Leisure on the Lake

This article was originally written for the Hilltop Views.

Head over to Zilker Park or Lady Bird Lake on any sunny afternoon in Austin, and you’ll find locals who love to revel and romp outside. From running, to cycling, to swimming, Austinites love to play and compete.

One outdoor hobby that is becoming increasingly popular among the twenty-something crowd is kayaking and rowing. Student organizations like Crew, the St. Edward’s rowing team, promote “the use of physical activity in a healthy lifestyle” and “a greater appreciation of Austin’s culture.” However, rowing isn’t just for the pros and competitors anymore.

Rowing

Junior student Brett Powers is enthusiastic about kayaking and rowing, recommending that everyone try it at least once. Powers began cruising around Lady Bird Lake in a kayak his sophomore year of high school for the considerable exercise it provides.

“If you rent for an hour and stay paddling or moving the whole time, you will get a great cardiovascular workout, as well as endurance training.” An added bonus, says Powers, is that kayaking and rowing are low impact sports, meaning just about anyone can do it without injuring themselves.

There are three docks on Lady Bird Lake that rent out kayaks and paddle boats, as well as offer rowing lessons: the Texas Rowing Center, the Town Lake Rowing Center and The Rowing Dock. Powers prefers The Rowing Dock, explaining that he always “thought [it] was nicer.”

For newcomers to the popular Austin pastime, the Rowing Dock provides three one-hour lessons, during which students will learn basic paddling skills. The Intro to Kayaking course also includes two vouchers to use the kayaks on your own during open hours.

For skeptics or novices who may be hesitant to hop in a boat, the Rowing Dock offers encouraging words. “Our kayaks are very stable boats and are great for a wide range of ages. The boats are designed for inexperienced kayakers and are virtually untippable.” In addition, the company provides lake-goers with the paddles and lifejackets needed to have a fun, safe time. “Bring your water or sports drink and we will supply everything else.”

The Rowing Dock is located at 2418 Stratford Drive, and the company may be reached at (512) 459-0999.

Grab a friend or two and head over to the lake this weekend; a kayak awaits you.

Rentals
Single Kayak $10/hr.
Double Kayak $15/hr.
Triple Kayak $20/hr.
Paddle Boat $15/half hr. or $25/hr.

Season Passes/Memberships
Three-Month Season Pass $165
One-Year Membership $432
One-Year Debit Membership $36/month for 12 months

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