Posts Tagged ‘Purchase’

One year ago Kathy and I blindly walked into the Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesport show at the Garden State Expo, located off of Easton Ave. Exit of I-287, and with over 20 paddles now under our belts we approached our second Paddlesport show with a much different head.

One thing we knew is we had to equip a second car, my Honda Fit, with a roof rack to carry our 2 kayaks.  With that in mind and knowing they don’t necessarily install the rack for you unless you buy a boat with it, we bee-lined to the Thule dealer.  I quickly specked out the rack and got confirmation that they were willing to install my rack if I did it immediately.  Kathy went to pay for the rack and I pulled my car up.  It took 2 guys who had been installing racks all week end 45 minutes to get it on the Fit.  Thank G-d I got them to install it for me.  If we waited 15 minutes longer I would have been toast as the place got busy.  Great timing and strategy on our part.  I also discovered that my Fit has tow wholes in the front and rear bumpers in which I can screw a metal tow loop.  The car only came with one but I assume I can purchase a second from my local Honda dealer.  I was concerned because there were no safe places to secure the ropes.  The whole under carriage is plastic.  the tow loops will be great and convenient.  Now I am that much more psyched about carrying the kayaks on the Fit.  The whole installation cost$568 which includes the pair of hulla-a-port pro folding J kayak carriers plus a $20 tip for the installers.

After the rack was done I parked the car and enjoyed the rest of the show.  It was funny because while bee-lining to the Thule dealer we passed this tye-dye-haired generation-X dude trying to stop me and tell me about his kayak club, and I blew him off and told him I would be back. When I did get back I discovered a cool NJ paddling club that does lots of trips, free of charge, so we will have to check them out.  They were called: Delaware Valley Kayakers.

We also stopped by some petite lady who represented the lower Hudson River and she had some good maps and information about where to go in Manhattan We have to check out the Downtown Boathouse.org for information about the city launch points.  We got a nice New York City Water Trail Gu ide.  Some links to check out include the Hudson River Watertrail Association and the NYC Water Trail Association.

We then stopped by our Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club’s booth and paid $25 cash to renew our club membership for a year.  That was good cause our membership was set to expire on April 10 anyway.  We the ran into the leader of the Raritan River trip we did with Rutgers last year, he was with the NY/NJ Baykeepers and they seem to do Raritan River trips and have 4 planned this year.  We got a nice Tyvek Raritan River Access Map from them.

After these visits  sauntered into the Barneget conference room to listen to an excellent lecture on kayak opportunities in New Jersey put on by John Pagani of the Kayak East touring and instruction company about the different places to go in New Jersey to kayak.  It was a great lecture with great pictures and he split it between the lakes and river to go as well as the reasons to go places including nature man-made beauty, seeing the city, sunsets, etc.  This was well worth the listen.  He mentioned the following:

  • Splitrock Reservoir
  • Cranbury Lake in Sussex County
  • Delaware Water Gap
  • Paterson Great Falls and the Passaic River
  • Shresbury River
  • Cheesequake Creek just past the Driscoll Bridge
  • Arthur Kill, Ship Graveyard
  • Round Valley Reservoir
  • and More

Now we were ready to check out some accessories and spend a little money and then head home.  In addition, Kathy is still interested in the concept of getting a tandem kayak, where the two of us and the two dogs can all share one happy ship of fools.  We found a company called Mad River Canoe that makes an recreational plastic canoe in their Adventure Series that is almost a tandem kayak.  Probably the best and the worst of all worlds.   It actually looks very promising for the 4 of us.

Finally we both got a sea line watertight waste pack that we can wear while we paddle.  a great concept.  Retails for $35 and we got it at the show for $23.  We also got a spare paddle that I can take with us, just in case if you know what I mean.  At $55 the JP Rec kayak paddle made for Jersey Paddlers was the cheapest one we could find.  Made of cold aluminum, I hope we never have to use it.  Finally I got 2 leftover polyester cooling shirts for $4.25 each that will be great for kayaking or biking.  A good trip over all and most importantly we are now set for easy one-way trips down the rivers.

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What ot buy? What to buy?   




What to buy? What to buy?

Kathy and I toyed around with the idea of getting kayaks last fall, 2008.  We walking into Pelican Outdoors on Route 10, to check out their end of season clearance.  Feeling guilty from the table fiasco, we still want to give them a shot to sell us something.  While they were helpful and the sale seemed good we never pulled the trigger.

We heard an ad on the radio for  the Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesport Show coming up and some how, we made time to got to it on the last day of the show, Sunday, March 29, 2009. We really didn’t know what to expect of the show but when we pulled into the parking lot of the  Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, NJ I was shocked.  We had to park in the overflow parking lot.  I had been to many shows at this place before, many of them computer shows during their hey-day and I never had to park in the overflow lot before.  

We made the long walk to the entrance purchased our $10 tickets and we amazed at how busy the show was. What recession?  The show is put on by JerseyPaddler.com  and they get all their vendors to prepared booths and they each offer their equipment for purchases through JerseyPaddlers.com at the show for 12% to 20% off store pricing.  That had kayak, canoe, accessory and car rack dealers.  Too bad we got there too late.   Maybe for our wallets it was good we got their late.

The show was billed as

the largest canoe & kayak show on the East Coast. The show features manufacturers of kayaks, canoes, accessories, sportswear, paddling clubs professional instruction and expeditions, as well as lectures and video and slide shows of paddling trips, expeditions and paddling techniques.  Paddlesport hosts over 100 vendors including the top names in paddle sports such as Perception, Dagger, Ocean Kayak, Wilderness Systems, Mad River Canoe, Old Town and much more!

Initially getting our feet wet, so to speak and understanding the concept of the show, we decided to take the plunge and get outfitted for local kayaking with the pooches.  We were zeroing in on a Perception recreational 12″ kayak and decided we had to get the car rack before anything else.  Headed over to the Thule dealer, he hooked us up, went to the Perception kayak dealer, and purchased 2 identical, except for color kayaks.  I got yellow while Kathy got red and yellow.  We paid for the order and rushed home to switch cars because we got the rack to fit Kathy’s Matrix and not my Jetta.

When we got back to the show after swapping cars there was about 1 hour of the show left.  We immediately got the roof-rack installers to get going on the Matrix and finding our Kayaks and Kathy and I were off to find PFDs, I wonder I Adobe makes a free one, and paddles.  We found our way to the MTI Adventure Wear booth and let the guys fit us for vests.  Ironically, I got a red vest while Kathy’s was yellow.  In either case, the Reflex vests have reflective tape built into them for good visibility.


The vest is described as perfect for  light touring or day long paddles, offering a great fit for wide range of body shapes. Open V-Neck, soft foam front and sides for a slim-fit all around. Duel side straps, 2 stretch mesh pockets, 2-way adjustable waist, and reflective trim. 420 D Nylon. 

The guys at the MTI booth recommended seeing Danny with the sandals on at the Werner Paddles booth to get a paddle.  He is apparently the paddle guru.  We got there and he was a cool guy.  Explained why we wanted the $100 paddle and not the $50 version.  Weight and stiffness of plastic paddle.  Floats in your wrists when out of the water and has good power to push through the water.  He also gave Kathy and nice paddling lesson.  Use you waist not your arms, paddles needs to come out of the water as soon as the reach your body or else the motion will be non-linear and push you of course.  

Se we got their cool one button Werner Paddles Skagit model which with one bottom both separated and can twist the angle of attack.  Danny recommended always using 45 degrees feather angle unless you have a reason not to.  Check out this video that Danny Mongno hosts on the Werner website.  I got the 230cm while Kathy’s is 200 cm.

Kayak Forward Stroke from Werner Paddles on Vimeo.

In the end and for the record we spent:

  • 2 x$574.99 – Perception Prodigy Recreational Kayak – (REI Reviews)
  • $127.96 Thule Rack Foot Pack
  • $55.96 Thule Rack Fit Kit
  • $ $55.96 – Thule Rack 50 inch load bar (Kathy’s old 42 inch hacked off one wasn’t long enough)
  • 2 x $125.00 Thule Rack  Hull-a-port pro 
  • 2 x $59.49 MTI Reflex PFD 400 
  • 2 x $104.75 Werner Skagit-SG Paddles
  • $137.68 – 7% sales tax, increased from 6% by Jon Corzine so my decreasing rebate would be increased.  Swine!!!!

The total comes to $2,104.52

We better like Kayaking.  We still believe we got good deals and good equipment.  The Thule stuff was 20% off and the hull-a-port folding J racks were $50 off so that was a great savings and now gives us a good roof bike rack for Kathy’s car. A big bonus and synergistic benefit of our outdoor fun-pack.  They kayaks were 12% off and so were the vests and paddles I think were 20% off.  I think the vests and paddles are higher quality than we probably would have walked out of Pelican with, so that is also good.

Time to find some water, but first let me document how the kayaks were mounted to the Thule rack system when we got home.


Now lets go out find some water and have some fun.



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