Affordable Human Powered Water Activity

When it’s 100 degrees there’s not much you want to do outside besides head for the water. My son is nine and after years of swimming lessons he’s become a good swimmer. However, we both get bored bobbing around like tea bags in Pineview while listening to the whine of motorboats and watching them whiz around the reservoir. I prefer human powered sports to motorsports for environmental, health, and financial reasons, but sometimes I pine for my waterskiing days. And sometimes watching all those wake boarders and water skiers at Pineview is like being a diabetic in candy store.

I’ve been curious about paddle-boards for a while. A couple years ago I rented one at a beach on Cape Cod and had a good time catching small waves. Yet their monstrous size and price tags have turned me off purchasing one. Even a used stand up paddle board can run you over $1000! Forget about it!

Then I saw an ad for $99 youth kayaks and $199 stand-up paddle boards at the Lifetime store in Riverdale. I thought ah-ha! this could be a good a way to keep us wet and mildly entertained without breaking the bank. So I went down to the Lifetime store in Riverdale. Lifetime is a locally owned company that was started in 1986 by Barry Mower. From its humble origins in Mower’s Riverdale garage it has since blossomed into a large private company, which now employs 1500 people worldwide. Lifetime definitely has Indie Ogden roots!

The small “youth sized” paddle board was not only cheap, but it also fit in my Subaru wagon. Both the kayak and paddle-board came with life-jackets and paddles. The one caveat is that they are both “youth sized” and not recommended for people who weigh more than 135 lbs. So for me there’s an added bonus of a built in diet plan.

Okay, I can hear all you serious kayakers and serious stand-up paddle boarders snickering. Yes, compared to a high performance stand up paddle board the Lifetime one is like a floating picnic table. Actually Lifetime specializes in plastic picnic tables and background play-sets. Their boats and kayaks are not high performance, but they are indestructible and indeed will probably last a ‘lifetime’ or longer. You may even pass them down to your grandchildren.

My son loves his bright orange youth kayak and I’m also able to use it. My husband, who weighs over 160lbs, also used both the youth SUP and the youth kayak without sinking them, but it was not ideal. We messed around at Pineview and Causey. I like Causey because there are no motorboats and you can paddle out and jump off the cliffs into the water. Apparently people sometimes set up a slack-line over the water. How fun is that?  That is as long as you do it where it is deep enough and live to tell about the experience, of course.

At Causey, I made the mistake of trying my friend’s expensive long Stand Up Paddle Board, which she rented from the WSU Outdoor Program.  You can also rent them in Huntsville. I’m kind of an impromptu person so the whole rental thing is an impediment to adventure. My friend paddled around Causey with two kids on either end of the board. On my youth-sized board there’s only room for person at most. When we traded, she couldn’t believe how unstable and slow my board was, and I couldn’t believe how much faster, more stable, and easier to paddle her board was. The thing I liked most about hers was that I could paddle for a while on one side without changing. But hey, my Lifetime paddle board was under $200 and I can be impromptu.

After my son and I got the hang of the Lifetime kayak and paddleboard in still water, we decided to kick it up a notch and try them in the Weber River. Stay tuned for a slightly epic trip and performance report! *The blue stand-up paddle board featured above is the $$$ Cadillac version rented from WSU.


Other places to rent outdoor equipment:

Gear:30-Visit GEAR:30 for alpine, rock, and ice climbing, trail running, backpacking and camping, ski and snowboard touring, stand-up-paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. 1931 Washington Blvd. in Ogden, Utah.

2nd track sports-2nd Tracks Sports is the only outdoor gear consignment shop in Salt Lake City and Ogden.1273 Canyon Rd Ogden, Ut.

Recreation outlet-Experts in all things outdoors, with 25 years experience in the industry, we’re committed to giving you the best products, value, and customer service.2324 Washington Blvd.Ogden, UT 84401

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Alison McLennan recently graduated from the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College where she was awarded the first Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction. Her first novel, Falling for Johnny, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Utah Original Writing Competition. She is currently working on a historical novel set in Ogden. She loves rock-climbing, mountain biking and most anything involving snow, especially fluffy powder.

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1 Comment

  1. The BDO outlet store often has lifetime products discounted also. Keep your eyes open for the kayaks and paddle boards. Signup for their emails. Sometimes they will include % off coupons you can use on them. Also was able to get kayaks on their after Thanksgiving sale and even more reduced on a New Years Day sale. Love lifetime. Have a trailer full. My youngest is 9 and has had a kayak for 3 years…..

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