What's new in Canoeing/kayaking or woodworking?
October 22, 2007 10:24 AM   Subscribe

What's new in Canoeing/kayaking or woodworking?

My father-in-law is really into canoeing/kayaking and woodworking and I'd like to get him something that is the "next cool thing" in one of these two areas (or it could be the thing any canoer or woodworker would love to get but probably doesn't have).

Bonus points if the item in question costs less than $50.
posted by drezdn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You'll probably get better responses if you write a little more in the way of details. Does he canoe, kayak, or both? Whitewater, flatwater, daytrips, expeditions, novice, expert, etc? Do you know which equipment he does and doesn't have? What sort of woodworking does he do? Which tools does he use? Does he have a set-up shop already or does he tinker in the basement?
posted by ssg at 10:32 AM on October 22, 2007

Lots of people like to make canoes and kayaks.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:33 AM on October 22, 2007

Although can I make an observation?

I am "into" a lot of things. I rarely appreciate gifts in the vein of these hobbies because gift givers have almost no chance of choosing something that I want (which I do not already have), or choosing something that has the appropriate features/attributes/whatever. I'm just saying. If he has not expressed interest in a particular thing, I'd shy away from hobby-gift-giving (aside from, perhaps, gift certificates, but make sure he shops at the place. Home Depot has almost nothing I want, for example)
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2007

Agree with Rusty with one exception -- if your FIL is a reader, get him an interesting book on these topics.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:41 AM on October 22, 2007

Does he have a subscription to WoodenBoat magazine? That would cover both subjects nicely. I've been a subscriber for many years and highly recommend it.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:42 AM on October 22, 2007

Maybe you could get him a subscription to a magazine.
One for:
canoeing and kayaking


Each of those is about $30 for a year.
(I don't subscribe to either so I can't vouch for them, just googled them.)
posted by rmless at 10:45 AM on October 22, 2007

Response by poster: I would just go with a book, but I try to avoid giving people books as gifts because I work with books.

He both canoes and kayaks, most likely at an expert level as he spends a lot of time doing it in the boundary waters area.

Duly noted about the risks of buying a hobbyist gift (I have a long string of hobbies and can sympathize).
posted by drezdn at 11:06 AM on October 22, 2007



is a good place to browse for "recent" woodworking gear, although I'd agree that you're going to be hard-pressed to hit upon something that really appeals to him.
posted by srt19170 at 11:20 AM on October 22, 2007

Since the FIL in question is actually my dad, I'd like to chime in with more info.

My dad both canoes and kayaks as drezdn said. He mostly does canoeing on his trips to the Boundary Waters (a few times a year) and loves to take his kayak out to the lakes near his house to do some recreational fishing.

He also likes woodworking...he mostly builds furniture, but his most recent project was building a teardrop camping trailer from the chassis up.

He researches his hobbies extensively before taking them up, so he probably has lots of books on both subjects already. That being said, he loves gadgets but often won't buy them for himself (he doesn't believe in "treating himself"). He likes to get gifts related to his hobbies. However, he likes practical things better than decorative things. Drezdn has the right idea.

posted by christinetheslp at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2007

I do a little woodworking. When I'm in the shop I always wish I had more:
  • Clamps. Of all sorts. Look at his and get him another one or three.
  • Pencils
  • Freshly sharpened chisels, planes, and scrapers
  • Rags
  • Sandpaper
  • Storage Space
  • Raw Materials. $50 will buy a nice chunk of wood, or a few more sheets of plywood, depending on the species/grade.
On preview: Of all of these --- clamps would be most appreciated.
posted by notyou at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2007

A failsafe woodworking gift is clamps. There isn't a serious woodworker on the planet who has enough. Check his shop for what seem to be the most used set and get him the equivalent. Warning though that if he likes Bessys you might not be able to buy a pair for $50.
posted by Mitheral at 11:38 AM on October 22, 2007

Oh ya it's implied in my comment by buy clamps in pairs, two are about 5Xs as useful as one.

and I guess I'm seconding notyou
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 AM on October 22, 2007

For woodworking stuff, check out Lee Valley. They have a lot of nice gadgety things, but they do tend to be relatively expensive.

Flatwater canoeing and kayaking are, at least to me, relatively low-gadget pursuits. If he takes electronic gadgets with him out on the water, he might appreciate a nice Pelican or similar case to keep them dry.
posted by ssg at 11:56 AM on October 22, 2007

Does he have a portable waterproof GPS like the eTrex Legend?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:43 PM on October 22, 2007

A subscription to Wooden Boat or one of it's sister publications?

I agree with Rusty; saying he's into woodworking is far too vague to know where to go with it. Besides which, not a lot of gee-whiz, next-big-thing stuff really happens in woodworking, though hundreds of gadgets are marketed as if they were poised to transform the whole woodworking experience. When it does happen (CNC routers come to mind), it can't be bought for $30.

Lee Valley would be a good place to get a gift certificate, if you go that route. They sell a very wide range of stuff, most of it useful and decent quality.

I also agree with the clamp suggesters, but even there the size and type depends on the work he does. Is he more likely to build a jewelry box or a boat?
posted by jon1270 at 2:03 PM on October 22, 2007

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