April 2007

If You Interested In A Kayak Club, Now’s The Time!

By Kayak Jay

Thor Lane

The great weather is here! Are you ready to enjoy the beauty of Arizona in your own paddle boat? 

There’s no reason not to give it a try now that the City of Peoria has started a paddling program at Lake Pleasant. For less than the cost of a rental, you can receive a full lesson and tour with all the necessary equipment.

Discovery tours are scheduled for both weekdays and weekends, so you can always find one that meets your needs. All tours will be led by certified instructors, including Kayak Jay.

You can get information from Program Director Jason Mangum at (623) 773-7936. The minimum age is 13, but younger children can participate in a double kayak with another family member for an additional $5.

Discovery tours are scheduled for Thursday, April 12; Sunday, April 15; Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 29. Check with Mangum for other available dates.

I have talked about many reasons for paddling. This month let’s talk about the value of aerobic exercise.

It is common knowledge that daily aerobic exercise will keep you young, strengthen your immune system, and help maintain weight. The problem is that many people don’t have the joints to support regular weight-bearing exercise.

In addition, most aerobic exercise is just plain boring! After years of trying just about everything, I have settled on paddling as the one exercise I can always return to and enjoy. With correct strokes, the muscles you exercise are the big core muscles which will go every day without complaint or repetitive-motion injuries.

Of course you do need equipment. The good news is that the best boats for exercise are among the least expensive paddle boats you can buy.
An exercise kayak is small, simple and relatively light.  It doesn’t require exotic materials or any fancy accessories.

You can use the same boat for family fun or daily exercise. If you can picture an old-fashioned, long-board surf board, you know what an exercise kayak looks like.

For a good example, go to the Cobra kayaks Web site and look at the re-vision. I spent less than $700 on my exercise kayak, including paddle. Usually I leave the expensive boats at home and use the little Vision for fun and sport.

While I tend to like the expanses of Bartlett Lake and Lake Pleasant, you can have a great daily exercise at Tempe Town Lake or Granite Reef Reservoir without having to travel far. Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake are also good possibilities, depending on where you live.

There’s no better way to unwind after a day’s work than a brisk paddle around a lake. I’m so excited at the prospect that I am proposing to form an exercise club to get a group together for daily paddles.

How about a club with no dues or costs? Essentially we would compose a list of all interested paddlers, have some regularly scheduled paddles, and a bulletin board to let people get together for other possibilities.

If the idea is appealing, you can start with a rental boat to try it out. The local Cobra dealer will let you apply the rental toward a purchase if you decide it is for you.

If you are interested, send an e-mail to kayakjay@msn.com, and I’ll get something going.

We are in the prime time for kayaking in Arizona, so don’t waste another minute. The Peoria courses are a definite bargain, but there are many other possibilities.

If you want to hear more about it, call Kayak Jay at (602) 359-1354.