Friday, October 30, 2009
Get a Recreational Kayak During The Off Season
I got a chance to paddle my good friend, Greg's 15 foot Dagger Edisto touring kayak this Summer. It is a real deal Sea Kayak with a rudder and everything. You squeeze into this boat like an extremely intimate pair of shorts. The cockpit is so small, I think I could have used a rubberband for a spray skirt! Where my recreational kayak has sturdy foot pegs to transfer the power of my paddling stroke to moving the boat, the touring kayak has pedals attached to the rudder via rope or something. I do not like paddling with a rudder.
Touring kayaks don't really suit me for paddling in Oklahoma. The extra length in the water line does make these long kayaks slip through the water with a bit more ease. However, the longer boats tend to catch more wind. A shallow drafting boat like the Dagger Edisto can weathercock quite a bit in Oklahoma's nearly perpetual winds.
Trying out different kayaks is always funfor me, but so far, I am a hooked on the recreational kayaks like my Perception Swifty or Dianne's new twelve foot Vapor Angler XT kayak from Old Town. Her 12 foot kayak offer much more carrying capacity, it is quite a bit faster than my Swifty and is one of the quietest, most comfortable kayaks I have ever paddled.
I would like to paddle a few foldable kayaks. I tried a cheap inflatable kayak, but I found it to be WAY more hassle than I want to add to my paddling trips. I haven't really tried any of the folding kayaks yet, but they do look compelling. My 9.5 foot plastic kayak won't fit easily into most vehicles, but it is tough as nails and always ready to hit the water when I am...no waiting required.
Saturday and Sunday both look like they will offer warm temps and low wind. Local lakes and rivers are mostly devoid of other boaters and the Fall color is quite vibrant. This is an awesome season for canoeing in Oklahoma. Find yourself an inexpensive recreational kayak, a cheap digital camera and embrace the sweet nectar than is Autumn. Of course, if you don't want to buy a kayak, you could always build your kayak.