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Boat Spotlight - Pescador Pro



The Pescador Pro is a new series offered by Perception Kayaks. The Pro series serves as an update to the existing Pescador hull, incorporating some popular innovations which have become infused with the idea of a fishing kayak.

The first thing paddlers will notice about this kayak is the seat. Gone is the trusty built-in padded backrest, replaced by a beach-chair style seat. This style seat can be found on some of the most popular fishing kayaks available now, designed to offer comfort for fisherman on the water all day. Some of the merits to this seat are its quick-dry, never-sitting-in-water design, adjustable height positioning, its ability to be removed and used on the shore, and the fact that you will never be sitting on plastic, allowing for hammock like comfort.

To accommodate this seat, the hull of the Pro series has been tweaked. The Pescador Pro, while maintaining the same concepts of the original, is wider. This offers better stability for both general purposes, and for the different height adjustments of the seat. This may not be a boat everyone could stand in, but there are a few nimble paddlers out there who will be able to hop up and perfect their sight-casting.

Even being a budget kayak, the Pescador Pro does not lack for features. In addition to the huge seat upgrade, the boat also features bow and stern tankwells, a small storage bin, plenty of molded areas for buckets and tackle boxes to drop in, and (best of all) sunk-in tracks for hassle-free outfitting from Yak Attack. The track system allows anglers to adjust their setup on-the-fly, and offers the capabilities to tweak it for whichever species they are targeting on a given day.

The Pescador Pro 10’ is poised as a simple update to the popular Pescador hull, but in reality it presents a completely new paddling and fishing experience. It maintains a budget-friendly price, while offering many higher-end features. While certain features are tailored towards fisherman, this boat is by no means exclusive to one; it makes a perfect recreational boat for prospective paddlers looking for a comfortable, stable kayak. 


SUP Styles

Looking to get a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) and not sure how to choose one? No worries, we will provide you with the tools to find the perfect fit.

The most important question when looking into a SUP is, “what are you looking to do with it?” Answering this will help eliminate a large portion of boards which won’t suit your needs. There are many boards specialized for activities such as: touring, yoga, fishing, and surfing; but they are not necessarily limited towards one particular activity. The Bic Cross 11’ Adventure is a great example of a versatile board. The Cross Adventure works great for yoga, fishing, and as a family board, as well as blending a traditional and touring board shape. Choosing between either a traditional or touring board shape often coincides with the activities you would like to use the board for, as the form often dictates the function.

The traditional SUP can best be described as an oversized surfboard. While this dismisses many of the intricacies of the design, it offers a description to make them easily recognizable to someone unfamiliar with paddleboards. The traditional shape is a great all-around board shape. It's well suited for recreational to intermediate paddlers, whether cruising rivers and springs, paddling the intercoastal, or even playing in light surf.

Yoga, and many fishing boards, are drawn from the traditional board shape. This can mainly be attributed to them being more stable when not moving, compared to a touring board. This is especially true for boards with an increased thickness, offering the more desired volume and stability for fisherman.

Sharing many elements with a surfboard, the traditional shape is the best option for paddlers looking to surf with their SUP; they do require a much different technique though. With a SUP, the surfer paddles into the wave, standing the entire time, rather than jumping up at the optimal point, to catch the wave.

A touring SUP excels for paddlers looking to go out and just paddle, either for covering a certain distance for exercise or following a trail. Though they do not make great boards for surfing, they more than make up for it in flat water performance. A touring board is typically more narrow than a traditional board, with a pointed front and structured bow keel. They are a bit thicker as well, with the standing area sunk into the board, to balance needed volume with the paddler's center of gravity. All this leads a board which cuts through the waves, similar to a kayak, allowing for better efficiency over the course of the trip.

Many touring SUPs are generally less stable while not moving than the traditional shape; there are exceptions with certain boards designed for fisherman. Yet, while they may not be as stable while floating, the touring SUP is every bit as stable while paddling, except faster. With the nose cutting through waves, instead of rolling over them like the traditional shape, even the wider touring boards are much quicker and efficient over the course of a trip.

With an intention and style decided upon, the last big decision is construction. Most boards follow a basic foundation: some sort of foam core, surrounded by structure, and then wrapped in an outer shell. The particulars of how this is accomplished leads to three basic board construction options: polyethylene, thermo-formed, and fiberglass/epoxy.

Polyethylene boards are the most durable, inexpensive, but also heavy. A great example are the Bic SUP Dura-Tec line. These boards have a foam core, with a polyethylene shell; polyethylene is the same material used for a large percentage of kayaks. We use these boards for our rentals, and many outfitters we set up, because they just last. They make a great board for someone beginning, and for families where everyone will be using it, but not necessarily being gentle.

Moving a step up, we have the thermo-formed construction, represented by the Bic SUP Ace-Tec series. These boards are a great option for any paddler. They have an EPS foam core, which is wrapped in fiberglass, and finished off with a thermo-formed shell. This construction blends an inner structure similar to more expensive composite boards, with a lightweight, durable shell. The Ace-Tecs boast a durability rivaling a polyethylene board (we rent them as well), but are as light as most composite boards, while offering a shape for every interest.

Composite boards mark the top tier of board construction. These boards have an EPS foam core, with wood stringers (some even have bamboo decks), then multiple layers of fiberglass and epoxy. These boards are the stiffest, translating to the greatest efficiency; they are also the most delicate. Fiberglass boards show more signs of use, and abuse, through impressions, scratches, and cracks. Especially for touring boards, an epoxy board will offer the most efficiency and help paddlers reach the highest speed. But for someone just beginning, or isn’t the gentlest on their gear, they may not be the best option.

To conclude, a great way to make the decision easier of which board to choose, is to decide what you are looking to use your board for, and which construction best fits your needs.


History - The “Paddleboard”



There is more history to the “paddleboard” then many realize. The stand-up paddleboard (SUP) has recently received national attention as a recreation, fitness, and even fishing platform, but it is only a recent iteration of the paddleboard.


A traditional paddleboard is more commonly known as a prone or kneeling board. These style boards have been around centuries, and primarily used as transportation between islands. In more recent times, they offer a great alternative for swimmers and surfers to build their core and keep in shape; those who have seen the movie Chasing Mavericks would be very familiar with prone paddleboards.


Prone paddleboards are called such because the paddler is laying on their stomach, in a prone position, paddling by pulling back both hands in unison. The same motion can also be employed from a kneeling position, for an added challenge and to work a different structure of muscles.


 

A prone board is geared towards a different use than SUPs. The main difference is the absence of surfing. Many stand-up paddleboards can double as a surfboard, albeit with a different technique, where prone boards are meant for covering distance and traveling straight line. Where the typical stand-up paddleboard shows more similarities to the surfboard, touring stand-up paddleboards seem to represent the most logical evolution from the prone board. Touring SUP’s bow reflect the prone board’s, with a sharp, pointed nose that is thick, rather than wide. The kneeling/standing position seems to sink into the board, to lower the paddler’s center of gravity, while the rails raise above to maintain a certain volume. Both paddleboards are utilized to cover distance and tend towards straight line paddling, with the occasional rolling in the surf, though in a much different capacity.



Boat Spotlight – Wilderness Systems Tarpon



There has been a lot written about this boat over the past ten years, but it’s hard to talk about great kayaks without mentioning the Wilderness Systems Tarpon. This kayak consistently holds up as a versatile entry kayak, but shouldn’t be classified as one. The Tarpon sustains a balance of comfort and stability for those getting acquainted with kayaking, while offering efficiency and speed for those more familiar, with a wide range of features any paddler/angler would appreciate.


Wilderness Systems introduced the Tarpon originally as a 16ft kayak only. The boat was conceived during a transitional period in the kayak industry. The sit-on-top was beginning to gain popularity for their versatility. Anglers were beginning to adapt kayaks for fishing, finding them an easy, maintenance-free way to get on the water. The Tarpon lived in a kayak culture where speed and efficiency in getting to your favorite fishing hole was the main concern, and the Tarpon has never truly left that philosophy behind.


Over the years, Wilderness Systems has adapted the line to offer sizes ranging from 10ft to 16ft. More recently, they have added their patented Phase 3 AirPro seating, along with a range of other premier accessories, such as the Slidetrax rail system. This system allows adaptable and removable outfitting, granting anglers further degrees of customization and specialization for targeted setups. While the Tarpon hull has been slightly widened and updated with improved engineering, it still maintains the virtues that have made it popular since its inception.


 

As the kayak market continues to offer wider kayaks for maximum stability, the Tarpon remains as a dependable boat which will get you anywhere you want to go, quickly, with minimal fatigue.


Sit-in or Sit-on?

This question is as synonymous with kayaks as “which came first…” is with philosophy. It is also the first question we ask/answer when customers begin their search for a boat. The answer? It’s complicated.

The shorthand answer: sit-ins are drier and offer more protection from the sun, while sit-ons are wetter and easier to exit/enter. It truly is based on the situation and the paddler though, so let’s explore this a bit deeper, so you can begin decide which is more enticing.

To start off, I would like to bust a common myth surrounding kayaks; the style of kayak (sit-in or sit-on) is not the direct determination of stability. The stability of a kayak is dependent on the hull design, which, when properly designed, takes into account how the person will be sitting in it, and calibrates the hull accordingly. This is why finding a proper fit is so important; the most satisfying kayak is one designed for your purpose and frame.

Why choose a sit-in? There are many reasons. Sit-ins are categorized as such since you sit inside the hull while paddling them; because of this, the paddler sits lower in the water. This is often where the misconception stems that sit-ons are less stable, because you are sitting higher (this is where hull design and proper fit are crucial). Sit-ins are generally a touch lighter, and float a bit lower in the water, lending to a generally more efficient paddling kayak, especially in windy conditions.

By sitting in the boat, paddlers have a deck over their legs, shielding the sun and elements, while better blocking stray water from splashing over. Recreational sit-ins (such as the Wilderness Systems Pungo) generally have larger cockpits, making exit/entry easier; though, still not quite as worry-free as sit-ons are in deeper water. Sit-ins are preferred by paddlers who find a sense of security from being surrounded by the kayak, want a drier ride (especially in colder weather/waters), and plan to stay in the boat most the trip, exiting while at resting points on flats or near shore. Sit-ins are a great option for both fisherman and strictly paddlers. While sit-ins aren’t exclusively the faster of the two options, once paddlers beginning looking into performance and touring kayaks, sit-ins certainly offer more options and specialized fits.

Not quite sold on sit-ins? Sit-ons may offer more of what you are looking for. With a sit-on, the paddler is sitting on top of the hull, which generally means sitting a little higher on the water (this is exaggerated by next generation fishing kayaks offering extensive height adjustments). Sit-ons are typically a bit wider, dependent upon how high the paddler is sitting. Some kayaks, such as the Wilderness Systems Ride, use an innovative pontoon-style hull design to offer superior stability without being excessively wide, enhancing paddling performance.

Sit-ons have an extra feature over sit-ins, scupper holes. These are strategically placed throughout the boat to allow quick drainage for any water brought in, especially during exit/entry from the boat. Scupper holes help make sit-ons such versatile kayaks, especially for beginners and recreational paddlers/fisherman, by offering built-in drainage for worry-free exit/entry. This is perfect for paddlers who like to swim around springs, dive offshore, and fisherman who like to walk the flats to stretch their legs.

While great fishing boats can be found with both styles, sit-ons have certainly claimed a large chunk of the kayak fishing market. Companies are now making sit-ons with kayak fishing in their DNA; offering storage galore, track-mounting for infinite outfitting possibilities, and seats that rival the plushest beach chairs. They are not exclusively a fishing platform though, there are many performance-minded sit-ons as well; anything from recreational paddling, such as the Hurricane Skimmer, to full-on touring boats, such as the Current Designs Zone SOT, would make a great fit to the right paddler.

As an aside, there are some hybrid boats available, such as the Wilderness Systems Commander, which blur these two designations. These boats ride the line between kayak and canoe, offering some of the best features of both. These make a great option for someone looking for a lighter, open-concept fishing boat, with rivalling stability.

To close, there is no one correct answer, only a right answer for you. It is less frustrating, and cheaper, to find the right kayak from the start, allowing it to offer years of enjoyment. Hopefully this answered more questions than it created. If you do have more questions, feel free to call (727-545-4554), email (canoecountryfl@aol.com), or stop by the store. Our staff is well-informed and eager to help, striving to pair each paddler with the perfect boat.

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