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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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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