We were up early Saturday to make the three hour drive to our favorite convention, Canoecopia. It is held in Madison, WI and runs for three days every year. If you enjoy kayaking, canoeing and camping this is the hottest ticket of the weekend.
We always try and arrive early enough to shop the parking lot…fellow yakkers will place there kayaks atop there vehicles or on trailers with for sale signs and phone numbers attached. You can find some great buys if you know what you are looking for. (Although, we are not looking to buy another kayak, you never know when a good deal will be had)
Upon arrival, you enter the convention center and there are many free booths of local guides, groups and camp grounds offering freebies. You browse, chat and pick up maps of possible lakes and rivers to be paddled.
Then it’s the big opening. I head straight for the Bargain Baga area. I am quite frugal as my husband calls me, so anywhere I can save a buck I will.
Then it’s time to make the rows and rows of paddles, kayaks, canoes, shoes, outfitters, camping supplies, roof racks, clothing and on and on….
We were specifically looking for three things this year. A roof rack for our new car, a spray skirt for a friend’s kayak, and some new decals to personalize our car with. I know, decals, big spender I am? (They are free) Well, like I said, I am frugal. We hit the jackpot this year getting everything on our list and then some.
After finally deciding on the rack system we wanted, it was time to browse. We checked out the newest Jackson fishing kayaks. My husband would be very happy to own one of these. Sorry honey, there is just no more room:(
We walked past an array of paddles. Some more practical and some I would be scared to use because they are so beautiful.
Next, it was time to check out the newest in whitewater kayaks. I like checking out the new colors that they come out with every year.
You can even get your kids on the water in kayaks made specifically for children. Even at a very reasonable price for many days of happy paddling.
Then we stopped in a booth that had some homemade kayaks that should never be used on the water in my opinion. So much work is involved that I would be devastated if I scratched any of these on a rock or even with the beach sand. Take a look at the detail…
Aren’t they gorgeous?
Next, it was off to check out the newest in stand up paddle boards. Even though I love mine, it is still nice to take a look.
And last but not least, you always have your crazy new inventions. This kayak comes apart in three sections that are held together with a rubber ratchet strapping system. In my family, we prefer our kayaks in one piece. Any kayak that purposely breaks apart into sections is fundamentally WRONG in our eyes. Legos and boats should never breed!
There are also countless speakers that you can attend at certain times throughout the day also. We do not usually attend these so I can not tell you good or bad about this part of the convention. I can tell you that the rooms are packed, so if you plan to attend make sure you get there early and get a seat.
It was a very fun and exciting day for us. We wait all year for this convention and it never disappoints us. The temperature may still be cold outside but it felt a little closer to summer while we were inside chatting with people that love to do what we do. We left with a trunk full of gear, some great memories of Canoecopia 2014 and a smile on our face.
Happy Paddling Everyone