Friday, January 29, 2010

An Interview with Rob Nykvist - Kayaker & Durhamblogger Follower - Part 3

And here is the final part of DUAC's 3 Part interview with Rob Nykvist, kayaker, blogger, and Durhamblogger Follower. (DUAC): " What gear is essential?

Rob Nykvist: "Depends on what kind of kayak you have and where you are paddling. For a sit-in kayak, I always use a paddle leash and PFD and carry a GPS, spare batteries, compass, knife, duck tape, water bottle(s), paddle float, pump, whistle, spray skirt, and cell phone - no exceptions. There are also essentials needed for transport, such as car roof rack, foam pads and straps. Lighting is essential on night trips. Local laws may vary. A flashlight or head lamp is usually adequate on our club trips. However, when kayaking in heavy boating or shipping areas at night, I use a 4 foot tall (above my head) 360 degree standard marine light powered by a 12 volt marine battery and carry a million candle power spot light within reach."

DUAC: "What gear is more "nice-to-have?"

Rob Nykvist: "Nice-to-have gear will vary depending on the nature of the kayaking, time of year, and length of trip. Obviously someone going on a multi-day trip into the wildness where boats can't even go might carry different gear than the person going for an hour paddle along a populated shoreline. Here are a few nice to have accessory gear items in no particular order. Rain suit, dry suit, umbrella, camera, camcorder, sunglasses, hat, garbage bag, spare paddle, towels or sponge, binoculars, map of the area, bird or wildflower field guide books, micro water purification pump, waterproof gear bag, rope, fishing pole and lures, sail or windpaddle, reflector tape on the sides of the kayak, more safety gear like spotter mirror, flares, SPOT, change of clothes, Chota Mukluk light boots for seasonal cold water, water temperature gauge, overnight shelter tarp or hammock, seasonal insect repellent, Solio solar phone charger, mp3 player or portable radio, brush to remove mud from sandals or scum ring from kayak, gloves, heat retaining blanket, gun, emergency food, lighter, etc. When it comes to kayaking, he who has the most toys does not necessarily win - he just ends up packing and unpacking more stuff each trip that will probably never be used."

DUAC: "What research should you do prior to purchasing a kayak?"

Rob Nykvist: "See tips #1 and #2 (Interview Part 2 on 1/27/2010). Again, much of the decision on what to buy will be based on how you plan to kayak. Will your trips be short? Do you plan on kayaking once a summer, once a month, every weekend, or several times a week? Will you be going over night trips with need to haul camping gear? Will you be kayaking alone or do you want a tandem kayak? Kayak weight might be an issue if you are going to carry it by yourself. A $300 dollar kayak from a local sports store may be all one needs for fun or someone may want to spend ten times that for a high performance kayak with several bulkheads for storing gear.
The best "research" a person can do prior to buying a kayak is going on one or more test trips in it. That "research" should include the transport of the kayak. If you have a kayak, but it turns out to be too heavy for you to lift, you're likely to lose interest in kayaking real quick. No one kayak will satisfy the needs of every water condition. A trip down white water requires a special kayak. If you are into speed, realize that stability will be sacrificed for a faster kayak. If you like photography, a wider kayak is best for stability but your speed will be slower. There are sit-on-top kayaks, sit-in kayaks, and pedal kayaks. The sit-on-top kayakers tend to get wet legs and feet from the dripping paddles. Pedal kayakers have to be very careful in murky and shallow waters.
Consider your reason for kayaking before buying one. Where will you use it? Rocky white water? Shallow bays? Riding the waves at the beaches? Navigating down windy rivers? Exercise? Photography? What is your passion? A 25 inch wide 14 to 16 foot long plastic (rotomolded) kayak with a rudder, and two bulkheads with hatches should provide a beginner with a high quality stable kayak suitable for a wide variety of conditions."

DUAC: "Thank you Rob for sharing your experience and love of kayaking with Durhamblogger readers!"

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