Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gifts for the paddler, part 1

Ho, ho, ho. Or is it tow, tow, tow?
What do you buy for the paddler who has everything--or the paddler who only wants things that are out of your budget?
For the next couple of weeks, we'll highlight some gift ideas in the low- to mid-price range, in no particular order, including some you can make yourself.
First up: 
A gift certificate to a local open pool session

Here in the Chicago area, several pools are open to kayakers for instruction or just for practice. Some are offered by outfitters and offer options of instruction and kayak rental as well as open pool time; others are run by clubs or schools and offer peer mentoring. Either way, pool sessions enable kayakers to work on specific skills and keep themselves sharp during the long, cold winter when the lake is frozen over.
Here are some of the pool sessions we're aware of in the Chicago area. If we've missed any, please post a comment letting us know.
Geneva Kayak Center offers instruction and open pool sessions in West Chicago on Saturday afternoons. Buy a gift certificate here.
Kayak Chicago offers instruction and open pool session at UIC in Chicago on Wednesday evenings. Buy a gift certificate here.
The Northwest Passage offers four-week rolling and rescue classes in Skokie. Information here
Naperville North High School offers open pool session on Sunday mornings.
The Chicago Whitewater Association offers 10-week kayak instruction classes in Oak Park and  Des Plaines. Winter sessions begin in January.

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