By Dr. Courtney Bennett
When I think about the joy that paddling a kayak can bring, I think about all of the sights and sounds that go along with the experience.
The sound the paddle makes as it gently eases into the water, the gentle sound of the water lapping against the kayak, the instant feeling of movement as your paddle propels your kayak forward, and the dripping sound of the water off the blade when the paddle leaves the surface of the water. The silence encountered during kayaking is one of the reasons I continue to make the time to get on the water.
Sitting in the middle of a river hearing nothing but birds chirping, frogs croaking, or ducks quacking as they pass by is healing to my soul. Being on the water has provided a great way for me to relax as my career as a school administrator is oftentimes quite stressful.
I have had the privilege of paddling many kayaks over the years. I even pedal some kayaks from time to time. But the experience of kayaking with a paddle in my hand is something that brings me great joy. The simplicity of a paddle paired with a kayak truly makes for an amazing experience. Paired with the sights and sounds of nature, there is nothing better.
This season, I had the opportunity to paddle a new CK1 Venture, built by Crescent Kayaks. The company is based out of Carrollton, Georgia and is truly focused on developing kayaks that give paddlers the opportunity to experience kayaking at it’s finest.
There are many kayaks on the market, but none that seem to slice through the water quite as easily. As a paddler who has had Scoliosis since I was a child, finding a kayak that is easy to paddle has more often that not, been a chore for me.
When I first learned of the Crescent brand, I was instantly curious. I wanted something that was not incredibly heavy, something that was wide enough that I would feel stable while paddling, and something that would maneuver well in the rivers I typically frequent.
When the CK1 Venture was first introduced, I visited my local to me dealer, The Sportsman’s Corner in Manchester, Tennessee. The owner, Wendell Cothran and I had a discussion about the differences and similarities of the CK1 Venture to other models that Crescent Kayak already had on the market. Wendell and I discussed the lighter weight of the CK1 Venture, and I really liked the thought of a hull that weighed 60 lbs.
Wendell told me about the hull and how the keel on the CK1 Venture functions in a similar fashion as the already popular, Crescent Lite Tackle model. The CK1 is a 34” wide kayak with an 11’ overall length. It’s completed sealed, with no access to the hull. Although a sealed hull is something not typically encountered, I liked the idea of no internal storage. I have seldom used hull access for anything other than mounting a transducer, and thanks to the YakAttack Cell Block and Switchblade Transducer Arm, I knew I could work around the issue of finding a spot to mount a transducer. The CK1 Venture model has adequate space in the front and rear tankwell to haul gear. Even if I wanted to use the CK1 to go kayak camping, I would still be able to pack my gear. After learning everything I could about the CK1 Venture, I put down a deposit on one for myself and one for my husband.
In the early spring of 2021, the CK1 Venture models arrived at The Sportsman’s Corner and my husband and I went to pick the kayaks up. We added some deck padding kits to them and put the kayaks on the water within the first couple of days that we owned them. We quickly realized that the CK1 Venture models were more responsive than other kayaks that we have owned in the past, but we both enjoyed how maneuverable the CK1 was on the water. We were able to correct it with one paddle stroke when going through a small rapid, and the tracking was exceptionally straight for an 11’ kayak.
We both loved how easy it was to load and unload the CK1 Venture. The 60 lb hull weight was a dream come true. We were able to load our new kayaks on the back of our truck using a bed extender. This meant we did not have to use our kayak trailer for those quick, “throw and go” type river excursions.
I paired my Bending Branches Angler Navigator with the CK1 Venture and enjoyed how the kayak responded to my paddle strokes. The CK1 performed exceptionally well in moving water and it did equally as well on flat water. My husband and I were both impressed with the kayak in various scenarios. We both became instant fans of the Crescent brand.
Crescent Kayaks is truly the paddlers dream come true. Paired with any of the Bending Branches paddles, the CK1 Venture makes for a amazing on the water experience. Check with your local dealer for more information about Bending Branches paddles and Crescent Kayaks.