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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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."
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Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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Being A Packers Fan Is Harder Than People Think

It's not all cheese curds and snowy Instagrams.

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Many people think that being a Packers fan is the best and easiest thing in the world. Since we go to the playoffs almost every year, we are supposed to be considered "grateful." Let me just say this, being a Packers fan is the hardest. We may go to the playoffs a lot, but we never make it to the Super Bowl, and we always fall short every season. We have two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, with only two championships to show. Every season seems to be a constant disappointment, There is no other team that can be compared to the Packers. You could make a case for the Washington Capitals, but they just won the Stanley Cup.

Believe me, it's hard being a Packers fan.

To start, we need to talk about what the problem is. The problem is our team can never finish. Aaron Rodgers has carried the team for over a decade. We have only reached the Super Bowl once in that time. Every year in the playoffs, the defense seems to stink the big one and lose us the game. The 2009 playoffs against the Cardinals saw both teams score 45+ with us losing. In the 2011 playoffs, the Packers lost to the Giants 37-20 and we went 15-1 that season. In 2012 and 2013, we lost to the 49ers in the playoffs because Colin Kaepernick shredded our defense. I don't even want to bring up the 2015 playoffs against the Seahawks where we should have won but lost because of a dumb player on our team. And it just seems like we can never win in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers can't do it himself.

I have had my heart broken the past eight seasons and it doesn't get easier.

Then we can talk about the absolute fucking roller coaster the regular season brings us. Aaron Rodgers seems to get injured a lot, and that scares the shit out of every fan. When he is healthy, we have seen games come down to the last play. Either there was a hail mary, a field goal, or some magic shit that we could never have imagined. I'll never forget the miracle in Mowtown, or the last second field goal against the Cowboys in the playoffs two years ago. Let's not forget Randall Cobb's heroics against the Bears in 2013 and last week.

My heart has been through so many roller coaster games, it's hard to not feel anxious every minute.

Then we can talk about how the Packers are run. The mentality of the team is to grow your players. While this may sound good, we rarely sign free agents. Take for example Khalil Mack. The Packers could have easily signed Mack this off-season. We have two first-round draft picks, and a bunch of cap space. We needed to sign him. But because our fucking team refuses to make moves, we lost him to the Bears. This dude is a beast and we just lost him. When we grow players, we take the chance that they may not be good. We drafted two corners a few years ago and gave them multiple opportunities to be great. They absolutely sucked and we lost. We traded them and here we are again with the same problem. We need to sign players, and we just don't. This kills us as fans because it just seems like the organization is lazy. We need good players, so go sign good players.

The Green Bay Packers are a great franchise and I love being their fan. But people need to realize it isn't the best thing in the world because we go through serious troubles. It must suck seeing your team be horrible, but would you rather see your team underachieve every season?

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