Everybody’s had a windfall at some time or another in their adult lives. Did you ever decide to take that change burning a hole in your pocket and invest in the equipment to begin playing a new sport? Did that gear end up taking up space in the back of your closet for months or even years, until you finally bit the bullet and went to unload it at Play It Again? There’s a way to avoid that kind of ignominious loss: make sure you try the sport in question (more than once, if possible) before you buy your own equipment. For example, at one of these two events this week in town:
Sea kayaking, in addition to bringing the peace that comes with being on the water, is a great way to condition your upper body and improve coordination and equilibrium. If you’re weighing purchasing the craft, the car rack and the other accoutrements, consider taking part in Portland Paddle’s Fort Gorges Sea Kayak Tour, launching at the East End Beach (Eastern Prom) on Sunday, May 28 at 9:30 a.m. The price is $52.00, $42.00 for kids 10-16. The default craft is a tandem kayak, so if you prefer a solo, let organizers know in advance at 207-370-9730. True beginners might want to stick with the two-person kayak, as those are more stable, more spacious and generally easier to use. The bonus of this trip is that once you get to Fort Gorges in Casco Bay (the chunky little granite one you can see on a tiny island from points along the shore in Portland), a knowledgeable guide will discuss the fort’s Civil War beginnings and history and answer questions. Bring a lunch if you want to picnic at the fort. Go to http://portlandpaddle.net/tours/ to register.
If you’d rather stay on solid ground, and not only that, stake out a piece of that ground and defend it from enemy attack, don’t worry, we’re not recommending a new career in the armed services. On the contrary, the sport in question is Dagohir, a Tolkien-inspired combination of live-action role playing and medieval war reenactment (see our previous piece about it at http://portlandphoenix.me/columns/sports/item/6556-all-out-war-in-deering-oaks ). The local Dagohir chapter is holding a practice, with foam weapons available for use by walk-on participants, at Deering Oaks Park (Park St), on Monday, May 29 at 2 p.m. If you’ve never felt the catharsis that comes from defeating an opponent in a combat sport, this might be one you want to try. Admission and participation are free More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/215568855188037 . It’s a great time, and a good time to sample it before you spend on equipment. We’re not sure what Play It Again Sports’ policy is on battleaxes.