Why should we spend more money for a lighter weight boat or paddle? It's only a few pounds or a few ounces lighter. Will it make me go faster?
Speed. The truth of the matter is that a lighter weight kayak or paddle won't make you go any faster. Going faster is really up to you. Environment (wind, current) aside, for displacement hulls like kayaks, the theoretical top speed of a boat hull is determined by the length of its waterline.
Shorter boats are going to be slower than longer boats, period. Within that parameter, the way to go faster than you are currently moving is to increase your cadence. That is to say paddle faster. This applies up until you reach the maximum hull speed of your vessel. After that, no amount of horsepower is going to increase the speed.
Ease of Paddling. So the advantage what we are really talking about with lighter weight is efficiency. Not only are lighter weight boats easier to load, but at any given speed, it takes less energy to get and stay at that speed. As an example, a light weight kayak like an Eddyline Caribbean 12, at 45 lbs is easier to load and paddle than a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 at 67 lbs because you are not lifting or pushing an additional 22 + lbs EACH and EVERY time you move it. That's the incremental part.
It all adds up. You will be flabbergasted when you start to do some math. Most paddlers execute about 500 forward strokes per mile, according to the experts, when paddling at cruising speed. Over a mere mile, 500 x 20lbs = 10,000 lbs or 5 TONS Others estimate it another way, saying it's 3000 strokes per hour. That yields an astounding 3000 x 20 = 60,000 lbs or 30 tons per hour. The same logic and math can be applied to light weight paddles. A 24 oz carbon paddle vs a 37 oz aluminum paddle yields an incremental swing weight difference of 13 oz (just under a pound). Over 1 mile that's approximately 500 lbs and over an hour it can be over a ton.
Durability. There is certainly a minor trade-of for lighter weights and that's impact resistance. For most of us in Florida, that's an easy trade-off. Aardvark's prefers thermoplastics because we feel it is good trade-off in our circumstances. We are not experiencing white-water level impacts. We are dealing with an occasional rock, stump, or oyster bar. Under these circumstances, it's an easy decision. Thermoplastic have higher abrasion resistance than rotomolded kayaks. Repairability is another plus. Should the need arise, repairing thermoplastics with epoxy is fairly easy compared to repairing rotomolded kayaks with plastic welding.
Price. It is true that as weight decreases cost increases. When comparing "A" brands such as Eddyline vs Wildy, the Caribbean 12 (@ 45 lbs) retails for $1499 while the Tarpon 120 in roto (67 lbs) retails for $1119. That's $300. Is it worth it? That's your call.
So in conclusion, it's all about the little things called increments. What might be a minor inconvenience at first can quickly become a major drawback as time (and age), distance and the difficulty of the paddle increase.
The Environment: Three Sisters Spring
Public Invited to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Public Scoping Meeting
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is inviting the public to attend a scoping meeting to help shape future management options for the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) in Citrus County, Florida. This invitation follows recommencement of the Service’s intent to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and accompanying environmental analysis for the Refuge. By law, the Service is required to develop a CCP for each refuge that outlines specific resource management goals and wildlife-dependent visitor recreational opportunities to meet the purpose of that refuge and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System as a whole.
This meeting provides members of the community an opportunity to play a significant role in the development of this long- term plan. We invite the public to provide comments to the following questions, as well as any other issue, opportunity or concern you may have regarding the Refuge. Participation by you and other interested groups and individuals is critical to the success of this planning process.
1. What do you value most about Crystal River NWR?
2. If you can make one change at the refuge what would it be?
3. What would you like to see in the future for Crystal River NWR?
The draft CCP/Environmental Assessment will include detailed information about the planning process and will outline a range of management alternatives based on public input received. Once finalized, the CCP will outline resource management for the Refuge over the next 15 years.
Information about the meeting is as follows:
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017 Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Location: The Plantation at Crystal River, Magnolia Room Address: 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL, 34429
The meeting will follow an informal open-house format. Brief presentations will be given at 6:00 p.m., but attendees are invited to arrive anytime between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to meet with Service personnel, learn more about the CCP process, and provide input.
If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability or have any questions concerning a reasonable accommodation, please contact Ms. Laura Housh at 912-816-8113 or firstname.lastname@example.org, TTY 800-877-8339 with your request by close of business September 6, 2017.
The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 to provide habitat and protection for the Florida manatee and to foster a sense of public commitment to and understanding of the plight of the manatee and its need for protection by providing opportunities for environmental education, interpretation, and sustainable wildlife-dependent recreation. The refuge also provides habitat for the natural diversity of fish and wildlife that occur in Citrus County, Florida.
Labor Day Sale 9/1 thru 9/3 $50 off any in stock kayak or SUP
We don't have a lot of sales, so take advantage while you can.
We have been told that shipping cost will increase by 5% next season with no MSRP increases so future sales will be sparse to maintain margins with the ever increasing costs of doing business. We don't believe in hiding costs in the hopes no one notices. We will never advertise kayaks or SUPs above the manufacturer's MSRPs.
Preview of the POI's from Matt, Max, and Tom's Citrus Paddling Trails Book. Available ~ November 1, 2017. Many of the POI's will be covered in greater detail in the book. The book will cover the coastal, lake, and Withlacoochee River areas of Citrus County in much the same format as the currently available Finding the Treasures of the Trails (See Below).