Home Blog Page 2

Paddle Lazy Rivers & Serene Lakes: Guide To Kayaking In Nashville

Paddle Lazy Rivers & Serene Lakes: Guide To Kayaking In Nashville

Nashville has been steadily increasing in popularity with tourists over the past decade, and for good reason. There is plenty to do on land in the capital of country music, but the fun doesn’t end there. Music City and the surrounding area hosts an abundance of opportunities for water lovers. From serene lakes with island camping to city skyline tours on the Cumberland River, you are sure to have an enjoyable time kayaking Nashville.

Overhead view of the Cumberland River running through Nashville.
The Cumberland River is one of the many leisurely paddles in the Nashville area. | Photo by: Adobe Stock // Kevin Ruck

Kayak rentals

If you’re looking to rent a kayak around Nashville, there is no shortage of rental companies, both in town and at nearby lakes and rivers. Here are a few of the top-rated ones to get you started.

Nashville Paddle Company

Although they specialize in standup paddleboard rentals and classes, you can also rent single and tandem kayaks from Nashville Paddle Company. Explore over 22 square miles of nearby Percy Priest Lake and try your hand at some bass fishing. Be sure to book online to save $5 on your rental.

  • One-hour single kayak: $25
  • 1.5-hour single kayak: $35
  • One-hour tandem kayak: $30
  • 1.5-hour tandem kayak: $40

Stones River Kayak & Canoe Rentals

Stones River Kayak & Canoe Rentals has several routes for you to choose from, varying in length from two to seven hours. All of the routes are rated as either flatwater or class I, with some getting as high as class II under certain circumstances. Be sure to check the calendar on their website for their currently available trips.

Single and tandem kayaks are available. Prices start at $26 for the 2.5-mile route and $40 and up for the six-mile route.

Broken Paddle Outfitters

If you’re heading to the popular Harpeth River area to the southwest of the city, check out the services of Broken Paddle Outfitters. They offer a slew of options, including shuttle service, round-trip service from any address within the 37221 zip code, and custom trips. If you have your heart set on an overnight trip, you can rent a vessel from Broken Paddle for that too. Kayaks start at $40.

There are several exceptions, but it’s worth noting that operations for this business are mostly weekend-only from April through October.

Kayak tours

Whether you’re looking for something in the city or a bit farther out for some seclusion, there are tons of self-guided kayak tour options in the area. Here are a few to check out from some of the most highly recommended kayak rental and guide businesses around Nashville.

Foggy Bottom Canoe

If you are looking for a family-friendly kayak outing at one of the favorite rivers in the region, Foggy Bottom Canoe has you covered. FBC offers several different trips on the scenic Harpeth River, including a “Kid Trip,” which takes about one hour and covers 1.5 miles. Their other trips range from five to 11 river miles. Kayaks are available for rent at $29.95, regardless of which trip option you choose.

Cumberland Kayak

If you’re wanting to stick close to the city for your paddling excursion, check out Cumberland Kayak‘s skyline tours for a different look at Nashville. One-hour routes start at $32 and three-hour routes begin at $60. Single and tandem kayaks are available for both.

Want something a little more nature-based, but don’t want to drive far from downtown? Look into their Shelby Park Nature Paddle ($42 for two hours) or their Stones River Paddle (2.5 hours for $35).

River Rat Canoe Rental

For another peaceful paddle down an easy-going river, look into River Rat Canoe Rental‘s trip options. For $30, enjoy a 3.5-hour trip from Milltown back to the River Rat’s base. Looking for an extended trip? Paddle past rocky outcroppings along the river’s edge from River Rat to Carpenter Bridge on a nine-mile, five-hour trip that will give you plenty of time to truly enjoy the Duck River as you paddle, picnic and swim away the afternoon.

Best places to kayak

If you are looking for whitewater kayaking opportunities, Nashville, unfortunately, is not the place (look into the eastern part of the state on the Ocoee River, Pigeon River and parts of the Great Smoky Mountains). However, if you are looking for a relaxing or family-friendly trip down a slowly meandering river or around a calm lake, you will have a great time kayaking Nashville. Here are some of the most popular leisure paddling spots to check out.

Downtown

Escape the bustling city life after a long day of sightseeing on the Cumberland riverfront. The great thing about this section of the river is that it is so slow-moving that you can paddle back to your original starting point if you don’t mind a little extra work.

Duck River

The Duck River is said to afford good canoe and camping opportunities. As usual, be sure to check along your route ahead of time and make sure you are not trespassing on private property.

There are several campgrounds along the river that offer kayak rentals and shuttle services back to their camp as well if you prefer overnight accommodations that are a little less wild.

Old Hickory Lake

With 35 square miles to explore and plenty of put-in spots, you can’t go wrong with Old Hickory Lake, located 30 minutes northeast of Nashville. The Burton Road lake access is one of the easier spots to get your boat on the lake. Plus, it is a short paddle from there to the more secluded Spencer Creek, where you are likely to view more wildlife.

Percy Priest Lake

Another favorite kayaking spot in the area, Percy Priest Lake has many islands popping out of its waters, making it the perfect destination for an overnight trip. Check out this article for some great tips on camping on Percy Priest Lake. If you would feel more comfortable with a guided tour, call Beyond the Banks Kayak Rental.

Wildlife you might see

With so many abundant and clean water sources, Nashville area kayaking affords a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities. Among many other critters, you might encounter:

  • Great blue herons
  • River otters
  • Beaver
  • Muskrat
  • Northern watersnakes
  • Kingfishers
  • Wood ducks
  • Snapping turtles
  • River cooters
  • Softshell turtles

If you are thinking about doing some kayak fishing, here are some of the more common species you can find in the area:

  • Crappie
  • Flathead catfish
  • Redhorse
  • Bluegill
  • Several types of bass

Best time of year to kayak in Nashville

In general, April through October is the best time to plan a kayaking trip in Nashville, though March and November might be acceptable as well depending on temperatures for the year (March and November highs average around 62°F).

It is worth mentioning that summer months can become unbearably hot, especially July and August, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your trip. Of course, if you plan on kayaking somewhere you can easily take a dip you won’t have to worry about this as much.

Tourism numbers have been increasing steadily over the past decade. If you are hoping to avoid the peak of tourist season, spring and fall may be your best bets.

What to pack/wear

Not sure what to pack for your Nashville kayaking trip? Here is a list of essentials and handy-to-have items below:

  • Drybag
  • Light clothing, both in style (i.e shorts and t-shirt) and color (i.e. nothing dark, like black or gray)
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks and water
  • Water shoes or tennis shoes
  • Camera (even better if you have a waterproof one)
  • Bathing suit
  • Bug spray
  • Change of clothes

Important things to know

Many rental and tour companies in the area operate seasonally during the busiest times of the year, which is generally from April to October. If you are planning a trip during a month outside of this range, be sure to look up business hours/months in advance or contact the company you are interested in directly.

If paddling the Cumberland River around Nashville’s city center, be aware of large boat traffic, such as barges and riverboats.

If you are looking for a laid-back, relaxing float trip in the south, kayaking Nashville will not disappoint.

There’s A Whitewater Rafting Experience For Everyone In North Carolina

There’s A Whitewater Rafting Experience For Everyone In North Carolina

Rushing, bubbling rapids probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when thinking of North Carolina. The Tar Heel State is most notable as the location for the Wright brothers’ first flight, its sprawling Atlantic beaches, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In an already scenic state full of outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking and tubing, whitewater rafting ranks as one of the most thrilling.

Read on for the best spots for whitewater rafting NC, trusted outfitters, and more.

Group of people in a raft going off a wave
North Carolina’s rivers are ripe for whitewater adventures. | Photo by: Flickr // Torrey Wiley

Best whitewater rafting in North Carolina

Asheville

The most popular rafting river near the tourist-laden city of Asheville is the French-Broad. Running 218 miles from the southern part of the state north into Tennessee, the class II and III rapids accessible within a short driving distance of the city provide a fun trip for beginners and intermediate whitewater rafters alike.

If you’re looking for a guided trip along the French-Broad, here are a couple of the top outfitters in the area.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

NOC is a short 30-minute drive from Asheville and boasts being the longest-running outfitter on the French-Broad. Try their half-day tour out if you’re bringing the family and enjoy class II and III rapids as you paddle through the beautiful Pisgah National Forest. This tour lasts between 3.5 to five hours, includes lunch, and begins at $65 (age 8+).

French Broad Adventures

This local outfitter located just 25 minutes from the city also offers a couple of fun tour options on the French-Broad. Choose from a five-mile, three- to four-hour trip (one option includes lunch) along calm class I to III rapids, or a nine-mile, five- to six-hour trip that runs along some class IV rapids as well. The minimum age for all trips is 8 years old and prices start at $53.

Charlotte

Although this major North Carolina city in the southern part of the state has some great museums to visit, there is not much in the way of whitewater rafting in the area. Charlotte lies in the Piedmont portion of the state, mostly consisting of small, rolling hills and plateau.

However, funnily enough, the city is home to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable introduction to whitewater rafting or wanting to practice some techniques for tackling more technical rapids, you can do so here on the world’s largest manmade river consisting of class II to V sections. People ages 8+ can try out the Family Rafting experience or super thrill-seekers the Big Water Rafting (age 16+). This is a great place to do some whitewater rafting in an area where it is otherwise unavailable, as well as try it out under controlled conditions.

Boone

Rafting opportunities abound near Boone, NC with the Nolichucky River and Watauga River. Nolichucky typically offers class III and IV rapids, making it a better option for older kids and adrenaline junkies. If you’re looking for something a little tamer or more appropriate to take younger kids on, the Watauga River is the way to go with its class I to III rapids.

High Mountain Expeditions

For a trip down either of these local rivers, check into the trips offered by High Mountain Expeditions. Choose from an 11-mile, full-day adventure on the Nolichucky and experience class III and IV rapids on the deepest river gorge east of the Mississippi. Or, for a true wilderness immersion trip, take the two-day trip and enjoy some hiking as well on day two of your trip or take a dip in Devils Creek. Prices start at $85 and $249, respectively. The minimum age is 9 for both options.

Edge of the World

For those with younger children or who are looking for something less intense, take a trip down the Watauga River with Edge of the World. Traverse fun, splashy class I to III rapids with a trusted outfitter that has been in business for 38 years. Ages 4+ are welcome on this three- to four-hour trip. You’ll have the option to rerun the biggest rapid as many times as you want, and you can enjoy delicious home-cooked meals for lunch! Prices depend on group size. Groups ranging from one to nine people are $64 for kids, $74 for adults.

Bryson City

Bryson City in the southwestern corner of North Carolina is arguably one of the most popular areas in the state for whitewater rafting. The Tuckasegee River offers mild class I to III rapids in the area, making it the perfect location for families and beginners.

If you don’t mind a little extra driving, there is also the Ocoee River in Southeastern Tennessee, offering a little more excitement for adventure-seekers with its numerous class III and IV rapids. The 1996 Olympic whitewater events were held along this river, so you know it will be a good time!

Rolling Thunder River Company

For a challenging half- or full-day trip on the Ocoee, head out with Rolling Thunder River Company. One of the premier whitewater rafting locations in Tennessee due to its popularity gained with the Olympics and boasting the longest continuous stretch of class III and IV rapids, these trips are described as “exciting but not extreme.” Beginners are welcome, but you must be 12 or older. Prices range from $36 to $96 per person.

Tuckaseegee Outfitters

For ages 4+, Tuckaseegee Outfitters offers families and novices a milder, but enjoyable, ride in the area. Take in the views of the scenic mountain valley as you paddle across such rapids as the Double Drop, Slingshot and Sharkstooth. This is a fun way to cool off on a hot summer day and trips generally last two to three hours, making it perfect for groups with young kids.

Cherokee

Located just 16 minutes from Bryson City, the enchanting town of Cherokee also hosts a number of rafting trips along the Tuckasegee River. Rapids are even milder here, ranging around class I and II, making for another beginner- and family-friendly river.

Smoky Mountain River Adventures

The 2.5-hour guided trip down “The Tuck” offers not only 5.5 miles of alternating calm waters and rapids, but jumping rocks, pool swimming and wildlife viewing along the way as well. With the docile nature of the river here, ages 4+ are welcome and prices begin at $30 per child (12 and under) and $35 per adult. If you have prior whitewater rafting experience, you can opt to rent your own raft instead for $20 per adult and $15 per child.

Dillsboro River Company

This outfitter offers two family-friendly trip options down the Tuckasegee. If you’d like to experience some tame rapids, but aren’t really up for doing a lot of the work, look into the Fully Guided tour. This one is great for first-time rafters and those with young kids (4+). Tour starts at $27 per child (12 and under) and $37 per adult.

If your group thinks it’s ready to take the next step to rafting alone, check out the Guide Assisted option. A guide will still be with you on the water to lead you and help you with proper paddling and steering techniques, but they will be in their own craft. Prices begin at $22 per child (12 and under) and $32 per adult.

Nantahala River

One of the most popular whitewater rafting NC destinations is the Nantahala River, located in the southeastern part of the state near Bryson City and Cherokee. Like many other whitewater rivers in the state, the Nantahala offers novice-friendly class II and III rapids.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Head down an eight-mile section of the Nantahala with one of, if not the, most trusted outfitter for the river. This fully-guided tour lasts about three hours altogether and is acceptable for ages 7+. You’ll enjoy getting wet on these splashy rapids, learning a little about the area from your knowledgeable guide, and soaking in the calming mountain and forest scenery in slower spots on the river. Prices range between $54 and $59.

If you have previous experience, you can also rent your own raft to navigate the same section of river. Prices begin at $30 for non-peak days.

Paddle Inn Rafting Company

If you seek a more customizable rafting trip, check out Paddle Inn Rafting Company. They offer fully-guided, guide-assisted, and “Be Your Own Boss” rental or self-guided trips. Once you’ve figured out which of these options is best for you, you can choose to do their 8.5-mile Full River trip, 7.5-mile Top to Campground trip, or four-mile Ferebee Park to Campground trip. As if that weren’t enough, Paddle Inn offers a wide array of boat sizes, ranging from two- or three-person to seven or eight.

[ Also read: Guide To Whitewater Rafting ]

What to wear whitewater rafting in North Carolina

As with any outdoor activity, what is best to wear depends on the weather. Here are some items to consider for both warm and cool weather whitewater rafting in NC.

Warm

  • Bathing suit
  • Quick-drying shorts and t-shirt or tank top (cotton is never advisable as it holds on to moisture)
  • Water shoes, strap-on sandals or old tennis shoes you don’t mind getting wet
  • Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses (with strap)

Cool

  • Wool, fleece and synthetic clothing, in general, is recommended
  • Some places will offer splash gear and diving booties for rent or sale, but you might want to bring a rain suit or coat
  • A wet or drysuit may be the best gear if temperatures are particularly chilly
  • A towel and a change of clothes for after your trip are a great idea for any season

When to go whitewater rafting in North Carolina

Rafting season in North Carolina generally runs from April to October. Average highs range between 68° and 85°F during these months. As far as avoiding crowds goes, it depends on what area you will be visiting, especially if it is a particularly popular vacation destination by itself. In general, though, tourism is highest from June through August. It can become very humid in North Carolina during these months, so if you must plan your trip during the summer, at least you will get cooled off on your rafting trip.

May, June, September and October are the best times to plan your trip as far as weather goes. However, the fall months are also prime “leaf peeping” time.

The rivers of North Carolina provide the perfect place for first-timers and families to try out whitewater rafting with the beautiful backdrop of rolling hills, mountains and dense forests. Where will you plan your whitewater rafting NC adventure?

Is Kayaking A Good Workout? Yes! Here’s How It Can Improve Your Health

Is Kayaking A Good Workout? Yes! Here’s How It Can Improve Your Health

One of the keys to developing a healthier lifestyle is finding a physical activity you enjoy doing. Fun and excitement help mask unpleasant feelings you may experience as a result of the activity, and will make you more likely to participate in it more frequently. Can you say the same for spin class?

Getting moving even a little bit is beneficial for your health, but even better if you can elevate your heart rate, strengthen your muscles, and challenge your mind as you learn new skills. According to these parameters, is kayaking a good workout? The answer is, yes! Kayaking works your core through torso rotation movement. It works your upper body when you take paddle strokes. It works your cardio through fast-paced, heart-pumping movement. And it works your mental state as it requires you to puzzle out different movements in whitewater, take on your fears, and overcome doubts about your abilities.

Best of all, you’ll reap all of these benefits and more while having fun. Still not convinced? We’ll go over all your questions and doubts about kayaking and exercise below.

Is kayaking good exercise?

If done properly, kayaking can be very good exercise. However, if you simply float down the river without taking any paddle strokes, you are just sitting on your bum and won’t get any exercise.

If you are using kayaking as a workout, you need to treat it as a workout.

If you are kayaking on flatwater, the best way to get a workout is by doing sprints. Paddle at full “race pace” for one minute, rest for 20 seconds, then paddle at “race pace” for another minute. Rest one minute, then repeat this exercise until your core feels fatigued.

If you are kayaking downriver in a creek boat, the best way to get a workout is to catch as many eddies as you can, do as many ferries as you can, and surf as many waves as you can. If you are paddling class II, you should try to find moves in every rapid that makes it feel like class III. If you are paddling class III, try to find moves that make it more difficult and similar to class IV. Challenge yourself as much as you can every time you are on the water and not only will your skill improve, but so will your endurance and strength.

If you are kayaking in a playboat on a standing wave, you will more than likely get a workout no matter what you do. Freestyle kayaking is an incredible workout for your core, as you will need to keep your core engaged while surfing waves in order to stay stable.

The best way to get strong from kayaking is to kayak as much as possible. The more time you spend in your boat taking strokes, doing sprints and surfing waves, the faster you will progress in both strength and skill.

Can kayaking build muscle?

Kayaking is a workout that will build muscle, but not in mass. Since kayaking is such a fast-paced sport with a large portion of the workout being cardio, you will build a good base of strength, but most likely will not bulk up. Kayaking is good for toning muscles and strengthening them from within.

What muscles does kayaking work?

The main muscles used in kayaking are your abdominals, lats, biceps and forearms. Essentially, kayaking works all the muscles in your shoulders and back. After several months of kayaking multiple times a week, you will begin to see muscle development in your lats. After a few more months, you’ll see muscle development in your biceps and forearms. And after a year, you may even have a six-pack!

Is kayaking good cardio?

Kayaking can be good cardio if you make it good cardio. What this means is that if you simply float down the river, not taking any strokes and not challenging yourself, you won’t get a cardio workout at all. One the other hand, if you really challenge yourself on the water, taking race laps, doing sprints and trying freestyle tricks, you will get an incredible cardio workout. You get out of it what you put into it.

Calories burned kayaking

The number of calories you will burn while kayaking is entirely dependent on both your body and how hard you are paddling. If you are paddling hard and making kayaking into a good workout, you can burn upward of 400 calories per hour. If you are leisurely floating down the river, you will have trouble burning even 50 calories. Once again, you get out of it what you put into it.

Is kayaking good exercise for back pain?

Depending on the type and severity of back pain you are living with, kayaking can be a good way of helping relieve it. Kayaking works the muscles in your core and lower back through a torso twisting motion. This strengthens the smaller muscles around your spine, thus providing more strength and stability in your back and core.

Before attempting kayaking as back pain relief, make sure to check with your doctor to ensure you won’t be doing any more damage. Once you have been given the okay by your doctor, try to test out as many kayak designs as you can, so you can find one that feels the most comfortable for your back while you are sitting in it. You can also adjust the outfitting in any kayak to provide more back support by adding straps, foam and backrests.

The best advice for using kayaking as back pain relief is to start out small, and slowly build up from there. Start by taking slow strokes in flatwater and then wait two days to make sure you haven’t aggravated your back. If your back feels okay, next time you kayak you can slowly push a bit more. Hopefully in time you will be able to build up the muscles surrounding your spine to provide more stability and pain relief.

Is kayaking a good way to lose weight?

Kayaking is a great form of exercise for anyone looking to lose weight. You will receive the benefits of both cardio and strength training, while not even noticing you are exercising because of how much fun you’re having! The best forms of exercise are the ones where you challenge yourself both physically and mentally, and thus distract your brain from the pain of the exercise, making it more fun and more likely you will stick with it. Kayaking does just that.

However, while kayaking is a great workout and may assist you on your weight loss journey, it can’t do it all. It is a good form of exercise, but if you are looking to lose weight, you will also have to work with a physician or dietician to adjust your diet and lifestyle.

5 Risks Of Sun Exposure All Paddlers Should Take Seriously

5 Risks Of Sun Exposure All Paddlers Should Take Seriously

Often overlooked, sun and heat exposure present some of the biggest risks in paddling. While in or on the water, your body may not feel dehydration coming on until it’s too late. Similarly, you might not feel a sunburn happening until you are burnt to a crisp. There are also many issues that can crop up in the long-term as a result of repeated sun damage.

Fortunately, there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure safety in the sun. Read here about the risks you should keep top of mind, the preventative measures you can take to combat the risks, and the care necessary if you do slip up.

Risks

Dehydration

Dehydration is a condition that sneaks up on you quickly. If you are playing in or around the water, you may not feel dehydrated even if your body is needing water. For this reason, it’s best to play it safe and keep track of your water intake as you are paddling.

Sunburn

The most obvious of all sun-related risks, sunburn is one we all know too well. Too much time in the sun without protective clothing, and your skin will burn, peel, and become sun-damaged. Sunburn can happen even on cloudy days, so make sure to cover up even if there is cloud cover. Similarly, the temperature doesn’t dictate what the UV index reading is for a given day. It may be a chilly, cloud-covered day, and you can still get a sunburn.

Eye damage

Too much sunlight exposure to your eyes can cause ultraviolet keratitis, which is inflammation of the cornea. This is essentially a sunburn on your eyeballs. This risk is especially prevalent in water-related activities due to the sun’s reflection from the water back to your eyes. Not only are you exposed to the sun itself, but also its reflection.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke is a condition you develop when your body overheats. It is most commonly caused by physical exertion in high temperatures. Heat stroke is very serious and requires emergency medical treatment. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, high body temperature, altered state of mind, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, and heachache. Keep heat stroke in mind as something to consider with sun safety.

Skin cancer

Most skin cancers are caused by large amounts of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB and UVC. All three types cause skin cancer. Factors affecting UV radiation exposure are proximity to the equator, altitude, reflectiveness of the water, time of year, time of day and cloud cover.

Prevention

Avoid the hottest part of the day

Between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is the hottest part of the day in the summer months. If possible, plan to paddle in the morning or evening to avoid the risks associated with hot temperatures. If you’re out paddling in the afternoon, make sure to stay covered up, stay hydrated and take dips in the water to keep your body temperature down.

Stick to the shade

Less sun exposure = less risk. It’s as simple as that.

Wear sun-protective clothing

Many paddling companies now sell UV-resistant clothing. Sun-protective shirts are often lightweight and equipped with a hood and long sleeves. Wearing one means you’ll never have to worry about remembering to reapply sunscreen to your neck and arms, making this a much more convenient option.

Check out some of our favorite UV-resistant clothing options here:

Wear a hat

Protect your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays with a wide-brimmed sun hat! A buff or neck gaiter is also a good idea to protect your neck and face from UV rays.

Our favorite neck gaiter:

Or subscribe to Paddling Magazine to receive a complimentary neck gaiter!

Wear sunglasses (with UV protection)

Sunglasses are one piece of sun safety gear you shouldn’t skimp on. Make sure you are purchasing sunglasses with full UV protection. Without proper UV protection, they are just masking the symptoms of sun exposure, which may allow you to look into the sun without pain, but will still cause damage to your eyes.

Wear (and reapply) sunscreen

The sunscreen you use must be a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or more. Sunscreen in combination with sun-protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses will be your best bet for safety in the sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen to your whole body 20 minutes before going outside, then reapply at least every two hours, or after every swim.

For the best possible sunscreen, find one with zinc oxide in it. These sunscreens often come in stick form, and are meant to be used on your face. Apply it liberally to your nose and cheeks, embrace the inability to rub it in, and enjoy the many colors zinc sunscreen comes in!

Stay hydrated

Health officials recommend drinking 2 liters of water per day, but if you are active in the sun, you may need more. A good way to keep up with water intake is to take a drink each time your paddling crew catches an eddy on the river. An easy way to track your water intake is to use a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle, and try to finish two to three of them each day.

Care

How to treat a sunburn

If you do get sunburnt, the best thing you can do is rest, drink LOTS of water and stay out of the sun to avoid further damage. Aloe vera gels and lotions, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, may help with the pain and peeling, but unfortunately, you will still just need to wait for it to heal.

Make sure to wear protective clothing over the sunburnt area, and keep it as clean as possible to avoid infection. If the sunburn starts to blister, avoid picking at it or touching it. Leave it alone, keep it clean, and wait for it to heal.

Know Before You Buy: What Are The Different Types of Kayaks?

Know Before You Buy: What Are The Different Types of Kayaks?

T here are so many different types of kayaks that it can be hard to get a handle on which one is right for you. Kayaks differ in materials, design, number of seats, intended use and means of propulsion. Understanding the differences will help you buy the right kayak for your goals, budget and aspirations.

The discussion below will help you learn the basics and put you on the right path to finding the kayak that’s right for you. Once you’ve covered the basics, be sure to check our detailed article on how to buy a kayak.

Types of kayaks by structure

Rigid or hard-shell kayaks

The largest category of kayaks is rigid or hard-shell kayaks. There are hundreds of designs on the market in a wide range of materials, from rotomolded and blow-molded plastic kayaks to thermoformed ABS plastic kayaks to composite constructions. The one thing all these constructions have in common is that they are rigid. They don’t fold up, they don’t roll into bags, and (for the most part) they don’t come apart into pieces.

Hard-shell kayaks are where you should start your exploration. Most people who purchase kayaks will find a hard-shell design that matches their needs, whether they’re looking for a fishing kayak, a lightweight recreational design or something for serious ocean exploration. Nearly every category of kayak design is dominated by some sort of rigid design, whether it be fishing kayaks, recreational boats, whitewater designs or touring kayaks.

Rigid kayaks differ in both design and materials. We’ll discuss some design characteristics a little later on. For now, we’ll focus on the differences between rotomolded, blow-molded, ABS/thermoformed and composite constructions.

Rotomolded polyethylene

Rotomolded polyethylene (PE) is the most common material for rigid kayaks. It’s durable and particularly impact-resistant, which is why nearly all whitewater kayaks are rotomolded. Rotomolding can be used to create an almost infinite range of kayak designs. The toughness of the material makes it a good choice for many paddlers, as does its modest cost.

The biggest downside of rotomolded kayaks is they tend to be heavier than boats made from other materials. Rotomolded boats are also a little more flexible than composite designs, so the material isn’t quite as good for high-performance designs like racing kayaks and sea kayaks.

Blow-molded

Blow-molded plastic kayaks are often the least expensive and least durable designs. A handful of high-quality manufacturers make heavy-duty blow-molded kayaks, but most of the blow-molded designs you’ll find are economy models sold at department stores and mass merchant retailers. These blow-molded kayaks are lightweight and inexpensive, but are much less durable than rotomolded plastic designs.

Composite

Composite kayaks are made from layers of fiberglass or aramid cloth laminated together with some sort of resin. In general, composite kayaks are lighter and stiffer than rotomolded designs. This makes composite a good choice for longer touring kayaks. Composites are also the best choice for building a kayak that is ultra-lightweight or a high-performance racing design.

ABS

ABS plastic kayaks fill a middle ground between rotomolded PE designs and composites. They cost more than rotomolded boats but less than composites, and they’re roughly in between the two materials in terms of stiffness and impact resistance. Many light touring and touring designs are built in this material and offer excellent value.

The one category of kayaks you’ll rarely find in hard-shell designs are folding or collapsible models. There are some rigid kayaks that come apart into two or more pieces for transportation or storage, but the category of travel kayaks is dominated by inflatable and folding designs.

Inflatable kayaks

Inflatable or blow-up kayaks are a good option for kayakers with limited space to store their boats. Inflatables typically come in whitewater, fishing and recreational designs. Whitewater and fishing inflatables are usually made from tough materials similar to those used in whitewater rafts. Recreational designs use lighter materials and are usually a little less durable but more affordable.

Whitewater inflatable kayaks offer an option between rafts and whitewater kayaks for paddlers looking to explore wild rivers. Recreational designs are suitable for quiet water adventures. Both are available in solo or tandem designs.

The chief advantage of inflatable designs is their compactness for storage and travel. They are also among the most affordable options in collapsible kayaks. Inflatable kayaks are less rigid than hard-shell designs, so they don’t perform quite as well. They also offer fewer design options and features than rigid kayaks, but if you’re looking for a kayak to store in your closet or a tough boat to bomb down the river, they’re a great option to consider.

Folding kayaks

Folding or foldable kayaks typically offer the most high-performance options in collapsible kayak designs. Traditional folding kayak designs use a rigid frame covered by a flexible waterproof skin. Some newer designs use folding panels that form the hull of the kayak when snapped together. Either option creates a hull that is stiffer than an inflatable and in some cases approaches the performance of high-end hard-shell touring designs.

Folding kayaks come in recreational and touring designs. They are often wide and stable, particularly tandem folding designs.

The biggest advantage of folding kayaks is they offer a compact option for storage and travel. Folding kayaks are more expensive than inflatable options but typically offer superior performance on the water. Because of their rigid design, folding kayaks are a poor choice for whitewater paddling where impacts with rocks could bend or break their frames.

If you’re looking for a compact kayak for storage or travel and you can afford to spend a bit more money on your kayak, folding designs should be at the top of your list.

Types of kayaks by design

Sit-on-top kayaks

As with other designs, sit-on-top or sit-on kayaks come in a wide range of designs. There are sit-on-top recreational kayaks, sit-on-top fishing kayaks and specialty racing sit-on kayaks called surf skis.

There are two main advantages to sit-on-top kayaks. First, they won’t fill with water if flipped over. This makes them easier to get back onto in deep water and is one of the reasons sit-on-tops are a good choice for a recreational kayak that you plan to paddle far from shore. Second, they are easy to move around on, whether you are turning around to grab a fishing rod or getting onto them at the beach. Almost all fishing kayaks are sit-on-top designs for this reason.

If you’re paddling a sit-on-top in cold water you might get wet and cold. This is the biggest disadvantage of sit-on-top designs. Another is that sit-on-tops tend to be heavier than similar kayaks with a cockpit.

Sit-on-tops are an excellent choice for recreational paddlers who paddle farther from shore, anglers who want a versatile kayak for fishing and for anyone who gets into high-performance surf ski racing.

Sit-inside kayaks

The most common type of kayak is a sit-inside or sit-in kayak. The full range of designs in this category is staggering. There are sit-in recreational kayaks, whitewater kayaks, touring kayaks, sea kayaks, racing kayaks, tandem kayaks—the list goes on and on.

The biggest advantage to sit-inside kayaks is they can be sealed off from the elements with a sprayskirt. This means they are warmer and drier to paddle in cool weather or on cold water. A closed cockpit can do anything from seal out a light drizzle to protect a paddler from smashing surf or turbulent whitewater—it just depends on the design.

Sit-inside recreational designs are found everywhere and are a good option for paddling close to shore on calm water. Longer touring designs are faster and frequently have safety features that come into play for open-water touring or camping. Whitewater designs will run steep drops or surf a river wave. The choice of designs is almost endless.

The biggest disadvantage of sit-inside designs is they can be tricky to get back into if you fall out in deep water. Sea kayakers need to learn special skills to get back in their kayaks. Recreational paddlers should stay close to shore. Whitewater kayakers will want to learn to roll their kayaks to avoid a swim if possible.

There are so many options in sit-inside kayaks it can be difficult to provide a short summary. For more details, make sure to check our article on sit-on-top vs. sit-inside kayaks.

Types of kayaks by activity

Fishing kayaks

Fishing kayaks or angler kayaks are specialized recreational designs. Most fishing kayaks are sit-on-top designs. These allow for good mobility, ease of landing fish and safety when far from shore.

Some fishing kayaks are wide enough for standing. These designs are typically slower than narrower boats, but their wider beam provides ample stability. An added benefit of wider designs is that seats can be mounted higher for more effective vision and casting.

Pedal-drive fishing kayaks are popular, especially in tidal or river environments where strong currents can make paddling challenging. There are a variety of different designs of pedal-drive kayaks, including those with fins and others with propellers. All allow a kayak angler to keep his or her hands free for casting and handling fish.

In colder climates, some kayak anglers prefer closed cockpit designs. These kayaks are a little more difficult to get into and out of, but offer more protection from cold water and air temperatures.

Whitewater kayaks

Whitewater kayaks are specialized designs for running river rapids. Most whitewater kayaks are sit-inside designs with smaller cockpits that can be sealed tightly with a neoprene sprayskirt. Some sit-on-top designs offer hard-shell kayak performance to those who prefer to sit on instead of inside their kayak.

Whitewater kayaks are typically shorter than touring or recreational kayaks. They are the most maneuverable kayaks and often have hull shapes that plane on a wave like a surfboard. A few of the most common types of whitewater kayaks are discussed below.

River runners

River runners are whitewater kayaks intended for covering miles and playing on river features along the way. In many cases, these boats share characteristics with some of the other categories, like creek boats or playboats. River runners may have a surfboard-style planing hull for wave surfing. Most are roomier and more comfortable than playboats. They typically have less volume than creek boats. River runners are usually longer than playboats and creekboats and faster than either on the water.

As with all boat designs, there is a lot of variation in this category. Some river runners tip toward the creek boat end of things with more volume and rocker. Others are closer to playboats with low volume sterns that can be sliced underwater to pivot and squirt. Choosing the right river runner for your needs requires deciding how much you want to play the river and how important stability and forgiveness is to you.

Creek boats

Creek boats are designed to make running very steep whitewater safer and easier. They typically have more volume than river runners and often have softer edges. Most creek boats have ample rocker for maneuverability and forgiveness when landing steep drops.

You probably know if you need a creek boat. Paddlers who are comfortable on class III and are interested in challenging themselves on harder water often choose a creek boat to make class IV more accessible and fun. If you’re a class V boater you probably already have a creeker.

Playboats

Playboats are about fun on the water—surfing waves, cartwheels, squirts. They’ll almost always have a planing hull for precise surfing. Playboats have less volume than river runners and they’re usually shorter. This makes them easier to slice under the water for vertical play moves.

The lower volume of playboats means they have less room for comfort in the cockpit. If you decide to choose a playboat instead of a river runner remember you’ll be trading plush for play in most cases.

Freestyle boats

Freestyle kayaks are a more specialized version of playboats. They’re the shortest kayak designs, have planing hulls, slicy ends and centralized volume around the cockpit. Freestyle boats can be used to execute the most advanced play moves including aerial moves, loops and a host of other specialized maneuvers part of freestyle competitions.

As with creek boats, paddlers who are looking at freestyle boats are often looking for a new challenge—in this case, learning challenging play moves and improving their boat handling skills.

Like playboats, freestyle kayaks won’t offer the most comfort for a long day on the water, but they will unlock the potential of any play spot on the river.

Crossover boats

Crossover kayaks bridge the gap between whitewater kayaks and touring kayaks. They have long, whitewater-style hulls that can easily cover long distances on the river. Crossovers also have hatches and bulkheads for dry gear storage. Most of them have a retractable skeg that improves tracking in flatwater sections of long river tours.

Many kayakers who plan to paddle easy whitewater but want a versatile boat choose crossover kayaks instead of river runners or touring kayaks. They are an excellent option for beginner river paddlers, even those who will rarely, if ever, venture into whitewater rapids.

Recreational kayaks

Recreational kayaks are about fun, stability and value. Whether they are sit-inside or sit-on-top, recreational designs put a premium on stability. They aren’t as fast as touring kayaks, but they are more stable.

Recreational kayaks often offer very basic features and come at an affordable price. In some cases they are just a simple kayak hull with a seat and little else. Nicer designs incorporate some touring kayak features, like hatches and bulkheads for dry storage and deck elastics for stashing a water bottle.

Like all kayaks, recreational kayaks come in a wide range of lengths and designs. Few are shorter than nine feet and most are no longer than 14. All are wider than touring designs of similar length.

If you’re considering a recreational kayak, take a look at designs around 12 feet long first. Boats shorter than this are lighter and less expensive, but noticeably slower. Those longer are faster but heavier. Longer recreational boats are a good choice for covering lots of miles.

As mentioned in the sections above, the best recreational kayaks for paddling far from shore are sit-on-top designs. Sit-inside recreational kayaks are great for anyone who paddles close to shore.

Touring and sea kayaks

Touring kayaks are specialized sit-inside kayaks designed for long distance travel and camping. Sea kayaks are a more specialized set of touring kayaks that are typically longer and narrower than general purpose touring boats.

Touring kayaks typically pick up where recreational kayaks leave off. They are usually longer than 14 feet and narrower than 24 inches. Most touring kayaks are fitted with bulkheads and hatches front and rear for dry storage and floatation. Many have rudders or retractable skegs to help control direction in wind. Safety features like decklines are common.

Sea kayaks are similar to general purpose touring kayaks in many ways. They are usually 16 feet long or longer and commonly 22 inches wide or narrower. Sea kayaks are faster than other touring kayaks but usually not as stable. They almost always feature as skeg or rudder and often have extra compartments and hatches that allow easy access to equipment while on the water.

Most touring kayaks are made of rotomolded polyethylene. Many sea kayaks are made of lighter, stiffer composite materials like fiberglass or aramid fibers. Generally, these composite kayaks offer better performance than their PE cousins but cost substantially more.

If you’re interested in paddling larger bodies of water like the ocean or the Great Lakes, touring kayaks are a good choice. Especially if you plan to do multiple day trips involving camping.

Surf kayaks

Surf kayaks are specialized kayaks for playing in ocean surf. They differ from whitewater kayaks because they have a specialized edge that grips a breaking wave and allows for a diagonal run like a surfboard would make.

Sit-inside surf kayaks come in two types. High-performance or HP boats are short and have a flat planing hull like a surfboard. Longer International Class (IC) boats have a rounder hull and are typically longer. Either may be fitted with surfboard fins, but it is more common to find fins on HP boats.

A specialized kind of sit-on-top surf kayak is called a wave ski. This is essentially a surfboard with a raised seat and a seatbelt to keep the paddler in place. Wave skis are similar to HP boats in their length and width. A few other sit-on-top surf kayaks are also available for beginners who are just getting into the sport.

Racing kayaks

There are lots of different kinds of racing kayaks. There are whitewater racing kayaks, whitewater slalom kayaks, downriver racing kayak, racing surf skis and flatwater sprint kayaks. There are also long, fast sea kayaks that are used for certain categories of kayak racing.

People buy racing kayaks either to compete in a particular discipline or because they like the speed and performance of a certain design. Many fitness paddlers choose racing kayaks as the right tool for training on the water.

If you’re considering competition, it’s probably best to explore the community around your chosen discipline before jumping in and buying a racing kayak. Other racers and coaches will have lots of recommendations for where to start and what to look for.

Types of kayaks by number of seats

Solo kayaks

Solo kayaks or one-person kayaks are the most common type of kayaks sold. The advantage of a solo kayak is that only one person is needed to go out on the water. Many kayakers prefer solo kayaks because they can choose their own course and pace. Solo kayaks are lighter than similar tandem kayaks and less expensive.

Tandem kayaks

Tandem kayaks, two-seater kayaks, two-person kayaks—there are many ways to describe them, but the basic idea is the same. Two people in one boat. There are tandem versions of all the different types of kayaks, from recreational to touring and even racing. Some tandems can be paddled solo, while others have separate cockpits and are best used by two people. A single tandem kayak usually costs less than two solos, but is heavier to carry and can be more challenging to transport. One of the biggest advantages of tandem kayaks is they allow two paddlers of different skill levels or strength to stay together on the water.

Types of kayaks by propulsion

Paddle kayaks

The most common way to propel a kayak is with a two-bladed kayak paddle. Just about any kayak on the water can be paddled this way, as long as you use a paddle that is correctly sized to the boat. Wider kayaks require longer paddles, narrower kayaks use shorter paddles. Different styles of kayaks perform better with different types of paddles, but one thing is universally true—a lightweight paddle makes paddling your kayak much more enjoyable and is a worthwhile investment.

Pedal kayaks

Some kayaks come with pedal-drive systems that allow them to be propelled using your legs rather than arms. Since the leg muscles are stronger than those in the upper body, pedal-drive kayaks can be less fatiguing to use. Pedal-drives are primarily found in recreational kayaks, particularly fishing kayaks. Pedal-drive kayaks allow you to keep your hands free for fishing, which is a big advantage when you’re trying to cast and hold position. Pedal kayaks can develop a lot of power and many anglers prefer them when fishing water with currents, where they can be used to hold the kayak in position without setting an anchor. Pedal-drive kayaks have lots of advantages, but they do tend to be more expensive than similar sized recreational kayaks. The largest pedal kayaks can also be quite heavy.

Motorized kayaks

Motorized kayaks are similar to pedal-drive kayaks but power is provided by a marine battery rather than the kayaker’s legs. Motor drives are frequently offered as an add-on option for pedal-drive kayaks, or as a kit to fit onto a conventional recreational or fishing kayak. A motor moves the kayak swiftly through the water and eliminates any need to paddle or pedal. Motors do add complexity and cost to a kayak and marine batteries require charging, but some anglers find the hands-free power of motors to be a worthwhile investment.

Types of kayaks by audience

Kids’ kayaks

Kids’ kayaks, youth kayaks or child’s kayaks can be found in a range of styles and designs. There are fewer choices in youth kayaks than there are for adults, but if you look into the options you’ll find whitewater kayaks, touring kayaks, sit-on-tops and recreational kayaks sized smaller to fit children. Oftentimes children’s kayaks are simply smaller versions of similar adult boats. In this case, you should expect them to come at similar prices. Other children’s kayaks are stripped down to the basic features in order to keep them affordable. Regardless of what type of kayaking you enjoy, you’ll likely find a child-sized option to help you get out on the water with the whole family.

Explore Sea Caves & Wild Islands: Guide To Kayaking The Apostle Islands

Explore Sea Caves & Wild Islands: Guide To Kayaking The Apostle Islands

Northern Wisconsin hosts a hidden gem that’s located on the largest freshwater lake (by surface area) in the world: The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This area didn’t receive much attention until recent years when tours of the beautiful winter ice caves along the shore became available. While these ice caves obviously can’t be reached by boat, come summer, these same sea caves can be explored by kayak. Apostle Islands kayaking also provides the opportunity to hop between 22 wild and beautiful islands, whether on a day trip or multi-day camping excursion.

Read on to learn how you can experience this Northern Wisconsin wonder.

Person kayaking near shore in Apostle Islands
Whether day trip or overnight excursion, the Apostle Islands have plenty to offer kayakers. | Photo by: Flickr // Tim Wilson

Best tours

With its growing popularity over the past five years, there are ample tours of the sea caves and islands in the area available. In fact, if you are unaccustomed to sea kayaking and/or the harsh maiden that Lake Superior can be, it is an especially good idea to head out with a knowledgeable guide. Here are a few of the best tours in the Apostle Islands to get you started.

White Cap Kayak

One of the top-rated guide services in the area, White Cap Kayak offers an array of day and overnight trips. You can explore the sea caves near Meyers Beach or visit some of the area’s lighthouses before spending the night on one of the numerous isles. Explore a more secluded area with rocky cliff faces and waterfalls galore on their Canyons, Cliffs, and Waterfalls tour. Prices are $90 per adult.

Poseidon Kayak

If you’re looking for a cultural experience on your kayaking trip, you can’t beat the Mawikwe Bay Kayak Tour ($85 per person). This guided tour takes you to the Meyers Beach Sea Caves, an important area to the Chippewa people, where you’ll learn more about the history of the caves and people from a member of the Red Cliff Tribe.

Apostle Islands Cruises

For an all-day excursion exploring some of the more remote islands of the Apostles, head out on the Kayak and Cruise Adventure Tour ($149 per adult, $109 per child). Their 50-foot powered vessel will take you out to the best area for kayaking that day (selected based on weather and lake conditions); then you’ll be afforded two hours of paddling before heading back.

Rentals

While most guide companies in the area only provide tours, there are a few that do offer kayak rentals and packages (including wet or drysuits, spray skirts, etc.) if you’d prefer to do some self-guided Apostle Islands kayaking.

Trek & Trail

Trek & Trail offers plastic and fiberglass sea kayaks in both single and tandem models for rent. Prices start at $40 for six hours for a plastic single. You can also rent each model for additional days with prices ranging from $40 to $60 per day, depending on the model. It should also be noted that you must first pass their Basic Safety Course ($55) before being allowed to rent a kayak. Trek & Trail operates from Memorial Day to early-October, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rustic Makwa Den

Whether you want to paddle close to shore to explore the mainland’s sea caves or go on an extended trip through the islands, Rustic Makwa Den has you covered with both sit-on-top kayaks and sit-inside sea kayaks. Single sit-on-top kayaks, single sea kayaks and tandem sea kayaks are priced at $45 per day. Tandem sit-on-top kayaks are priced at $55 per day. You must pass a free safety test to rent a sea kayak. Rentals and sea cave tours are available from June through October.

Lost Creek Adventures

Lost Creek Adventures offers not only single and tandem sea and sit-on-top kayaks, but camping gear as well if you’re planning an overnight trip in the islands. Single sea kayaks start at $40 per day, single sit-on-top kayaks at $15 for the first hour, double sea kayaks at $60 per day, and double sit-on-tops at $20 for the first hour. You will also need to pass an Introductory Safety Class ($50 per person). Lost Creek Adventures has open availability during summer months and by appointment during spring and fall.

How to explore the sea caves

As mentioned above, if you plan on renting a sea kayak from a local outfitter, you will be expected to pass some form of introductory safety course. However, sit-on-top kayaks are perfectly acceptable for paddling close to shore where the mainland sea caves are.

There are two launching points along the coast, one located at Meyers Beach and the other at Little Sand Beach. Both of these areas are popular spots for tours and novice kayakers to explore the sea caves.

Being such a large body of water, Lake Superior tends to make its own weather, making air and water conditions unpredictable oftentimes. A sunny day can turn into a raging thunderstorm in the afternoon, if not sooner. Be sure to check weather reports and water conditions before heading out.

If you do find yourself caught in less-than-desirable water conditions, it is very important that you do not approach the sea caves. As noted across numerous websites, the rebounding waves can make them nearly, if not completely, impossible to navigate.

Check out these maps from the National Park Service for island locations and to plan your route.

Popular routes to take

From beginner-friendly shoreline paddles to strenuous overnight trips, the Apostle Islands offer routes for any kayaker.

Meyers Beach

As stated above, the Meyers Beach area is quite popular for viewing the mainland sea caves. Take a leisurely five-mile (round-trip) paddle along the shoreline to not only view but pass through some of the arches and sea caves (calm waters permitting, of course). It takes about two miles to get to the sea caves from the launch point and you can always extend your paddle if desired.

Madeline Island

Paddling around Madeline Island, the park’s only permanently inhabited island, is also a great option for beginners. Head out from the boat launch at Big Bay Town Park or the beach at Big Bay State Park and spend an afternoon exploring the Big Bay Lagoon and sea caves along the point.

Outer Island Loop

For die-hard yakkers with plenty of sea kayaking experience and a thirst for adventure, the 75-mile Outer Island Loop of the Apostles is a fun choice. This trip will take roughly a week to complete, allowing you to stop and explore 11 of the islands along the way. You’ll be able to view more sea caves and old lighthouses as well as find hiking trails on some of the bigger islands. The trip around Devils Island is notorious for being rough, especially in strong winds, so this trip is definitely recommended for seasoned sea kayakers.

Kayak camping spots

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore consists of 69,372 acres, providing plenty of primitive kayak camping sites among the islands. Over 30 spots are available, though they fill up quickly, so be sure to get your permit and reserve a spot in advance. You can find more specific camping information on the NPS website.

With its close proximity to the mainland, Sand Island is a popular place to camp. There is a campground located on the island and the island itself is a short 3/4-mile paddle from Little Sand Bay. Be sure to check out several sea caves located around the island before setting up camp for the night.

For intermediate and advanced paddlers looking for an extended trip, but not something as lengthy as the Outer Island Loop, plan for a 23-mile trip extending from Little Sand Bay to Sand Island, then heading to York, Raspberry and Oak Island, and then back to shore. All but Raspberry Island host campsites, and water crossings between each island do not surpass 2.5 miles.

Time of year to go

Northern Wisconsin winters can be harsh and it’s not out of the question for them to extend into springtime, so summer is your best bet for Apostle Islands kayaking. Weather-wise, July and August are best but can become quite busy with other visitors. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, try for September and October, during which time you can enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin fall foliage. Be warned, though, that the weather becomes more unpredictable this time of year with the possibility of early winter storms.

Kayaking the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin offers a unique look at one of North America’s coolest geological wonders, whether you’re an experienced sea kayaker or just beginning.

KL Outdoor Takes On New Ownership

KL Outdoor Takes On New Ownership

We are pleased to announce that substantially all the assets of KLO Holdings LLC, including the various trademarks of that company have been acquired by The KL Companies, Inc., a newly formed company based in Muskegon, Michigan. This acquisition allows The KL Companies, Inc. to focus on the personal watercraft market and recapture our leadership position in this popular and growing business. The company provides a full line-up of kayaks, canoes, fishing boats and pedal boats that are 100% designed, developed and manufactured in the USA.

“The KL Companies, Inc. will continue the business of the original company under the iconic name KL Outdoors, which is a registered trademark of The KL Companies, Inc. This includes the complete family of well-known brands that have played a major role in the development and growth of this category”, said Bob Farber, President of The KL Companies, Inc. “This new company brings together a unique combination of production capabilities, product assortment, and in-depth industry knowledge that places KL Outdoors in a position to lead the industry. We look forward to and are committed to working with our valued customers to make this category an increasingly important part of their business”. Our clear and unwavering objective is to use our design prowess, production capabilities and industry knowledge to serve all distribution channels within this industry”, continued Farber.

Operations are expected to commence on June 1st, 2020. This is date could be subject to change due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the shelter in place orders that are in effect in Michigan.

SPOT Introduces the New SPOT X Jeep® Edition 2-Way Satellite Messenger

SPOT Introduces the New SPOT X Jeep® Edition 2-Way Satellite Messenger

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Globalstar Canada Satellite Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT) and a leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, today announced the launch of an exclusive SPOT X™ Jeep®Edition 2-way satellite messenger. This newest product launch comes after SPOT recently entered a licensing deal with the Jeep brand.

The SPOT X Jeep Edition offers 2-way message capabilities with an on-board backlit display and Qwerty keyboard, GPS location tracking, and direct communication with emergency services in one portable, lightweight device. The new Jeep Edition combines the capabilities SPOT is known for with Jeep branding. The SPOT X Jeep Edition is the latest product introduction to the award-winning SPOT family of devices, providing affordable, off the grid messaging and tracking. Through a direct connection to the GEOS International Emergency Coordination Center, SPOT has triggered over 7,000 rescues around the globe.

Key Features of the SPOT X Jeep Edition:

  • Bluetooth wireless technology allows pairing option to perform device functions using the SPOT X app
  • Send and receive messages with family and friends when beyond cellular range
  • S.O.S. emergency notification and direct 2-way messaging with 24/7 Search and Rescue services
  • Check-In “OK” with the push of a single button directly to pre-set contacts
  • Navigation: Built-in compass and programmable waypoints
  • Rechargeable lithium battery averaging a life of 10 days when tracking in 10-minute intervals
  • GPS Tracking and SPOT Mapping interface to Share your Adventures

Pricing and Availability:

The SPOT X Jeep Edition will be available online at FindMeSPOT.ca. The device retails for $389.99 CAD with several annual service plans available, beginning at $11.95 USD per month. More pricing and product details are available at FindMeSPOT.ca/Jeep.

About Globalstar, Inc.

Globalstar is a leading provider of customizable satellite IoT solutions for customers around the world in industries such as government, oil and gas, emergency management, transportation, maritime and outdoor recreation. As a pioneer of mobile satellite voice and data services, Globalstar allows businesses to streamline operations via the Globalstar Satellite Network by connecting people to their devices, supplying personal safety and communication and automating data to more easily monitor and manage mobile assets. The Company’s product portfolio includes the industry-acclaimed SmartOne asset tracking products, Commercial IoT satellite transmitters and Duplex satellite data modems, the innovative Sat-Fi2 satellite wireless IP hotspot and the SPOT® product line of personal safety, asset and communication devices, all offered with a variety of data service plans. For more information regarding Globalstar Canada Satellite Co., please visit globalstar.ca.

About SPOT

SPOT LLC, a subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc., provides affordable satellite communication and tracking devices for recreational and business use. SPOT messaging devices use both the GPS satellite network and the Globalstar Satellite Network to transmit and receive text messages and GPS coordinates. Since 2007, SPOT has provided peace of mind by allowing customers to remain in contact with family, friends and co-workers, completely independent of cellular coverage and has helped initiate over 7,000 rescues worldwide. For more information, visit FindMeSPOT.ca. Note that all SPOT products described in this press release are the products of SPOT LLC, which is not affiliated in any manner with Spot Image of Toulouse, France or Spot Image Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia. SPOT Connect is a trademark of Spot LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Jeep

Built on more than 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.

The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee, Renegade and Wrangler. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left- and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. Jeep is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.

Media Contact:
Caroline McGrath
CMM Communications Inc. for Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.
[email protected]
+1-416-972-1642

101 Inspirational Paddling Quotes We Know You’ll Love

101 Inspirational Paddling Quotes We Know You’ll Love

It seems just about every activity out there has its own set of inspirational quotes, clever catch-phrases and quips nowadays. The world of paddlesports is no exception. Enjoy our list of 101 of the best paddling, canoeing, kayaking, river, lake, ocean and adventure quotes to make you laugh, ponder and inspire you to get outdoors and seek your next great paddling journey!

  • “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.” -Henry David Thoreau
  • “There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude and peace.” -Sigurd F. Olson
  • “If there’s a place, canoe there.” – Brent Kelly
  • “Paddling a canoe is a source of enrichment and inner renewal.” -Pierre Trudeau
  • “Never trust a person whose feet are dry and who is paddling a canoe.” – Author unknown
  • “About the best reason I can think of for owning a canoe is that it can take me into wilderness. And what, you may ask, is so great about wilderness? The silence, for one thing.” – Robert Kimber
  • “Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe.” -American proverb
  • “I’ve always thought that you should concentrate on paddling your own canoe.” – John Dos Passos
  • “Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy.” – Bill Mason
  • “A canoe does not know who is king. When it turns over, everyone gets wet.” – Malagasy proverb
  • “Voyage upon life’s sea, to yourself be true, and whatever your lot may be, paddle your own canoe.” – Sarah Bolton
  • “Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Canoeing is a feeling you can’t explain.” – Author unknown
  • “When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known.” – Sigurd F. Olson
  • “A day without canoeing probably wouldn’t kill me, but why risk it?” – Author unknown
  • “Although we are in different boats, you in your boat and we in our canoe, we share the same river of life.” – Oren Lyons
  • “The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten.” – Sigurd F. Olson
  • “With one foot in the canoe and one foot on shore, you are sure to fall into the river.” – Tuscarora proverb
  • “…portaging is like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.” – Bill Mason
  • “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal 500 on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.” – Pierre Trudeau
  • “First rule of canoeing: never lose the paddle.” – Author unknown
  • “The goal of a wilderness canoe trip should be to collect enough of the wilderness experience to last the whole year… A full cup is the only way that the winter can be endured.” – Greg Went

Kayaking Quotes

  • “I’d rather be kayaking.” – Author unknown
  • “Kayaking is my therapy.” – Author unknown
  • “Yes, I do have a retirement plan. I plan on kayaking.” -Author unknown
  • “I kayak to burn off the crazy.” – Author unknown
  • “The two best reasons to buy a kayak rather than just renting are sunsets and sunrises.” – Thomas P. Jones
  • “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a kayak and that’s kind of the same thing.” – Author unknown
  • “Stress is caused by not enough kayaking.” – Author unknown
  • “Kayaking is a way of life.” – Author unknown
  • “Learn to kayak because zombies can’t swim.” – Author unknown
  • “Kayak more. Worry less.” – Author unknown
  • “Live. Love. Kayak.” – Author unknown
  • “I don’t need therapy. I just need to go kayaking.” – Author unknown
  • “Kayaking is the answer. Who cares what the question is.” -Author unknown
  • “Kayaking is not just a hobby. It’s a post-apocalyptic survival skill.” -Author unknown
  • “Never mess with a kayaker. We know places where no one will find you.” – Author unknown
  • “You know you’re a kayaker when you can’t go over a bridge without checking to see how much water is under it.” – Author unknown
  • “Open water is a highway to adventure, best traveled by canoe or kayak.” – Author unknown
  • “Your kayak doesn’t have an expiration date.” – Author unknown

Paddling Quotes

  • “There is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” – Kenneth Grahame
  • “Keep calm and paddle on.” – Author unknown
  • “Life’s short, paddle hard.”- Author unknown
  • “Paradise is just a paddle away.” – Author unknown
  • “If in doubt, paddle out.” – Nat Young
  • “The path of the paddle can be a means of getting things back to their original perspective.” – Bill Mason
  • “The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.” – George R. R. Martin
  • “Paddle faster. I hear banjos!” – Author unknown
  • “Life’s a river. Grab a paddle.” – Author unknown
  • “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
  • “Born to paddle, forced to work.” – Author unknown
  • “You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” – Mark Twain
  • “She wasn’t drifting away. She was paddling her own boat.” -Author unknown

Lake, River and Ocean Quotes

  • “Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life.” – Author unknown
  • “The first river you paddle runs through you the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are.” -Lynn Culbreath Noel
  • “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” -A.A. Milne
  • “The rivers flow not past but through us.” – John Muir
  • “What happens at the river, stays at the river.” – Author unknown
  • “A rough day at sea is better than any day at the office.” – Author unknown
  • “Life is better on the river.” – Author unknown
  • “A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.” -William Wordsworth
  • “You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” – Jim Harrison
  • “The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” – John Muir
  • “The songs of the river ends not at her banks, but in the hearts of those who have loved her.” – Buffalo Joe
  • “A man of wisdom delights in water.” – Confucius
  • “Swift or smooth, broad as the Hudson or narrow enough to scrape your gunwales, every river is a world of its own, unique in pattern and personality. Each mile on a river will take you farther from home than a hundred miles on a road.” – Bob Marshall
  • “A day spent on the water is never a waste of time.” – Author unknown
  • “A day on the river restores the soul.” – Author unknown
  • “A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin
  • “Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go.” – Blaise Pascal
  • “So lovely was the loneliness of a wild lake.” – Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life and thought—a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing.” – John M. Kauffmann
  • “Listen—the river is calling.” – Author unknown
  • “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he had the courage to lose sight of the shore.”- Andre Gide
  • “Life is better at the lake.” – Author unknown
  • “There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats.” – Jeff Rennicke
  • “A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
  • “The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go.” – Richard Bach
  • “Life is like a river. The way of life is to flow with the current. To turn against it takes effort, but the current will carry you if you let it. Float with joy and ease.” – Author unknown
  • “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus
  • “Don’t try to steer the river.” – Deepak Chopra
  • “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.” – Ted Turner

Life, Water and Adventure Quotes

  • “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” – Lovelle Drachman
  • “Go where you feel most alive.” – Author unknown
  • “Life is simple—just add water.” – Author unknown
  • “It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.” – Nicholas Sparks
  • “We must take adventures to know where we truly belong.” -Author unknown
  • “Life is good. Full stream ahead.” – Author unknown
  • “Sometimes you just need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul.” – Author unknown
  • “One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” – William Feather
  • “I have an insane calling to be where I’m not.” – Author unknown
  • “The journey not the arrival matters.” – T.S. Eliot
  • “Happiness is finally leaving the shore.” – Author unknown
  • “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eiseley
  • “There needs to be balance or you will sink.” – Author unknown
  • “Around every bend there’s a great surprise… you just have to look for it.” – Author unknown
  • “Some beautiful waters can’t be explored without getting lost.” -Author unknown
  • “The ocean inspires, the sunset calms and the salty air heals.” -Author unknown
  • “Life was meant for good friends and great adventure.” – Author unknown
  • “I learned that the richness of life is found in adventure… It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. There is stagnation only in security.” – William Orville Douglas

Many of these paddling quotes can apply to our experiences on and out of the water at some point in time or another. Which is your favorite paddling quote from the list above? Is there one you found particularly inspiring?

Video: Surviving COVID-19 For Sea Kayakers

Video: Surviving COVID-19 For Sea Kayakers

“In 2020 we had big plans,” writes filmmaker Tom Vetterl. “Several expeditions and trainings were in the making, I wanted to start my BCU education to become a sea kayak guide, there were lots of ideas for new films in the pipeline, a full 2020 schedule.”

Unfortunately, like so many others, his plans came crashing down due to the COVID-19 crisis. “All plans are cancelled or at least on hold, especially friends with businesses are struggling,” he writes.

But, sea kayakers are resilient, he says. “We never bust our heads in the sand! With this film, me and my friends from Moryak Premium Sea Kayaking, Expedition Paddler and ISKGA, want to encourage everyone to stay optimistic, make plans and concentrate on what can be done! Take online classes, plan your next expedition, reach out to friends and support your community, read books, learn something new, be creative! We hope everyone is doing well out there, and we cannot wait to get back on the waters with you.”