Blazin’ Paddles Equipment
We choose to guide our guests down the River in Wilderness Systems touring kayaks because of their spacious cockpit and stability. It’s an ideal kayak for day-trips with watertight hatches to store cameras, snacks, lunches and personal gear. These boats are perfect for the kind of flat water you will encounter in the Black Canyon.
There are many different types of kayaks. Blazin’ Paddles uses touring kayaks because they track well, have a good turning radius, and fair initial stability. Initial stability concerns how stable the kayak is at rest – in other words, how easy it is to get in and out of the boat. Initial stability also determines how comfortable you will feel during low-motion activities like wildlife watching or during a water fight! Secondary stability is concerned with how stable the boat is while underway. Touring kayaks have a high secondary stability. Our kayaks also have foot pegs. Footrests allow you to use torso rotation to effectively paddle the kayak.
Unlike whitewater kayaks that require a snug fit, touring kayaks have a looser fit in the cockpit to allow for greater comfort and larger paddlers. Also, we don’t use cockpit skirts because we only really need them during water fights! The overall volume of a boat is important if you want to take a lot of gear. However, we choose longer kayaks simply because the longer the kayak is, the faster and more efficient it will be. We want you to spend your energy having fun, not wrestling with the boat!
Our kayaks are made of the heaviest of the popular materials, polyethylene (HDPE#2). This makes them more resistant to damage. Also, polyethylene is easily recycled again after its useful life.
Rudder or no Rudder?
Now for the great touring kayak debate: rudder or no rudder? We have paddled both ways. You are not really supposed to use the rudders to steer. Rudders are mainly used to help you track better in a crosswind. Currently, we have decided not to use rudders to make it simpler for the vast majority of guests. We will continue to monitor this and depending on customer feedback, we may add back rudders to the kayaks used on the full-day tour. Finally we have chosen to use the extremely lightweight Aqua Bound Stingray carbon-fiber hybrid paddles. You will love how light and efficient these are.
The models of Wilderness System Touring Kayaks we use are:
• Focus 155
• Tsunami 175
• Polaris 180T
We encourage you to book a tour and come experience easy river kayaking for yourself!