PADDLERS NOTEBOOK - Two Things On My Mind: Joining A Club And Buying Carefully
By Kayak Jay
The paddling season is in full swing, with Ranger Terry and the local clubs putting on great events. To join the Lake Pleasant Paddlers send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. To join the Desert Paddlers go to yahoo.com, select group0s and Phoenix area. To join the Phoenix Paddlers go to meetup.com and locate Phoenix Paddlers.
None of these groups charges for membership, and they provide a great opportunity to meet people with your interests for paddling fun.
One of the top kayak opportunities in the area is kayaking through the Topock Gorge on the Colorado River. Several local groups have arranged trips for two to four days, and outfitters are available for camp reservations and shuttles.
The trip features fantastic scenery, abundant wildlife, and the chance to camp at hot springs for a natural treat after a day on the river. Did I mention it is all downstream, requiring a minimum of effort?
Interesting things have been happening in the kayak and canoe industry. A large conglomerate has been buying American companies, then shutting down the manufacturing facilities, and moving the molds to China. The same models are produced with the same names in Chinese facilities.
The materials and composition are not the same as those produced in this country, so the long-term quality is yet to be determined. When buying a kayak, be sure to check the country of origin because you may not be getting what you think.
Kayak Jay is on a rant about the marketís being taken over by Chinese boats wearing American names. Iím not talking about the low-end boats you buy at Costco or Walmart. These are models with quality pricing and rich histories that are being sold as equivalent to their past incarnations.
I have taken it upon myself to set up opportunities to test paddle-quality boats made in America. Give me a call at (602) 359-1354 to find out where the demo fleet will be located. As my past readers know, I am a strong believer in trying the boat before you make an investment.
With the new business model in the industry, it is even more important to know what you are buying. As always, you should not expect help from the salesman in any big box store. We will be losing the last kayak specialty store in the Phoenix area this fall, but we have great dealers to help you in Flagstaff, Prescott, San Diego, Oceanside, and Irvine.
I have started posting my planned trips with the Desert Paddlers, along with news of classes being offered. Check in with the event calendar at the site to see about opportunities for fishing, paddling, and trying new boats and gear. You meet the greatest people paddling a kayak.
Dinghy Digest ®