Don't row back
What is the proper attire for paddling on a river? What's the difference between a kayak and a canoe? And when should you use a sit-on-top model, and when to go with a cockpitted version? Oh, and what about paddles and life jackets -- do boaters need those too? These are all worthy naval questions, and you can pose them this weekend during the 2004 Fall Kayak Festival at Okeeheelee Park (7715 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach). Billed as a weekend of family fun on the water, the festival offers basic paddling classes, Eskimo rolling classes, kayaking demonstrations, water safety instruction, and an opportunity to try out various boats. Once you've received the proper tutelage and are ready to get out onto the water, the Okeeheelee Nature Center offers more than two miles of winding rivers that will take you through 90 acres of pine flatwoods and wetlands. During your journey down the water, you might see any number of birds of prey, bobcats, snakes, alligators, and panthers. Admission costs $7 for adults and $5 for kids. The fun starts at 10 a.m. each day and runs until 5 p.m. Food is not included with your fees, so if you plan on spending the whole day, bring some snacks -- preferably something the animals won't want. Hmm... Brussels sprouts. Call 561-881-7218. -- Russ Evans
Surfing for Dummies
Never bored on the board
You might think the best place for a surfing lesson is the beach. But Kali "Da Big Kahuna" Montero prefers the Broward County Main Library (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Get schooled by Montero -- a Hawaiian who learned to surf from Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing -- during "Get Stoked: Ocean Surfing 101" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Montero will cover everything from surfboard shopping to lineup etiquette. Then he'll scare the hell out of you by showing the movie Condition Black -- a documentary about 40-foot waves that laugh at, pummel, and occasionally humor surfers who dare to ride them. Polynesian dancers help the knowledge go down, and door prizes such as videos, magazines, and surf wax will be given away. Call 954-357-7432. -- Deirdra Funcheon
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