Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rec kayaks - Love 'em or leave 'em?

St. Pete's Beach, Florida
Remember when you first tried kayaking? It was probably in a recreational plastic kayak rental parked along an inviting waterway on a beautiful, warm, sunny day.
Ocean sit-on-tops, St. Pete's Beach, Florida
You emptied your wallet or used your credit card to rent a couple of basic, indestructible, wide-bodied kayaks for a couple of hours to try it out, to see if you like kayaking.
Fort De Soto, Florida. Recreational rental kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards
Here's to all those sturdy, recreational soldier kayaks out there that teach us to be patient, shop around, visit symposiums, and find a kayak we really love. One that fits just right, performs with ease and grace, invites us to play, inspires us to invest in tons of our own custom gear, and compels us to buy cars and racks built to haul them around with us everywhere we go.
Fred Howard Park, Tarpon Springs, Florida
I look at the rec kayaks. But I leave 'em be, even though the water is so tempting. What I paddle and how it performs and feels makes all the difference to me.
Kayak rentals on St. Pete's Beach, Florida
That big, thick, green incredible hulk (hull) makes me wonder how you'll respond? And . . . how much do you weigh?

A lady on St. Pete's Beach, Florida wanders up to an outfitter and asks, "Is that some sort of a raft or something?" I smile and listen. I know, it had me fooled too. The outfitter explains, "It's an ocean sit on top kayak." Kayak has such a "wide" definition these days. It's easy to get confused.
Those roadside waterfront kayak rentals, the sturdy soldiers that they are, help lead us to the easy kayak launches.
Fort De Soto public kayak launch, Florida
Thank you rec kayaks. You make me want more . . .way more.
 Rec kayak rentals in waiting. Weedon Island Preserve, Florida
Give me a long, lean, performance sea kayak or bust!
Deer Isle Archipelago, Stonington, Maine, USA
This reminds me, it's time to plan another big road trip with the sea kayaks. When I leave mine behind, I tend to run with the sandpipers on the beach instead of paddling while tripping in Florida.
Love your kayak and where it takes you. Or, keep shopping!
Happy paddle trails.
The BaffinPaddler


  1. Hey Peggy. It seems you give recreational kayaks a "less than enthusiastic" plug! I've logged over 5 years and close to 90 paddling adventures in recreational and hybrid-rec boats! I like these types of kayaks because of their stability, price points, forgiving-nature in handling, and rugged construction that holds up well. For me, I am looking for a stable platform for nature photography, and spending a few hours on a quiet lake, pond, or stream. As a kayaker, I'm not looking for a touring, sea-going craft - it simply does not "fit" my desire or style for paddling. I am glad that you found your ideal kayak fit! Me too! BTW, I am on the lookout for another rec kayak to add to my flotilla this year! Different strokes for different folks? - Mike, the Durhamblogger

  2. Hi Mike, We also own a recreational sit-on top fishing kayak. It is great for its intended use, and much better for fishing and taking the dog out for a ride on a warm day than our sea kayaks. But, for me, I still prefer paddling a sea kayak, even on a small lake. There is room for all kinds of kayaks on the market and on the water. Cheers from Canada.

  3. Thanks for the reminder about those brightly colored little pills. They are a gateway drug all their own.

    And thanks for the sandpipers.


    -Boatless in Dublin

  4. You're welcome Glenn. Top o' the mornin' to ya. I was thinking of the rec kayaks as a gateway drug too. I'm happy you read between the lines. I like your blog. You are definitely a writer! I'd love to see and read more about some on-the-water adventures in Ireland in an awesome kayak. Cheers from Canada! I'm part Irish, or so I'm told!