Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Beth and I am the webmaster for ToledoRiverGang.com. I joined Toledo River Gang in 2011 following the acquisition of my first kayak, a Pelican recreational sit-in kayak. Today my kayak collection has grown because each one serves a specific purposes: a playboat, creekboat, sea kayak, and river runner. (Learn how to select your perfect kayak with our Toledo River Gang_New Kayak Purchase Guide.) While I enjoy all types of kayaking, I particularly enjoy the adventure of Class IV whitewater. However, in the beginning of my kayak career the very thought of wearing a skirt frightened the daylights out of me.
Speaking of the early days, my life was forever changed the day I received my first kayak. My appreciation of the sport initiated while I attended college. During the summer of my senior year, I enjoyed floating on an inflatable raft along the Maumee River along with my roommates. When my roommates grew bored of the activity, I sought a vehicle that would get me on the water by myself, without a motor. In my mid-twenties, I made it a goal to buy a kayak but a few financial set-backs prevented me from procuring a boat. That’s when my parents surprised me on my birthday with my very own kayak.
Overwhelmed with excitement, I Googled every keyword that had to do with “kayaks”:
- Kayak club
- Kayak Toledo
- Kayak launches
- Kayak skirts
- Kayak racks
- Kayak classes
And the list goes on…
When I searched “kayak club Toledo”, I discovered Toledo River Gang. I met club members at Three Meadows Pond and tried out kayaks that were dramatically less stable than mine. I simply could not understand how fellow boaters fit their legs into such small boats (playboats).
In an effort to educate myself for safety purposes, I enrolled in the Intro to Whitewater Class offered at the Perrysburg (Fort Meigs) YMCA. Each week, I was challenged to face fears and work on my newly formed skills. Some weeks went well and other weeks did not, but I kept attending the classes. Soon I built confidence on flat water and eventually transferred those skills to whitewater. It took me longer than most (more than a year) to master my roll, but once I did it opened many whitewater opportunities.
Today, I enjoy several trips each year with members that have become my best friends. Looking back, my life and hobby would be much different had I not joined Toledo River Gang. The club has provided me a wealth of information about moving water as well as a community that enables these skills to continue growing.
For $10 per year, perhaps you’ll find the Toledo River Gang membership delivers more than you ever imagined as well.