Kayaking immediately took hold with this “girly girl,” to the point that she bought herself a pink boat to go with her pink fishing rod.
Name: Crystal Wilkes
First foray: James River with a group of friends.
Payoff: “You get to be out in nature with friends. You get your kicks and giggles with friends.”
Future: Passion will only intensify.
Crystal Wilkes has always been active, always been social, so when one of her “buds” said, “Hey, let’s go kayaking tomorrow” in July, she was ready to leap into the boat.
Today, she is pretty much an addict, one trying to lure in others for group adventures.
“My friend, who has two kayaks, had a group of about seven going and said I could use one of his boats. It took one time and I was knocked out. We went from Horseshoe Bend to Buchanan [on the James River]” and the adventure, the pace and the exercise won her immediately.
Wilkes, who is 35 and works as a hairdresser at Sassy Clipper in Roanoke, has been a hiker, volleyball player, weight lifter and circuit trainer, but kayaking offers time to relax and exercise simultaneously.
She even fishes (with a pink fishing rod—swear to god; “I’m girly sometimes,” she says sheepishly).
She discovered the financial investment in kayaking is small: “You can get a boat for $200,” she says. She has a better boat than that, recently purchased, and it matches her fishing rod (pink).
“I like matching stuff.”
Wilkes has been kayaking for a few months and goes almost religiously on weekends, and she hopes to pick that up in the future. “I am an addict,” she says.
Her friend Chris Hurt recently went out for his first kayak run with Wilkes and bought a kayak the next day. Immediate addiction.
Just like Crystal.