Kayakers getting ready to rock the boat

On these hot summer days, being on the water usually is the only way to cool off.
Well, Rainy Lake Boat Works is offering a kayak symposium this weekend for those interested in getting close to the water—without getting too wet.
The two-day program gets underway Saturday at 9 a.m. with both in-class and in-water instruction.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Caren Fagerdahl, who will be teaching the beginner level seminar along with her daughter, Erika. “It is a beautiful way to be on the lake.”
And she should know. Fagerdahl, along with her whole family, took up kayaking five years ago.
“It’s the most enjoyable watersport I’ve ever been involved in,” she enthused. “In a kayak, you are much lower in the water than you are in a canoe and it is a lot more stable, as well.
“It’s easier than canoeing, too,” she added.
To teach the intermediate level, Rainy Lake Boat Works has brought in Phil Kieren from Thunder Bay. According to Fagerdahl, he brings “a wealth of experience and knowledge” to the symposium.
The weekend will culminate with a group paddle to the mermaid Sunday afternoon.
As of Tuesday, 20 people had registered for the weekend symposium, but there are still spots available for 10 more participants. Fagerdahl said she has seen everyone from eight to 80 old try out the sport.
Perhaps because of this wide appeal, kayaking has grown more popular. Already a common sight off the British Columbia coastline, expect to see more of the one-person composite plastic boats in the waters around Fort Frances.
“We drove to Minneapolis five years ago and [back] then we would never see kayaks on cars,” Fagerdahl noted. “But, we just [did the drive again] and on one in every 20 cars there was a kayak.
“It’s becoming a very popular sport,” she enthused.
One of the foremost reasons for its popularity is its physical benefits, Fagerdahl said.
“It’s a full body workout,” she laughed. “If you do it right.”
Rainy Lake Boat Works will host a similar workshop again Aug. 17-18. Call 274-6387 for more details.

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