A book about kayak and SUP paddling in the Washington, DC area

Motivation for Writing the Book

My wife, Karen and I, lived in Arlington, VA, for just over 14 years in 2002 – 2016. We picked up kayak paddling shortly after we first got there as a way to enjoy the outdoors in the region while getting some exercise. When we first started, there wasn’t a lot of information available on where to go to access the multitude of rivers, lakes and reservoirs in the area.

After 10 years of visiting many of the launch sites on the Potomac, Anacostia and Patuxent rivers, along with the  myriad of lakes, reservoirs and other bodies of water nearby, I decided to approach publishing companies with the idea of a single source of information about paddling in the region.

The first company I contacted, Countryman Press, offered me a contract, and I finished the book in 2013. It’s currently for sale at the many REI stores in the area and online at Amazon.


What the Book Contains:

Equipment to Take on Your Adventures

Paddling Sites Appropriate for Beginners

Locations of Paddling Sites in the Area with information on launch sites, launch fees, rentals, and appropriate paddling routes

Additional recreational opportunities and historical information about many of the sites

Paddles Further Afield

Along with the wealth of paddling opportunities in the region, there are additional kayaking sites in the DC-VA-MD area not much further than an hour outside of our Nation’s Capital.


The Joys of Constructing a Wooden Kayak

When we first started paddling in the region, I borrowed a wooden kayak my brother had built. Everywhere we went, people would say: “That sure is a pretty boat; did you build it?” After multiple times telling everyone my brother built it, I decided to build my own.

I’m still not sure which aspect of a wooden kayak is more enjoyable; building it or paddling it. In my mind, they are equally rewarding. TO take a bunch of thin plywood panels, some wire, epoxy and some fiberglass cloth and turn it into a beautiful, functional means of water transport is nearly unbeatable.

Likewise, over the years, I have paddled plastic, roto-mold, fiberglass, Kevlar and sit-on-top kayaks, and none compare to wood in the combination of tracking, efficiency through the water, durability, and less weight.

I Have now built 9 different wooden kayaks, and 1 wineglass wherry boat, and each has been a true pleasure to construct and paddle (row).