A river runs
Kayaking can take
you places you’ve never
By Samantha and Michael Rogers
WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE—looking at kayaks in a warehouse and thinking, “Kayaking
looks like it would be a lot of fun.” And it is!
Kayaking is extremely enjoyable and, as an
added benefit, it’s great exercise. But before
you take to the water, here are a few things
you should know.
COURTESY PELICAN INTERNATIONAL
skills. Even if you’re planning on running rapids, it is a good idea to try it out in calm waters
first and, if possible, take lessons.
water. Make sure to dress properly for the
weather—dry suits in colder weather will
protect you from hypothermia. Proper footwear is essential as well.
The extras. If you are new to kayaking you
will also need to purchase a paddle, a personal flotation device (PFD), a helmet (espe-
Size. Kayaks come in different shapes and
sizes, depending on what type of kayaking
you wish to pursue. Longer, sleeker boats are
better for lakes because they are faster,
go straight more easily, are generally more
stable and are easier to paddle. A shorter
boat is better for playing in rapids because it
will be easier to maneuver and will steer
Speed. Most people associate kayaking with
riding the rapids down a river, but it can be a
serene sport. The first thing you should do
before buying a kayak is ask yourself if you
want to hit the rapids, take it easy on a glassy
lake or something in between.
THERE ARE MANY ways to learn
about kayaking and obtain the necessary skills you will need to make
it a safe and enjoyable sport. The
Internet is a great place to learn
and read about kayaking. Key Web
Getting around. Transporting a kayak is
not complicated. If your vehicle doesn’t have
roof racks you can buy a set or simply use
foam blocks designed for transporting kayaks. Once your kayak is on the roof of your
vehicle you’ll need to tie it down—either with
tie-down straps or with a few good pieces of
rope. A rope on both the bow and stern of the
kayak and firmly tied to your vehicle, and a
rope around the middle of the kayak, either
attached to roof racks or tied through the
interior of the vehicle, will ensure that your
boat is secure.
The adrenaline rush from navigating in
fast-moving waters and the beautiful sights in
the wilderness are just two reasons kayaking is
so much fun. Go out, explore, enjoy yourself
and be safe. C
Double the fun. Kayaks come in solo and
tandem styles. You don’t need a tandem kayak
to go paddling with a partner; kayaking companions can use solo boats instead. While
many kayakers enjoy paddling alone, it’s best
to not go kayaking unaccompanied unless
you are experienced and confident.
For safety’s sake. Ideally, as a new kayaker,
you will find a quiet location to hone your
cially if you plan to run rapids), a spray skirt
and a bailer kit. A PFD is the most important
piece of safety equipment you will buy, so
make sure it is comfortable, fits properly and
is adjusted correctly. Check local laws to find
out about any other necessary safety equipment, but we suggest a loud whistle and a
rope in case your craft capsizes and fills with
Samantha and Michael Rogers are outdoor
enthusiasts from southern Ontario, Canada.
Together with their three children, they enjoy
canoeing, kayaking, camping and biking as
means to explore the wilderness.
The Costco Connection
Kayaks are available at select Costco locations and at Costco.com.