April 29, 2021 – Kayak ownership and all that it entails.

Help!! My husband’s got the ‘fever’. I thought that when he purchased this large piece of molded plastic (aka a ‘kayak’), there wouldn’t be much more that we’d have to invest in. Boy, was I wrong! It’s a pedal kayak and it came with an oar/paddle and a special gadget with wheels (to help guide it from the vehicle to the water). It also came with a fish finder (minus the battery) and a rod holder. What more could one possibly need? Plenty, as it turns out! I’m not sure what happened to the good ol’ days when fishing entailed a rod and reel, a hook, a bobber, some worms dug out of the yard, and a good casting arm, but apparently times have changed. I guess if you want to fish, a ‘watercraft’ of some sort or another is required. I’m not sure when the rules to fishing were rewritten, but sometime between when I was a kid and now, fishing from the ‘bank’ fell out of fashion.

Before we even purchased the kayak, the amount of time spent on ‘research’ devoted to viewing numerous YouTube videos to determine ‘who’ recommended ‘what’, looking up (via the internet) dozens of reviews on assorted brands or manufacturers, Craigslist searches, running to and from every single store in our town that sells sporting equipment to determine if they had any in stock, and price comparisons (also via the internet) was, I’ll put it this way, much longer than I found to be necessary. And if I’m being brutally honest, it was downright painful. When my husband gets something in his head, once I give him ‘the nod’, I probably should just leave town for a few days and only return when the process is complete. Instead, I choose to stick around and suffer right alongside him. Is he suffering? Oh, no! He’s blissfully happy and completely unaware of how miserable I am.

I can tell you this, each time he ends up in the pursuit of the latest ‘gotta have it’, if he had the slightest clue of how I’m feeling, or how I’m on the verge of placing my fingers around his neck and squeezing, he probably wouldn’t be nearly as blissful. A girl can only take so much! I know, it sounds harsh, but have you met my husband? You would understand what I mean if you did. Any time he gets an idea in his head, I hear about it day and night (for weeks on end). It borders on spousal abuse. I’m going to check myself into the nearest psychiatric hospital for a 72-hour hold, or possibly longer, if I hear him say (one more time) any of the following words: kayak, fish finder, rod holder, rod holder extension, PFD, fishing net, walleye, salmon, bass, lake, reservoir, fishing pole, gear, rudder, pedal system, dry bag, paddle, leaks, locknut, milk crate, tie-downs, bungee cord, nightcrawlers, anchor, or pee bucket.

Someday I’m going to learn to put my foot down and say ‘NO’. Yeah, right! Who am I kidding? Let’s face it, that’s never going to happen! If my husband was a jerk, then maybe. But he’s a good guy so it’s hard for me to deny him simple pleasures. And maybe ‘simple’ isn’t the right word because nothing is ever ‘simple’ in our household. Everything eventually turns out to be rather complicated somehow. When my husband purchased the kayak, I thought maybe all he’d need was a battery for the fish finder. You cannot exactly operate one without a battery. In my mind, in addition to the cost of the kayak, I figured an additional investment of $50-$100. If I was smarter, I’d learn to take whatever that initial figure was that I had in my head and multiply it by 10 or 20. Just like when he bought the special racing bicycle with the titanium frame or the Suzuki Hayabusa, the 4th fastest motorcycle ever made, there’s always ‘much more to be had’.

Did you know that each purchase of the latest ‘gotta have it’ requires a new wardrobe? I didn’t either but apparently it’s ‘a thing’. When we bought the special racing bicycle, we also had to purchase a special helmet, special shoes, and special shorts with a cushion built in (to pad the rear). With the Hayabusa, we had to buy a brand-new leather jacket, a high-end helmet, and fancy riding gloves. He already had three leather jackets but he needed a different kind that included extra padding in the elbows and elsewhere. With the kayak, I guess a regular t-shirt and jeans or shorts is insufficient attire. The day after we brought it home, we spent a pretty penny on several UPF-50, long-sleeve shirts, pants that can be converted to shorts that are made from a material that dries quickly, as well as water shoes. Fortunately, we didn’t have to blow money on a hat because he already has plenty.

Once we got the wardrobe requirements out of the way, our focus (or his focus) is now on all of the necessary ‘upgrades’. An oar/paddle, a special gadget with wheels (to help guide it from the vehicle to the water), a fish finder (minus the battery), and a rod holder just isn’t going to cut it, my friends! He’s already been to Wal-Mart, Hooked on Toys, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Costco, and the local boat shop to acquire what he can nearby. So far, he’s purchased an additional rod holder with an extension, an adapter for the track, several ‘plugs’, a battery, a waterproof box (to hold the battery), and some hardware and special epoxy (to fix the spot where the guy we bought the kayak from improperly installed the fish finder). There are also items on order through Amazon that should be arriving sometime tomorrow. As much as I wish this was everything, I’ve hardly gotten started!

Even though my husband already has several PFDs (personal flotation devices), they won’t work on a kayak because they’re too bulky. He’s also shopping for a trolling motor because even though he can pedal his kayak, he can cover a lot more ‘ground’ with a trolling motor. The oar/paddle is cheap and flimsy so that also needs to be replaced. He’s also mentioned a special pontoon add-on that stabilizes the kayak and prevents it from flipping, as well as another modification involving wheels that attaches to the kayak permanently. If he purchases the wheel mod, he won’t have to use the ‘special gadget with wheels’ that’s cumbersome and largely ineffective. On top of all of that, he also needs an anchor. Sigh. Am I done yet? You wish! I haven’t even begun to talk about a means to mount it in the garage or what needs to happen to the truck (to ensure proper transport). Help??!!

I’ll spare you the details because if I were to continue, you might consider checking yourself into the nearest psychiatric ward, and I like you folks too much to put you through that. I actually asked my husband for a reprieve tonight from all of the ‘fish talk’ because it’s really beginning to get on my nerves. Of course, after I asked, he started on about where he should take the kayak tomorrow. It seems like no matter which direction he travels to fish, the nearest waterway is at least an hour-and-a-half worth’s drive. Do I feel sorry for him? No. I don’t. I couldn’t conjure up a crocodile tear if I tried. He actually went fishing yesterday and had a lovely time. He promised that he would cook up whatever he caught and make me a nice dinner once he returned home. As nice as the experience was, he had little success in the ‘fishing’ department. He called me on his way home to tell me all about it. When I asked him what we were having for dinner, do you want to know what his response was? “Hamburgers.”


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