HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT KAYAK
Kayaking and canoeing are very old methods of transportation and can vary from a pleasant paddle along a flat-water river or sheltered coastline to a fast and exciting paddle down a white-sater river. The only interruption to a continuous, comfortable journey will be extreme rapids, weirs or non-navigable locks, when the boat will have to be carried overland.
CHOOSING A BOAT AND PADDLES
A Hugh number of kayaks are now available. They are all single-seaters. When choosing a kayak, check that it has sufficient buoyancy to float when full of water; the buoyancy should be distributed so that the kayak floats level when swamped. It must have a seat and a footrest to brace against, otherwise
you will not be able to paddle properly.
Canoes are available as single- and double -seaters. A double canoe will accommodate two people, as well as all the supplies necessary for several days of touring. A double canoe will accommodate two people, as well as all the supplies necessary for several days of touring. A double canoe can be paddled by one person. but putting two people in a solo canoe is a recipe for a swim. Canoes for three or more people are also available. Double canoes vary from expensive wooded models to cheaper alternatives made of synthetic materials, such a aluminum and polymers. which are more resistant to serious damage if you scrape them over rocks in low-water conditions.
Paddles need to be robust but as light as possible. They also need to be the right length: to check the length of a kayak paddle, stand it up level with your foot, and reach up to grasp the top blade. You should be able to do this comfortably with your arm slightly bent. A canoe paddle is always shorter than a kayak paddle because it has only one blade. Beautifully crafted wooden paddles have the nicest feel. but paddles with alloy shafts and plastic blades are a lot cheaper. If you are buying a hiring a paddle, try out a variety of models before deciding. Always carry a spare set of paddles with you in case of damage or loss.
Take care, and always remember to be safe no matter where your happy trails take you! Written by Randy Cromar