Kayaking is a great experience, and one of the best methods to get closer to nature. Kayaking offers great fun to all people with different levels of experience.
Whether you are taking it extremely or just spending casual time on a calm lake with family, you need to know the basic tips for kayaking. If you are a beginner, these basic tips will help you a lot in your kayaking experience.
The basic and key tips for kayaking relies on your skills and experience, your choice of kayaks, the water surface, and many more.
What Tips for Kayaking Do I Need to Follow
Tip 01: Choosing The Kayak
There is a vast range of kayaks available in the market for buying or renting. Kayaks have countless types and styles for different levels of skills and experience.
Let’s talk about the basic types of Kayaks first. There are kayaks that are sit-on-top, and kayaks that are sit-inside.
As the name suggests, you sit over the sit-on-top kayak. They are extremely stable, and suitable for the warm waters. It is more suitable and comfortable for nervous people.
A sit-on-top kayak gets splashes to the people paddling it, and that’s why a sit-inside kayak is suitable for cold weather waters. Sit-inside kayaks are more comfortable when you get used to them, and they are suitable for long-distance kayaking.
Another biggest type of difference in kayaks is the capacity. There are single kayaks for people who want to be alone on the kayaking. On the other hand, double kayaks can accommodate two-person and suitable for kayaking with friends and family.
Depending on your kayaking activity, you also need to decide on the storage capacity, speed, and all the other factors before you purchase a kayak.
Tip 02: Tips for Transporting Kayaks
No matter what type of kayak you have, it is always a hassle to load, carry and transport the kayak from your home to the water.
The best and easiest way is to carry the kayak on your car roof. You can also go for inflatable kayaks. The modern inflatable kayaks have great durability and can inflate and deflate in no time. They reduce the hassle of transport by a big margin. You can get inflatable kayaks on all the types and styles like sit-over-top, sit-inside, single and double, marathons, and for every purpose you need.
Before you sit on your kayak and start paddling, you need to bring some very necessary and important things and equipment. Some of these things are to help you with kayaking, and some are to keep you safe and secure.
Personal Floatation Device
More commonly known as a life vest, this device will prevent you from drowning or going under the water level if somehow you fall from the Kayak. Even the most stable kayak can lose its stability under bad weather or other forces, and even if you are a good swimmer, you need to wear your PFD for safety.
For kayaking on a warm day, you need to bring your suitable kayaking clothes to get the full experience without any kind of drawbacks.
You can wear board shorts, beach shorts, swimsuits and other clothing you are free and comfortable in. You need to wear sandals or water shoes because there will always be a good chance of you encountering water.
To protect yourself from the sun, you can apply sunscreen before start kayaking. You can also wear a sun hat and sunglasses.
Carry a water bottle and some snacks with you on the kayak. You will lose sweat from the sun and paddling, and you need to drink water regularly.
Carry a dry bag to put your necessary things like wallet, keys, phone, etc. Make sure the bag is secured to you with a loop or mount. This way, if you fall from the kayak or any incidents happen, the bag will not get lost from you.
5 Most common kayaking mistakes
When you have gathered all the preparation and are ready to go on your first kayaking trip, know about the basic tips of kayaking to get started.
Sitting in a Kayak
To sit properly in a kayak, you need to be sitting with your back completely straight, and your legs forward. Bend your knees a bit and place them alongside the sides of the kayak. Don’t be stiff and uncomfortable, rather be comfortable with the sitting position. The contact between your knees and the kayak sides will give your more strength while paddling. If your kayak has a backrest, adjust it according to your comfort.
Tip 04: Paddling Tips for Kayaking
Like a bicycle handle, hold the kayak paddle with both of your hands. Then, lean forward, put the paddle on the water, and then pull back to your straight position, and remove the paddle from the water. Then, repeat the process. You are now paddling your kayak.
Make long strokes by leaning to your feet and then coming all the way to the backrest. The longer strokes will generate more speed. If it is a double kayak, both the person needs to do the paddle in a single motion, with the same stroke of power and range. If the person in front is paddling on the right side, the second person should paddle on the left side.
If you want to paddle backward, just do the same strokes, but now in the opposite order. This means you will start the stroke from the backrest, lean to your feet, lift the paddle from the water, and then repeat.
If you want to shift the direction of the kayak to left, paddle only on the right side. Forgoing right, pedal only on the left side.
To stop the kayak in forwarding momentum, just stop and do a backward stroke. Hold the paddle under the water to create drag. The kayak will stop immediately with mostly a single stroke.
Tip 05: Kayaking in Different Waters
There are lakes, rivers, seas, canals, and many more places to do kayaking. But, each place comes with its requirement in experience, skills, preparations, and so on.
Kayaking on a lake
Kayaking on a lake is considered the safest for beginners for the lack of wind and streams. Lake water is calm and perfect for enjoying kayaking with family, friends, and even alone. Beginners can easily learn all the basic kayaking skills and tips and tricks while kayaking in a lake, and also enjoy the view, nature, and beauty.
Kayaking on a River
River kayaking is completely different than lake kayaking. The water is usually rough, there are winds, waves, streams, and other things.
If you are a beginner, starting with kayaking on a river is not a very good idea for you. You need to learn the basics and gather experience from kayaking on a lake, and then start on the river.
There are grades on rivers for kayaking. You can start with grades 1 and 2, as there you will learn how to paddle in waves and streams. Slowly, when you learn and gain experience in controlling the kayak and paddle techniques, you can embark on more and more rivers for kayaking.
Kayaking in the ocean
When you have good experience of kayaking and know all the basics, you can take on the ocean for kayaking. But, this is one of the most dangerous surfaces to do kayaking.
You need to be prepared for the route with proper knowledge of the area, the water, the sea life, and the track you are going to follow. Kayaking with 2 or 4 or more people together is the best idea when it comes to the sea. Carry GPS equipment so you know where you are, and in case of any emergency, other people can track you.
You need to have very good skills and experience to do kayaking in the ocean and go for it when you are confident with yourself.
Kayaking is a great experience and opportunity for enjoying nature, creating bonds, and just finding yourself. Always follow all the tips for kayaking, carry all the safety equipment and essentials, and just enjoy yourself in the doing.