It has been a very wet month around here. In general, of course, we’re in a pretty bad drought, but that doesn’t stop my younger brother and our sister from Germany from participating in some very fun water sports!
Sometimes, I get so caught up in traveling other places that I forget that some of the coolest things are right here in our backyard. The Kansas City area has some really great ways to participate in water sports, from the comfort of your own metropolitan area.
While my sister, Carolin, was here visiting from Germany, Jeffrey insisted he show her one of his favorite places… KC Watersports! KC Watersports is a cable lake near Paola that allows you to learn some of their watersports from the very beginning if you’ve never tried them out before, or to compete at much higher levels! Wakeboarding, wakeskating, waterskiing, and kneeboarding are all options you can try out at KC Watersports.
Jeffrey is a natural when it comes to the kneeboarding and other watersports there. As soon as he gets suited up, he’s ready to hit the water!
Sometimes, though, he hits it a little too hard. The first few runs, the cable can move a little unexpectedly, but soon after that, it’s easier to get the hang of it and make it around the lake.
Carolin was able to take one of the beginner classes, called the LTR or Learn to Ride program. It’s perfect because she could learn step-by-step how to hop on the board and go! Of course, in the beginning, it takes a few attempts to learn how to stay on the board.
By the end of their time there, though, both Carolin and Jeffrey had an easier time staying on the board!
My brother could stay at KC Watersports forever, and in the summer, it’s a fun way to cool off that shakes things up from the usual “let’s go swimming” sort of thing.
You do need fair warning, though… you will be sore the next day. From head to toe, you get a workout on these boards.
Honestly, KC Watersports is a pretty affordable place to spend the afternoon. An hourly pass is $19, or you can go all day for $39, plus there are several packages in between. You can even rent gear there, so if you’re just wanting to try it out, you don’t have to commit to purchasing equipment. If you do decide you’re a total addict, you can purchase gear and season passes there, to save a little money on your frequent visits.
You can keep up to date on their events, including Trifecta Tuesdays, day camps, ladies nights, and more on their website at www.kcwatersports.com. You can also like their facebook page here or find them as @kcwatersports on Twitter.
In addition to hitting the wakeboard a few times during Carolin’s trip, they were able to try another new and exciting experience… Kayaking!
When Jeffrey and Carolin first decided they wanted to do some kayaking, we worked hard to find a place that they could actually try it out, but we kept finding places that were far away, or not really an option for kayaking in general. Enter Clifton Bencke, who teaches sailing classes at Olathe Lake, and also offers affordable kayak and canoe rentals at the lake!
When we first encountered Clifton at the lake, he was joined by a feathery friend, named after a character in Treasure Isle.
Jeffrey and Carolin were able to grab the kayaks and head to the water. They were ready!
I couldn’t resist snapping a pretty picture of a lone canoe on the shore.
Clifton ran through some basic lessons for them, and taught them exactly how to paddle and get going in the kayak. He even told them the best places to see in the lake (like a bridge they could cross under to see a waterfall and some wildlife!)
The lessons weren’t even necessary—both of them were naturals! They both knew exactly how to cut the paddles through the water.
They had a blast on their two hours on the lake!
There is so much to see on that lake, from natural features like the waterfall to the wildlife that makes the lake it’s home.
Kayaking is another great, affordable water sport that you can do to keep cool in the hot Kansas City summers, and honestly, they had a blast with it. You can rent the kayak or canoe for $15 per hour ($10/hour for Olathe residents!) If you’re not renting during a sailing class, there is a two hour minimum, but that’s really not bad—there’s a good amount of lake to explore. In fact, you can even fish from the canoe (I don’t know about fishing permits at that lake, but I am sure you can find out more about it).
As I mentioned, Clifton also teaches sailing classes in the evenings, for ages nine and up. It would make a fun parent-child bonding activity, or sibling activity, or just fun to go solo. You can find more information about canoe and kayak rentals, as well as sailing classes, on the Olathe Parks and Rec website, here or find them on facebook.
The summer is filled with great opportunities to try water activities out, and both of these were a hit with my brother (age 11) and sister (age 24), which makes them great fun for all ages. I promise you, you will not be disappointed if you decide to head out to KC Watersports or check out Clifton’s kayaking on Olathe Lake.
What are you doing to stay cool this summer?