10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Kayak

10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Kayak

An adventure in a plastic boat has never sounded so good
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You see them on rivers, lakes, out on the ocean, but have you ever given it a try? It looks like a good time right? Kayaking is a timeless sport, yet one of the fastest growing industries in the outdoor recreation market right now. So what's all the hype about? Here is ten reasons you should take the plunge and give kayaking a shot!

1. Exploring new places

Taking a seat in a kayak leads to much more than just a leisurely paddle. Kayaking is a great way to see cities and natural landscapes from a water level perspective that is unlike most other water recreation experiences. In a kayak you can travel waterways all over the world, venture through urban and rural settings alike, and experience it all through a very unique perspective.

2. Great accessory to any car

One of the best things about kayaks is that they are lightweight and portable. A kayak can go almost anywhere you can go if strapped correctly to your vehicle. They are even lightweight enough to carry down to the beach or pier with the help of a friend. Two kayaks fit comfortably on any size car, even compact cars. And if you're looking to go out on a large outing, kayaks can be transported easily on a trailer. There are even rigs you can buy to attach a kayak to the rear of your bike!

3. Bring your friends

What better way to spend an morning, afternoon, or evening than with a couple of friends out on the water catching some rays and waves? Kayaking is a social event. It's so simple to hold conversations between kayaks and even bunch up next to one another to take group photos. Kayaking is a great way to bond with friends and family again and again. It's a great way to get your indoor loving friends outside and easy enough for them to still have a blast at the beginner level.

4. Extended trips

Not only are kayaks a leisurely recreation activity, but you can make the sport an extended experience with the right amount of skill and gear. Pair camping with a few days of paddling and a solid group of friends and you have the makings for the trip of a lifetime. Whether you have a 26 mile day planned or a 3 day extended trip scheduled, covering large distances in a kayak is a very unique expereince.

5. Exercise

Of course you can paddle as slow or as fast as you would like, but in the end the sport takes some muscle! Not only is kayaking a fantastic upper body workout, but the sport can incorporate cardio, abs, and breathing. The more you incorporate your various body systems, the more you will get out of the workout. Focusing on technique, frame, and overall momentum are three things that can constantly be improved upon while exercising in a kayak. Sometimes an experience can be that much more rewarding when there is a physical component involved.

6. Solo excursions

Just as kayaking can be a social event, it can also be a reflective and personal experience. Going out on the water alone can be a healthful escape and a fun personal challenge. There is something to be said for experiences that only you can relate to and remember.

7. Stress release

Just like any sport, kayaking can be a creative outlet for stress and anxiety. There is something very healthful about a quiet, reflective paddle. Being out on the water with nothing but the sounds of the surrounding area and your kayak and paddle grazing the water is a special experience and a personal one at that.

8. For all ages and abilities

Kayaking ranges from beginner recreational fun to advanced white water competitions. There are different size boats and weighted paddles for all ages and there are different level waterways for all levels. Kayaking does not require the use of your legs and can be a great recreational activity for those differently-able below the waste. The nice thing about learning to kayak is that it has a quick learning curve. Knowing a few simple kayak strokes is really all you need at the beginner level and you can be off on your way in no time.

9. Easily accessible

If you don't own a kayak it isn't the end of the world. Most popular waterways have kayak rental services or guiding service nearby. But if you are looking to invest in a kayak, you can purchase gently used or retired kayaks at a much cheaper rate than buying a brand new one. Recreational kayaks can range in the couple hundred dollar spectrum, but the investment pays for itself in experiences.

10. Lots of fun

Whether you are out on flat water with a group of friends exploring urban waterways or venturing down class III rapids by yourself in the backcountry, kayaking is a guaranteed good time. It's an activity friends and family ranging in different ages and abilities can enjoy together. What makes kayaking so fun? A common answer to that question is splashing around and getting wet!

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Murphy

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12 Things Texans Hate About Oklahoma

We all know Texas is the superior state, but just why do we Texans hate Oklahoma so much?
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So, everyone on the planet knows that Texas is indisputably THE BEST state in this glorious country and because of this, we Texans deem every other state inferior. It also may seem that we have a 'rivalry' with Oklahoma (although, it's no contest which state is superior). However, this rivalry is actually more of a disdain and for many good reasons. That being said, here's a list of 12 credible, bona-fide reasons that Texans hate the state of Oklahoma.

1. The Constant Wind

Everyone has heard that the wind is constantly blowing in Oklahoma, but you don’t realize how annoying that is until you live here. You think you walk outside looking good, but the wind is like, “Haha, not today.” Also, it’s not the kind of cool breeze that’s refreshing on a hot day; if it’s cold outside, the wind is freezing cold, if it’s hot outside, the wind is a gust of hot, humid air.

2. No Buc-ee’s

If you haven’t heard of the amazing-ness that is Buc-ee’s, then you are missing out. Buc-ee’s is the most awesome gas station. They have everything, and by that, I mean everything. They even have Comfort Colors tanks with the Buc-ee’s logos, as well as the cleanest gas station bathrooms you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever driven to south Texas, you’ve possibly never heard of Buc-ee’s, which is a real shame.

3. Narrow Lanes

First off, the roads in Oklahoma are absolutely atrocious. The first grievance on this list is that the lanes are just too small. You think I’m going to be able to fit my dually truck and horse trailer in between these lines? Yeah, I don’t think so, that Prius barely fits.

4. Slow Speed Limits

On the subject of roads, the highways here have an average speed limit of 55. You have to get on a toll road to even have a speed limit of 75. That would not fly in Texas. How do you expect to get anywhere quickly if you have to go 55 mph? That’s child’s play. Texas boasts the highest speed limit in the United States, something we utilize to its full potential.

5. No HEB

HEB, aka the BEST grocery store on the planet, probably in the universe, but I cannot confirm, only has stores in Texas. And even then, the northernmost store is all the way in Burleson. I mean, you can buy Whataburger’s fancy ketchup by the bottle; what more can you ask for?

6. OU

The Red River rivalry is a well-known rivalry between OU (University of Oklahoma- Sooners) and UT (University of Texas- Longhorns). Admittedly, there is a lot of division between Texans on this issue, but if you’re a diehard Texan, then chances are you hate OU simply on principle.

7. Majorly Lacking Major League Sports Teams

As a Texan, we’re used to having our pick of major league sports teams, whether it be football, basketball, or baseball, and trash talking other Texans that root for the rival team is half the fun. All Oklahomans have are the OKC Thunder, and I guess hockey, but who really follows that any way? It’s America, football is king here and baseball is the national pastime.

8. Eternal Road Construction

Road construction is a necessary evil; it’s always going on. However, at least in Texas, you see actual progress. In Oklahoma, roads are cut down to one lane for months on end with no visible progress to be seen.

9. Increased Sales Tax

According to taxfoundation.org, the combined state and average local sales tax rate for 2015 is 8.77% in Oklahoma compared to 8.05 %. This seems like something really petty to add on to this list, but hey, I don’t want the government any more money than it has to. Also, when you start being an actual adult, Texas is one of seven states that does not charge state income tax.

10. No Coastline

Oklahoma is landlocked. For a Texan, whose home state boasts 367 miles of coastline (the 6th highest in the United States), this is stifling.

11. Mite Infestations

Apparently, this past summer and fall, there was an outbreak of mites that like to bite people. They were worse than mosquito bites and quite frankly, a pain in the butt to deal with. If you walked across any patch of grass, chances were you woke up with an itchy, red sore from this microscopic

12. It’s Just Not Texas

Any Texan can tell you, as we are know for our rather fanatic state pride, that there’s just something about Texas that feels like home. And no matter how many great things a city has to be proud of, nothing will ever replace Texas. Everything’s better in Texas and there’s no denying it.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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At Last, the Buffalo Bills Have Released Nathan Peterman

After Matt Barkley's successful stint at quarterback, it seemed all but likely that the Bills would part ways with Peterman

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In a decision that has been long overdue, Buffalo Bills fans can breathe a sigh of relief, at last, knowing that quarterback Nathan Peterman is no longer on the roster. I know it may seem like I've been harping on this guy recently, but it can't go unnoted that he has thrown as many touchdowns as he has interceptions that have been returned for a touchdown. In Buffalo, we live and die with our team. We ride the bus through the many trials and tribulations that are experienced. We know not to get too high on any particular moment because, in an instance, it will turn into a low. This fanbase has endured too many lows throughout its tenure and releasing Peterman may be the change of mojo that has been needed.

The Bills started their 4th quarterback of the season last week against the New York Jets. Playing a team that has underperformed this season just as much as Buffalo has, the stakes were very low entering the contest. Matt Barkley, a free-agent that was signed to play for the Bills just 12 days before the game was expected to start at quarterback for the team. That's right, the Bills decided to go against playing Peterman, who has been on the roster for over a year and knows the offense far better than Barkley and went with a new guy. And to their credit, Barkley excelled. His first play from scrimmage he ran a fake run play and heaved up a 47-yard completion to Robert Foster.

He dominated the offense for the Bills and lead them to a monster 41-10 victory against their division rivals. More importantly, the Bills put up the most points in a single game in the last three years in their win last weekend. Barkley was a much-needed spark to this seemingly depressing offense. He demonstrated that the guys on this team are talented and capable of playing well, they just needed the right guy in the driver's seat.

After cementing a win, it seemed all but likely that the Bills would finally release Peterman. There seemed no point in having four quarterbacks on their roster and releasing a QB would clear up cap space. Peterman, who clearly resides as the worst out of the four roster spots, would be the guy to go. The following Monday, a dream became a reality. Breaking Buffalo News reported that the Bills had decided to release Peterman in an all but necessary move.

Now, do I feel bad for the guy? Sure, he loved Buffalo and really did try to bring his all to the team. It's unfortunate that it didn't work out in the end, as this happens with players from time to time. However, Peterman's resume may be padded as the worst in NFL history. His 3 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions is by far the worst touchdown to interception ratio by a quarterback ever. I feel sorry for the guy, I really do, but bye bye Nathan Peterman.

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