Interested in learning kayaking in Central Florida, ideas?

  • BardBear

    Posts: 533

    Mar 24, 2012 11:31 AM GMT
    I see there's a thread already, but I figured I'd start a new one, due to the fact that the last comment was from August. I'm semi-new to Central Florida and live right next to the Harris Chain of Lakes. I keep seeing kayakers and paddlers of all sorts. I've always wanted to learn.

    However, they're expensive! I want to see if it is something I would enjoy doing before I invest in a ton of cash and time. So I figured I posit a question about-well-how do I get into this facinating sport and see if it is something for myself?

    Figured it couldn't or wouldn't hurt to ask!

    Peace,
    Bardy
  • tnlifter

    Posts: 76

    Mar 24, 2012 3:31 PM GMT
    Go to either Academy Sports or Dicks Sporting Goods. Comparison shop there, they are the 2 cheapest places to buy a starter kayak. You should be able to find a model for under $200. Buy an adjustable paddle (about $70), a good life vest. You can get a skirt if you want later. I have 4 rivers and 3 lakes within 20 miles of me, I don't even use a skirt. 1 day a week in the summer I paddle upstream again and again for a workout. Good luck!
  • BardBear

    Posts: 533

    Mar 25, 2012 11:43 AM GMT
    tnlifter saidGo to either Academy Sports or Dicks Sporting Goods. Comparison shop there, they are the 2 cheapest places to buy a starter kayak. You should be able to find a model for under $200. Buy an adjustable paddle (about $70), a good life vest. You can get a skirt if you want later. I have 4 rivers and 3 lakes within 20 miles of me, I don't even use a skirt. 1 day a week in the summer I paddle upstream again and again for a workout. Good luck!


    And you are my new best friend! Thanks, buddy! Of course, I'm out in the country some--so I'll need to high tail it into the 'burbs to see what they have. Luckily I do have a truck, so hauling shouldn't be a problem. Money might be, but I suppose I'm in no hurry.

    Thank you!
    Bardy
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 25, 2012 12:21 PM GMT

    I've been rowing and kayaking/surfskiing for years, it's a lot of fun and a great workout!
    I would also scan Craigslist for used kayaks, and REI has a "used sporting equipment" classified in their stores or online.
    I am new to FL as well, and went for a run by the Hillsborough River the other day: there's a kayak rental place for use on the river here...

    Get a longer kayak than you think you would want, it makes the movements much smoother when you are paddling.
  • BardBear

    Posts: 533

    Mar 26, 2012 9:38 AM GMT
    Another new best friends, and such a good idea, to boot! Now why didn't I think of that?

    Thanks, Outland.

    Peace,
    Bardy
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2012 10:43 AM GMT
    Appears that there are no REIs in te state of Florida. I'm sure there are plenty of places to rent a kayak in the area though. That many lakes, there has to be a rental shop.
  • dcmacguy

    Posts: 102

    Apr 05, 2012 11:22 AM GMT
    I'll second Craigslist - I sold my kayak on there a while back when I moved and didn't have a place to keep it... I'm now searching again.

    Rent one first and take one out on flat water to get the feel for it. If you can go with a group outing or class - even better. They typically have basic lessons about easy methods to board and launch the kayak yourself, how to set the boat up, and what to do should you capsize or fall out of the boat.

    The paddling technique should really be using your core as the primary muscle group pulling you through the water - you'll know if you need to tweak that because you'll really feel it in your arms.

    I wouldn't worry about a skirt up front personally - it's pretty damn hard to capsize a kayak if you have one that is the right fit for you - and if you have a skirt and flip it, you need to know the proper release technique to get out of it or how to barrel roll yourself back over.

    Good luck... it's addicting though! You've been warned icon_twisted.gif
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Apr 05, 2012 1:09 PM GMT
    There is a Dick's Sporting Goods store in Orlando, but it is kinda far...it's near The Mall at Millenia (between downtown and the Sea World area off of I-4). I noticed on their website, they do sell kayaks, but you might want to call them first (407.355.0733).

    You can also kayak at Blue Springs State Park which is not awfully far from your area, as it's over near Orange City.

    http://www.floridastateparks.org/bluespring/

    Hope that helps and if I remember correctly, you are in Lake County. Don't know about streams and rivers up there, but there are tons of Lakes, hence the name of the county.