Big Names...Low Prices Delivering VALUE since 1937

ADVERTISEMENT

Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category


Quick Preseason Workout to Improve your Golf Swing

As warm weather approaches, it is time for you to get ready to play golf again. As all golfers know, it is easy to start feeling tired early on in the season. Your swing can also suffer, because the rotational muscles of the shoulder and torso still feel the cramp of being unused all winter. This may take a toll on your scores, or worse still, may cause injuries.
 
A preseason workout routine is highly recommended for golfers. It involves as much stretching as possible because tension is the enemy of a well-coordinated golf swing. “Tempo” is a term often used by golf swing coaches, and it refers to the natural rhythm of a good golf swing. These exercises loosen and lengthen the muscles of your shoulder and torso, which helps you develop a consistent tempo more easily. So, the sooner these exercises make it into your daily routine, the more fun you’ll have during those first few rounds on the course.
 
It’s important to begin with 5-10 minutes of light cardio exercise, just running in place or jumping jacks will do. This allows warm blood to fill your muscles, thereby loosening them and making the following stretches more effective. Allow yourself to breathe naturally, and take full, deep breaths as you’re performing these stretches.
 
Head rolls – 30-60 seconds: Roll your ear gently to one side, toward your shoulder. Tilt your head back, then forth, and repeat on the other side. This relaxes the tension in the neck, and encourages shoulder flexibility.
 
Shoulder stretching – 2-3 minutes: Raise your right arm directly in front of you, then bring it to the left, wrapping your left elbow around your right arm and using it to gently bring your right arm closer to your chest. You will feel the stretch in your outer right shoulder. Reverse this process for the left side. This allows for much greater range of motion and smoother rotation in your golf swing, which translates into more consistent shot making.
 
Side stretching – 1-2 minutes: Raise your right arm directly above your head with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your shoulders to the left and sway your right hip slightly out. You will feel a stretch along the right side of your body from your finger tips to toes. Reverse this process for the left side of your body. This stretch targets the outside of your arms, outer hips, and most importantly, your abdomen, which will further enhance your rotational stability and flexibility.
 
This routine can also be incorporated into a weight-lifting routine that focuses on developing the core muscles of your back and abdomen, as well as your shoulder muscles and hip flexors. Sit-ups, crunches, and push-ups are good exercises for when you’re unable to make it to the gym. Use this routine twice, when you’re warming up and cooling down, for best results.
 
The exercises discussed above are just a few basic exercises that you can do to get fit for golf. Are there any other exercises that had a positive impact on your golf swing? Please share your experience in the comments section.
 
-Par Shooter

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Focus In on the Right Optics

Keeping your eye on the target is a whole lot easier with today’s optics. Optimizing your hunting performance with the right scope requires understanding optic features and assessing your hunting preferences.

Hunting optics can range in price from $30 to $2,000 . . . with plenty of choices in-between. The decision of what to buy is made tougher because a 4 x 32 scope that costs $30 may not appear to be much different than one that costs $200.

Lenses are the major difference between hunting optics. The least expensive scopes typically use plastic lenses. The next step up in quality and price involves the use of glass lenses.  Coatings added to glass lenses enhance brightness in low light situations and add a bit more cost. The most expensive optics use precision ground glass, similar to eye glasses.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping for optics:

Power
The power of a scope is described by two numbers that indicate its magnifying ability and the size of the lens.
A standard 4 x 32 scope will magnify an object up to 4 times larger than you could see with the naked eye. The 32 indicates that the lens diameter is 32 millimeters.
The larger the second number, the lens diameter, the more it will help brighten the view.

Fixed Power
The magnification set by the manufacturer.
Fixed power scopes are adequate for hunters who need a good view of 50 to 100 yards.
The most popular fixed scopes are 4 x 32.

Variable Power
More applicable to a wider range of uses.
Variable power scopes can be adjusted according to the field of view needed as well as the available light.
Variable scopes range from 1.5 magnification up to 25 times for long-range viewing and shooting.

Field of View
How much you can see through your scope at 1,000 yards.
Generally, the higher the magnification, the less the field of view.
This information is always printed either on the instruction sheet or directly on the scope.

Eye Relief
The distance between your eye and the scope, which allows you to achieve the entire field of view.Can be adjusted once you have your scope and have it mounted.

The final key to selecting the right scope is assessing how you hunt. Hunting in the woods with shadows and less light requires a different scope than hunting in open fields with plenty of sun. Think about how you hunt, where you hunt and what the typical conditions are. Selecting the right optics becomes a lot easier when you can match your hunting needs with the right lens, power and view.

-Deer Abby

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

HUNTING FROM BLINDS

A fundamental maxim of hunting is for you to see the prey before the prey sees you. This is why hunting blinds are so popular. They provide concealment for you, as well as a comfortable place to wait for that prey to appear. Whether you hunt deer, elk, turkey or waterfowl, blinds let you pick the perfect spot, help you blend into the environment, and protect you from the elements.
 
Buying a Blind
 
The obvious first question to ask is what are you hunting? Duck blinds and deer blinds are two completely different, well, animals. Waterfowl blinds can be set up on land or water. With deer blinds the fundamental question is bow or rifle. A bow means you’ll need more interior space. Draw your bow all the way back and then leave some wiggle room beyond that. You will also need some extra space depending on some other factors. For example, if you bring your son along, you’ll want more than a one-person blind. And if you travel via ATV you’ll want a blind big enough to hold the vehicle.
 
You also need to look at what you are hunting and the way you hunt it. Scent control is critical for deer, so you’ll want blinds with scent control fabrics. For turkey, that’s really not an issue. Camouflage is important, but don’t just assume any pattern will work. Take a look at the camouflage on the blind and make sure it will blend into the area you’re actually going to hunt in. Whether you stand or kneel will determine where you want visibility. Also, blinds with windows, screens or doors in all directions give maximum flexibility and the widest fields of fire. Portability is another big factor if you plan on moving often from site to site. Blinds vary greatly in how easy they are to transport and set up. If your site is semi-permanent, portability is not as big an issue.
 
Location, Location, Location
 
Just as in real estate, location is everything in hunting from a blind. Of course, you could say the same thing about any kind of hunting. You’ll want a high traffic location where you can blend in to your environment. That means finding appropriate cover. The best camouflaged cover in the world will stand out if it’s in an open field. Try to add bushes and/or tree branches to enhance the natural look and feel. If possible walk the area before you hunt it. Look for food supplies, cover and routes between the two. If possible, set up your blind a week or so before the actual hunt. That way the deer will get used to it.
 
But there is also an advantage to a portable blind. It lets you take into account prevailing winds so you don’t give away your scent. Try to identify several good areas for the blind and then you can set up in the best one for that day’s wind patterns.
 
Location and blending in are also important for duck blinds. You want to be on or near the water in an area you know ducks will be present. A high vegetation area will help attract ducks and will also help you camouflage the blind. You can cover the blind in camouflage netting to match the area, and cut a slit in the front where you are going to shoot.
 
Ultimately, the ducks will tell you how well your blind is set up. If circling ducks tend to fly away from your blind, you need to make some changes.
 
Tree Stands
 
Tree stands are another effective way to hunt deer. Their height gives you better visibility while preventing the deer from seeing you. While they may not be as comfortable as a blind, they give you clearer shots by allowing you to shoot over limbs and branches. There are four types of stands:
 
Ladder – Essentially a small platform at the top of some steps. Great for people who don’t want to climb and/or are insecure at height. Stable, but also heavy, not very portable and take time to set up.
 
Climbing – Involves two pieces, a chair and a platform below it. Allows you to ‘climb’ the tree while in the stand. Portable and easy to set up, but only for certain trees and for people comfortable at heights.
 
Hang-on (Lock-on) – This has a seat and footrest attached to the tree. Popular because of their versatility, they are lightweight, easy to set up and will fit most trees. The disadvantage is you have to carry the steps and climb the tree.
 
Tower – Not a stand, per se, but a separate platform with 3 or 4 legs. It’s necessary in areas without trees. It’s the only real alternative in prairie-like environments. It is comfortable and stable, but not at all portable.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Getting Cozy With A Crossbow

Used correctly, the crossbow is an accurate and reliable weapon.
 
Riding a wave of relaxed hunting regulations and good results in the field, the crossbow has become the weapon of choice for many hunters.  “The crossbow market is still growing,” said Jackie Allen of Barnett Crossbows, ” and we’re happy to be part of it.”
 
The crossbow’s surge in popularity is good news because it enables more hunters, but crossbow hunting is not something that should be rushed into without preparation.  Like all weapons, a crossbow is only as accurate as the man or woman releasing the arrow.
 
Crossbow Basics
 
Hunting with a crossbow requires stalking capability, because you must get within 40 yards of the prey.  But crossbow hunters have an advantage over bow hunters in that the crossbow can be pre-cocked, so when a deer is in range, the mechanics of shooting are less likely to spook it.
 
Two types of crossbows are in general use today: compound and recurve.  Both offer advantages.  A compound crossbow is capable of generating more energy, but a recurve crossbow produces less vibration and is quieter.  A recurve crossbow can be serviced in the field if the string breaks, while string replacement on a compound crossbow is more complex.
 
Shooting either type of crossbow is a matter of drawing the string until it locks into place, loading an arrow, releasing the safety and pulling the trigger.  Crossbow arrows — sometimes called bolts — are shorter and heavier than standard arrows.  As with all weapons, a steady hold is essential.
 
A crossbow should never be fired withour an arrow loaded.  Doing so can damage the bow.  It’s also important to use arrows of the size and weight recommended by the crossbow manufacturer to ensure good performance.
 
While many crossbows make excellent hunting weapons, some are easier to use than others.  The Quad 400 Xtreme is one of the most hunter-friendly compound crossbows available and is capable of delivering a  400-grain arrow at a speed of 345 feet per second.  It’s available at Dunham’s in a package that includes a 4×32 multi-reticle scope, a quiver with three arrows and a crank cocking device that makes it possible for hunting.
 
Achieving Accuracy
 
Many factors affect accuracy, including damaged arrows, misaligned sights or scopes, hunter technique and mechanical defects.  When shooting with a recurve crossbow, it’s important to achieve an even draw when cocking.  In other words, if one of the crossbow’s limbs is displaced more than the other, the arrow won’t fly true.  A compound crossbow will generally draw equally if it is in good mechanical condition, but care should be exercised when cocking.
 
Crossbow hunters should do some target shooting before going out in the field.  This will not only allow time to achieve a smooth and steady release, but will also provide an opportunity to sight in your weapon and compensate for arrow drop over distance.
 
All crossbows have a sighting system that compensates for drop at a specific arrow speed and range, usually 20 to 50 yards.  This compensation allows you to aim directly at your target.  When the arrow leaves the crossbow, it drops continuously until it reaches the target.  So a properly calibrated sighting device will cause the arrow to leave the weapon on an upward trajectory when you aim directly at your target.  The arrow will then travel in an arc and arrive at the target.
 
Since arrow drop is continuous, the sighting adjustment is only correct within a specific range. But many sighting devices are gauged with multiple reference points that allow accurate aim at varying distances.  Some scopes display reticles, essentially lines, while others use dots.  A three-dot scope, for example, might be set up accurate targeting at distances of 20, 30 and 40 yards.  Range-finding reticle scopes are equipped with a scale that allows you to measure distance from target before selecting a reference point.
 
Sighting-in your scope is critical and best accomplished with a stationary target and the arrow you’ll use in the field.  All scopes have an adjuster for windage, which determines the targeting accuracy left and right of center, and another for elevation, which dials in targeting above and below center.
 
Begin by shooting from 10 yards away to make sure you’re in the ballpark.  If your results are close to target center, move out to 20 yards away.  IF they’re not even close, your scope might be incorrectly installed or way our of adjustment.  At 20 yards, you should be able to achieve a tight grouping of three shots within a 3-inch circle.
 
If you can’t achieve a tight grouping, there’s no point in twisting adjustment screws.  you should practice your aim and make sure you’re shooting with a smooth motion and steady grip.  Once you achieve a tight circle, you can tweak the adjustments to position your grouping of arrows at the target center.  If your group of three arrows is consistently to the left or right of the bulls eye, you should turn the windage adjustment to compensate.  Similarly, if the group is above or below the bulls eye, you should turn the elevation adjustment to compensate. Then retest and make further adjustments if necessary.
 
If your scope has multiple reticles or dots, you should dial in the top line or dot for your minimum shooting distance, then the other dots or lines will serve as targeting marks for longer distances.  So if the top dot of a three-dot scope is adjusted for accuracy at 20 yards, the two lower dots may will be accurate at 30 and 40 yards.  Test and verify.  The extra time on the range will serve you well in the field.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Who Says Roughing it Has to be Rough?

Ahh, the peace and tranquility of camping in the great outdoors! There’s nothing like it. The fresh air, the sounds of nature, the beautiful lakes, and sleeping under a blanket of stars.
 
Oh, wait — don’t forget the biting bugs, the risk of getting lost in uninhabited wilderness, and the lack of toilet paper and running water. On second thought, maybe camping isn’t quite the summer vacation you had in mind. But, before you roll up your sleeping bag and pack up your cooler, give Mother Nature a second chance. Camping can be a great vacation option — and it’s fast becoming one of the most popular activities.
 
In fact, with uncertainties about the economy, falling home values, rising food prices, and a big decline in consumer spending, many people are looking to their own backyards for a “staycation” getaway — otherwise known as a more affordable vacation spent at or near home.
 
When you consider the fact that for less than the cost of a hotel room and meals in restaurants, a family can enjoy a weekend getaway camping, it’s not surprising that last year alone, nearly 33.7 million Americans chose to visit local campgrounds for backpacking, hiking and camping, while many others chose to pitch a tent right out their own back door.
 
If you’re one of the millions who’ll be roasting marshmallows over an open fire (or over the BBQ in the backyard), you may want to think about a few small investments that can make your camping experience memorable and fun without breaking the bank.
 
First, let’s talk about the most important piece of equipment for any type of camping excursion — the tent. It’s the staple of your outdoor stay — regardless of where you’re staying.
 
Tents can vary in size, shape, weight and price, and Dunham’s has something for everyone. From smaller tents like the Coleman Sun Dome and the Eureka! Apex 2XT, to a family tent like the Browning Cottonwood tents or the World Famous 18 x 10 tent, you’re sure to find one that will fit your needs.
 
Keep in mind, if you’re camping away from home, it’s a good idea to practice putting up your tent in the back yard before the trip. A dark rainy night is not the time you want to try to figure out which pole goes where!
 
Sleeping bags are also a necessity. You’ll want a bag that will keep you comfortable in different climates, so unless you plan to camp in the extreme cold, Coleman suggests a three-season bag that will handle temperatures that drop to about 30 degrees. That said, if you’re someone who likes to pile on extra blankets at night, you might want to opt for a bag that is colder-rated.
 
Regardless of where you’re camping, you’ll also need a place to cook your food. If you’re doing the backyard thing, your BBQ grill is a handy option. However, if you’re staying at a campsite, you’ll need to bring your own stove or use a grill that’s located on the premises. (While many sites do have grills for use, you’ll want to make sure to pack your own charcoal, lighter and lighter fluid.)
 
Speaking of cooking, you’ll want to make sure you have paper plates, napkins, utensils (disposable or metal), and of course, some sort of table to eat on. While most campsites have picnic tables available for use, there are several inexpensive folding tables on the market should you choose to purchase one. Again, if you’re roughing it in the backyard, your patio table will make a great picnic setting.
 
Flashlights, matches and lanterns are also important to have when camping. And, while you backyard campers can certainly use your porch light, an “official” camping lantern makes the experience feel more authentic.
 
So, now that you know the basics of what you’ll need to pack, have you figured out what you’ll do once you’re there? Well, here are a few suggestions to help make your family camping trip (home or away) a fun experience for everyone:
 
Make s’mores. Everyone loves them, and they are easy to make. Just toast marshmallows over a fire and then place between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate.
 
Give your kids 10-15 minutes to go on a nature hunt. Have them find things like “the biggest green leaf,” or “the smoothest rock.” Gather back at the campsite and talk about what you found.
 
Play flashlight tag. Every player gets a flashlight and everyone runs around the yard — or campsite, hiding from the flashlight beams while trying to spot other players with flashlights.
 
Remember, with a little preparation, and the right equipment, camping can be an exciting, inexpensive vacation option for the whole family. So lace up your hiking boots, pack up the cooler, and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors. It will be a trip you’ll never forget.
 
Important tips to keep in mind when camping away from home:
 
Pack items that have multiple uses — this cuts down on the amount of gear you have to take. For example, a poncho packs easily and can be used as a rain jacket, a windbreaker, a ground cloth or a mosquito shield.
 
Wear comfortable shoes — a hike in the woods could turn into a host of blisters if your shoes are too tight — or not the appropriate material for the terrain.
 
Dress in layers — this way, you can take clothing off if you get too warm — and put it back on when the weather starts to cool off.
 
Always let people know where you are going and when you plan to return — chances are, everything will be fine, but if something does happen, someone will know where to send help.
 
Other things to pack:
–First aid kit (bandages, cold compress, calamine lotion, antihistamine, aspirin/similar pain reliever, antibacterial ointment)
–Bug spray
–Plastic bags (storage for food, wet items, outdoor objects you find)
 
-Happy Camper
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

As Close as Your Own Backyard

It’s summer, and the backyard beckons.
 
What better way to spend a sunny summer day than with the family in your own backyard? No need to ponder where to go and what to do. Forget the travails of travel and parking.
 
At one time, fun in the backyard meant badminton or croquet. No wonder most of us hit the road looking for entertainment. But today there are a wide variety of outdoor games from which to choose; games the family can enjoy together.
 
To give you an idea of some of the great choices in backyard entertainment, we’ve put together brief descriptions of some of the games families enjoy most.
 
Poles by Watersports LLC
 
This is a new game that makes the flying disc more fun than ever. All you need to play are two game poles, a flying disc and a couple of empty water bottles. The poles are illuminated for night play and have a sturdy base that keeps them upright. They come packed in a carrying case along with the flying disc.
 
To play, the poles are placed 20 to 30 feet apart and an empty water bottle is placed atop each pole. The object of the game is to knock the bottle from the top of the pole with a flying disc. Players throw the disc from behind their pole toward the opposition’s pole. A direct hit on the bottle or a hit on the pole that causes the bottle to fall results in a score. Two or more can play, with teammates taking turns.
 

Corntoss Bean Bag Game
 

From Driveway Games comes a weatherproof version of this classic target game. Competitors toss plastic-filled beanbags at portable plastic game boards. The competition is scored similar to horseshoes and offers hours of entertainment for two to four players. Packed in a storage bag, the game includes a rulebook and setup guide.
 
Stream Machine Water Guns
 
Put on those bathing suits and get out the water guns! Stream Machine hydrobolic water launchers from Watersports LLC can shoot water up to 70 feet. Quick and easy to fill, they’re the perfect choice for serious water battles. Stream Machines are available in a variety of sizes, so there’s one to fit the smallest or largest of hands. A double barrel model doubles the fun.
 
BAGGO® Bag Toss
 
BAGGO® is a popular backyard game where two or four players toss beanbag-like toss bags of unpopped corn at plastic targets. The game comes with toss bags, game boards, built-in scorekeepers, and an instruction manual. Toss a bag in the game board’s hole and score three points, a bag on the board scores one. The first player or team to reach 21 wins.
 
Tournament Gold Volleyball
 
Volleyball is an active game that will get the family moving. Sportcraft’s Tournament Gold Volleyball set comes with heavy-duty poles, an easy-to-install, clip-on 32-ft x 3-ft net, an on-net scorekeeping system, an official volleyball, and an air pump.
 
Blongo Ball
 
Does your family blongo? From Blongo Family Fun comes this new game that will provide hours of entertainment. Bounce blongo balls — two golf balls joined by a foot of rope — onto the rungs of a ladder-like stand to earn points. According to the manufacturer, the game does not require athletic skill.
 
Kan Jam
 
This disc-tossing game from Kan Jam LLC is fast-paced fun for four players. One player from each team throws the disc toward the target “kan.” If the thrower doesn’t score a direct hit, a teammate tries to deflect it into or onto the kan. Points are awarded based on whether the disc strikes the can or lands in it. The first team to record an exact score of 21 wins. A direct toss into the kan’s narrow slot is an instant win. The distance between the kans can be modified to accommodate players of various ages and ability.
 
Washer Toss
 
Ty Fun Trading Company’s Washer Game provides tons of fun in just a wee bit of space. Players score points by tossing washers into a cup within a box. A toss into the cup counts for more than a toss into the box. Scoring is similar to horseshoes. More than two can play as teams. First player or team to score 21 points wins.
 
Jarts, Hula Hoops, and Hot Ropes
 
From Whamo and Fundex come classic backyard toys like the easy-to-learn but tough-to-master hula hoop. While hula hooping is usually a solo sport, Jarts is a game for two players or two teams. Large darts are tossed underhand toward a horizontal target on the ground. Jumping rope is great exercise for one or the whole gang, and vibrantly colored Hot Ropes bring high fashion to this favorite outdoor activity.
 
-Fun For All Ages
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

KAYAK — TO WHERE THE FISH ARE

Fishing from kayaks has exploded in popularity over the past decade, and for good reason. These small personal watercraft offer several advantages to the angler over conventional boats — no need for a boat launch, no noisy motor to scare the fish, and a nimbleness that lets you get into those tight spots where fish like to hide and where typical fishing boats won’t fit.
 
It’s Personal
 
It would be hard to find a more personal outdoor activity than paddling a single-seat kayak (two- and four-seat kayaks are also available). You propel yourself and go exactly where you want to go, which gives you the freedom to escape the crowds and find nature on your own terms.
 
That personal character of a kayak is something to keep in mind when buying one.
 
You will be spending a lot of time in (or on) it, so be sure it fits you and you are completely comfortable. Lucian Gazel runs a kayak fishing guide service on the Great Lakes, and he says you can do that without actually putting a kayak in the water. “In the store, you can sit in the kayak, get a paddle and move your arms and you can tell right away if you’re too restricted or if you have a good fit.”
 
Your individual needs go beyond just how the kayak fits, however. Where you will use the kayak and where you will fish are also important. If you’ll primarily fish in open water — large lakes — then stability may be more important. If you’ll spend most of your time on rivers and smaller lakes, then mobility and nimbleness may be bigger priorities.
 
Accessorizing Your Kayak
 
While kayaks are able to go where conventional fishing boats can’t, their relative smaller size means a whole different strategy on carrying your fishing “stuff.” Space is at a premium, and you have to carefully plan how you’ll carry rods, reels, tackle, bait and all the other gear you can just throw into a fishing boat.
 
So, what do you need and where do you put it? The experts agree that the key is to start slow. “I wouldn’t buy any kind of fishing accessory for a kayak until I’ve had the kayak in the water at least 3 or 4 times,” says Gazel. “The mistake kayak rookies often make is they put their rod holder in a place that interferes with their paddling. The problem is, once you’ve drilled that hole, you’re pretty well stuck with it.”
 
There are numerous accessories for the kayak angler — rod holders, storage for bait and fish, tackle boxes, running lights, anchors, drift chutes, seatbacks, paddle keepers, fish finders — the list goes on and on.
 
Kayak veterans say newcomers should keep things simple, at least at first. All you really need is a rod holder. Then, after a few trips you can adapt your kayak fishing gear to your own experiences. There’s plenty of time to stock up on your “toys.”
 
Catching Fish from a Kayak
 
Kayaks give you a built-in advantage of “stealth” fishing, and the ability to go just about anywhere the fish are. Still, there are different techniques for fishing from a kayak.
 
Trolling — Just as with a conventional boat, but you can troll in tighter areas. You drift with the current or paddle, dragging a lure or bait.
 
Drifting — You can drift in the general direction of a structure. Put away your paddle and use a rudder to steer.
 
Side Saddle — From a sit-on-top kayak, this is an excellent technique in shallow water where you can see bottom. You can control the kayak without a paddle, using your feet to “walk” across the bottom.
 
Poling and Standing — Standing lets you see down in the water for excellent sight-casting. Obviously, this takes a very stable craft in calm waters. You can use a pole to propel yourself.
 
Fly Fishing — Easier in a sit-inside kayak, because you’ve got a perfect place to store a stripped fly line.
 
Wade Fishing — You can anchor the kayak, or you can tie yourself to it with a bowline.
 
Once you’ve fished from a kayak, you may never go back to the “old” way. And you may also find you spend plenty of time in your kayak without a fishing rod, simply enjoying nature.
 
CHOOSING A KAYAK PADDLE
 
Choosing the right paddle is very important — you’re going to be using that paddle virtually every moment you’re in the kayak. Lucian Gazel’s advice is simple: “Buy the most expensive paddle you can afford.”
 
3 Paddle Characteristics
 
Blade Length and Shape
 
A wider blade has more surface area and can provide more acceleration, but will also require more effort. Feathered blades have the blades turned at an angle to one another (rather than parallel). This allows a more efficient stroke as the blade that is not in the water is leading into the wind with its narrow edge instead of the flat side, for less wind resistance. However, additional wrist turning is required, so a compromise for novice paddlers is a collapsible paddle that can be adjusted for feathered or unfeathered use.
 
A spooned paddle has a curled or cupped face that increases the power of a stroke, while a dihedral paddle has a type of tapered nose in the middle of the face that helps direct water around the paddle.
 
Shaft Length and Shape
 
Length is important based on your size, the size of the kayak and the paddle effort desired. While most paddle shafts are straight, there are several bent-shaft models that may increase a paddler’s comfort as well as provide for a stronger, more efficient stroke.
 
Materials
 
The materials used to construct the paddle will determine its weight, durability and flexibility. Paddles may be made of fiberglass, plastic, aluminum, graphite, Kevlar, carbon or good-old-fashioned wood. Each type has its own feel as to weight and flex. Where you kayak is also important. If you primarily use rivers, streams and small lakes, you are more likely to run into rocks, trees and other debris, so durability is more important than if you primarily kayak in open water.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Little League, Batter Up!

Choosing the right baseball bat for your little leaguer can be a challenging but also a highly rewarding experience. A tremendous amount of science and engineering goes into the design of today’s bats. Many feature exotic combinations of aluminum, zinc, copper, magnesium and titanium. Others use synthetic composites and space-age bonding materials. New technology also helps reduce weight, enlarge the hitting area and improve overall energy transfer.
 
For most little league players, however, it still comes down to length and weight. Here are some general guidelines to use in selecting the appropriate length of a bat by age or weight and height.
 
Determining Bat Length by Age

Age Bat Length
5 – 7 24” – 26”
8 – 9 26” – 28”
10 28” – 29”
11 – 12 30” – 31”


 
Bats are also available in a number of different weights, measured in ounces. A concept called bat drop can also help young players increase both swing speed and bat control. The bat drop is the weight of the bat in ounces minus its length in inches. For example, a 21-ounce, 31-inch bat has a bat drop of minus 10 (21 –31 = -10).
 
One way to determine if the weight of a bat is right for your little leaguer is to have them grip the bat with one hand and hold it straight out from their body. They should easily be able to hold it in that position for up to five seconds. If not, try a bat of the same length but with a greater minus bat drop.
 
Before selecting any bat make sure it fits and feels right in your little leaguer’s hands. Also make sure it conforms to all league guidelines for length and weight. Choosing the right bat will help your child develop good batting habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.
 
-Home Run Hitter
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

DRIVE FOR SHOW … PUTT FOR DOUGH

The last time you went golf shopping, how much time did you spend researching drivers? Probably a lot more time than when you got your putter, right? True, drivers are a lot more complicated (and expensive) than putters. And while drivers have a huge impact on our golf egos (we all want to be longest off the tee), it is our putter that will have a much bigger impact on our scores.
 
For a scratch golfer, about half of his or her strokes are on the green. And while the ratio may be lower for high handicappers, the importance of putting can’t be overstated. You can recover from a bad drive—not so for a missed putt.
 
Putting technology has changed dramatically since the days of Bobby Jones’ famous wood-shafted “Calamity Jane” (still a very good putter, by the way). The advancements have all sought to improve that ephemeral “feel” that all golfers need on the green. Regardless of the head design—blade, peripheral-weighted or mallet, you can take advantage of high tech enhancements.
 
Metal Inserts
 
Inserts are added to the face of a putter. Technically, they increase the “Moment of Inertia” (MOI). Non-technically, that means there’s less chance the head of the putter will twist, causing the ball to go places you don’t want it—say, anywhere besides the hole. Steel is the traditional insert and it usually gives soft and responsive feedback for a solid, controlled feel. Various other metals are also available—bronze, aluminum, brass, copper, zinc, titanium—all with their own distinctive “feel.”
 
Non-Metal Inserts
 
Lightweight non-metal inserts allow the weight of the putter to be redistributed elsewhere on the putter face. The MOI increases, as does the “forgiveness” (at least in theory). The downside of non-metal inserts is they produce less sound than metal, reducing the feedback, which for some golfers means less “feel”.
 
Groovy Putters
 
The key to accurate putting is to achieve forward rolling motion immediately upon striking the ball. Grooves on a putter can help achieve this motion and keep the ball on line. At impact, the grooves grip the surface of the ball and simultaneously lift the ball out of its resting position and give an over-the-top rolling action.
 
Putting Is Personal
 
Finding the right putter is definitely a trial-and-error process. When your putter is working well, you are on top of your game. When it’s not, well—time to go shopping again.
 
-Par Shooter
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.