As the sport of kayaking grows and more people take up the sport, the question arises:what type of kayak should I buy? Learn here!
The sport of kayaking is rapidly becoming one of the most popular sports in America. With the advent of ESPN and the extreme sport films more and more people are deciding to take up kayaking. However, many people are at a loss when trying to decide what type of kayak is right for them. In this article, we shall look at the different major types and what they for. You, the paddler, must examine what you are interested in and what level of excitement you are seeking.
The first place to go to decide on a kayak is your local sporting goods store. Even Sam?s Club offers a recreation type of kayak, albeit, a low end type. It works fine,
if you are just beginning to paddle. Quite a few canoe and kayak shops offer what are called "Demo Days," where you can actually try out several different types of kayaks on the water to get a feel before you buy. Sometimes, they also carry used kayaks which can be a real bargain for the beginning kayaker. You can also use the liveries, in streams, that rent kayaks for trips. Usually, they will carry several different brands of kayaks, mostly beginner types, that you can try on local streams. It is usually good to try before you buy. This way you have some idea of the comfort, agility, stability and tracking of the kayak.
The second thing to consider is what type of paddling do you expect to do? Are you interested in learning about whitewater kayaking? Do you expect to mostly paddle flatwater streams, with perhaps a little Class 1+ to 2 type water? Are you going to paddle lakes and bays of the ocean, which are primarily wide open spaces of water? Are you interested in paddling in the ocean, either island to island or playing in the surf? Do you want to play in rapids under waterfalls? There are many types of paddling experiences and boats to go with each. Many times, you start out with one type of kayak and venture on to another for a different type of paddling. You may predominantly paddle flat water, but occasionally take a trip on slightly faster water. You may enjoy it, as your adrenaline starts pumping, and decide to take up whitewater.
In deciding to learn whitewater kayaking, it is generally a good idea to start at a kayak shop that specializes in teaching whitewater kayaking. They can provide you with an idea of what type of eqipement you will need. Many YMCA?s also offer classes as do many of the kayaking clubs that are found all over the country. Whitewater kayaking is exciting, but also can be dangerous, so the expense of lessons is well spent. A good teacher will put you in the type of kayak you need and show you what to look for when you buy your own. Whitewater kayaks are extremely agile but also very tippy. They are made to provide quick turns and maneuverability because the type of water they will be used in is rough and fast moving. They are also quite tight around the body and are supposed to be that way so that the paddler becomes "one with the boat" and can move easier in the water, as in doing Eskimo rolls and escape maneuvers. They is also a sub-class of whitewater kayaks called play boats which are used by "rodeo" kayakers and for trick paddling.
The next type of kayak is the recreation boat. This is usually a very stabile, easily paddled boat that seats either one or two people and is usually where most people start out. They are used for flatwater and small lakes, and can be made out of a variety of materials: plastic, wood, fiberglass and kevlar. Kevlar is the lightest material, but also the most expensive. It is usually not used in the general recreation kayak. Kevlar and fiberglass are usually used more in the high end recreation or touring kayaks. These kayaks are the most pleasant for quiet waters in streams and marshes. They provide a stable platform for relaxing and enjoying the outside. They usually provide some space for day tripping equipement like lunch and cameras. Again, there is a variety of sizes and fits and you need to try sitting in one before you buy. Another good way to try out boats is by joining a club that has trips to different streams. These are usually rated by ability level and is a good place to learn about any information regarding kayaking.
One step up is the touring kayak. These can also vary in size, shape and cost. They are generally longer and sleeker. This contributes to a better tracking ability that helps during a long paddle. They usually have spaces in the hull for camping equipement and other odds and ends for a trip. The lightest ones are also made of kevlar. The ocean going kayaks are considered touring kayaks and sometimes will have a rudder attachment for controlling direction in the seas. They are usually moderately stable and again will be for either one or two paddlers. They are not quite so good for small streams because of their length, but a good paddler can usually navigate one of them through a moderately small stream.
Sit on top kayaks are another class which has become more popular over the past few years. These are exactly what they are called. You sit on top. They can be a fun boat for surfing and paddling, since some people prefer not to be enclosed in a kayak out of fear of being caught in the boat. However, you are exposed to the water and will more than likely have to invest in a wet suit to keep warm when the weather and water run to the chilly side. They also tend to be a little more unstable as the center of balance is higher. This is balanced by the ease of getting back on, since you don?t have to contend with climbing into and over the side of the passenger compartment.
As you can see, the variety of boats is high. The best way is to try, try, try the boats out, until you find one that you find most comfortable for you and your needs. There is no point to having a whitewater kayak if all you do is paddle around a lake. Use the right kayak for the type of paddling you do, and you will enjoy kayaking for many years to come. Of course, you may end up with a garage full of different kayaks, but that?s a subject for another time!
Decorating crafts: securing dried flowers in shadow boxes
These tips and tricks to securing dried flowers in a shadow box will assist in creating various and decorative displays. Drying methods for flowers and creative box ideas should spark the crafter in everyone.
To create and accent a photograph, invitation, child's artwork or selected piece of literature in a shadow box, experiment with dried flowers to frame or highlight the selected piece. These tips and tricks should result in assurance and crafter ideas that will result in a changeable and unique shadow box display.
Dried flowers, though typically thought of as an autumn decoration, can be used throughout the year for craft projects. Many florists and craft stores carry a large variety of dried flowers through each season; or you can dry your own flowers from your garden or from the wild.
There are many flowers that dry quickly and easily. Some of the easiest and most attractive dried flowers are violets, roses, carnations, zinnias, daisies, hydrangea and thistle, to name a few. Leaves such as fern, clover, oak, and maple maintain color and texture as well.
To dry flowers that have been collected from your garden, florist or next nature walk; you simply need a method of eliminating the moisture without causing rot. In general the thinner the flower, the less drying time is needed. However, thinner flowers become more fragile when dried. Try one of these methods; hanging, sand drying, container or pressing, to dry your flowers.
Hang flowers in a well-ventilated, dark spot, for about week. Simply tie the flowers in a neat bundle and hang upside down.
Sand drying allows the flowers to retain their cup shape. Fill the flower with sand and place it in a box of sand stem down. Allow to dry for about week. Use sand purchased from a craft store to ensure the sand is dry - sand from the outdoors will have moisture; even if taken from the beach.
Airtight containers also work well for drying flowers such as hydrangea, carnations and other bulky headed flowers. Just pop in a container, close and forget for about a week to ten days.
An unconventional yet effective method is refrigeration. Simply pop a bouquet or flower in the refrigerator for about two weeks and allow it to dry. Carnations do very well with this method.
Finally, flower presses are an easy way to dry relatively flat flowers. An actual flower press need not be an expensive contraption you buy in the craft store. It can be as simple as a few leaves in between sheets of newspaper, or a thistle dried in between the pages of a book.
Once you have dried flowers, cut the stems to within an inch of the flower and carefully arrange and re-arrange within the shadow box. A long-handled tweezer can be very useful with the very delinquent flowers. Regular tweezers and/or kitchen tongs can be of assistance as well.
Craft glue or rubber cement hold dried flowers in place best. Working in a small area, about two inches wide, will help eliminate errors and allow you to work around the shadow box. Place the flower stem or leaf in the glue/cement and allow to set for a moment. Stand back and analyze the results before working on the next two or three inch segment.
Putty such as florist putty can also be used to cement flowers in place. Putty works well if the dried flowers are to be changed from season to season. However, putty does dry and crack with exposure to the air and the sunlight, so be cautious to the location of the shadow box. Too much sun exposure will result in saggy flowers.
Patience is the key. Flowers can always be cut off their stem or pulled immediately from the glue/cement should the arrangement be incorrect.
Arranging the flowers as a frame within the shadow box around a wedding invitation or anniversary/birth announcement creates a very special remembrance and gift. To highlight a poem, photo or piece of literature that is meaningful, frame the piece in bold colored flowers. Children's artwork can be framed from season to season with daisies, roses and mums to highlight the theme. Experiment, create and never be afraid. The end results can give your home the warmth of your gardens you so carefully tend to during the growing season.
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