Memorial Day weekend in our family is just about that; family fun on the St. Lawrence River. I had recently purchased a used Perception Whiplash (white water kayak). I thought it would be fun to use on those windy days when the wind kicks up off of Lake Ontario and produces waves in the 4-5' range at Potter's Beach. I figured I would get the most use out of it in the summertime when the water temperature is at its warmest.
My husband was pretty intrigued by the whole idea of checking out what the kayak could actually do in the surf. He figured it would be a good idea to bring it to the beach last Memorial Day weekend, when the waves were pounding the beach. The sound reminded me of being at the ocean. He also thought it was a good idea to give it a try without actually ever sitting in it and getting the feel of paddling in flat water. With no spray skirt & with the water temperature hovering around in the 50 degree range... Why would he ever think that this was such a good idea?
He continually asked me if I had any intention of giving it a try, to which I would reply, "No way!" He said he wanted to try it regardless. There was no denying him his sense - or there lack of. So, off we went with the kayak rigged to the ragtop of the Kawasaki Mule (utility 4-wheeler).
I felt as if we were in Safari. The beach was pretty much barren except for a couple of die-hard sun bathers (his niece & her friends). We got ourselves situated on the beach and were there for just under 5 minutes, when he desperately wanted to give it a try. I think he has watched way too many extreme sports video of white water stunts with me over the years. His confidence and imagination had kicked into overdrive.
My husband is about 6'2" long and lanky. He crammed his legs into the kayak while sitting on the beach and wanted me to give him a push into the onslaught of waves. I tried to time it just right so that he didn't get a cockpit full of water upon entry and I did well. He did not endure as well however.
He paddled several yards from shore and that is when he tumbled upside into the chilly water. He was only in about waist deep water, but I have never seen anyone shoot out of the water nearly so fast in all of my life! He flipped the kayak back upward and dragged it full of water and sand back to shore. His envision of kayak stunts soaked with disappointment...
Myself and the other beach bums were all roaring with laughter when he surfaced. I helped him lug the kayak onto the beach and grabbed him a towel. He sat down on our blanket and said, "I guess you were right about not trying that out quite so soon in the season." Because not only was he cold, wet, and a bit embarrassed, I think in reality that the Whiplash caused him just that!
Written by: Dawn Lewis - Liverpol, NY
For more great stories: See the Archive!
Got a story to share? Want free stuff?
We'd love to hear from you. If you've got a funny story, adventure or misadventure, or just want to sound off about something related to paddlesports, we want to hear from you. If we select your story to be published you will receive a $40 gift certificate to the Paddling.net Store. Just type up your story and email it to us at email@example.com