by: Rita A. Leonard People interested in free try-outs of Current Designs kayaks gathered in showery weather April 2 at Sellwood Riverfront Park.

When you feel like getting away from it all, 'kayak therapy' can be a very relaxing option. And a visit from a traveling sales exhibition can provide the opportunity.

On Saturday, April 2nd, representatives from the Current Designs Co. spread twenty demonstration kayak models on the shore of Sellwood Riverfront Park. Anyone interested was given the opportunity to try out different models after following directions from company reps, who provided safety vests, paddles, and handling instructions.

Happy novices paddled upstream and down, trying out the feel of this gentle mode of water transport.

Sales tech Kurt Renner described his role as 'stress management therapist'. 'All the kayaks here are one-man models, from 30 to 70 pounds each, though we do make three different types of doubles,' he said.

'These range from 12-18 feet long, and are made of fiberglass, Kevlar and polyester. We sell the paddles separately. Kayakers don't need a license or permit; that's only for watercraft with a motor.'

Renner spent seven hours braving intermittent showers while moving kayaks in and out of the river, and describing various features. 'Interested folks can check our website - - for the next demo visit we'll have through here,' he said. "Tomorrow we'll be in Eugene, then California.

'About three dozen people came out to check our models today. These are the serious ones. On a sunny day we'll have around 200-300 visitors.'

A young Inner Southeast couple tried out two different kayaks during a sunny spell, trading off models to compare ease of handling. 'It was very peaceful out on the water,' remarked Elizabeth Simmons.'

'It was a lot of fun,' agreed Matt Wills. "The ducks flew over and landed right next to us.'

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