My husband and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. Keeping active, enjoying the outdoors and exploring something new have remained important objectives of our lives. We are fortunate to live in a state where just about everybody else shares the same objectives.
We have many friends who love to kayak. Every time we heard about the fun adventures they had and the stories of nature they observed, it made my husband and me more and more interested in trying it out. Many years ago on a vacation we had borrowed a couple of kayaks from family members and remembered enjoying the experience. Then when we were visiting our daughter and her husband the week before our anniversary we happened to go shopping in a mall with a Cabelas sports store. They had all their kayaks leaning against the outside of the building and on sale, with impressive discounts. We had to stop and talk to someone about the kayaks and kayaking. It was just too tempting. We decided it was the right time to take on a new sport: kayaking! With our anniversary a week away we thought it was the perfect gift to give each other. We opted for a sit-on-top kayak. Here is what we have learned about the sport and how to have fun doing it:
Types of kayaking. There are 5 types of kayaking: recreational, whitewater, sea, surf and touring. We knew from the beginning we didn’t want to start out whitewater rafting. We wanted to start the sport on lakes and reservoirs as recreational kayakers.
Good for your health. Kayaking has many health benefits. Specific health benefits include:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, from moving the paddle
- Increased torso and leg strength, as the strength to power a canoe or kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs
- Reduced risk of wear-and-tear on joints and tissues, since paddling is a low impact activity.
We particularly liked the idea that we were reducing the wear-and-tear on our joints and tissues, especially with my recent challenges with my knees.
Equipment needed for day kayaking. The first 3 items on the list are a must; the other items will make it a more enjoyable experience:
- Life vest (PFD)
- Waterproof whistle
- Waterproof gloves
- Sun hat with a rim and an adjustable drawcord
- Water shoes or sandals
- Quick drying clothes with UV protection
- Waterproof pouch with carabiner or ties to put keys and other essentials
- Waterproof camera
Opens up many new doors to travel and discovery. Just in our state alone there are so many lakes and reservoirs we can travel to and enjoy. There are so many, in fact, it will take us years to visit them all! Access to them are more often than not free or charge a nominal day fee and can be reached within a days drive. As we have recently discovered, we have many within a couple of hours of our home.
Great for swapping stories. Getting out there on the water allows us to see the world from a different point of view. We discover new animals each time we go. This past time we identified a yellow-headed blackbird in the tall grasses at one end of the reservoir. Beautiful. Very fun to talk about and share.
Since starting this new adventure we have bought a season pass to our local reservoir and have found a way to go there each weekend we are in town. Each time we go out on the lake we have new experiences. The weather, the birds, the fish, the other people out there kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, paddle boating, fishing, swimming and picnicking make it memorable each time. We are loving it.
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!