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GREAT GEAR by s tephen regenold Wet and Wild


This selection of kayaking equipment delivers a splash of fun for beginners and experts alike.


WATER SWIRLS, river currents tug and you grip the paddle as your boat rockets downstream. The thrill of kayaking, be it in whitewater, a lake or ocean waves, is unlike any other outdoor sport. Seated in a kayak, you’re truly


immersed in the action. Water pours over the hull. Waves splash your face. Whitewater kayaking has long


been a staple Scouting activity with the Whitewater merit badge. But in 2012, the Kayaking merit badge helped make the sport more accessible to Scouts of all skill levels with an emphasis on flat-water kayaking. Want to suit up and give kayaking a


try with your Scouts? Check with local marinas to see if kayak rentals are avail- able. And when you’re ready to take the plunge (with a more substantial investment), the equipment on these pages will help you get out on the water and go. All prices are MSRP. ¿


STEPHEN REGENOLD is a kayaker and the editor of GearJunkie.com.


VECTOR 14 BY NECKY $1,100, NECKYKAYAKS.COM Sit-on-top boats are often slow and barge-like on the water. Necky built this 14-footer to be sleeker, including a hull that allows paddlers to lean and turn just like they would in a sea kayak. The boat, made for lake and ocean paddling, has a hard-to-damage polyethylene hull to handle years of use.


34 S COUTING ¿ MAY•JUNE 2014


EXPEDITION PADDLE BY CARLISLE $160, CARLISLEPADDLES.COM A solid product at a competitive price, this paddle is made for long days on open water (but not whitewater). Its shaft and blades are built of a reinforced fiberglass to keep the paddle lightweight but still durable. Comes in lengths from 220 cm to 240 cm and weighs about 33 ounces.


HEARD OF PACKRAFTING? Learn more about this sport that pairs aquatics and hiking skills at scoutingmagazine.org/packraft.


AQUASHOCK SPRAYSKIRT


BY BOMBER GEAR $100, BOMBERGEAR.COM Lock into the cockpit of a whitewater boat using this neoprene-based skirt. It is taped, stitched and glued at all seams to keep water out. Sizes small to XL available for all boater types.


VORTEX XS BY EXTRASPORT $80, EXTRASPORT.COM A good all-around life jacket, the Vortex is marketed as “affordable, comfortable and safe.” Those attributes come from the life jacket’s adjustable shoulder straps, mesh sides for breathability and a soft, neoprene- covered waist belt.


ALL GEAR COURTESY OF THE MANUFACTURERS (8)


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