Resources

Here’s links to some of our favorite web resources and shops.

KAYAK SHOPS

A Crystal River Kayak Company/Kayaks and Beyond – Crystal River – Delta, Jackson, Emotion, & RTM kayaks.  Bending Branches paddles.  Accessories.  Demos on site – 1/2 mile to Three Sister’s Spring.  Mary Morgan & staff really go the extra mile to ensure you get the kayak you want.

Aardvark’s Florida Kayak Co – Crystal River – Eddyline, Hurricane & KC kayaks.  Swift, Bending Branches & Aquabound paddles.  Demos nearby.  Specialty kayak & SUP shop with great service from Matt and Susan.

Adventure Outpost – High Springs – Ocean Kayak and Old Town sales and rentals, some accessories.

Black Creek Outfitters – Jacksonville – Hobie, Jackson, Hurricane, Native Watercraft, & Wilderness Systems kayaks.  Werner and Bending Branches paddles.  Accessories, general backpacking & camping supplies.  Demos out the back door.

Riversport Kayaks – Homossasa – Dagger, Hobie, Jackson, Perception & Wilderness Systems kayaks. Demos on site.

Travel Country Outdoors – Altamonte Springs – Hobie, Current Designs, Dagger, Native Watercraft, Necky, Ocean Kayak, Perception, & Wilderness Systems kayaks.  Aquabound, Bending Branches & Werner paddles.

Tropical Kayaks – Palm Coast – Eddyline, Ocean Kayak, & Heritage kayaks.  Swift, Aquabound, Seven2, & Lendal paddles.  Accessories.  Demos on site.

 

ON-LINE KAYAK GEAR SHOPS

Austin Canoe & Kayak – general kayaking, camping and kayak fishing merchandise.  Excellent shipping and service.

Campmor – general online retailer of outdoor equipment, including a lot of paddling gear.

Kayak Academy – one of the few sources for Keel Eazy Keel Strip as well as other specialty kayak gear.

NRS – deluxe boat sponge, coolers, PFDs, sprayskirts, Tula hats, deck bags, coil leashes

Oak Orchard Canoe Kayak Experts – Loads of accessories including a few Seals spray skirts in colors other than black.

Paddling.net – scads of info about boats, accessories, places to paddle and a good boat launch locator.

Sierra Trading Post – discount online retailer of outdoor equipment, including some paddling gear.

Tom’s Top Kayaker – excellent source for pieces/parts that are sometimes difficult to find, especially rigging and hardware.  Also many informative articles and videos.  Got a question on how to install or replace a fitting? Tom is always available to help.

 

NORTH FLORIDA RIVER RENTALS, TOURS, & SHUTTLES
(Only those we have actually used are listed)

A Crystal River Kayak Company – Crystal River – boat dock, rentals and tours.

A Day Away Kayak Tours – Merritt Island – Bioluminescent tours.

Adventure Outpost – High Springs – Santa Fe canoe & kayak rentals, shuttles, great guided tours, Lars has tons of info on local rivers.

American Canoe Adventures – White Springs – Suwannee River – canoe & kayak rentals, shuttles, John is a great source of Suwannee River info.

Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures – Santa Fe River and middle Suwannee RIver – kayak rentals at along the Santa Fe River (Gilchrist Blue Springs and and Santa Fe River Park – FL 47) and the Suwannee River (Manatee Springs State Park and Hart Springs Park)  Shuttles along both rivers.

Ichetucknee Family Canoe – Ft White – campground, cabins, rentals and shuttles on Ichetucknee and Santa Fe rivers.

K.P. Hole County Park – Dunnellon – Rainbow River – rentals and shuttles

Kayak Amelia – Talbot Island State Park – rentals and tours.

Kayak Cedar Keys – Cedar Key – rentals and tours.

Kayak Karavan – Chassahowitzka – rentals and tours.

Kings Landing – Apopka – Rock Springs Run & Wekiva River – rentals and shuttles.

Nobleton Outpost – Nobleton – Withlacoocchee River – rentals and shuttles.

Ocklawaha Canoe Outpost – Fort McCoy – Ocklawaha River – rentals and shuttles.

Paddling Adventures – Ft White and Weeki Wachee – rentals and shuttles on the Ichetucknee and Weeki Wachee rivers.

Rainbow River Canoe & Kayak – Dunnellon – Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers – rentals and shuttles.

Rum 138 – High Springs – Santa Fe River.  Located just outside of Rum Island County Park they provide rentals and shuttles on the Santa Fe River.

Santa Fe Canoe Outpost – High Springs – Santa Fe River.  Located just off US 441 they provide rentals and shuttles on the Santa Fe River.

Silver River Kayak Rentals – Silver Springs – Silver River and middle Ocklawaha River (Ray Wayside to Eureka – CR 316).  They will rent and/or shuttle your boat, or just you from Ray Wayside back to Silver Springs State Park.

Silver Springs State Park – Silver Springs – Silver River.  Located at the boat ramp in the state park they provide rentals and tours, but no shuttles, so all trips must be an out-and-back.

St. Augustine Kayak Co. – St Augustine.  Rentals, boat dock and guided tours.

Suwannee Canoe Outpost – Live Oak – Suwannee River.  Located inside Spirit of the Suwannee Campground off US 129.  Boat ramp, rentals and shuttles.

Suwannee Guides and Outfitters – Suwannee River, Suwannee – Captains Russ and Kay run rentals as well as shuttles on the lower Suwannee River.

Suwannee River Rendezvous – Mayo – Suwannee River.  Campground, cabins & lodge as well as shuttles.

The Kayak Shack – Weeki Wachee.  Rentals, shuttles and tours.

 

RIVER INFO

Boat Ramps – Suwannee River Water Management District pdf poster of ramps and launches along the Suwannee, Withlacoochee (North) and Santa Fe Rivers.  And newer version of above as an interactive map.

Florida Paddling Trails Assn. – reviews of rivers throughout the state.  Volunteer group dedicated to education, river cleanups and working with local land managers to enhance paddling opportunities.  If you paddle in Florida you should join!

Canoe Suwannee River – Just about everything you need to know about paddling the Suwannee

Florida DEP – Florida’s state-designated paddling trails including downloadable maps

Paddle Florida – general info on paddling rivers & springs in Florida

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail – Info about the Suwannee, reservations for the Wilderness camps. 

Visit Florida – pdf of paddling places in Florida

2 thoughts on “Resources

  1. John Britt

    I stumbled upon your website quite by accident. I live in Southern California, and for whatever reason, sea kayaking is not as popular here as I understand it was back in the 1990s. In any event, I’ve been trying to find good information, and your site is the best I’ve come across. Whoever is doing the writing is absolutely superb.

    I retired recently and want to get into the sport in the big way. I have a friend who has a Northwest Kayaks Cadence that he purchased back in the late 1980s, and it has held up quite well. He’s decided it’s time for a new kayak, and he and I are thinking of buying new Cadences; he wants carbon fiber, and based on my research, I think high-grade fiberglass (Northwest calls it “aircraft grade,” but I think that’s the same as “S” grade fiberglass. Inn any event, the aircraft grade fiberglass boat is only a couple of pounds heavier. My concern about the carbon fiber is that it will be too brittle, based on what I’ve read. I’d appreciate your thoughts on this please.

    Reply
    1. Cricket Post author

      I’m afraid I do not have any real experience with carbon fiber in kayak hulls other than a few test paddles. They are way too expensive for me for the type of paddling I do 95% of the time. Like you, I have read very different reviews about the properties of a carbon fiber layup. Many people describe it as “brittle” while others say a fiberglass layup is more “brittle”. Some people describe carbon fiber as stiff (meaning good) and inflexible (meaning bad) while others report the opposite – after all aircraft are being made of carbon fiber now and they HAVE to flex. I DO have a CF paddle and it has quite a bit of flex to it while still being stiff and after 3 years of use it is still in excellent condition. My reading leads me to think that just as in fiberglass layups, it is more the exact formulation of CF and resin, the design of the hull, and the workmanship rather than the material per se. It could also be that many of the re[ports of “brittleness” seem to be rather old and CF formulations in kayak hulls have improved over the past 10 years or so. So … that’s just my take on it. I think if I were you I would talk to the folks at Northwest Kayaks. And try to demo different FG and the CF models and see which you feel more comfortable with.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *