Consider a kayak date with your mate

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KayakGetting out on the water together can provide valuable bonding time for couples, and kayaking is an easy way to achieve this — especially in Central Maryland where there are plenty of places to paddle.

“It’s fun to spend an hour or two with someone, catching up. It’s kind of a hectic world. ... You can unplug and really enjoy it,” says Chris Dollar, owner and operator of Centreville Outdoors, which rents and sells kayaks.

When the Smolen family moved from downtown Baltimore to Crownsville, they found a sign left outside saying, “Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe”— fitting advice for a household backing up to the Severn River.

Paddling has, in fact, become a favorite pastime for the Smolens, but they prefer kayaks.

“It’s a nice way to see nature from another vantage point,” says Jenny Smolen. “If you’re in a quiet river area, you can see crabs, great blue herons, osprey diving for food, ducks, etc.”

Dollar says he sees many couples go out together kayaking. Some are on a first date; others have been together for years, he says.

Several area boathouses offer classes on kayaking, but Dollar says the basic instructions he gives couples when they rent are usually enough to get beginners started.

“It just takes a little balance and a little adventure,” he says. The hardest part is getting in and out of the boat.

Single kayaks are available to rent as well as tandem (or double) kayaks for those who want to be in the same boat. If paddling in a tandem, Smolen advises finding a kayak with a rudder to help with steering.

“Rudders save marriages,” she jokes. “My recommendation is to rent two single kayaks or spend the little extra to get a rudder. Especially if you want to go on a follow-up date.”

Click next below for five spots great for a kayak date.

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