|The Kayak Centre of Rhode Island in Wickford, RI.|
En route from Toronto to Delaware, we paid a visit to Matt Bosgraaf, who wears two hats: inventory manager for the Kayak Centre of Rhode Island, and east coast sales manager for GRO (Great River Outfitters, the east coast importer of Valley and North Shore boats)--two completely separate enterprises. Fortunately, we were able to pry him away from both for a couple of hours on the water.
|A quiver of kayaks.|
The Kayak Centre has a large showroom and offers classes, tours, rentals and repairs. The Warsick location carries between 120 and 140 boat models, including sea kayaks, recreational kayaks, sit-on-tops, fishing kayaks, racing boats and more. We took advantage of this extensive inventory to try out a few boats we'd never paddled: the Valley Etain 17.5, the North Shore Polar, and the North Shore Atlantic LV.
|Alec and Matt in the harbor near the Kayak Centre.|
|Switching boats midway through our paddle.|
The immediately environment is remarkably diverse. Within 10 miles of the shop, there are all sorts of conditions: calm water, rough water, current, surf, rocks, and even a tidal rip. We didn't have enough time to explore beyond the bay on this trip, but we'll be back. After all, we have another 117 boats to try out.