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Have kayak, will travel

By Slickrock Adventures on November 19, 2010

Belize sea kayakOur kayak travel trips cover a wide range of kayaking skills, using a variety of boats. We base out of our island, Long Caye at Glover’s Reef, located 35 miles offshore in Belize. On our adventure tours we teach sea kayaking, surf kayaking, snorkeling from kayaks, kayak rolling, kayak fishing, and we have both single and double kayaks. Inland in the jungle we also teach river kayaking and UNDERGROUND river kayaking.

Everyone knows about Belize cave tubing, but less is known about running the Caves Branch River by kayak because no one (except us) has the equipment. We have been running this underground river in Belize since 1991, using both kayaks and rafts to explore this incredible water cavern. The problem with cave tubing in Belize cave kayakingBelize is that the runs have to be extremely short as this river is too shallow to allow an unimpeded float. Slickrock Adventures is the only company to use kayaks and rafts to run the whole section of caves.

The Caves Branch River flows through four caves traveling from the Maya Mountains until it empties into the Sibun River. We start near Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, after first covering the basics of paddling a kayak. First we paddle through several miles of jungle before arriving at a huge white cliffs that the river suddenly veers right into, and darkness soon envelopes us. Using headlamps for lighting the way, the current takes us though four caves, which occasionally pass by openings into the jungle. What a great way to learn to kayak!

Belize sea kayakingOut on the island, we have well over 40 seats in sea kayaks so that everyone can choose a boat that fits them. It’s hard to learn this fabulous sport if your boat is not the right one for you. We provide choices between boats for experienced kayakers, boats for those who have never set foot in a kayak, boats for tall men, for small women, for those who need a little bit of help with balancing, and we also have several doubles for paddling your kids around in. You can claim a boat for the week and use only that boat, or switch around and try them all. Visit our Belize kayaking page for a complete list of our sea kayaks.

Kayak surf BelizeOur surf kayaks are a completely different animal, they have a skeg that grabs onto the wave to help you stay in the surfing position. Slickrock’s primary wave-sport activity is surf kayaking. Our high-tech sit-on-top surf kayaks have planing hulls, fins, ankle leashes, seat backs, and leg straps. The ocean kayak surfing on our island is great for beginners. Surf kayaks allow anyone to easily catch a wave since you are using a paddle rather than your arms to propel you craft, and it is easy to adjust your position to start a Belize kayak rolling classes on Long Cayeride in exactly the right spot. With a few fast strokes you are on the wave, and the thrill of accelerating down its face is like no other.

We also have old-style river kayaks for our rolling classes. What better place to learn how to roll in a kayak than where the water is 80 degrees? And not only that, you wear your snorkel mask while learning to roll and you can see your paddle and don’t inhale buckets of water! These river boats are much easier to roll than a sea kayak. We teach you first in one of these, and you then graduate up to the sea kayaks when you are ready.

Kayak fish at Glover's ReefIn addition to all of this, we have the only fleet of fishing kayaks in the country. They have tons of specialized features like tackle storage, rod holders, fish holds, and they are wider than sea kayaks to prevent them from tipping over while casting. They also use anchors and pontoons to stabilize the craft. Fishermen who have heard about fishing at Glover’s Reef have the opportunity to use these top-of-the-line fishing kayaks as an alternative to wading in from shore or fishing off of our dock. This allows you to be able to fish in places where you might otherwise feel you need to hire a fishing guide and boat (at several hundred dollars/day!)

Belize riversOur river kayaks that we use on the Macal and Caves Branch rivers are designed specifically for whitewater. All told we have well over 100 kayaks in Belize so you can experience each sport we offer in the best gear possible. This makes your fantastic vacation even more fun! The only problem is you will come home wanting one of each…..