Friday, June 28, 2013

Whys of the “Do-Overs”

Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner.  Folks familiar with summer weather in the Pacific Northwest know that Independence Day usually marks the beginning of nice summer weather around these parts.  Summer comes later and usually hangs around a little later than what is normally considered “summer”.  It doesn’t look like this year is going to be much different than other years.  Temperatures are forecast to remain in the upper 80’s and 90’s for most of the week with no rain in the forecast.  Do I like that?  Not really.  I like the beautiful mid-70’s because there is no need for air conditioning and no need for heat.  I guess gone are the perfect, perfect days at  least for a while.

Since Rick asked, here are the whys of the “Do-Overs” on the kayaks.  When we bought our first kayaks, we went to all the big sporting good stores in the area to check out supply.  There wasn’t much difference in what one store had over another or what one store clerk knew over another.  I had remembered a kayaking _june27_8event in the Caribbean where we had trouble keeping the kayak from turning over so I figured they might all be a little like that.  Perhaps, stability was important.  Well, it is but not so much as what I thought.  I had also been in a canoe.  A canoe takes a heck of a lot more effort to oar and get some place than a kayak takes with a paddle.

Check out the seat on this kayak – notice no thigh or knee pads.

We ended up buying kayaks with fairly flat bottoms, one layer polythene, no thigh pads and with  terribly uncomfortable seats.  We did buy some decent paddles though – good but not great -  Some of those paddles run upwards of $500!!!  I guess we just lucked out as ours come apart and can be set with the degree one prefers.  They also are curved to help us move across the water faster.  However, I'm also thinking maybe we should now do a little comparing with paddles.  After all, we really don't know what we could be missing.

We discovered there was a HUGE difference in kayaks after trying the ones Tammi and Robert bought.  We couldn’t believe the difference in the comfort level and ease of moving in their kayaks.  Since they had no interest in trading us, we had no choice but to replace ours with better ones.  I figured I wouldn’t be able to keep Terry interested in our new little sport if he didn’t have something much more comfortable.  I tried to talk him into a Sea Eagle to begin with and now am certainly glad that wasn’t his first experience.   However, I’d still like to try one of those out but I'm betting there is a huge difference.  There also is a difference when it comes to transporting. 

Check out the adjustable seats on the replacement kayaks. 
_june27_1 _june27_2

The shorter and wider the kayak the more you have to work to move it along the water.  Flatter bottom boats are more for recreational use and would be fantastic for fishing, photographing or hanging in one spot.   Some kayaks are designed to move faster and straighter across the water because they may have manual skegs or ones molded in. The kayaks we ended up with in our “do-over” were a little longer and a little narrower than the first ones for less paddle effort and straighter maneuverability.  They also had an adjustable air seat for comfort and were made of a much more durable material.  Plus they had great reviews.  Besides all of that …. my daughter told me that my kayak looked cheap.  Aargh!  Well, that’s not exactly how she worded it.  I actually made the comment in comparing my kayak to hers.  She just agreed.

_27_1 _27_2
First kayaks  --  We're keeping them in our "family pool" of kayaks for a while.

_(27_1There are actually kayaks for specific purposes. Some are constructed mainly for whitewater, some for flat water, others for touring and even more yet for sea going usage. Ours are kind of a crossover between flat water and touring. We’ll see how much we use these over the next year or so. Maybe this will be good enough or maybe it’ll just be another stepping stone.

Replacement kayaks --

 Hmmmm.  Wonder if we should think about replacement paddles?


Remember this air seat I posted the other day.  I bought it for kayak #1 because there was no padding on the seat and I certainly don't have the padding I used to have!  Besides that I bruised my tailbone last week and this seat has come in handy more places than just in a kayak.  Ever bruise a tailbone? 

The picture of Terry and I in the current header photo shows us in in Tammi's and Robert's kayaks. Not ours.  However, I am still color coordinated with my new one  ... kayak, PFD and paddle all match!  I knew you'd want to know that.

That's it ... that's all I know for now.  There you go, Rick.

‘Tis life on the road.


  1. Had no idea there was so much to know about kayaks and all the different kinds for different things. But I can see where the padding would definitely be a necessity.

  2. You are going to be a kayak expert. There sure are a lot of them in our park this weekend. And the water has remained unusually calm.

  3. I can't wait to get out in my kayak. It's a 12 foot Perception Tribute. It's not good for fast water, but I love those slow, easy rivers! :-)

    Your new and improved kayaks look like Pungo 120 by Wilderness Systems - am I correct?

    Stay cool and safe kayaking! :-)

    1. You are right about the Wilderness kayak. We're not interested in fast water either. It's the slow moving rivers we prefer too.

  4. I love the color of the new ones. I wouldn't know where to begin to buy a kayak, but you have done in explaining the difference between the old and new.

    Enjoy the water.

  5. You could not get me into a kayak but if you could you sure couldn't get me anywhere near white water. Been through mild rapids in a canoe and that was plenty of that for me. Having to learn to "read the rocks" was sort of fun but getting dumped into the water was not. I'm glad you are enjoying your kayaks, though.

  6. Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was the perfect kayak. Judging from the better seat alone, I think you've hit a much more user friendly unit.

    Besides, do overs are a part of life, glad you're now much happier with the new units. Now I'm looking forward to your adventures and pictures while using them! :c)

  7. Thanks for the explanation of the differences in the kayaks and why you decided to get new ones. Makes sense to me as comfort has to be the #1 issue - right after safety of course. Your new kayaks look pretty spiffy to me!


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