The sport of paddling is becoming more popular by the month as people discover the joys of being on the water and paddling a canoe or Kayak. Many people ask me what sort of craft they might buy. My answer to this varies depending on your circumstances; what you plan to use it for and where you are likely to paddle most often.
You might like to reflect on these 3 points when making your choice:
1. Who is the canoe or kayak for; do you have a family with growing children, are you an individual, a couple and even if you are a couple would you like to have a double craft or single ones
2. Are you planning on going on longer expeditions and want room for camping, or are you more likely to just be using it for picnic trips were you are just in the one place
3. Are the water way conditions likely to vary from sheltered to more open waterways
Sit on top kayaks are great for kids to play around on during picnics by the lake side. A longer sit on top kayak with a rudder and some storage space can be used for day trips and shorter expeditions in more sheltered waters and are great as usually two kids can fit between the adults for short fun trips.
Sit in kayaks are great in both sheltered and unsheltered waterways. There are touring kayaks, Estuary kayaks and Sea kayaks, each one in turn usually gets longer and has more storage space. In buying craft with storage space it is good to have larger openings so you can pack your equipment more easily. At Kanu Kapers we use expedition sea kayaks for our Noosa Everglades kayak tours. They are fast, sleek, stable, have rudders and fabulous storage space for your gear.
The canoe is much more suitable for sheltered waters and paddling up and down rivers. My favourite is packing the canoe for a 4 or 5 day white water canoe adventure , heading off down a wild river with grade 2 and 3 rapids – a wonderful adventure that is totally inspiring and soul renewing
Whatever craft you choose paddle safe. Always make sure you wear a PFD, carry food, water, first aid, clothing that you can get warm in and always tell someone where you are going.
Happy paddling adventures Vivienne
P.S In next issue I will run through some basic paddling skills to help you on your way towards your next paddling adventure.