Had a great time at the [2008 PaddleFest->Columbia River Paddlefest 2008 ] at Howard Amon Park in Richland. My 11 year-old daughter, Kirsten, and I arrived at about 11:30 and quickly signed the liability releases so we could begin our fun.
She got in a little whitewater kayak and had a blast. While she was doing that I looked for an available kayak and found that Greenies, a local store, had their Hobie Mirage line of kayaks available. These kayaks are interesting in that the ‘mirage’ drive allows you to peddal instead of paddle. The back and forth motion of your peddaling is transferred to some ‘fins’ underneath the kayak that propel the kayak. To me they look like sea turtle fins moving back and forth. A hand-controlled rudder is used to steer the kayak and works real well
They had a Mirage Adventure available and I quickly asked if I could try it out. “Of course!” Getting on the kayak was very easy and I was amazed how fast I could get the kayak going and the maneuverability. What I didn’t expect was to find out how out of shape my legs were! I can paddle a kayak for hours but peddling tires me out after 10 minutes.
We then hooked up with Ethan Ebersold who is a distributor for a number of kayak companies and kayak accessory lines. In our discussion Ethan suggested I try the 16-foot Fathom kayak from Eddyline and put Kirsten a little purple 10-foot Emotion Edge kayak. I really enjoyed the kayak and Kirsten did a pretty good job following around behind me.
After spending 1/2 an hour in the kayaks we got out and went looking for a tandem kayak we could both try. The only available one we found was a Hobie Mirage Outfitter, so Kirsten and I both were able to peddle this one. It was great fun.
We went back and forth between the regular kayaks and the Hobies till it was time to go at 4pm. We were both tired and ready to relax. I think we will be renting some kayaks over the next few months since a purchase at this time is beyond my budget.