do i need a spray skirt? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-12-2010   #1
bk282's Avatar
Fishers, Indiana
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 13
do i need a spray skirt?

Do i need to use a spray skirt for flatwaters? I just got my kayak and paddle, but don't have my skirt yet for another week. Would it be okay to just go out and paddle on flatwater?

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Old 09-12-2010   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,722
You must make your own decision on what is safe for you and what is not.

With the above in mind, as long as it truely is flat water (a lake is the best) getting used to paddling a kayak without a spray skirt seems to be a good option to me. main thing is you are getting out on the water before it gets really cold. Take a bud along with you just for additional safety.
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Old 09-12-2010   #3
bk282's Avatar
Fishers, Indiana
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 13
alright thanks okieboater! Haha you know how it is when you get something new you always wanna get out there and give it a try, but obviously I have no experience nor any business being out on any rapid right now until I take my lessons.
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Old 09-12-2010   #4
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
Fishers? I'm from Noblesville and live in Denver! Small world!
No skirt on flat water is fine. You should expect to fall out of the boat if you flip, but that's normal anyway when you are beginning. Have you taken lessons? Where in the world do you plan on boating out there? Get out on the flat stuff and have some fun. When you are ready to start boating in current, you will definitely need a skirt, but practice your wet exit on flat water first. Taking a lesson will make your new hobby a lot more fun in the beginning. It's a steep learning curve and it will help you not get frustrated as much. How did you find out about kayaking in Fishers?

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Old 09-12-2010   #5
bk282's Avatar
Fishers, Indiana
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 13
Hahah that's a good question. Well, I wanted a new sport and planned on buying a fishing kayak. From searching for one I came across these whitewater kayaks and loved the idea! I figured since I have a lot of free time from april-august I would get one. As I also have family in Colorado Springs and Georgia I'm sure I will be visiting often. Plus I plan on taking a trip in March to North Carolina for Nantaha outdoor center's one week Kayak camp! As for now I'm signing up with the Hoosier Canoe and Kayak Club in which they have pool sessions that i'll be attending to better my abilities before i get out to the bigger waters.

And Kim if you are ever back over this way give me a call 317-607-8752 if you are ever going to paddle anywhere here and i'll be glad to come along! (but of course this is Indiana "flat land". haha
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Old 09-13-2010   #6
Kayenta, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95
Indiana Options

Whats going on man,

I am a Hoosier myself but live out here in the four corners area and have gotten into boating since i moved west. My girlfriend is from Indy so we go home every summer for a few weeks to see friends/family. This past summer we wanted to do some small float trips in in Hoosier state and I will pass these suggestions on to you.

Down-town Indy canal...obviously flat-water, but fun to see the city from a kayak and get used to paddling in a controled environment. Beautiful at night with all the down-town lights. You can paddle 1 mile one way and .5 mile the other way, but spending a few hours in the kayak and 3 miles or so will do wonders for your skills. I would start here...real easy, park by the down-town fire department and carry your boat down the stairs to the canal.

Sugar Creek...Out West about 2 hours from Nap-Town is the Shade St. Park and Turkey Run St. Park. You can paddle Sugar creek almost year round and it is a beautiful float down a relaxing creek/river like area under covered bridges. This would be a great introduction to moving water with a few class I ripples and a couple of places where you would have to make a move or two. The cool thing about this float is that you can do it easily in a few hours through turkey run state park, or put in up at Shade St. Park and float for about 25 miles down to the take-out. Down the road this could be a cool overnite trip for you and some friends. I would recomend googling it and even having a conoe support for all your gear/beer.

White-River...A lot of Hoosier boaters float this right out the Indy door. As scenic as Indiana can get in a lot of places, but with boat traffic this can be a little daunting for an inexperienced your way up to this or do it with friends through that club you were talking about.

Lake Monroe...I spent my college years paddling daily out on this beauty of a lake near Bloomington, a little bit of a drive from Nap-town, but worth it especially in the fall when the colors change. I would recomend getting a National Geographic Toppo for this area (Hoosier Natl Forrest) from a Gander Mountain or Dicks Sprting goods and checking this out. Camp along the shore and float along the lake. Great open water experience and awesome sights. I have been on canoe trips out there and ran into numerous kayakers doing self-support weekend trips...tons of hiking and even some caves to find. We once paddled up one of the tributaries of the lake into Brown County for miles and miles one night when the lake level was high. Great spot to work on your roll.

Wabash...Many Hoosier floaters seek this destination for a nice day/overnite float. Check up near Purdon't and see about floating down the river for a while.

Finallly, up in Broadripple is the best out-door rec. store in Indiana with decent people and great gear at fair prices. Call them for more info, they have a nice book section with all of these options and much more. Check out Indiana Rivers and Creeks book by this one married couple, I don't have their names but it is a good read. They will point you in fun directions.

Have fun man and be safe, also...once you get to that level there is supposed to be a top notch white-water play park near the Notre Dame campus in South Bend... I have no first-hand knowledge of it, but it comes highly recomended from mid-west whitewater your way up to that one!


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Old 09-13-2010   #7
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,235
Dude, going w/o a skirt is no biggie but you'd better have float bags and practice a total boat swamp near shore. Even slow moving water in which you can safely stand up can take your boat down stream fast if it's swamped, and it may not be easy to get it out if it's fully swamped.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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