For anyone who just loves to be on the water, but doesn’t always have a specific goal in mind, or for someone you want to get into paddling for the first time, we think there’s just a world of great gifts out there. Here are some of our go-to rec boats and accessories to help your loved ones enjoy the world around them from the water.
Dagger Zydeco 11 Kayak – The Zydeco is a great, all-around solid starter boat for anyone who wants to get their feet wet in kayaking but doesn’t know exactly where they want to go with it. It’s exceptionally maneuverable for a boat on the smaller side, and works well in flat and light moving water. You won’t be creeking or fishing in this boat, but if your goal is to see the world from a different vantage point, this is a reliable and comfortable kayak to do that in. The Zydeco is also a very light and approachable boat, and for those who want an even lighter lift, it also comes in a 9 foot model.
Perception Tribe 11.5 Kayak – For those who prefer a sit-on-top boat, the Tribe is a solid and versatile choice. At an entry level price point, the Tribe can accommodate paddlers of almost any size and can venture into choppy waters without too much trouble. It also offers plenty of storage at both bow and stern with two bungee tankwells. This boat comes with the features you need to enjoy time on the water, but retains a good value by skipping those that you don’t.
Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS Kayak – One of the most versatile lightweight kayaks on the market, the Caribbean is a great choice for any recreational boater who can’t transport or just doesn’t want to lift a heavy boat. This model combines Eddyline’s famous lightweight thermoform hull with a super comfortable Cloud 10 frame seat. It’s surprisingly stable for such a light boat, and tracks efficiently thanks to its length. There’s also plenty of storage, making this a truly versatile boat for day trippers and anglers alike.
Of course, with all these boats, you’ll also need a great selection of accessories for safety and comfort. For rec boaters, here are our favorite multi-purpose accessories:
Bending Branches Sunrise Kayak Paddle – The Sunrise provides a great value, durable paddle with fiberglass shaft and heavy duty drip rings. For anyone just getting started, this is a great first paddle, and will continue to serve well for paddlers as they grow into the sport.
Stohlquist Flo & Ebb PFDs – In women’s and men’s fits, the high-performance Ebb and Flo vests feature thin backs to accommodate the seat backs of recreational kayaks, as well as open sides for lots of ventilation on hot days. Durable nylon and non-corroding hardware make this a long-lasting vest that will go from one adventure to the next in comfort.
Stohlquist Contour Inflatable PFD – This one’s for those people who just hate PFDs, and usually toss them in the back of the boat. If you’ve been unsuccessfully trying to persuade your family to wear their life vests, this might actually do the trick. It’s low-profile, doesn’t restrict movement, and doesn’t add any bulk. It is designed to be worn around the waist and manually deployed via the inflation cord or backup oral inflation tube. Once inflated, you just pull the neck strap over your head and you’re good to go. The Contour also features a small card pocket for storage. If you have a PFD hater in your family, we think this is an amazing gift, because even the best designed vest won’t safe your life if you're not wearing it.
For all the other boaters in your life, here are our best suggestions that will work for almost anyone:
Watershed Dry Bags – Watershed makes durable, high-capacity dry bags for multiday trips. This Yukon bag is one of our favorites, with convenient duffel-style handles and 2-5 days worth of gear storage.
Stohlquist Bodhi Water Shoe – Great for recreational paddlers and SUPers, the Bodhi shoes make a great stocking stuffer with quick drying nyloprene and drain holes at the heel. Available in men’s sizes 7-13.
So happy gifting, and remember, we're here Tuesday through Saturday to help with any questions or suggestions you might need. We love seeing new faces around the store, and welcoming back our longtime customers around the holiday season!