Being comfortable outdoors isn't always a given, but it's a plus. And for those trying an outdoor pursuit for the first time, if you're uncomfortable, it might be your last time.
These three paddlesports companies — Nova Craft, Kokatat, and Teva — are working to make every paddling experience an enjoyable one for newcomers and old timers alike.
Nova Craft Canoe is a Canadian company best known for its modern spins on classic canoe designs. For 2012, it's introducing two canoes based on an early-1900s hull design.
The Trapper is a 12-foot, solo canoe, modeled after a specific 1952 wood-and-canvas boat by Chestnut Canoe Company. Chestnut built the original Trapper canoes for trappers and others who needed a small canoe for maneuvering in small streams and ponds. Nova Craft’s 2012 version will be available in Kevlar, fiberglass, and Royalex Lite versions.
OK, so another small solo canoe...other builders do that. But, what Nova Craft also has done, is take the Trapper's 12' x 34" x 13" hull, and install two small seats, transforming the Teddy into a small tandem canoe for young ones or a parent and child.
The Teddy is a great way to get kids into paddling. Now parents can take a trip paddling their standard size canoe, and the kids can have a canoe sized for them that also can carry gear.
- Dimensions: 12' x 34" x 13"
- Trapper: $1,300 in Royalex Lite
- Teddy: $1,300 in Royalex Lite, $1,059 in fiberglass
In a bid to keep paddlers both dry and warm for spring 2012, Kokatat is introducing a collection of wet and dry paddling-specific baselayers.
The baselayers integrate with Kokatat's dry suits, tops, and pants and are available in men's and women's sizes in a variety of pants, shorts, and long- and short-sleeve tops.
WoolCore is a midweight Polartec Power Dry wool/recycled polyester blend made entirely in the United States, for a low carbon footprint. The chlorine-free wool is grown in the Rocky Mountains, blended with 100 percent recycled polyester in New England, and cut and sewn in California. MSRP for a men’s long sleeve top is $74.
For those who need less warmth, but still want a breathable base layer, silk weight BaseCore is the answer. BaseCore's polypropylene inner knit is hydrophilic to help move moisture away from the body.
OuterCore is for paddlers wanting even more insulation against the cold water hitting their dry suits. Made with Polartec Power Dry, this four-way stretch, 92 percent recycled content fabric can be worn on its own or layered with BaseCore or WoolCore layers. BaseCore and OuterCore are made in the U.S.
When open boating on desert rivers, dry suits can be too much. That’s where NeoCore comes in. It's a four-way stretch, 0.5mm neoprene fabric with soft polyester next to the skin. It insulates, is water resistant, and comfy. Great for warm days on colder water. MSRP for a men’s long sleeve top is $108.
On the light side for those roasting hot days, are SunCore rashguard insulators. Made of spandex and polyester they can be worn alone or under a dry suit or paddling jacket and have UPF 30+ protection.
Getting out on the water can mean stepping onto slime-covered rocks. Besides being embarrassing, falling on one's backside along the shoreline can be painful. I have yet to find a bootie that helps me stay upright in slippery stuff.
For 2012, Teva is introducing the Blue Line, three shoes with a new outsole rubber compound, Spider Rubber + JStep. It was first used in footwear designed for culinary professionals to prevent slipping on greasy kitchen floors.
The Cherry Bomb 2 kayaking bootie can help you keep your composure when getting out of a boat.
Updates to the original Cherry Bomb water shoe include a lower profile, a foot-hugging lacing system, external heel-support web and stabilizing strap over the instep, outsole with new Spider Rubber + JStep technology plus perimeter lugs for improved traction.
Teva's Blue Line also includes the Bomber Flip performance flip-flop with silencer strap and the convertible Fuse-ion sneaker with fold-down heel.
- Cherry Bomb 2: unisex sizing, $80
- Bomber Flip: $70
- Fuse-ion: men's and women's, $90
- All available January 15, 2012