After the euphoria of my graduation faded I realized that I had one more obstacle ahead of me: I didn’t have a kayak. Buying a kayak is like shoe shopping and bicycle shopping made a baby. A “yak” has to be comfortable, fitting and stylish like a shoe, but light, fast and sturdy like a bike. Unlike shoe and bike stores, there aren’t too many kayak retailers. Buying one online is just out of the question.
On my first trip to Southwind Kayaks in Irvine I learned three things.
- Sea Kayaking is a dying sport. People are buying SUPs and fishing kayaks.
- I’m too big for most boats.
- The only kayak that would fit me comfortably has been discontinued.
Luckily, Kei, the owner had a used one with low nautical mileage lying around in the marina.
Buying a piece of preowned plastic that’s supposed to keep me from drowning made me nervous. To ease my anxiety I had to lay my cards on the table. I told her that I was a famous kayak blogger and if that boat sank her business would sink with it too. My words must have carried some weight. She flawlessly refurbished the boat and delivered it to my house free of charge. (Now, I’m stuck with this blog.)
Even though I try to take only the absolute essentials with me on this trip, I managed to spend half of my kids’ college fund on accessories and kayak accoutrements including a super sexy sprayskirt. Spraykirts are used to keep the water out of the cockpit and the closest thing most guys ever come to cross-dressing in public.