Kayaks an easy fit for anyone interested in outdoor fun
With the Gulf of Mexico, the Choctawhatchee Bay and numerous lakes, creeks and rivers in the area, kayaking is a popular sport in the Panhandle. And with little maintenance cost after purchase, kayaking can be enjoyed by most anyone.
There are two basic configurations to choose from, the traditional cockpit style and the sit on top. In a variety of lengths, kayaks range from 8 – 20 ft. and weigh in anywhere from 40 – 70 lbs. Deciding which kayak to choose depends on the type of paddle experience one is looking for.
Marlice Brown of The Kayak Experience in Destin explained that the cockpit style offers a faster paddle and drier experience when using a skirt.
The Kayak Experience sells about equal amounts of both types, boasting a variety of manufacturers such as Old Town, Ocean Kayak, Necky, Wilderness Systems and Eddyline. The Kayak Experience personnel are experienced paddlers who assist buyers in finding the perfect fit.
The first Saturday of every month the store offers demonstrations, and anyone interested can try out any model of interest. The store also sells books, maps trailers and accessories.
Fishing kayaks have also become very popular, and can be accessorized with items such as live wells for bait and rod-holders.
Yellowfin Ocean Sports in Seagrove Beach offers both rentals and sales of a variety of kayaks, with a specialty in providing kayaks for the fisherman.
Yellowfin offers rentals and sales of Hobie and Ocean Kayaks, along with supplies for fishing excursions, live bait and tackle.
Yellowfin also offers daily fishing reports for the surf, inshore and the bay, and a variety of other services including suiting people up with an appropriate charter for fishing excursions.
Kayak sales and rentals
There are several dealers offering kayaks for purchase or rent in the South Walton and Destin area.
Blue Mountain Beach
Sell new and used kayaks
Free delivery and pick-up
The Kayak Experience
Sales new and used: Old Town, Ocean Kayak, Necky, Eddyline, Wilderness Systems
Sit-in, sit-on fishing kayaks
Guests are welcome on trips as long as they have the skills to safely navigate the waters being paddled. Guests must sign a waiver form and have an Eglin Recreational Pass if the trip is on the Air Force Base. Paddlers must supply their own boat.
Paddle fishing clubs:
More paddle information
The State of Florida Office of Greenways and Trails offers maps to the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail: