Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Kayak class offered by Parks and Rec.


Raleigh Hunter.

A group of kayakers out on Nelson Reservoir in a June Kayak class.

The Malta Parks & Recreation Department has not only been busy providing recreational events indoors and on fields this summer but now has branched out to Nelson Reservoir's State Park.

On Monday, June 25, the department held it's second kayaking class of the year. The first class was held on Monday, June 11. There is only on more group class scheduled for the summer; it will be held on Monday, July 23.

The sessions are taught by Stephanie Nagel of Malta, who the PCN contacted a few days before the second session.

The first session was Nagel's very first class as a teacher.

"I think it went very well," Nagel said of her first session. "I had four people who had their first experience kayaking. I think they learned very well and they enjoyed themselves. It was very good to be able to teach what I know to somebody else."

Though Nagel's fear of water has gone down, in certain situations like Whitewater rafting or windy conditions, she would prefer to stay on shore.

"If the Milk River was too high, I personally would not kayak in it," she said. "There are a lot of rivers deaths that have happened just this year. They happen a lot and in kayaks, so I am a strong believer in safety, where those sports can be fun and I believe it is something you need to practice before you get out there."

She went on to say that in a safe and controlled environment, like a swimming pool, it is beneficial for kayakers to practice rolling their kayaks before entering faster moving water."

Nagel admitted that the class was a very basic class.

"I am not a professional by any means, but it was good," Nagel said.

She explained how she got into kayaking as a hobby.

"I am scared of water and I am not much of a swimmer, who can swim only a little bit," Nagel said. "I got out there on an excursion one day and just fell in love with the relaxation of it."

For Nagel, the hobby isn't only for relaxation purposes.

"I feel like I'm getting a small workout as well as relaxing, having fun, laughing with my friends, becoming one with nature, and there is just so much to it," Nagel said. "You see wildlife, you're with the water, there is so much to pay attention to. You can get yourself into trouble but it's really safe. There are just so many pros and cons. It is exhilarating, exciting. Not many people know how to kayak."

Her love of kayaking culminated in her starting a kayak rental company named BlueEyes Watercraft Rental.

"There is no other form of rental in this area as far as boat renting to go to the lake or go on the river," Nagel said. "Unless you know somebody or own a boat, you don't get that opportunity and you're stuck on shore."

Her efforts gave the Phillips County area a chance to do something other communities do.

Just seeing what other communities have to offer, I have noticed that there are kayak rentals everywhere," Nagel said. "Why not here? We need a variety of things to do."

The class sheet mentions that 10 single and two tandem kayaks are available for rental, but students of the class aren't limited to rentals.

"The class is for people that have their own kayaks as well as for people who don't," Nagel said.

Nagel will line up all of her kayaks on the shore until class begins. Registration ends at the start of each session.

Nagel also owns enough life vests for each kayak rental as well as paddles. The prices for the class on Monday, July 23, are $35 per person for a session. Kayak rentals are additionally priced.


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