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Have you tried ... kayaking?

4:00 PM, Aug. 30, 2013  |  Comments
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Whether you want to sit back and relax, or you want to go screaming down the whitewater rapids - or anything in between - kayaking can be the sport for you.

Some people use kayaking as exercise; others use it as a way to socialize with friends. Some kayakers want to get into the shallows quietly to fish, and some want an adrenaline rush. Kayaking is an enjoyable experience no matter what your goals are.

The activity is easy on the joints - a true low-impact adventure sport.

You can learn the basics in protected waters within a few hours. To get started quickly and safely, it's usually best to take a class with a qualified instructor. Classes will teach how to get in and out of the boat and how to get out of a capsized kayak, or "wet exit."

Many paddling shops sponsor demo days on protected water in warm weather. This is a chance to test drive a wide variety of kayaks to see how you like the sport and which type of boat best suits your needs. You can rent kayaks at many paddling shops and outfitters. Determining which kayak is right for you begins with determining how you want to paddle.

Try numerous different paddles, and stick with the one that feels best. Paddle size is highly dependent on boat size. Wider boats often work best with longer paddles.

Do not plan a paddle outing if the forecast is calling for high winds or thunderstorms. If you plan on being out in nature and away from technology, NOAA weather radios come in handheld waterproof versions.

-Source: Carrie Butt, Divepoint Scuba/Divepoint Paddle co-owner

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