Monday, April 28, 2008

The Popularity of Kayaking is Exploding

As the weather warms up it is time to come out of winter hibernation and get outdoors. One way that more and more people in our area are exploring our great Regional Parks is through kayaking.

Between 2006 and 2007 we saw a 41% increase in canoe and kayak rentals at Pohick Bay Regional Park and Fountainhead Regional Park. At Fountainhead alone there was an increase of over 100% in kayak rentals!

Why are so many people taking up the paddle and exploring nature? One reason is that paddling a recreational kayak like we rent at Pohick and Fountainhead is very easy. These boats are made for novices and they are very stable, comfortable and easy to operate. I am a certified instructor in Sea Kayaking and know like with many things, the more you get into a subject the more there is to learn. The great thing about kayaking is if you want to give it a try for the first time it is not difficult to start.

One of the best ways to find out if kayaking is for you is to rent a boat and go out for a couple hours. If you decide you would like to buy a boat, REI offers an annual Demo Day at Pohick Bay in July, were you can try out many different makes and models and see what is the best fit for you. One of the other interesting thinks about kayaking is that it is for all ages. I recently saw an on-line survey on Canoe & Kayak Magazine where they asked how old were you when you started paddling, and it was interesting to see the wide spread of ages.

I find a few hours on the water to be one of the most peaceful and stress relieving things I can do. If you would like to try paddling as a way to re-connect with nature and get a little exercise head to Fountainhead or Pohick Bay Parks and take out one of our rental boats. It is highly recommended that you go paddling with a friend. As a general rule if the combined air and water temperature is above 120 degrees, you are not at high risk of hypothermia if you should get wet. But anytime you get in any small boat, you need to be prepared to get wet. It is much better to not ware cotton since it wicks away warmth if it gets wet.

So, get a friend, rent a boat and have some fun this summer!! You will love it!