PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — So, what’s the big deal? You don’t have a boat. There’s still a ton of fun on the water, although you might not stay quite dry. Hook up with a tube, board, skis – even a “Personal Water Craft.” Some call that a Jet Ski. Check the choices.
Somewhere back in the sixties, popular canoeing trips on the Delaware River in Bucks County suddenly morphed into river rafting. It involved floating downriver on a simple rubber tube, getting buns wet and cooled in the summer heat, while comfortably going with the current. RIVER COUNTRY http://www.rivercountry.net/ is still operating out of Point Pleasant. Show up at the base camp. A shuttle takes you and your rental tube upriver for a relaxing float at speeds that vary with the current, back to Point Pleasant. Further up the Delaware, KITTATINY CANOES http://kittatinny.com/river-trips/tubing/ near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area serves up a 2 to 3 hour float through a pristine waterway. Or, have a float on the Schuylkill River from PORT PROVIDENCE PADDLE http://www.canoeandkayak.biz/ Check the web sites for varying rates.
The Stand-UP-Paddleboard is becoming a craze that involves balancing skills, water gliding and sightseeing, all rolled in one. You simple stand with a long paddle on what looks like a flat kayak and go for a leisurely cruise on a waterway of choice. Popular spots include Annapolis Harbor off the Chesapeake Bay and Cape May at the Jersey Shore. I’ve even seen them on the Hudson River in Manhattan. For a first-timer introduction to Paddle Boarding and rental, try ANNAPOLIS CANOE AND KAYAK. You’ll launch right onto Annapolis Harbor within sight of the United States Naval Academy. At the Jersey shore, MISS CHRIS KAYAK AND PADDLEBOARD RENTALS in Cape May sends you out on your own or with a group tour. Do some birding or just shoreline gazing, while skimming the water.
OK. For this one, you do need a boat to tow the skis. It’s exhilarating and wet. But the rush is not unlike a dynamite downhill run. My experience with water skiing has been behind boats of buddies. But if your buddies are boatless, a ski-boat with trained staff and a lesson to get you started can be rented on the Jersey shore at Ocean City through TOTALLY TUBULAR WATER SPORTS. They take 6 skiers out on 4-hour charters for $700. Check out rates for longer or shorter runs.
So, you want the thrill of a motorcycle on waves. In other word, “A Jet Ski”. OK. Back to Cape May we go and Utsche’s Marina for a rental, operated by EAST COAST JET SKI. You’ll be thoroughly checked out in the operation, regulations and safety aspects of riding. Then it’s off to a patrolled, protected course to get some wind in your hair and salt on the toes. A 45 minute blast on the course will run 80 bucks. But you’ll have a story to tell.
It’s not Hawaii or the Great Barrier Reef, but the New Jersey shore can offer up rollers that rise and race a boarder from crest to beach. HARBOR OUTFITTERS can get you up and surfing at Ocean City, Stone Harbor and Sea Isle City. Rent a board for a day ($35) or multi-day. And for newbies there are lessons. If you own your own, you probably already know the best spots to catch a wave. If not, Harbor Outfitters provides the local knowledge.