I read with considerable interest the July 20 article by Somer Slobodian, “Kayakers feeling pushed out of Balls Beach.” Being a kayaker myself, I cannot say I agree with that sentiment.
While I do believe it would be very easy to park my car and launch from the old willow tree beyond River Beach Road, it seems that this has become an issue more of convenience than true necessity.
The argument that kayakers over 50 years of age find it difficult to carry their kayaks 150 metres from the free municipal parking lot to the launch area is unconvincing.
Presumably, these 50-plus year-olds managed to get their kayaks on top of their cars when they set out from home, and at some point will have to put them back up again to return. This requires a fair bit of upper body strength.
If the 150-metre distance from the parking lot or the 90-metre distance from the drop off area, is too far for a solo carry, perhaps investing in a kayak dolly would help.
These devices are not expensive and many have detachable wheels so that they can easily store in the hatch while out paddling.
I am a 65-year-old woman and no one would describe me of having much upper-body strength. That said, I can still manoeuvre my 50-pound kayak 150 metres, either carrying it tandem with my husband, or rolling it along by myself with the kayak dolly.
The article does, however, make me wonder: if some kayakers find it too challenging to carry their boats 150 or 90 metres to the water’s edge, what are they going to do if they get into trouble on the water?
Or end up in the water? Something to think about.