Archive for Outdoor Activities

A brief summary of beginner’s recreational kayaking tips

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The amazing scenery, feelings of relaxation and enjoying the roll of a warm humid breeze against your face are just a few of the incredible reasons why recreational kayaking is good for you. Having the right recreational kayaks and accessories is not enough if one does not have the right skills. Here are a few cardinal rules of kayaking that will ensure that you make the most of your day out.

The posture of a paddler is very important during kayaking and the wrong sitting posture can lead to back pains. A paddler should always ensure that he/she sits up straight which allows the paddler to utilize the upper body effectively thereby providing adequate power and good movement. Paddling while leaning forward or backwards might end up wasting much of the effort on the arms which will leave the paddler really tired. In order to achieve a stroke that is efficient always ensure that the whole blade of a paddle is in the water.

For effective paddling, the paddler should always ensure that the arms are stretched fully and the width between the hands should be shoulder wide. Paddling with arms that are spaced too wide makes the paddler tire quite fast while a narrow spacing of the hand reduces the strength of stroke. Every paddle has two sides, the spine and the scoop. The scoop of the paddle should always face the paddler during forward paddling while the spine should face the paddler when moving backwards.

Beginners using recreational kayaks are known to apply unnecessary pressure on the paddle shaft otherwise known as a death grip which causes a lot of fatigue. Slightly opening the fingers creates a loose hold to the paddle which is more comfortable and effective. Having your Knuckles pointing upwards is one way of showing that a paddler is handling the paddle in the right manner.

Pop up buttons are now a common feature of modern paddles. They are placed at the center of the shaft to allow the paddlers to hold their blades at different angles mainly 30, 45 and 90 degrees. Beginners are known to keep their blades parallel to each other which is inappropriate for conditions which are windy since the wind may create a drag hence reducing the kayaks speed.

Getting back to the shore after a day out on a recreational kayak can sometimes become a toll order due to offshore winds which abruptly appear on the sea or ocean. Paddlers are advised to always engage the locals and make use of different media sources to understand the prevailing patterns of weather, conditions of the shoreline, and the currents that may be found on the sea, ocean or river to avoid accidents.

Tandem recreational kayaks are appropriate for a day’s trip into the waters with friends. Paddlers are however advised to avoid consumption of alcohol while kayaking or use of other drugs. Personal floatation devices are important equipments that every recreational kayaker should have. Although they are not very comfortable to wear, protective gear might save your life incase of an emergency.


Embracing a healthy lifestyle through kayaking

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Lifestyle diseases have become a major concern for most people today. This has made many people to embrace healthy lifestyles to avoid falling victim for killer diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and many others.

This therefore means that people are being very attentive to the kind of foods that they consume. A healthy lifestyle is boosted by consumption of healthy foods and performing regular exercises so as to keep the body fit for normal functioning.

The modern day man is susceptible to contracting various lifestyle diseases owing to the nature of foods he takes and failure to perform exercises. Junk foods are especially high in empty calories and cause increase in weight when consumed. These foods are deficient of vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals which are necessary for proper functioning of the body.

Modern lifestyle has also discouraged people from performing regular exercises for fitness. Most of the time, individuals have tight working schedules with very little time left for performing exercises. It is therefore important that people find alternative ways of performing workouts that can be fun and more fulfilling.

Kayaking is an outdoor activity that has increasingly grown in popularity with time. Some people chose kayaking as a hobby, while others view it as a great way of performing body workouts. There are different types of kayaks such as sit in and sit on top kayaks that can be used by both beginners and skilled kayakers.

Kayaks for beginners are easy to paddle and quite stable on water. The most common types of kayaks for beginners include the inflatable and hard-shell sit on top kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are made from materials such as PVC, hardened rubber, polyutherane amongst others.

These kayaks are durable since the materials used to make them have been hardened to resist wear and tear. They are also considered stable and hence very friendly for use by beginners. Most of the inflatable kayaks have large storage spaces and can carry extra luggage. These kayaks can be used in a variety of environments such as in rivers, lakes, oceans and seas.

Inflatable kayaks require some considerable effort to propel compared to hard shell kayaks. The action of paddling an inflatable kayak provides a great opportunity of working out various muscles of the body. While paddling, one uses various sets of body muscles that include the hands, the legs, core muscles, chest muscles and the abdominal muscles.

A beginner can also consider a sit on top kayak for kayaking. Just like the inflatable kayaks, sit on top kayaks are considered stable and also good for beginners. Apart from paddling, sit on top kayaks can be used for kayak fishing. Hard shell sit on top kayaks however leave a paddler exposed to the elements such as the cold spray.

One advantage of kayaking is that an individual can combine it with other hobbies such as photography, wildlife viewing, camping, hiking and bird watching. Sea touring kayaks come in handy during such expeditions. These are sit in kayaks that have been designed to offer maximum comfort for individuals paddling over long distances.


Kayaking was the highlight activity that spiced up our vacation last summer

couple kayaking by a tropical island in the Caribbean

Last summer, I had a fantastic time with my family during vacation. Among other things that contributed to the vacation’s success, kayaking topped the list. This was our first time to try kayaking as a family. My wife and I had been introducing to kayaking by another family with whom we were close friends. They had tried kayaking during their previous vacation and realized that it was a great outdoor activity and they urged us to try it on our vacation.

We were going on vacation together with another family that lives a few blocks away from our

house. There are two kids in that family, a son and a daughter just like in my family. My kids are however younger with my son who is ten years and my daughter who is eight years old. All the kids were however old enough to kayak.

I had been introduced to kayaking earlier by my work colleagues one time when went for team building. My wife and kids had never kayaked before and so I knew that kayaking would be a great experience for them. In the other family, no one had ever kayaked before. They were however good swimmers since they have a swimming pool in their compound that they used frequently.

Our friends, who had recommended kayaking for us, had purchased an inflatable tandem kayak during their vacation. They offered to lend this inflatable kayak for our vacation. Apparently, they had loved kayaking so much that they purchased a kayak so that they could be using it regularly especially on weekends.

Tandem kayaks are kayaks paddled by two people. They are very stable and also have the advantage of carrying extra weight especially when kayaking with families.

The kayak proved to be advantageous to us since it could be deflated within minutes to a size that could fit in a travel bag. Inflation is also easy. We were able to conveniently transport our kayak in the trunk of our vehicle unlike the hard-shell kayaks which require transportation on carriers. This tandem kayak was also very light and the kids enjoyed carrying it around to different kayaking spots.

The tandem kayak was large enough and it could accommodate the four members in each family. We paddled the kayak in turns giving each family enough time on the waters. We were lucky to get other experienced kayakers during our vacation who taught us more kayaking tricks.

The vacation was on a kayaking resort where there was a myriad of other outdoor activities such as kayak fishing, surfing, and snorkeling. Having our own kayak was also advantageous since we did not incur the cost of hiring a kayak.

Apart from kayaking, we were also introduced to fishing using various fishing equipment such as bait casting reels and other fishing tackle. The inflatable kayak offered a stable fishing ground just like other specially made fishing kayaks.

This kayak also maneuvered easily on waters but it required some effort to propel. I never viewed this as a disadvantage since it acted as an alternative form of work out for us during the vacation.


Transforming a hobby into a business; how my father is making a living out of his kayaking hobby

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When I was young, just like many boys do, I struggled to get along with my father. When my grandfather was alive, he liked to remind me that I shared a lot of similarities with my father who also found it difficult getting along with him.

However, as I grew older, I started looking for ways that would enable us mend our differences.  Whenever I found myself brooding like any young boy, I would remind myself of all the good things he had done for me.

I was lucky to be brought up in a coastal city which has exposed me to a lot of fun outdoor water activities such as snorkeling, surfing and kayaking. My father, who is now a retired colonel, loved kayak fishing and I occasionally accompanied him whenever he went to fish in the ocean. Kayak fishing was one of the greatest skills he taught me.

He owned three kayaks, two hard-shell kayaks and one inflatable kayak. He taught me kayaking basics with the inflatable kayak which is one of the best kayaks for beginners. The inflatable kayak was extremely stable and it could accommodate extra weight unlike the other two hard-shell kayaks.

After kayaking severally with my father, I gained immense skills and I could kayak on my own when I was twelve years old. Apart from kayaking, he also introduced me to kayak fishing. Kayaking together with my father strengthened the bond between us and with time, we became great friends. We would occasionally go fishing together especially on weekends.

Upon his retirement, my father bought a retirement home in a smaller city that is a few miles away. By then, I was already working and I was also married. I had a son who was three years old by the time my parents moved out of the city to the small town.

In the new small town, life was easy for my parents. They could easily get fresh groceries from the nearby farms cheaply. There was also no traffic or noise pollution unlike in the big town where I lived. Life in this town seemed to suit my parents who were looking for a more peaceful environment to reside in.

The small town where they live is surrounded by two big rivers. My father would occasionally go kayak fishing in the rivers, a thing that he really enjoyed.

Three years after settling down, my father was running out of money and he needed to start a venture that would keep him occupied. He asked me for some ideas on the best venture he would start.

I realized that a kayaking business would suit him since he had been kayaking for a long time and he had made lot of friends in the kayaking industry. He agreed on the idea and we immediately began putting up a store for kayaks and fishing gear.

We set up the shop in the small town and I also helped him to set up a website to sell some affordable kayaks and blogs where he would keep his audience updated on his activities.

Apart from dealing in affordable kayaks, he also began doing repairs for old and worn out kayaks. The store has been doing very well and my father is making good money out of his hobby.


Demystifying common myths on inflatable kayaks and providing the real facts

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Many paddlers cannot dispute the fact that inflatable kayaks are the most portable kayaks. Despite this and other advantages of the inflatable kayak, there are a lot of myths that are peddled out there concerning inflatable kayaks most of which are untrue. Sadly, some of the myths are mostly perpetuated by people who do not get the opportunity to learn the actual facts. Here are some of the most common myths;

Many people believe that since inflatable kayaks do not have a cockpit that is enclosed like the hard shell kayaks, they fill up with water more easily. This is actually not true because inflatable kayaks are self-bailing and have holes in their seams that drain the kayaks very quickly. The sides of an inflatable kayak are raised higher than the hard shell kayaks hence not much water makes its way into the kayak despite not having a covered cockpit.

It is also believed by many people that as soon as an inflatable kayak hits a rock or any other rough surfaces in a river it gets punctured. Well, this is actually very far from the truth since most inflatable kayaks are made from PVC material that is a heavy duty material which easily bounces off rocks without much of a scratch. While punctures can sometimes be experienced, they are not as frequent as a lot of people seem to believe.

It is also common for people to think that inflatable kayaks are less stable in comparison to hard shell kayaks. But the truth is that inflatable kayaks are made with a base that is wider than their hard shell counterparts which makes them more stable, especially where huge waves are involved. The wide base is also beneficial in many ways since it increases the space on the inflatable kayaks. This is one of the reasons why inflatable kayaks are now preferred for fishing. This is because it has more space for accessories like the fishing lines, baits for fish and fish storage space.

Due to their size, many people have been made to believe that inflatable kayaks are less maneuverable and quite sluggish. Contrary to this believe, some modern inflatable kayaks are known to track very well and also move quite swiftly on rivers. Most inflatable kayaks are also known to maneuver through category 4 whitewater courses.

You might also have heard people saying that inflatable kayakers are not made for people who are serious with kayaking. A closer look at many whitewater festivals will actually prove this kind of assertion wrong since there are now more competitions in whitewater events that are set aside for inflatable kayaks. All these competitions are organized for serious kayakers and it clearly shows that inflatable kayakers are also for serious kayakers.

People who are used to using hard shell kayaks believe that inflatable kayaks are not as fun as the hard shell kayaks. In contrast to this kind of believe, people who begin kayaking using an inflatable kayak gain water confidence much faster and begin to enjoy kayaking faster than the beginners who start with hard shell kayaks.


Choosing the right fish finder for your kayak

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Any avid fisherman understands the thrill and excitement of a good day’s catch and the disappointment of spending your day in the sea and coming out empty handed. In order to ensure productivity and more fun while fishing, the anglers might want to carry along some fish finders.

Most of these gadgets are plug_and_play and are made to easily fit into a kayaks bottom. However, fishing kayaks that are not designed to hold fish finders can have it drilled and mounted onto the boat; although this is not advisable since it makes selling or trading the kayak impossible. Below are the components of a good fish finder;

The transducer is the signal sending and receiving component of a kayak fish finder that is either mounted on the inside of a kayaks hull where the signal is shot through the kayaks material or it can be mounted from the scupper hole using a pipe. Data that is picked by the transducer is then sent to the main unit where the signals are converted into visual images that can be understood by anglers.

Depending on the intended use, and the type of fishing kayak that the fish finder is to be mounted on, transducers are made from various kinds of materials. Unless otherwise stated, most beginner transducers are made from plastic. These are perfect for most recreational and sports fishing enthusiasts. They are also compatible with most fishing kayaks and boats.

Transducers that have a plastic housing should be used on hulls that are made from metal and fiberglass.  Transducers that have a housing made from stainless steel are best suited for aluminum and steel hulls while fiberglass and wooden hulls would get the best results from bronze housed transducers.

Once the data has been conveyed to the main unit from the transducer, it is then displayed on the screen. Kayak fish finders should have a screen that is around six inches. Anything more than this is usually too much especially considering that the space on fishing kayaks is limited. In most cases a ram mount is used to mount and fasten the display to a kayaks side.

Any display that is more than 7 inches would mean increasing the weight on your kayak by more than 6 pounds which is not advisable. Apart from the size of the screen greater consideration should be given to the pixels that a screen displays. The bigger the number of pixels usually means a better image. The resolution of many fish finder displays range from 240 by 240 to a high of 640 by 640 pixels. For images that are crispier and sharper it is important to invest in kayak fish finders that have a high resolution screen.

Every electronic gadget or system must have a source of power in order to function; and so does a kayak fish finder. Most people prefer the marine battery that is built into a waterproof box with wires that are then ran to the display and the transducer.  Those who do not like all the wiring on a kayak may opt for the portable battery powered fish finders. These come with waterproof cells that are popped into the gadgets.