In 1994 I became the 3rd Perception Kayak retailer in all of Florida. Until 2001 I was loyal to Perception kayaks, promoting the sport of kayaking for whitewater paddlers, touring kayakers and the recreational kayaker. I promoted the USACK (USA Canoe and Kayak Team) proving many clinics and demos. Instruction was one of the most important parts, prior to sales. Knowing what you were getting into and making sure your kayak fit your needs. Today there are over 26 Perception Kayak Dealers in Florida alone. Yes the sport has grown, Its a great way to enjoy the environment, but the number of kayaks (plastics) filling our waterways has lost some of the experience of touching the water.
Eco-tours started in the 90’s and yes I was big in the growth of the idea, after all I’m a science teacher, studying and teaching about the marine environment, and Florida’s springs and estuaries has be a major part of my life.
Still today I prefer to kayak in a sleek kayak, with a cockpit and storage for extended trips. Something about the speed and ease of travel. The wide flimsy plastics of today just don’t cut threw the water like a real touring kayak.
Perception had a winner with the small large cockpit opening on their early 9′ kayaks, they are great for starting at the bottom of a run and paddling upstream then returning with an enjoyable drift down rivers such as the Weeki Wachee.
Today it is still possible to paddle with Jim, but its only as a small private pre-scheduled trip. Most of the time avoiding the waterways on weekends and holidays. The peace and understated beauty of nature is more enjoyable without the over powered, over size boats attempting to get into the backwaters.