Choosing the Right Kayak for You

Kayaking is a great way to get out and enjoy the summer. Whether you’re using it to cast for your favorite catch, get in some exercise or just take in the warm air, there’s a kayak for you!

The most important aspect of your kayak purchase to consider is what you’ll be doing with it. Will you be cruising through calm, open water? Or will you be storing all your fishing gear? Are you planning a short, morning paddle or a day-long adventure? Answering these questions is the key to finding the right boat for you.

If you are going to be towing a lot of gear, fishing or otherwise, look for a kayak that is longer and has several compartments. Fishing kayaks also come with rod holders and offer more stability, so you can even stand up on them.

A wider kayak will offer you more stability, but a narrow model can be easier to paddle and will stay more straight in the water. Longer kayaks will also stay straight, but a short style can be lighter and easier to move.

Choosing the right paddle makes a difference as well. Consider the width of the kayak you’re purchasing when looking for paddles. You need paddles that can reach the water with ease and won’t knock against the sides of your boat. In addition to considering your kayak’s frame, you’ll want to think about your own frame.

“Two people that are 6-feet tall may not use the same length paddle. If it was a SUP [stand up paddleboard] paddle, it would be the same—but since you sit when paddling a kayak, the most important distance is the length of your torso,” said Tracy Lamper of KL Outdoor. “Likewise, a 6-foot person who’s very active and physically fit may be more ready to handle a more aggressive paddle than someone just starting out or not very physically fit.”

Lamper also said that the material a kayak is made from can offer perks. Thermoformed kayaks are a lightweight and cost-effective option. While a rotational molded kayak may be a little bit heavier than thermoformed kayaks, they can often be more impact and abrasion resistant and offer unique color blends. This style is best for rougher waters and longer trips.

You can find kayaks by KL Outdoor, Future Beach, Perception, Pelican, Old Town and other top brands and your local Dunham’s Sports. You’ll also find all the accessories you need and any other gear for summer fun.

 Don’t get stuck up a creek without a paddle. Visit your local Dunham’s to get the kayak and the paddles that fit your needs this summer!

-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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