Helping pick out a kayak after she says “one with a cup holder”…
My wife, bless her heart, is a good woman with a kind heart. She usually knows what she wants however, when it came to selecting a kayak, she needed some help. Not the typical husband/cave man help of telling her what she wants but genuine ‘listen to me’ help.
Our friends helped convince her to try kayaking. Thankfully they served as intermediaries in the husband/wife conversation which meant she actually listed to their input.
We found a nice weekend and drove about a half mile to a secluded gravel boat ramp in a quiet subdivision where a very slow moving creek provided the perfect setting for her first kayak adventure.
There were four of us, my wife and I and my best friend and his wife. Between us, we had both sit-in and sit-on styles for the ladies to test out. My wife found the sit-in more difficult to get into than the sit-on but found more stability on the water with the sit-in. She paddled that kayak like a boss and stayed dry the whole time. It did not take long for her to settle in on the exact kayak she wanted – a sit-in but with a cup holder. Hmmm…
Now, we need to narrow down her selection to help her with the other attributes she doesn’t know she wants: foot rests, comfort seat, storage, side handles, length, weight capacity, etc. This is where spreadsheets come in and I love spreadsheets.
The spreadsheet shows green, yellow and red highlights to indicate the level of “likes” to “dislikes” sorted in order of expense.
We started where most people would, the internet. We searched and searched and searched and documented, building the spreadsheet. Once we had narrowed our field to a few good choices, it was time to put eyes to the product. We were back and forth from Huntsville to Decatur to Cullman on the hunt for the perfect kayak. Shout out to Dick’s Sporting Goods in Florence and Cullman. The Manager at the Florence store told us Cullman had a Pelican Icon 100x in pink! Off we go!
The guys at the Cullman store really had patience with us. They didn’t have the kayak out and had to root about their storage truck in the back lot to try and find it. They couldn’t’ find it. All they had was the turquoise Pelican Icon 100x and the sunburst Pelican Blitz 100x. She loved the Blitz but hated the color.
We gave up and headed back to the truck. We decided to go back to Dick’s Sporting Goods in Florence and order one for pickup. We feared doing this as there are many stories of people receiving damaged kayaks from online orders.
However, this turned out rather great! When we started ordering the kayak, they found they could get it in light blue! Yay, happy happy! A color choice that would make her feel like the kayak was truly hers and not one that would be borrowed for fishing by one of my friends. Best of all, it has a cup holder! The kayak was delivered right to our house in about 8 days and it was unharmed. What a relief!
This adventure was a long one for something so simple. We put lots of miles on the truck and made our relationship stronger along the way. We look forward to this spring when we can get out with our friends and paddle the creeks and live a little. We’re introverts you see, but we are getting better and we are starting to really appreciate that Halfway Home pivot point where your mind and body sense that turn toward the familiar.