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Paddling Tip of the Week

September 18, 2019
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The difference between recreational and touring kayaks can be perplexing, however the two kayak categories are designed with separate purposes in mind. Recreational kayaks are usually constructed of polyethylene, and are 10-12 feet long and wide at the cockpit, giving them extra stability. They are used mainly by beginners and anyone planning to fish or take photographs from their boat without rocking too much. Touring kayaks are considered an upgrade. They are longer, thinner and packed with features that appeal to serious kayakers who want to paddle faster and farther. One of the biggest differences between touring and recreational kayaks is the hull design. Touring kayaks are designed to track well in strong currents and increase lift in rough water so they do not get swamped by waves. They can be less stable and harder to maneuver than recreational models. The weekly paddling tip is provided by the Ocean Tribe Paddling Club, which is affiliated with the Sanibel Sea School. For more information, visit oceantribepaddlers.org.

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