Relations Specialist at TripAdvisor Julie Cassetina suggests looking at TripAdvisor’s Inspiration page where you can filter your destination with keywords such as “adventure.” Get just what you want out of your canoeing trip.
 
Cassetina also suggests looking for the TripAdvisor Forums. There you can find Destination Experts. These Destination Experts are well versed in the areas they represent and they can help guide you to the best canoeing wherever you are headed.
 
What better way to make the most of a canoe trip this summer than to get some new equipment? Or perhaps you are buying an additional canoe to add to your fleet. Either way, you’re in luck! Old Town and Pelican canoes are available at Dunham’s.
 
The Saranac 146 is one of Old Town’s most popular canoes and made in the United States. It features seats with high backrests, has a center seat that can fit one adult or two small children and offers molded-in rod, drink holders and storage compartments. Molded-in carrying handles are located on the bow and stern of the canoe. To top it all off, the Saranac 146 is available for an affordable price.
 
“The Saranac is a light, affordable and, most importantly, comfortable stable canoe for recreational paddling,” Palinsky said.
 
You can find the Pelican 15.5 at Dunham’s, which features three molded bench seats, vertical rod holders and drink holders. It even offers the convenience of hull and stern carrying handles.
 
Don’t get stuck up a creek without a paddle. Head to your local Dunham’s Sports, and find canoe equipment that works great for you and your entire family!
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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Puddle Wonderful

The snow has melted, the grass is green, and it’s time to play.
 
It’s spring when the world is puddle-wonderful,” wrote poet ee cummings, heralding the season many love most. Almost everything about spring is wonderful: the greening of nature, the change from bitter cold to just right, the feeling that this is a time for new beginnings. The urge to break out the sporting gear and head out to the lakes, baseball diamonds, links and soccer fields.
 
If you don’t enjoy a sport, spring is a great time to take one up. If you’re a seasoned sportsman or sportswoman, it’s time to get up and go!
 
On the Links
 
I was a golf fanatic as a teenager, couldn’t wait to get out on the fairways come spring. And sometimes I didn’t wait. Back about half a century ago or so, a buddy and I headed out to a public course in Chicago in late March, only to find it was all mud and snow. The clubhouse was shuttered, but we tried to play a round. We made it through three holes before our feet were wet and our hands numb.
 
Getting out too early isn’t recommended, but you do want to be ready for opening day at your favorite course. If you’re just getting started and would like some helpful hints, golf instructor Nick Lico’s article, “Beginner Golfers Can Play Like the Pros,” can point you in the right direction. Nick’s tips can help you avoid the frustration that ill-prepared beginners can experience.
 
Seasoned golfers on the other hand, will want to brush up on the latest gear – equipment engineered to lower that handicap. Mr. Lico has the straight dope on what’s new for 2014. See “Advancements in Golf Technology = Better Scores.” You might be surprised to discover how much high science goes into producing low scores.
 
Batter Up!
 
Nothing says spring like the crack of a bat, and nobody knows baseball better than Dunham’s. In this issue, we sort through the needs of beginning players, helping moms and dads figure out what’s required for success in Tee Ball and Little League. It all starts with training aids and equipment geared to the needs of young players. You’ll find a review of what’s available in the article titled “Play Ball.”
 
If you’re an experienced ballplayer moving up to senior leagues, high school ball or NCAA competition, you’ll also want to move up to equipment that’s as good as your game. We talked to experts at Easton and Wilson as well as Dunham’s baseball consultants to put together a review of equipment engineered to help every player succeed in the upper levels of amateur baseball. It’s all in “Moving on Up.”
 
We’ve Been Kicking this Around
 
While baseball and football may be America’s most popular spectator sports, the game we all play is soccer. (Just to keep us confused, our friends in other countries call it football.)
But there’s really nothing confusing about soccer. The basics are simple: two goals, two teams, a ball, and no hands please. The last part is the hardest for youngsters to learn. If you watch mini-kid soccer games, you’ll hear the coaches shouting, “no hands! NO HANDS!”
 
Because it involves high-speed action, soccer is great exercise; with minimal risk of injury, it’s one of the safest sports for kids. And come spring, many kids, teens and adults can’t wait to get back out on the soccer field. Today, with indoor soccer growing in popularity, they don’t have to wait. “The Ins and Outs of Soccer“ takes a look at how the indoor game differs from outdoor soccer and reviews the equipment you or your child will need to take up the indoor game. Find all the soccer equipment you need at Dunham’s.
 
The Ice is Out, the Kayak is In
 
The ice has melted on our lakes and streams, and it’s time to get out the kayak. Or should we say the kayaks, because kayaking is an ideal family sport and many of us have several or more boats stashed in the garage, waiting for the first day of the season.
 
If you don’t have kayaks stashed in the garage, you should. Kayaking is easy with the right equipment, and it’s great exercise for the entire family. Our article, “Families Who Kayak Together Have More Fun,” offers some hints on choosing boats for one and all.
 
The Season Opener
 
Me, I’m going bass fishing on the first day of the season, which is the Saturday before Memorial Day on Michigan inland waters. I’ll probably take a baitcasting reel and rod and some crankbaits and see if I can get some love from a lunker largemouth on one of Michigan’s 10,000 lakes. If you’d like to try your hand at bass fishing, you’ll find some tips in the article titled “Tempting Mr. Bass.”
 
That’s a wrap for now, but don’t forget that Dunham’s has everything you need for every sporting season, along with the expert advice that can make your game more fun. Stop by your Dunham’s store today for everything you need to get in the game.
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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Families Who Kayak Together Have More Fun

 
Thank goodness winter is over. For those of us who aren’t into winter sports, spring couldn’t come fast enough this year, and with it, a return to water activities. Few other watersports for the family are enjoying the growing popularity that kayaking and stand up paddleboards are seeing.
 
“We’re seeing more families buying multiple boats. Typically, it starts off with a parent buying a kayak and before long, other family members want their own,” said Mark Palinsky of Old Town Canoes and Kayaks. He recommends his company’s Vapor and Dirigo models for their stability and all-purpose use.
 
“Kayaks for kids and stand up paddleboards continue to grow in popularity,” said Lisa Senecal, Pelican International. “Prices are coming down, making it more affordable to get the family into the sport.”
 
When buying a kayak for your children, the experts offer the following advice: Make sure you get your child a boat that he or she is going to be comfortable in. A lot of people make the mistake of buying a kayak that’s too big for the child, thinking that the child will grow into it. Both of our experts warn against this approach, as it can lead to unenjoyable and unsafe situations for the child.
 
Sit-On-Top kayaks and SUPs are great options for anyone new to
the sport, as they tend to be very stable. “Our Vibe 80 is great for kids. It’s a stand up paddleboard that is very stable and easy to rectify if it starts tipping,” Senecal added. Her company is also noticing greater interest in specialty boards. She mentioned that women are using them for yoga and core exercising. A chance to get some sun, fresh air and exercise: what a winning combination!
 
No matter which option you choose, safe boating is paramount. Both experts recommend wearing a properly fitting personal floating device and to never paddle alone. “This is a sport that is safer and much more enjoyable when shared with someone,” Palinsky said.
 
“Be aware of the water and weather conditions to make sure they are favorable for boating,” Senecal added. She also recommends a sound device, such as a whistle, to warn other crafts.
 
Dunham’s carries a wide range of kayaks and SUPs in a variety of purposes, configurations and price points. Be sure to consult with a sales representative to help you make an informed decision.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Anywhere You Want!

The variety of boats available for those looking to get out on the water this summer is as vast as the customers looking to pur-chase them. From kayaks, to stand-up paddleboards, to canoes, pedal boats and beyond, it has become incredibly easy to find the right boat based on need, ability, and various features.
 
But with such a wide array of boats and features to choose from, how does one go about finding that perfect boat to enjoy the summer to its fullest? Noel Basque of Pelican attributes a quality boat to its hull design.
 
“Designing a hull requires investment in R&D and industrial design so lower quality kayaks tend to have simple hull designs that allow them to float but not much more,” Basque says. “Hull design involves trade-offs, but a well designed hull will put a premium on one feature while optimizing others so that the paddling experience remains enjoyable.”
 
Another feature to consider in a quality boat or kayak is its construction. For example, Old Town kayaks are Roto Molded, meaning they’re made in an enclosed steel mold containing polyethylene powder. It’s put into an oven and heated until a plastic is formed.
 
“With this process we can make our kayaks thicker on the ends and bottom then thinner on the deck, where we do not need so much material,” said Mark Palinsky of Old Town. “This is all about product durability.”
 
The Swiftwater 10.5, manufactured by Perception Sport, has a versatile design made for handling both lakes and rivers con-taining rapids. It has both a large cockpit, but it curves over the paddler’s legs so that the operator is able to control the boat with his or her body, which is paramount in handling tougher conditions.
 
In fact, all Perception Sport boats are one-piece, meaning there is increased durability.
They’re built with a high-end plastic that has built-in sun protection and are very stiff, resulting in a very high tolerance for abrasion. The stiffness of the kayak also leads to increased performance.
 
“This is one of the biggest differences in quality because it affects how the boat handles abrasion, how easy the boat is to con-trol and how well they perform,” said Greg Larson of Perception Sport.
 
If searching for the perfect fishing kayak for Dad this summer, look no further than the Patriot or Blast, which are both made by Perception Sport. These boats, built exclusively for fishermen, have special features added to ensure that its operator is in complete control of the boat and his tackle.
 
“We have some models like the Patriot and Blast that have fishing rod holders built-in or added, and have a very flat bottom that adds to initial stability for fishing, hunting, bird watching or general recreational use,” said Greg Larson of Perception Sport.
 
The features of boats and kayaks not only differ between brands, but each brand has various features that differ with each line of product. For example, Pelican kayaks have features on their higher-end models that allow for more experienced paddlers to venture out for longer periods of time. They also offer more seating comfort, adjustable foot pegs to suit each and every body type, storage space, and knee pads or thigh braces which allow more comfortable paddling and increased control.
 
The Old Town Trip 10, a Dunham’s exclusive model, carries a weight capacity of between 275 and 300 pounds. The bonus feature of this model that you won’t find on every kayak is the rear hatch system for gear storage.
 
“The rear cover opens into a large compartment that has what is called a bulkhead, or divider that seals that part of the boat off from the rest of the hull,” explains Palinsky. “This helps keep your gear dry, and provides extra flotation to the whole boat.”
 
Pelican also has several choices at Dunham’s this summer, including the Vibe 80 stand-up paddleboard for small paddlers, the Ultimate 100SE kayak, and the Escape 100 kayak, which offers adjustable foot pegs, stern Quicklock storage, a cockpit table with day hatch and bottle holder, and comfortable seating.
 
So whether you’re new to kayaking or a seasoned sailor, Dunham’s has the variety of boats with features perfect for everyone. With summer at its peak, don’t waste it away watching from shore. Get out and paddle!
 
See you in the woods!
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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Paddle Your Way to Adventure

 
Today’s kayaks offer safe, inexpensive fun for the entire family.
 
If you’re a frequent visitor to our lakes and streams, you’ve likely noticed that more people are enjoying the same waterways while paddling a kayak. In fact, according to The Outdoor Foundation, 32 percent more participants took up the sport between 2009 and 2011. That’s not surprising when you consider that it can be enjoyed by young and old, is relatively inexpensive and the equipment requires little maintenance.
 
“Kayaks are friendlier today than they have ever been. They are more stable, more comfortable and easier to use. They’re also safer. The cockpit opening is longer and goes past your knees, making it easier to exit the kayak in an emergency situation,” said Mark Palinsky, of Old Town.
 
If you’ve considered joining this extremely enjoyable and relaxing activity, here are a few options and suggestions.
 
Fishing and River Kayaks
 
As our experts pointed out, we’re seeing two significant kayaking trends in: people are buying them to fish and to paddle along our scenic rivers.
 
“The river kayaks are simply an extension of what people have experienced for years. They have rented kayaks and canoes at liveries and have enjoyed the experience so much that they have decided to purchase the kayak for personal use. Our Swiftwater 10.5 kayak is ideal for this use. The fishing kayaks are great for those who want to get away from fishing from shore and don’t want to use a powerboat. I recommend our Patriot or Blast models. They are designed to carry fishing rod holders and come in camouflage colors,” said Greg Larson of Confluence Water Sports.
 
Another option for anglers is Pelican International’s Castaway 100 sit-on kayak. It offers plenty of speed, capacity and storage space. Mark Palinsky, of Old Town kayaks and canoes, offers yet another approach.
 
“You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy an angler kayak. Kayaks that are serviceable, with a large cockpit and high level of stability, such as our Vapor 10 model, are very good for people who like to fish. What many of our customers have found is that it’s less expensive to buy a base model and customize it to their specific needs,” Palinsky said.
 
Kids’ Kayaks
 
As many parents are discovering, kayaking is an ideal activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family, including children. Before you purchase a kayak for junior, Palinsky offers the following advice:
 
“Like shoes, the kayak has to fit the child. Shoes that are too big make the child clumsy and shoes that are too small are not comfortable. Frequently, parents will buy a 9-foot boat and will have their kids grow into it. It’s not necessarily the best approach,” he said.
 
Palinsky recommends making sure the kayak is designed to accommodate the child’s weight and that the foot pegs can be easily reached, since they help provide stability.
 
Stand Up Paddleboards
 
Also extremely popular nowadays are stand up paddleboards (SUPs). In fact, The Outdoor Foundation reports that nearly 60 percent of stand up paddling participants tried the activity for the first time in 2011.
 
“SUPs are wide surfboards that you stand up and paddle with and are more versatile than kayaks. You can sit, kneel or stand up on them. Women are using them for yoga and core exercising,” said Lisa Senecal, Pelican International.
 
Dunham’s Sports carries three different Pelican International models: Vibe, for smaller paddlers (up to 120 pounds), Flow, for intermediate paddlers and Surge, for more performance-oriented paddlers.
 
“We’re seeing an increase of SUPs in river use, especially in Michigan,” Palinsky added. “What a wonderful way to go down the river; they provide a much better view of what’s in front and around you.”
 
Kayak Care
 
One of the most appealing aspects of this sport is that the equipment requires little maintenance.
 
“Pretty much all of the kayaks that Dunham’s carries are low maintenance – even no maintenance,” Senecal said.
 
“We have sun protection built into the boat, but not on the seats. We recommend using a good UV protectant to prevent sun degradation,” Larson added. All of our experts recommended storing kayaks on their side when not in use.
 
Dunham’s Sports carries a wide range of kayaks and SUPs for a variety of purposes, configurations and price points. Be sure to consult with a sales representative to help you make an informed decision so you too can enjoy our area’s wonderful waterways.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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