Monday, May 18, 2009

Gearing Up for Kayaking

Blog Note: I'm working (with help) on a new design. Still in progress, so hope you'll be patient as I try to get all the features where I'd like them to be!

On to some Kayaking Info:
We went to the Contoocook River Canoe Company Kayak and Canoe Demo in Concord yesterday. There were lots of manufacturers, hundreds of kayaks, paddles and other gear, and some very helpful salespeople. So helpful, in fact, that we parted with some serious money for Werner paddles.

Can't say which "model" we bought, but they're made of carbon and light as air. You can read more about Werner paddles and take a quiz that will help you choose the right paddle on their website. I also discovered that if you register your new paddle on the site, Werner will donate a percentage to an outdoor non-profit organization you select from a list of options. Pretty cool (even though it's an obvious marketing ploy to get your e-mail address).

Is anyone looking for kayak (or water) shoes? After months of searching, Doug found some last week at Alec's Shoe Store in downtown Nashua. They had a big selection. I love my L.L. Bean shoes bought a few years back at a kayak show. They give me good footing at those rocky put-ins and they dry so quickly.

And now it's confession time: we're usually out on the water by this time of year. What's the hold-up and why all the chatter about gear? The truth is I'm having back problems and I'm delaying getting out on the water until my back can "mend" a little. I feel like one of those high-priced ball players. You know -- when they put them on the disabled list so they won't risk a more serious injury and be out all season? Um, yeah, that's me.

Doug didn't wait. He took his kayak and headed out for a short paddle on Round Pond yesterday on Route 101A near our house. Road and airport noise were an issue, but he did see some ducks and geese. And he said the new paddle was awesome! They are calibrated so you can feather them with more precision. (A year ago, we had no idea what this was all about, but we're learning.)

Feathering is when you offset the blades on your paddle -- so if you held out your paddle in front of you, one blade would be level and the other would be at a 30-degree angle, for example. I'll write more on that later. For now, I'm off to ice my back and work more on the blog design.

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