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Surprise Birthday Kayak!

Surprise Birthday Kayak!

Surprise Birthday Kayak!

Usually my blogs are about disc golf since I am a member of the Next Adventure Flight Crew disc golf team.  However this blog is going to be a little different. 

Steve out on the water for the first time in his friends kayak

Saturday the 2nd of June my husband Steve had the opportunity to go on his first ever kayak trip with Evan a friend from work.  Evan has two kayaks, and all the gear needed.  They spent the day at Smith Bybee Lake.  He was amazed at how easy it was to just get into the kayak and go.  He was so stoked about the experience, and knew it would be something he would love to do more of. 

Dagger 10.5 Axis Kayak the boat Steve decided was the one for him

The next day we made a trip to the Next Adventure Paddle Center just to check out kayaks, and to see what it would take to get into this sport.  We agreed that this purchase would have to wait at bit.  However I had other ideas pretty much from the beginning.  It was my idea to go to the Paddle Center because I was hoping he would find a kayak he really liked because his birthday was coming up in about a week.  It’s one of those big 0 birthdays, so I wanted to surprise him with something really special.  Well he did find one he really liked.  We looked at a bunch of boats, and after talking to the very friendly and knowledgeable staff he decided that the Dagger Axis 10.5 would be perfect for him.  The Dagger is an excellent kayak for someone who is new, and is not quite sure what kind of water they want to explore.  This boat will be great on calm water with the addition of the skeg, but will be able to handle class I or II whitewater as well as ocean inlets.  It also has a watertight cargo hold in the rear that will be perfect for short trips.  It’s a boat that will grow with him.  

Next Adventure Paddle Center

That following Wednesday I made the trip down to the Paddle Center to purchase the kayak, so I could surprise Steve with it when he got home from work.  Before I went into the paddle center I stopped in Rack Attack which is right next door to the Next Adventure.  I was able to with the help of the very knowledgeable staff at Rack Attack to choose just the right attachments to haul the new kayak.  I went with the Yakima Jhook set up, which easily attaches to the factory rack on our Rav4.  Also when you buy a boat at the Paddle center you will receive a discount at Rack Attack on the gear to haul you new boat.  The guys at Rack Attack installed the gear on our car while I was next door purchasing Steve’s boat.  I also, with the help of Jake at the Paddle Center, was able to pick out just the right paddle, and a PFD.  Those are the two must haves when purchasing a kayak for the first time.  They have tons of other accessories there at the paddle center, and we will be back I am sure. 

Steve with his new boat & gear
I was home in plenty of time to surprise Steve.  I left the car parked in front of the house with the kayak still on top, so he would see it when he got home.  I was waiting out front with camera in hand to record the moment.  Success!  He was totally surprised, and approved of his Birthday gift.  Steve texted his friend Evan within 10 minutes to make plans for the maiden voyage on Sunday. 
Steve and his new Kayak at Smith Bybee Lake

Below is the trip report for Steve’s maiden voyage with the Dagger:

My first day out on my new Dagger Axis 10.5 was with my friend Evan. We headed out to Smith Bybee Lake and launched from the ramp. Paddling west to Bybee Lake we meandered close to shore skimming over the lush water plants that filled the area. The kayak handled perfectly. Both tracking and maneuvering were effortless especially when I dropped the retractable skeg when we hit the deeper water. Evan paddled up to a turtle on the shore and got within 6 feet of it and within 25 feet of an eagle. It’s truly amazing how trusting wildlife is when you are paddling slowly and quietly. I have truly found a new passion, thanks to my wife and Next Adventure for their sound and knowledgeable advice in choosing my new boat. Thanks honey!

I can’t wait to get out on my first Kayak trip I am sure I will love it as much as Steve does.   Thank you to Next Adventure and the staff at the Paddle Center for helping making a birthday memory that we will never forget.
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