Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hobie Kayaking & Stand Up Paddle Boarding at The Women's Story

Stand Up Paddle boarding and Kayaking at The Women's Story 2014
Crystal Springs Resort, NJ As many of you may already know, I've been stoked about The Women's Story event since I first heard about it last month. In fact my previous post showed just what I packed for the event itself!

Water World
Crystal Springs Resort (as the name implies) has the reputation of having some of the most gorgeous water-ways, pools and aqua parks in the NY/NJ area. So it was a real treat to get in some sit on top kayaking and stand up paddle boarding in such a beautiful setting.

Hobie Mirage Kayaks

Hobie Mirage Kayaks
We've taken canoeing lessons and were taught sit on top kayaking but the Hobie Mirage Adventure Kayak was a whole new experience...and a good one! Similar to sit on top kayaks, there is a paddle attached to the craft but the steering is done via a lever controlled rudder on the port side. You propel yourself by pedaling as if you were on a recumbent bicycle. It was so easy to pick up that literally within seconds were were steering around the lagoon like pros. Paddling was very easy, in fact much easier than a paddle boat, which we've also done. Ingrid Niehaus (demonstrating them in the photo below) said the inventor got the idea from watching penguins paddle with their webbed feet.

Hobie Mirage's Unique Pedal Paddle System

These would really be great for a vacation or expedition as there is ample storage in the stern area of the kayak for supplies. See more styles of Hobie Kayaks online at HobieCat.com or HobieKayaks.com

Stand Up Paddle Boarding
I didn't realize that some paddle boards were inflatable. The ones we've seen looked like a super-wide solid surf board. Still, being able to inflate and deflate your paddle board definitely helps in transporting them and buoyancy on the water. My photographer, Gina, was a quick study, having taken canoeing (and swimming) lessons before.
It appeared the basics were getting your balance over the board before actually attempting to stand up. She did this bare footed as the paddle board surface was quite grippy.

Gina gets into kneeling position and balances the board.
Keep in mind that it was raining, so that added to the slick conditions. All the same, Gina kept her grip as you can see. The entire surface of the Hobie Paddle Board has a non-slip texture. She started out paddling on her knees and riding bare footed is recommended vs the Sperry Topsiders we brought for the event.

She's got it! Notice the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island in the background
Now understand that we have had a fair share of on-the-water training and sports. Other than a few waterfalls, there was no wind or currents which we would normally encounter on open water. That having been said, I still believe anyone can easily master these sports and use this gear effectively in short order. I would recommend taking along an Adventure Medical Kit, especially the Marine Series 250. Also read up on Kayaking (Sea Kayaking by Dan Henderson) in general before you head out. Check out what you'll need to prep for a canoeing/kayaking trip here.

Hobie Eye Wear 
If you are going to spend time outdoors, make sure you have the proper eye protection as UV rays bounce off and are intensified by the water's surface. Hobie has some very fashionable eye wear that I plan to feature this summer at Best Picks Magazine and my Lucky Magazine contributor page. I wore a pair of the matte tortoise shell framed ones for my morning walk the other day and they are very effective yet lightweight. Sweeeet! Check out all Hobie has to offer by visiting them online at HobieCat.com or HobieKayaks.com

Hobie Polarized Lenses - totally fashionable yet funtional!

Eye wear c/o Hobie Kayaks

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