Lake kayaking is an incredible sport that seems to be growing in popularity throughout the northwest, and, why not?? We’re blessed with a variety of lakes ranging from very small to quite vast, most of them are very beautiful, and as it turns out, we have a lot of them. Kayaking offers outdoor enthusiasts the chance to get up close and personal with these bodies of water in a way they may never have considered. Kayaking allows the on-the-water experience to become intimate for the paddler. One’s head and upper body in close proximity to the water’s surface as they glide across it. One becomes immediately aware of the quiet being broken only by the soft sound of the paddle entering and exiting the water, the subtle buzz and chirp that’s ever present in the outdoors during the warm months, and the smell of the moist freshness provided by that water below. Suddenly; you realize a sense of freedom and a oneness with your surroundings.
Besides benefiting your mental health, there are a variety of physical benefits to kayaking, too, such as increased upper body strength, more toned legs, and a strengthened core. It’s a great overall workout that combines cardio with a sort of “resistance training”. It’s so darn fun to paddle, you never even realize you’re getting a great workout!
My kayak is an 11-foot Dagger Zydeco. The length is great for speed and handling so it’s easy to get from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently. Once I jump in, I head directly toward the center of the body of water I’m on. I like to get out there and just stop. I like to take in the 360° view and enjoy the sound of the quiet. Once I’ve savored that experience for a while I’ll look for something to pique my interest, then I’ll take off toward it. On a gorgeous day it’s easy to find myself paddling and paddling for hours on end; which brings to mind a few items you want to always have with you in your kayak.
A brimmed hat would normally be Number 1, but the truth is Number 1 and Number 2 are legally required on most, if not all, bodies of water. They are a life jacket (or Personal Floatation Device) and a horn or whistle. The reasons are obvious. So; we’ll make a brimmed hat Number 3. It doesn’t take long on a beautiful sunny day to fry your nose and ears when you’re out on the water. There are a lot of good nylon hats available that are well-made and affordable, and nylon brimmed hats rarely sink. If your hat were to blow off your head into the water, you should be able to retrieve it without losing it to the depths.
I love the water. I love swimming, I love boating, I love skiing, I love rafting, and I really love kayaking. I would recommend to anyone to give kayaking a try. It’s a great way to paddle away your cares and be one with nature.