If you have ever thought about spending a lazy summer day, or even just a few hours, floating down a nice peaceful river, now is the perfect time to do it. It is a great time to get into the kayak craze.
It seems that in just the last couple of years the number of kayaks has, literally, exploded. Every body of water seems to be alive with floating banana looking boats of every size and color.
Spend any time at all in the sporting goods section at your local Wal-Mart or take a trip to Cabela’s or any other big name outdoor retailer and you will no doubt see boat after boat being hauled out and loaded up. Recently, while talking with one of the outdoor professionals at Cabela’s in the Charleston, WV store, he said that they have sold several thousand kayaks in just the last couple of summers. It is a booming industry all over the state and the country.
Once looked at as a thrill seekers boat only seen in the famed whitewater regions across the land, the small watercraft have found their niche in the general population. Manufacturers have tweaked their designs and added creature comforts and made the craft an outdoorsman’s dream boat.
Small and light, they are easily maneuverable in almost any body of water. The boats are great for a quick float down the river or a spin around the lake. Quiet and stealthy they can glide though the water making it easy to catch all the river wildlife at their finest while floating by.
Kayaks come in a variety of configurations. Each one just a little different to better suit what you are wanting to do, yet, all allow the boats to be versatile enough to be used for a number of water sporting functions.
The boats come in several designs like the classic sit in models, the newer sit on top style, and there are even models that come with adjustable seats to allow for more comfort and better positioning for the serious kayak fisherman.
Another great thing about kayaks are the price. Prices range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand for the top of the line decked out, fully rigged fishing boat. Some of these models even come with built-in places to stash your coolers and your go-Pro camera, not to mention all of your fishing gear.
Probably, the most appealing part about the kayak craze is the portability of the small boats. Most are light enough to be easily handled by a single person so it is the ultimate grab-and-go fisherman’s friend. Gives new meaning to have boat will travel.
Going on vacation, no problem. Strap your kayaks to the top of the family automobile, tuck a couple of fishing rods and paddles right inside and you are ready to go. Don’t forget your life jackets!
No matter where you are it is easy to find suitable places to drop in, or take out, a kayak. Pretty much anywhere you can walk down to the river’s edge or lake shore, you can launch a kayak. Better yet, if you are fishing, or floating, with a buddy you can take two vehicles and float from one to the other so there is no paddling upstream.
Not ready to jump into the world of kayak ownership, no problem. There are kayak rentals popping up around just about every floatable body of water. Possibly, the best part of these services are that they will arrange to drop you off and pick you up on your floating excursion.
Right here at home there are several kayak rental outfitters that do a great job. On the Guyandotte you can give Four Seasons Kayak Rentals a try or Sunny Daze Boat Rentals. If you are looking for something on the Coal River system check out the Coal River group or Big Coal River Kayak Rentals. These folks will be glad to get you on the water.
They are, also, just a few of the outfitters in our area. I am sure there are many more and there are similar rentals available almost anywhere you go these days. It is a great way to try kayaking, and the outfitter will set you up with all the gear you need and even drop you off and help you launch into the river.
So, if you are looking for a new adventure, or a new way to get to those hard to reach fishing spots, you might want to take a look at the kayaks the next time you are ambling around the local sporting goods section. They are light, stable and a barrel of fun.
Just be sure when you get in the boat that you always take your fishing rod. I mean always wear your life jacket, and take along you fishing rod just in case. Boating is a lot of fun, but anytime you are around water there is some danger, so a life vest isn’t an option, it is a necessity.