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Rentals, Sales, Classes, Guided Trips and a World Renowned Symposium at Sweetwater Kayaks

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Located in Saint Petersburg, Sweetwater Kayaks is the place to go since 1992 for those into kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This establishment "provides kayak and SUP rentals, sales, instruction and guided trips in the central Florida area," states owner Russell Farrow.

Farrow is well known in kayaking circles winning many awards and accolades. With extensive traveling experience in both icy and warm waters throughout the world, he is also a Wilderness First Responder. He has written articles for "Canoe Focus Magazine" as well as developed paddling and adventure DVDs. The other staff members are equally equipped as expert paddlers in their own right ready to assist you with their knowledge.

Classes offered range from introduction/quick start to kayaking or SUP, rolling your kayak, expedition kayaking or kayak surfing, maintenance and repair and other topics by request. Sunday's featured classes are the beginning through advanced yoga SUP, which is a must for paddleboard and yoga buffs alike. "We also have risk assessment skills and self/team rescue skills for all levels," Farrow says.

Sweetwater Kayaks has many types of SUPs and kayaks for rent or purchase. Modular kayaks are especially popular. As an example, Point 65 makes single-seater touring, sit-on-top and sit-in kayak styles where you snap in the midsection and convert a one-seater into a two-seater. Just pick a touring partner and go with the flow. How easy is that?

But that's not all they provide. For those avid paddlers out there, Sweetwater Kayaks will hold the 20th Annual Sweetwater Sea Kayaks Symposium in February 2016. This is a good place to meet fellow paddlers the world over and learn new paddling areas, as well as gain knowledge from some of the best coaches. "We also offer training and assessments for the American Canoe Association and the British Canoe Union, the two best governing bodies in paddle sports today," notes Farrow.

Farrow confirms that central Florida is a great area for paddlers of all types: "The amount of wildlife you see, the number of fair weather days and the local paddling venue of Weedon Island Preserve (where we are the sole vendor) is unparalleled in beauty. There is a paddling trail with numbered signs. We give you a map with those numbers on it, so it's very easy to go on the water by yourself and have a safe and fun day outing."

Sweetwater Kayaks urges you to get out on the Florida waters and have some fun. Just stay safe by wearing a life jacket and bringing a whistle.

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