kayak on shore TH 2015By Travis Huber, Augustana University, Class of ’18. 

My dad and I had been talking about it on and off forever: “When were we getting kayaks?”

We kept putting it off and instead stuck with fishing from shore. That was, of course, until one day my dad showed up and honked the horn. I walked outside and saw a single kayak on the pick-up. He said, “let’s go try it.”

It was a typical South Dakota day – there was a crazy amount of wind.  Our small, local lake was only two miles away and my dad said he had already tried out it a bit. I was all excited and I looked out at the water and saw the rolling white caps. Nothing extreme, but I was definitely thinking it’d be a little nicer to try on flat water for the first time.

Trav on the kayak TH 2015That certainly wasn’t going to stop me though; I had a kayak sitting next to me and an ambition to get in and paddle around. I threw on a life jacket and hopped in the wobbly thing and paddled away. Within minutes I had complete balance and was cutting up and down waves and using the choppiness to my advantage. It turned out to be a perfect first test of balance. I would sit still in the kayak and feel how the waves affected the kayak facing one way, then face a different direction and do the same. I quickly adjusted to it and learned the best way to maneuver around.

I knew kayaking was something I was going to want to do often, so I turned back to dad and said “well now we need two more of these.”

A half hour later my dad and I went back to Menards and picked up two more Viper, 10’4” kayaks, one for my brother and one for me. They were brand new and wrapped up in a big chunk of plastic wrap.

bass off a kayak TH 2015Within a few days of owning them, we bought rod mounting kits to turn our kayaks into personal fishing boats. We had the kayaks in the yard and the power tools to cut and drill holes to fit the rod kits. After about an hour, we had every kayak prepped and mounted with two rod holders in the back, ready to go fishing. Later on, we also added an additional rotating rod holder by the cup holder for quicker convenience, and I could now use one rod holder to hold the net I would need to bring in the fish. We had developed our own ultimate personal fishing tools.

Ever since owning one, kayaking has been my favorite hobby. Of course by that I mean kayaking and fishing at the same time, but really it has been my go-to for everything when I wanted something to do. Kayaking is something I can enjoy for hours on end, and pretty much the only reason I’ll get out of it is because I was getting sore from sitting for so long, or it’s been a good day and I’ve got a few fish on the stringer that are about to become a tasty meal.

Travis is blogging for The Outdoor Campus as part of a 20-hour internship in public relations. 

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