One of the hassles of kayaking involves changing into paddling clothing at the boat ramp. If you’re like me, you try to do a quick surf change on the beach using something like Orange Mud’s Transition and Seat Wrap (See: Orange Mud Transition Towel and Seat Wrap Review). You may have picked up something like a Sqivvy, a popup changing room. Neither offer a perfect solution. The Orange Mud towel doesn’t allow you to dry off easily, so when you pull you pants and underwear on, it feels wet and sticky. The Sqivvy tends to blow down in the wind even when fully staked and guyed out. The ideal solution is to have a changing room built at the ramp.
Beaches often have outdoor changing rooms, and they’re becoming more common at mountain biking trails. But, for some reason, they haven’t caught on at locations where kayakers often launch. The need is there, because kayakers almost always change from their street clothing to paddling clothing. And after paddling, the clothing is usually wet. I’ve personally seen kayakers just dropping their clothing and getting nude in parking lots.
Some area officials suggest changing in the outhouse. While this is possible, it’s seldom ideal because they’re seldom clean or large enough to accommodate changing clothing. They don’t have benches and they often smell bad. It just feels gross.
An outdoor changing room need not be complicated. A 8 foot by 6 foot structure with a bench inside is all that’s needed. It doesn’t need a roof, and the rain can clean out the sand. An outdoor changing room shouldn’t cost more than a couple of hundred dollars, and it would be used by every kayaker that needs to change clothing at the landing. It could be built in two days, including the day it takes to pour the footings. It’s well worth the investment.
Here’s an example outdoor changing room that I drew up using Sketchup. How about it kayakers? Can you talk your local officials into building these for us?
Download the Sketchup file: Oudoor changing room Sketchup file