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Kayaking for beginners
Porterdale Yak Club makes kayaking more accessible to locals
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Sports are well known as providing exercise. But to provide exercise and relaxation is a different echelon of sport.

Kayaking, which has been recently made more accessible to Newton residents, fits into that category.

Kimberly Brown opened the Porterdale Yak Club on April 1 and is eager to bring as many people as she can into the Yellow River. The Club is a rental shop open daily, with the exception of Mondays, providing all the equipment needed to get started.

What is needed to get started in the sport, which lends itself perfectly to the dog days of summer? Not much.

"We have all the equipment," Brown said. "We'll take you out to the water and make sure you know what you're doing. When you get comfortable and are ready to go, we'll wave goodbye and come back in a couple of hours to pick you up."

As for what one needs to do when kayaking, it's rather simple. An aerobic paddling motion of simply pulling backwards and lifting the oar out of the water is all that it takes.

The paddling builds up the body's core with the stretching and twisting motion. If you get tired while floating down the calm Yellow River, pull up the paddles and lay back in the stable boat. That's all it takes for both a relaxing and physical activity.

Kayaking further lends itself to the user, as in if you want a more active trip go exploring, if you want a more spirited ride, grab a friend in a competing boat or a stopwatch and watch the canopy blur by.

To do any of the activities on the water, it doesn't take much time at all.

It takes like 15 seconds to get over the fear factor that people have," Brown said. "It's not the Colorado River; you're not going down the rapids, you're not doing all that. It's very light and very relaxing."

Newton residents who grab a boat and a paddle for aquatic exercise vary from the young to the old, showing again how diverse of a sport it is.

"People from 5 years old, to paraplegic people to 80 year olds with Parkinson's disease come here to do it," Brown said. "Kayaks are very easy - it's just a matter of getting off your butts."

The area near Brown's Porterdale Yak Club begins at a wider part of the Yellow River, and heads to just south of the Georgia International Horse Park, where you can turn around and head back toward Porterdale. The mild flow of the river allows for both upstream and downstream travel.

It all makes for a day of easy activity while the long, hot days of summer make it a little less bearable to cycle, run or participate in other sports throughout the area.

"If you can sit in the bathtub you can kayak," Brown said.