Once you break through the barriers to entry, kayaking is a forever sport that many are able to continue longer than they are able to ride a bike! Scott Holley, CEO of leading kayak brand Eddyline Kayaks shared with Timeless that a key component of the brand’s customer and community base are now retirees.
Here are a few reasons why late-life learners are drawn to the paddle over the pedal.
Even Lower Impact
Although biking is generally thought of as a low impact sport, as we age, the balance and muscles required can have harsh consequences if we falter. Even if we don’t falter, the fear of faltering could increase our chances of a misstep. When kayaking, you can lean into a challenging and hard workout – or glide away for a short float on a pond. There are so many ways to kayak and multiple options to keep it simple!
A Softer Substrate
Calm water catching a fall is a pretty gentle bassinet. But dirt, rock or cement (if you fall from a bike) is very abrasive. Plus, once you learn how to manage your balance in a kayak and which features to look for that maximize ease (cockpit size, chine, length of vessel), the likelihood of a flip is very low.
Adventure-Light or Level Up!
One reason folks are flocking to the kayak in higher numbers is that the sport provides a way to have an adventure anytime! For example, you can choose a nearby lake or river to visit with regularity and keep it routine and easy. Or, you can try kayaking anywhere you want to go in the world! Rent a kayak overseas and paddle out over unique bays and blue lagoons, seek out tide pools, or challenge yourself with a multi-day excursion and advance to swift moving or surf zone water.
Getting your kayak to and from a paddle location can be intimidating. Reach out to a kayak shop near you because oftentimes there are many options. Roof racks with drop down mechanisms, mini trailers, or wheeled devices to help get your boat to and from your car are a few great solutions.
Clubs and Meet-Ups
One of the best parts of kayaking is that it’s an excellent sport to meet people. Check for meet-ups at your local paddle shop, or join an online group hosted by your favorite kayak brand. Eddyline Kayaks has an amazing network of paddlers which connect on this forum: Eddyline Kayaks Owners Group Facebook Page.
For some evening inspiration to get moving on the water, or when it’s too dark to paddle, check out these great kayaking narratives on expeditions embarked on later in life…Paddling North: A solo paddle along the Inside Passage and Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage