Here at ACK San Marcos, TX we had Boy Scout Troop 1836 hold their weekly meeting right here in our store. The purpose of the meeting was to educate the scouts on the different boats, paddles and products needed for a successful kayak trip. The scouts are planning a whitewater outing next year, so having the ability to speak with the experts here at ACK was a great experience.
The troop advisor Matt had a whitewater adventure scout book with him as a guide for the evening topics and the scouts really showed an interest in the whitewater kayaks, otherwise known as “Play Boats” or “Creek Boats”. We had the scouts sit in the kayaks to get a feel for how they’re designed to accommodate and adjust for a tight fit for the different sized Scouts. The shorter Wave Sport Project 52 was of particular interest many of the scouts had seen this type of boat doing flips and all sorts of tricks on YouTube. Another boat that they really liked was the Dagger Approach 9.0 and the Liquid Logic Remix which are hybrid creek boats that still paddle well in open water.
The topic of whitewater boats moved from discussing the different boats and paddles, to the all important topic of whitewater safety. The first and most important safety product we discussed was a PFD (Personal Flotation Device). You are required by law to have a functioning PFD accessible while on the water. ACK offers whitewater specific and kayak specific PFD’s. We suggest wearing a brighter color vest with reflective piping for maximum visibility and safety. A helmet is a must for any whitewater activity.
Getting into safety we discussed the importance of a throw bag. It helps to have a spotter or a person on shore to assist you when paddling more dangerous spots. The throw bag will allow your spotters on shore to assist you if you need a break from the action, or in an emergency situation. Another item to have, especially if you lose your paddle, is a pair of propulsion gloves. These gloves act as a spare paddle and can pull you out of a pinch if necessary. Finally we discussed the whistle, which is another requirement by law to have accessible when on the water. The whistle is used to notify others if you are headed toward them or as a call for help if you are in trouble.
The end result of the Boy Scout troop’s visit was a greater understanding of some different whitewater kayaks and the safety products associated with them. The Boy Scouts from Troop 1836 will be looking to rent some boats from ACK San Marcos in the spring time. The education they gained from ACK has given them a better familiarity and understanding of whitewater boating and safety for them to use and share on their next outing. It was great having the scouts to our store, if you’re a scout leader or know one looking for their next activity don’t hesitate to call one of our stores, we’re always glad to help.