Chris and I have always wanted kayaks. There wasn’t much use for them in Arizona so we didn’t buy one then. When we moved to Seattle it was pretty high on our list of things we wanted to purchase. Our first summer here we bought a house instead so this summer was the summer we were going to buy kayaks. We wanted to make sure we bought them early enough in the season so we could get a lot of use out of them.
Since we are a family of 4, half us being old/big enough to paddle a kayak, and half us being too little to to paddle a kayak we weren’t quite sure what we were going to do. A regular tandem kayak would be hard to steer with just one person paddling. A single kayak would be too small to fit our kids in with us. We could buy one canoe for our whole family, but when we went canoeing before it was really hard to steer and maneuver. It took a lot of thinking and research to figure out what we were going to do. We finally decided on getting a tandem kayak where the front seat could adjust so it would be more in the middle of the kayak. That way one person could steer/paddle almost like it was a single kayak. We ended up getting the Pamlico 135t kayak. But to fit our whole family we would need two kayaks.
We went to REI to get our kayaks, but it was so close to closing time that we couldn’t pick them up until the next day. While we were at REI Chris heard from a lady on Craigslist who was selling an older version of the same exact kayak. We drove out to look at it and it looked like a great one and we decided to buy it. We were able to save quite a bit of money on buying it used which was great! The next morning we woke up and paid for just one kayak from REI. We also bought kayaking life jackets (the back on them comes up a lot higher than a normal life jacket so its more comfortable to sit in a kayak.) We also bought some nice paddles. (Chris bought me a slightly cheaper paddle because the guy at REI told him I wouldn’t notice between the two. Chris told me this as we were heading back in from our first paddle, so I asked to use his to see if I could tell a difference. Jokes on Chris, I totally noticed! His was way lighter than mine. Since I’m the weaker one out of us I figured that I should have the lighter paddle. Chris being the great guy he is switched paddles with me. So now I have the more expensive, lighter paddle!)
Since we had everything we needed to go kayaking we decided to…go kayaking! We decided to go to Juanita Beach Park on the Northeast side of Washington Lake. It was crowded. Getting the kayaks unloaded was rough. The parking was super tight and our spot was far from the kayak put in point. We finally made it into the water and we had a good time. Ryan and Lillian both wanted to swim in the freezing cold lake so they did! It was a great day and we loved it! When we finished, Chris went to pull the van around and it was easier to load that way. It was still a bit rough! It made us question our kayak decision.
A few days later we wanted to go out kayaking again. This time we decided to go to the Arboretum at Lake Washington. This time it was was easier to load and unload our kayaks and we were feeling a lot more confident in our kayaking adventure! We had been to the Arboretum before and we rented their canoes, but they were so hard to paddle! We didn’t get very far. This time in our kayaks it was way easier. Since we had a great time on the water and we had an easy time loading and unloading them we knew we were going to have a great summer with our new kayaks!
A few days later Chris was still looking at Craigslist online (not sure why he was doing that since we already bought ours…) and he found a great deal on one just like the two we bought. He was saying how he was wishing we bought that one since it was a great deal. I told him we should just buy it. His family was coming up to see us this summer and I knew we would kayak with them. If we had an extra we wouldn’t have to rent one for them. We talked back and forth about it and we finally decided we would just buy it and hopefully sell it at the end of the summer. We went and picked it up later the next day and we were the proud owners of three kayaks!
Update: We ended up using all three kayaks on a few different occasions and we were glad we had them! We also were able to sell the kayak for more money than we bought it for so…success!!!!